Standard Lesson Notes

Warm Up

Weight should be on balls of the feet, not on the heels. 

Practice with feet together.
  • No Foot Rise (NFR), practice body rise, bent knee and straighten the knee. If the toes are grabbing floor, that's not the right feeling. 
  • Practice rising on foot only, up and down.
  • Practice both foot rise and body rise.
Repeat above with weight on one foot only. Switch foot.

Practice using standing leg and swing:
  • Stand on LF, press into foot, push to side, RF step to side. (RF stepping is result of pushing on standing L leg, RF is not stepping on its own). 
  • Stand on RF, pushing R leg to swing hips to left.
  • Practice in a circle: push on L leg, swinging  from low to high, step to R; push on RF, stay high, LF to side on ball of LF. lower LF.  

Terminology

Rhythm & Tempo

Bar/Measure: A bar is a part of the music that starts with an accented beat and finishes right before the next accented beat.  (bar lines on musical sheet)

Rhythm/Time Signature: how many beats in each measure/bar. Example: 1 2 3 vs SSQQ

Tempo: speed or music, i.e. the speed beat is played, how many beats per minute.

Direction & Alignment

Foot alignment could be Diagonal Center, but traveling direction is Line of Dance.

Turn & Rotation

Turn is for the feet
Rotation is hip relative to feet

Swing & Sway

Swing and Sway go together. Swing is hips moving swinging. Sway is the tilt. Sway helps to balance.

Leader and Follower don't sway the same amount at the same time. One swings more, sways less, the other swings less and sway more.

When your center moves toward partner, you sway more (and shape more). 

When your center moves away from partner, you swing more (less sway)

Movement

  • Always use inside edge of ball, not the whole ball.

Waltz

Closed change: 
  • Side step is not straight to the side, it is always slightly forward or slightly back.
  • Stepping to side or back or forward: it has come from standing leg. The stepping leg does not just move itself.
  • Do not dissolve sway too early. There is still sway at end of first 123. Then, it gives power to next 1.
  • 1 2(always partial weight, not full weigh) 3 (full weight)
Natural Turn:
  • 12: the timing of turning body needs to be a little earlier and smoother.
  • 3: Lady's hip: R hip high (sway), hip is also rotated (relative to feet), L hip behind, this is the wind up. for next 1.
    • The power for movement on 1 comes from the end of 3, lowering and then pushing off on standing leg.

Quickstep

Quarter turn:
  • Small amount of turn. There is actually more time than what people usually think.