"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue # 127 Thursday, November 7, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Jennifer Hillier

It was wonderful 3 days that Stephen and Jennifer Hillier were at the Dancesport Academy of Michigan in Dearborn, USA. In the last Tid-bits I discussed the "Universal Right Arm" which is so often emphasized by Stephen Hillier. Today, let me give you some highlights of my lesson with Jennifer Hillier.

To tell you the truth I was a little apprehensive initially. When I came to England (from India) hundreds of years ago, I could not understand a word of what they were talking. The accent got to me and I came to USA and loved the American way, it was crude but simple, nobody cared. Secondly, a few years ago I tried to say "hello" to an English lady dancer, of Blackpool status and she turned a cold shoulder. However in this case, as soon as I shook hands with Jennifer, I was very comfortable. She was a down to earth person and of course a lovely lady and a wonderful teacher/coach. Stephen is just as friendly (if not more) and jovial and we had a blast.

She accepted my offer to dance a few bars of slow fox-trot and inspite of my nervousness, we went around once without a hitch and she said "good", ..but...., and then we took it from there.

1. She wanted me to keep her more to my right side with my "universal arm". We have already talked about this in our last Tid-bit as emphasized by Stephen again and again.

2. Preparation step is like step 3 of the Change of Direction.

3. The Feather step curves to right. Good point. I have seen this depiction by Alex Moore in his book and I see the classical champions dancing Feather with this shape. So a slight curve to right is more effective rather than straight DC. She wanted me to build left side lead earlier, left shoulder leading on step 1 as I stepped forward RF.

4. Forward swing on step 2 of reverse turn, then turn left.

5. Feather Finish: I was coming into her space and she told me to stay left. I was also swaying to right too early.

6. Three Step: Don't rise too early. The rise is quite late.

7. Natural Weave: Essentially she asked me to put more shape, swing and correct sway. Also a little more turning to right initially and therefore correspondingly more turn to left at the end.

8. Change of Direction. I was turning too early. As I took my time on step 2, the movement became more expressive.

All in all it was a wonderful experience and I do feel that I have more enjoyment into my favorite dance, The Slow Foxtrot. I invite any discussion from all of you.

With best wishes, Max

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