"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #147, Thursday, June 12, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
What is "Shennay Turn?"

When I wrote the last tidbit on Three Step Turn, I knew I was opening a Pandora's Box and a pandora's box it was indeed. I got so much mail, you won't believe it. But, one thing good that many respondents sent me such useful information that I am very obliged and certainly many things have become so clear in my mind. I like to share some comments with you.

1. Janice Boles, Yanna1234 of Paragon Ballroom, Roselle Park, NJ USA, www.paragonballroom.com, writes:

Quote: "Hi Max, I've been enjoying your Dancing Tid-bits very much, and now have a little something to share with you!

Regarding your Tid-bit on the three-step turn:

The term "Chaines," pronounced "Shennay" as in Chaines turns, comes from the French word for "Chain." It is a term used in ballet to describe a series of small, fast, linked turns usually performed in a series. (See Classical Ballet Technique by Gretchen Ward Warren, 1989, p.190).

A bit more on how to dance the Chaines turns:

In ballet, if the dancer is turning to the right down LOD, she (or he) starts with weight on the left foot, foot facing center and with her right shoulder leading down LOD.

1. She steps down LOD onto the right leg, and draws the left leg forward through 1st position (feet together and turned out).

2. She makes a quarter turn from the right leg, ending with her body facing wall.

3. She then transfers weight onto the left leg which is now the leading leg down LOD, still in 1st position.

4. She completes the turn on the left leg, and draws the other leg around in 5th position (feet crossed and turned out). Crossing the feet into 5th position at this point in the turn helps the dancer to rotate around.

5. She ends with left foot again facing center, shoulder leading down LOD, and she has done one full turn.

6. She can then step forward again onto the right leg for another turn or to end this figure.

So, technically, this is a step, turn, step. In a sense, you are spiraling to the right on the left leg with the feet very close together. When the turns are very fast, you can't really see the crossing of the feet into 5th position and the wrapping isn't so obvious, as it is in a slow spiral.

I suppose this could be called a Three-step Chaine turn. If more turns are made, those are Chaines turns.

Or you could say that a Chaine turn is a fast type of a Spiral turn.

Well, you asked for it! More than you ever wanted to know about Chaines turns!

Best wishes, Janice Boles

Thank you Janice. Now I know Shennay spells Chaine's, Voila!

Best Wishes, Max

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