Standard Exercises

Disclaimer: These exercises are provided for information purposes only. Please consult with your physician before undertaking any program of exercise.

Upper Body Flexibility

These exercises develop the flexibility required for rotary isolation of the rib cage relative to the hips, required for CBM and CBMP in Standard, and for hip rotation in Latin.

Twisting Upper Body and Hips

Stand with legs apart, blocks of weight lined up, tuck in stomach muscle (pull center back to spine), arms parallel to shoulder, bend elbow in front of body (or keep it straight out to the side).
  • First, keep hip/waist area still, just rotate plane of shoulders around spine, keep head still looking forward.
    • If you start out with your face, hips, and shoulders facing 12 o'clock, in the stretched position to the left, your hips and feet will still be facing 12 o'clock but the plane of your shoulders and arms will be facing somewhere between 9 and 12 o'clock, depending on your flexibility.
    • Swing gently between 9 o'clock (to left) and 3 o'clock (to right), or whatever angles you can reach feeling a gentle stretch.
  • Then, keep upper body still, rotate hip/waist area, head looking forward.
  • Lastly, combining the two, keep head looking forward and rotate hips and upper body left and right.

Sending Middle of Body Forward

  • Stand in front of wall with some space.
  • Try to fill that space and make contact with wall while keep feet and head position,
    • You will need to flex your knees in order to send middle of your body (chest area) forward to touch the wall. Heels will be slightly lifted. Keep head position, practice and find balance. 
    • Lady: turn head to left, looking parallel to shoulder line.

Standard Exercises - Individual

Forward/Backward Walk 

Exercise to improve the use of legs and feet. Maintain good posture as the foot slides.

See Forward Movement and Backward Movement in Standard Technique.

Waltz Box: Using the Whole Foot

Waltz box is a simple, but very effective exercise. This can be done individually or with a partner.
  1. Man LF box (123 456) (can repeat another time)
  2. Man LF change step (123)
  3. Man RF box (123 456)
  4. Man RF change step back (123)

Stepping with CBM 

Use opposition (when RF is in front, Left shoulder should feel more forward, body is twisted.). Bend knee first before moving forward or backward.
  • Step toward mirror, soft knees, keeping shoulders and hips flat, with CBM. Do not turn foot. 
  • Step back with CBM. Remember to lower first.

Standard Exercises with Partner

Lead/Follow and Move with body contact without arms

Leader and follower get into hold. See Standard Technique. Do not put arms up for this exercise.  Contact is maintained from upper thighs to bottom of the rib cage. Maintain this frame.

Exercise is for leader to move around from foot to foot, both moving around the room and changing orientation of the body. Track the feet every time it steps.This helps the leader develop smoothness and consistency in his movements, and the follower to develop sensitivity to the lead.

Lady: be sensitive to Man's motions, could use very slight delay (after settling) to help detect Man's weight changes.

Positions and Shaping with Partner

The following exercise practices all possible leads that a Man can lead a Lady into.

Start with weight on RF for Man, LF for Lady.
  1. Step forward straight, LF (Man) -- take a big step.
  2. Step back straight, RF
  3. Step straight left
  4. Step straight right
  5. Lower on right leg
  6. Straighten right leg
  7. Step forward, LF, turn frame right -- frame turns before the step, Man's head follows his left hand going back (keeping head left)
    • For the feet, this is a straight fwd (for Man) and back (for Lady) step. Toe should never turn out.
    • Hip turns slightly as an effect of stepping back. But upper body turns every more (flexibility) to open up. Don't lock up the whole body. Each part may move independently.
  8. Step back, RF, turn frame back to straight
  9. Shape Left. When shaping left, Man's left side rotates forward, weight stays on left side.
  10. Step Left, keeping shape.
  11. Shape Right (weight still on Left foot). Man's right side rotates forward, even though Man's head turns right, weight stays on left side.
  12. Step on Right foot
  13. Shape Left (weight is still on Right foot)
  14. Straighten up
  15. Release hold
  16. Reestablish frame

Rotations, Shaping and Extensions Exercise

Standard closed hold.
  1. Lateral rotate to right as far as possible, Lady: keep head left.
  2. Lateral rotate to left
  3. Rotate to right and extend right side for Lady, left side for Man. Lady: keep head left
  4. Rotate to left and extend right side for Lady, left side for Man. Lady: keep head left
  5. Rotate to right and extend left side for Lady, right side for Man. Lady: follow shape, head turn to right
  6. Rotate to left and extend left side for Lady, right side for Man. Lady:  follow shape, head turn to right

Diamond Exercise

Get into connection practice hold : hold hands down by sides, connect at hips. 
  • Walk forward 4 steps
  • Diagonally forward left (outside partner) four steps.
  • Diagonally forward right (wrongside position) four steps. 
    • In wrongside position, the left side of the front of the lady's body is in contact with the front of the right side of the man's body, and her left hip is slightly inside the man's right hip.
  • Four steps back
  • Four steps diagonally back right in OP position
  • Four steps diagonally back left in wrongside position