"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #95, Thursday, March 28, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Drag Hesitation; How to Lead?

Do you remember the days of your first waltz lesson, how difficult it was to "change weight" specially as lady. For example in a reverse turn, RF back, LF to side, RF closes to LF and then again RF forward.."oops" sorry I should have used LF, forward.

How did we correct it?..... OK! Let's swing a little..Down Up Up --- Down Up Up and there you have it, the problem is resolved. It was the Rise and Fall that made all the difference.

So the message is simple. If you want your lady to skip the weight change, in other words "Hesitate"; dont give her the "rise" and she will passively follow and do exactly what you want her to do. This is true whether you are doing a Hesitation in Waltz or Quickstep or the Natural Turn in Foxtrot. You cut the swing and stay down. On the contrary, give her a "rise" and she becomes active and will change weight.

So Let's look at the Lead of Drag Hesitation: The same concept should apply to Drag Hesitation. Why should this be so different from the regular hesitation change? I therefore went to work on this and applied this "no rise technique" vs the prescribed "rise and fall of the standard technique". I asked my partner, which one was easier? She decided "no rise" had a better lead and definitely her choice.

Standard Technique: Both IDTA and ISTD and Alex Moore written technique ask for the Rise at the end of 2, Up on 3 and then Lower. As you can see that there is a late rise (not the usual "commence to rise at the end of 1"). So at least I can convince you that there is some sense in what I am talking about. My experience was that if I did "stay Up" on 3 the lady changed weight naturally, unless you ask her in advance not to do so.

Suggested Rise and Fall in Drag Hesitation: Just keep it simple and stay down. There will be a slight body rise naturally as you close the LF to RF but it should be very subtle just as you do in Heel Pull given by Guy Howard. It almost feels like you start with swing and then kill it for hesitation, almost a feeling that you are doing Tango for a moment.

Footwork: The footwork for the standard rise and fall is 1. HT, 2.T, 3. Toes of both feet, then HT RF. The footwork will naturally change if you stay down. I feel it is 1. HT 2. inside edge of Toe, Ball Heel and 3. Drag LF with inside edge of ball LF without weight. This of course is different from the standard technique.

I will not insist that I am right but thought I share my thoughts. Try it and tell me what you think.

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

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