"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #196, Thursday, August 26, 2004

Dancing Tid-bits
ISTD Test, Latin (contd), Part 6, The Paso Doble

As I said, if you have been sailing through with other 3 or 4 dances, the Examiner has already made up his or her mind to give you the ticket. If it was otherwise, he/she will not waste more time to come to this point. By this time we had become quite friendly and occasionally the conversation veered even outside the dance and I knew I had impressed my examiner Mr. Billet, whom I found to be extremely congenial.

The Syllabus: It is now well established that you can expect to be tested in the following Figures

Sur Place, Basic Movement, Chasses to L and R, Deplacement (also Attack), Drag, Promenade and Promenade Link, Ecart or Whisk, Separation and Separation with Fallaway Ending and Lady's Caping Walks, Huit, Sixteen, Promenades, Grand Circle, and Open Telemark.

It is important that you know the difference between Sur Place and the Basic Movement: As the name suggests, the Sur Place is in Place. The Basic Movement is also Sur Place Action but you have freedom to move in any direction and it is mainly used at beginner level to get to a specific alignment.

What is Appel? A strong Step on the RF for Man and LF for the Lady, a Prep. Step usually indicating that you are about to start another new figure such as Separation or going to Promenade Position.

Sixteen: It will drive you a little crazy if he/she asks about the feet positions and alignment in this figure. The only thing I can suggest is that you learn to do it right with your teacher and then just do it right and count your steps. Stop on the step that the examiner has in question and look at your feet position and alignment and just say it gingerly. This goes for all dances whether Ballroom or Latin. It is impossible and unwise to just cram up and try to remember everthing by rote memory. Remember the alignment and feet positions are what is achieved the end of a figure.

What is Paso? You know that, don't you.

We did get into the alignments of Promenade to Counter promenade but at this time I was sure he was trying to make me humble and I indeed was. Then we did some styling of Chasses to L and R and I knew I had the Ticket but getting it with "High Commendation" was more than what I could expect. Best of Luck to you and Sincerely, Max

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