"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #161, Thursday, November 20, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
The Contra Check

Hello Emilio,

Why not, this will be short little topic specially so that I leave for Columbus to compete at the Ohio Star Ball.

You have a point! Counter Check, no doubt you take the foot to the "counter" position, but Emilio, we all refer this to as "Contra Check". I hope that is what you are asking here. We do a counter check when we check at a hotel.

Contra indicates "opposite" or reverse. In other words, say, if you move left foot across your body towards the right side, this will be a contra position. So simply if you check a walk in Contra Position the step is called a Contra Check. I would think you can do it in any of the ballroom dances.

So 3 steps for the Man, 1. LF forward in CBMP. 2, Transfer weight back to RF 3. LF to side in PP, Lady does accordingly.

I will mention a few salient features:

The placement of LF should be carefully planned and it should really be not much across but more in line with the back foot (CBMP). If one crosses too much the bodies tend to get twisted.

The footwork for man is H, T, TH. He can also step with foot flat on 1. Note that this footwork is H only because neither there is turn nor rise so no pressure in toe. The Lady does, T, T, TH. Her heel does not go down on 1 because the Man has checked her walk. Then there is rise at the end of step 2 and she feels pressure in T of LF. I have occasionally thought if this footwork should be HT because heel is initially down. I wonder what other people will say.

A common fault is for man to twist and create sway to right. I don't think that is good.

Another thing is that in a contra check you should feel that you are going up even though you are going down to a certain extent. In other words, keep your upper body well supported and "UP",

Traveling Contra Check: You keep moving as you take the first step, close on second and then to PP.

Let me see how many Contra Checks I do tomorrow, With Best wishes to all competing at the Ohio Star ball, Max.

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