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Waltz Gold Routine Technique Notes

General Notes:

  • Posture & frame:
    • R hand: palm touch, no gap, close/wrap fingers, lady's R thumb to Man's L thumb. Don't twist wrist funny. The pressure in hand comes from back, not from squeezing hand tighter. 
    • Both sides of shoulder blades down & out & diagonally forward. Neck/head stretch up, while shoulder down ("contra"). Body is engaged, energy is up, light on Man.  
    • First priority, Lady's whole R side to Man's right side, ribs & hips (think about overlapping ribs with Man), sometimes upper thigh. Keep at all times for closed position.
    • Left side: lifted, diagonally forward toward L elbow, otherwise it becomes heavy to Man. Stretch left side even more without turning R side out. R side has to keep with Man. Fill the space Man's R arm created.  Lady's left arm maintains pressure on Man's right arm, not heavy, but not too light either.
    • R elbow not down, but a bit out (not as much as in Tango.) Keep elbows up and in front of shoulders, especially when Lady is turning left. 
    • Lady: lift up sternum and shape/extend from bra point up and over. Head simply turns left on top of spine. Head extends, but needs to look soft.
    • Frame is kept at all times, strong, but soft, not stiff. It is not locked, frame needs to "breathe" which makes it look softer.
    • When stretching more, lady gives ribs and hips more to Man, and arm is extended more, arm needs to breathe and stay with Man without pulling. 
    • Sometimes, the left and right side of body are working in two different directions inside the body. 
    • Man needs to feel where his partner is at all times, critical to maintain right side connection. Especially when lady steps back, don't lose R side pressure. Keep same resistance.
  • Footwork & Movement:
    • Use inside edge of ball sliding to the side, not whole foot, for greater balance. It is more grounded.
    • Knees are never fully locked. When straightened, it is still 5% flexed.
    • Hips have both sway and rotation. For Natural Turn, 123, Lady's R hip is higher (sway) and L hip is "behind" (rotation, relative to feet), it's the wind up for next 123. 1 is when it's dissolved and go the other way.
    • Terminology: "Turn" is the foot direction/alignment. "Rotation" is hip relative to feet.
  • Promenade Position (PP):
    • To get in PP, Man "rolls" the contact point and the ending position is such that Man's right hip in front of Lady's left hip. Small V.
    • In PP, Lady keeps R side forward and give the arm to Man, keep tone, don't tip forward and drop R side. Think about L arm to side/back, head stays more behind (imaging ponytail being pulled back). (R arm/side and L side in "opposition")
    • Getting out of PP, Lady's left leg is behind Man's right leg. swing the hips, move more. Lady has to work a lot to keep R side to Man to make it appear right side keep with Man, otherwise naturally Lady will lose R shoulder.
  • Shaping/swaying:
    • Man and Lady have to use each other to support each other and create more shape. When Man gives more ribs/body, Lady responds with more body as well, match the tone and not fall back. (e.g. Waltz on 2.) 
    • 3: Don't lose R side body connection.
    • Head turning is a result of shaping change. Head turning shall be gradual, not abrupt, no edges.
    • Head does not move off spine. Neck: one side long, the other side longer. no "short" side.  
    • When turning head, don't bend neck back. Extend from sternum, "up & over". 
  • Lowering is always controlled, no "drop" heavy feeling. e.g. Pivot, lowering to move forward and come back up. 
  • Natural Spin Turn (a different shaping variation):
    • 456: Lady turns her head to R (keep R side of body to Man and not peel off).
  • Progressive Chasse: do not rush, stay on top longer,  keep with Man. Give R side to Man.
  • Weave From Promenade Position, ending closed position: keep head position and only turn body, give R side to Man, then head ends up to R and body shapes to R. Then continue with Natural Spin Turn.
  • "Breathe and be softer. Don't spend energy for nothing." Work a lot in the body, but looking "light" and not working. 
Routine Notes:
  1. Prep Step (123 456) - Man facing DW on long wall
    • 45: Lady: R side, rib and hip to Man even more. Lady: no foot rise, L heel down.
    • 6: don't lose R side pressure.
  2. Natural Spin Turn (overturned)  (123 456)
    • 1: Do not lose frontal curve, sending middle center forward to Man, do not stick butt out. keep spine upright, not leaning forward or backward.
    • 2: Lady  more left, not getting into Man's space, rib/hip fwd to Man, head stretch back)
    • 3: controlled lowering at end of 3, knee start going fwd, not down to prep for next step
    • 4: Lady: Strong RF fwd step, (R thigh touching, follow Man's leg), CBM, really try to stretch left side forward in CBM, the momentum is moving forward. Not stationary CBM. 
    • 5: Bigger step, help to stay behind Man, be more left. stretch (sending rib & hip to Man fwd). keep the space/volume between two heads.
    • Overturned, ending with Man almost backing LOD.
  3. Turning Lock to R  (1&23) ending moving DC in PP
    • 1& 2: Lady's head weight to left which helps the turn. Only turn to R going into 3.
      • 1&: cross is small step, hip fwd
      • 2: LF sort of around Man, bigger step, so Lady can stay behind Man. Stretch. After weight is on LF, articulate head to PP. 
    • 3: step bigger. There are continuously big steps, if one step is shorter, it stops momentum. Body dance smoothly and continuously.
