"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #169, Thursday, February 12, 2004

Dancing Tid-bits
"Flick" in Ballroom dancing?

This Tid-bit is really a tidbit that many times we don't hear from many teachers but it really adds to your quality of Waltz, Fox or any other ballroom dance including the Tango. And certainly it is not the flick or flick ball change of latin that I am talking here.

As I entered the studio the other day, I had a glimpse of a top coach, Brian Puttock to be exact, who was coaching a student. I just had a glimpse of his step through the door and it really hit me hard as he took his first step with a heel lead, I saw that flicking action so clearly that I could not help not noticing it.

So, What is this Flick? As you take a first step forward in swing dances, you are lowering and taking a heel lead. There are many details of this first step like it is on the line of the supporting foot, body moves first, CBM, you push with the supporting heel and you swing etc. etc. and you want a longer stride...right?

So as you are ready to land on the heel you have a desire to lengthen your stride. That is when you flick your foot and this adds another couple inches to your stride.

Mechanics of this Flick? You have a rapid and instantaneous dorsi-flexion of the foot thru the ankle joint. If this sounds too technical, you may say that the toes and the forward part of your foot tends to go towards your knee joint with a jerk and you end up lengthening your stride. I think this also is associated with sub-maximal straightening of the Knee.

I think this phenomenon is natural and many people use it in their everyday walking in the shopping malls and grocery stores, some people more and some less.

It will happen on a forward step on heel while you are lowering and I think it also happens in the first step in P.P. It is more pronounced in slow Waltz and Fox-trot because of slower music but Tango, Q.S. and V.W. are no exception. What do you say?...Best Wishes for a Happy Valentine Day..Max

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