"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #158 , Thursday, October 30, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
It's all about Rotation!

Alex and Max at Dancesport Academy: Both of us were on the floor at the Studio. Alex had one of his students and I had my student, Petra with me. I was telling Petra how to "ease up" on her heel turns. I kept emphasizing her rotation to left as I would lead her for a reverse heel turn. I was using this term a lot and then I realized that Alex was doing the same thing with his student, perhaps in another dance. My natural response was,...."See Petra! It's all about Rotation". As she rotated her body to left, starting to turn left, it was a peace of cake and she enjoyed the heel turn so much for the first time.

What is meant by Rotation? You simply rotate your body. The Body, implies more your upper frame from shoulders to hips which moves as one block. That does not mean that lower body including legs and feet are not involved. Actually the rotation is perhaps initiated from the knees downwards.

Is Rotation and CBM same thing? I would tend to say perhaps "Yes". However it may be said that as we create CBM there is rotation but rotation can be created without taking a step forward or backward. Sometimes it is just as easy to talk rotation rather than mention CBM to beginner students.

Counter-rotation? Remember "To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?" This is very true when we start to create CBM or Rotate our bodies. So, if you want to rotate to right, you initially rotate to left slightly. This creates a "winding" effect and provides greater energy to begin a turning action. For example as you take a prep step to do a fox-trot Feather, you rotate the body to left before you take steps ending with a left side lead.

Mechanics of Rotation and CBM: For example you (Man) are facing DC, ready to make reverse turn, say in Waltz, weight on the right foot. I feel, your right knee is the first thing that will tend to go forward and leftward as you move the LF forward and the hip block will start to rotate leftward. This is the onset of CBM with right side of body coming toward left foot or leg. It is this initial rotation which many of us do not consciously feel and this awareness will improve our dancing.

Ladies' Movement: It's funny that as she prepares to move her RF back, the left knee will tend to move forward initially with her hips rotating synchronous with man.

Rotation in Ballroom vs. Latin: Latin dancing is a different ball game. Here the body is doing all kinds of things. Most of the time as the lower block rotates in one direction the other half wants to go in the opposite direction. This may be termed Twisting and then so on and on.

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