"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #96, Thursday, April 4, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Back Whisk Vs Fallaway Whisk

Yes, there is a difference, big time. As you execute these two figures you will have quite a different feeling from one to the other.

I agree that sometimes the descriptions of Back Whisk with a right turn and a Fallaway Whisk more or less overlap and specially when you are given options of using one in place of the other, it becomes all the more difficult to discern between the two figures. So I will give you some of my interpretations and see what you think. I will compare Man's steps, Ladies normal opposite.

1*. Feeling: Back Whisk ends in PP and Fallaway Whisk in Fallaway. I think it is quite important to feel the "fallaway" in Fallaway Whisk. See, if the following paragraphs convey my feelings.

2. Poise: The poise of both the Man and the Lady in Fallaway is more back, in other words the weight seems to be more into back of the feet, while the Back Whisk seems to have a forward poise as we feel at the end of a forward Whisk.

3. Sway: Because of the poise, the sway of a Back Whisk is just like in normal Whisk SLL but in Fallaway, there is a slight sway to right at the end. It may be said that sway in Fallaway Whisk is SSR and this is what gives you the feeling of "fallaway" (*1).

4. Rise and Fall: I think this is very important. In both cases, you commence to rise on 1, continue to rise on 2 but the third step is different. In Back Whisk, 3rd step, you are Up and then lower at the end of 3. In Fallaway Whisk you lower on 3 (not Up and then Lower). For the sake of convenience It may be said that in Back Whisk you go up, stay up and then come down as compared to Fallaway where you go up and come down. Dont think it is nit-picking, this is such an obvious "feeling"*.

5. Footwork: In Back Whisk we have TH, T, TH but in Fallaway, TH, TH, TH. Having said that, I prefer to use the T on 2nd step also in Fallaway Whisk which feels better to me and is OK.

6. Feet Positions: The confusion arises when the foot position of 2nd step in Fallaway is given to side and slightly back. You must remember that the feet positions described in technique reflect the "end position" and not how the step is taken. In both cases, the step moves back and then as the turn is completed, the RF appears to be to side and slightly back.

The foot position of 3rd step is critical. For Fallaway Whisk, the "LF crosses behind RF loosely in Fallaway" (you are down), while in Back Whisk it simply crosses behind RF in PP (you are Up). All this adds to the feeling 1*.

7. Leg Lines: At the end, in Back Whisk your Legs are pretty much straight and you are up, but in Fallaway Whisk as you take a more backward and down poise the left knee will bend and your right leg will become quite straight and heel of RF will release. This is again is the Feeling* of Fallaway.

8. The Swing: The Swing of Back Whisk is stronger than that of Fallaway Whisk. In Fallaway it may almost feels like taking walking steps backwards?

O' I also feel that Fallaway Whisk can be started in Line as compared to Back Whisk which feels best started with lady going outside partner on first step. The Precedes and Follows for both are the same. Thank you, Sincerely..Max

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

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits