"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue # 126, Thursday, October 31, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Stephen Hillier

Who is Stephen Hillier? O' Come on, I don't have to tell you that; but for those who are new to dancing Stephen Hillier in Ballroom Dancing is like Rod Laver of tennis or Jack Nicklaus of Golf. I am talking about the days when Stephen and Lindsy were the champions of the world with all kinds of World and European Titles. Stephen is now married to Jennifer and they travel all over the world, adjudicating and coaching. More about the wonderful Jennifer in next letter.

I think it was perhaps the first time that Stephen Hillier was visiting Dearborn, at the Dancesport Academy of Michigan (Pam and Alex). What wonderful 3 days we had with world class coaching and demonstrations.

This Tid-bit is about his last evening Lecture on Lead and Follow. I do not want to water down the contents of that Lecture, therefore I will only emphasize ONE SINGLE POINT that makes all the difference in one's dancing.

The Right Arm:

O, My God, How many times I heard it from him in the Lecture Tapes but it never made such a profound effect unless I saw him demonstrating the real thing. So, please listen to me carefully so you can benefit from this information without spending a fortune $$.

Where does the Right Arm start: What I gather from his words, it does not start at your shoulder but it connects to the Center of your body? In other words it does not move at it's own but represents the movement and shape of your whole body and that is the only way you can lead a lady, the body language. I do not mean to say that he said it gives the lead directly but I think what he meant that the Right Arm of the Man plays a key role in transmitting Lead information.

The Right Arm Position: This was really an eye opener to me. I used to keep the palm of my right hand more or less in line with my shoulder blade ("in front my right breast" does not sound too good for a man). How wrong! he meant it with clarity: "the Right Palm stays outside the Radius of your body". I had to think about that for a while, what does radius mean? However as he showed it to us his arm was simply more open to the right with his fingers well outside the right side of his chest.

Ladies Position: This puts the Lady well to Man's right and gives her freedom to express herself.

There were many other points but it all related to this "Universal Arm Position". This did not change whether he went down, up or for that matter he jumped. Think about it today, play with it and you will know what I mean. This is the only tidbit for today.

I dedicate this Dancing Tid-bits to the Championship days of Stephen and Lindsy Hillier. Next week my lesson with Jennifer Hillier.

Best Wishes, Max

P.S. I apologize if I made any errors in spelling names, or in perceiving what was being conveyed

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