      • Lady R side/arm to Man. Check R elbow at correct angle. R side can never be "dead". 
  4. Weave From Promenade Position end PP  (123 123)
    • 1: big step. Stay connected with man. Work the R side a lot to stay with Man.
    • 2: Lady swing hips forward, big step. Don't turn right away. Get weight on RF, together with R hip, don't lose R side, then turn and close head, give R side to Man, stretch, bigger, fuller shape. (don't fall back)
    • 3: LF fwd (slightly to side)
    • Outside change to PP: 
      • 1: outside partner, Lady's RF forward: contra, L side more forward. Stretch head even more.
      • 2: LF to left of Man, stay left/behind Man. Lady needs to get on the foot, then turn; don't fall off to PP. Turn head when rising (after getting weight on foot). feet turn to PP as well.
      • 3: R side to Man. Check R arm/elbow.
  5. Chasse From Promenade Position  (1 2& 3) ending Man DW
    • (Alternate routine: from PP, go into passing Natural and then Outside Spin.)
      • From PP to Passing Natural: Lady continue with R side forward, man will close up.
    • 1: don't lose R side, really work hard to give R side to Man and it will look like it didn't change, otherwise, R side pull away from Man.
    • Lady's shaping: after LF fwd on count 1, continue swinging R hip (glute, legs) fwd,which makes R hip high, shaping to left. which will make head close/turn left as well. 
    • It's important to keep the left side up and not drop left side, otherwise it feels heavy to Man.
  6. Natural Turn  (123)
  7. Open Impetus  (123) - at corner
    • Ending in PP. 2: stretch.
  8. Left Whisk and Standing Spin  (123 1&23)
    • Left Whisk: ending w/ Lady's head turned to left
    • Standing Spin: Lady: HT, T, T, TH running fwd (no cross), Lady's head keep to the left
    • This is at the corner. Don't over turn, prepare for Back whisk into corner.
    • Alternative timing option for Left whisk from PP: 123 (whisk) 456 (out of left whisk to hesitation) Lady:
      • 1: from PP, LF forward
      • 2: RF forward, shape to R and close with Man, then R hip glued to Man. Follow hip curve. 
      • 3: to produce big shape:
        • hip/body turns to L, but not too much, hip stays with Man. take step LF back (along original travel direction, don't go around Man), move weight back to LF, collect RF (crossed in front of LF, w/o weight). 
        • butt and hip fwd to Man, don't turn out of Man. Hips stop turning, but body can continue to turn more to shape/sway without changing base. Contra within own body. R rib and hips fwd to Man and shape to L (w/o turning hips more), R side of body is longer.  
        • Head turns left and extend (without body peeling from Man) to finish the extension.
        • Keep arm/elbow forward (check R elbow angle), give it to Man. Don't break shoulder.
      • 4: RF small step
      • 5: LF side step, big, to left o Man
      • 6: hold, no foot rise, extend/stretch. RF to side.
  9. Back Whisk  (123), ending moving DC on new LOD
    • Starting first step for Lady: HT, OP, keep head to left.
    • 2: big step to get behind Man.
  10. Wing  (123)
    • Lady: head stay left
  11. Double Reverse Spin  (1 2& 3)
    • Do not peel off left side. Keep left side to Man more.  Head can stretch more to left (like looking at the RF which is stepping back.), move center (suck tummy). right arm to Man (this is from extending back)
    • Use Man, lower first before stepping leg back, then move center and get on to the leg. Don't be afraid to move. 
  12. Fallaway Reverse And Slip Pivot  (1&23)
    • lower first, body to Man. Lady: keep head left throughout to help with turn. Similar to Double Reverse.
    • 1: curve, moving DC.
    • &: LF bigger step; Use head weight to L to help with turn. Curve. moving DC. Suck tummy in, a little lift.
    • Stay connected. The head goes more left, stay outside.
  13. Progressive Chasse To R  (1 2& 3)
    • Ending OP, with shape, Man feels like the ribcage is shifted to his left, so to give room for Lady to step around and do the spin. 
    • Lady: shaping to left at the end, but keep left side up.
    • The energy of Progressive Chasse is typically more straight. But to help prep for the next step Outside Spin, which is a rotary figure, when arriving on LF at the end of Chasse (Lady), start rotating.
  14. Outside Spin  (123)
    • 2: stretch and keep R side to Man. Do not drift into Man's space. Allow L arm to rotate and get in front of body.
    • Head turning: gradual, smooth. Starting head on left, as body changes shape during pivot, head changes. Head turning helps the spin. At end of 3, head is turned to the right. 
    • 3: Lady sends R hip toward Man, needs to be really on RF, balanced, then lowering R knee and prep to go LF back. Do not rush off. 
    • Shaping: create shape by sending middle of body forward, do not go to R and get in front of Man, also do not lean back from lower back. shape is from sternum up. 
  15. Natural Spin Turn  (123 123) - at corner
    • Lady: Changing head smoothly. Keep head in place, body turns underneath, head ends on the left after 123. 
  16. Turning Lock  (1&23)
    • Lady: 
      • 1: Man starts opening up body and shaping to R, leading Lady to turn body/head to R
      • &2: glute forward, don't sag. head weight to left
      • 3, RF fwd. Prep turning left into Left Whisk on the next 1.
  17. Left Whisk on Count 1 and Check  (1&23)
    • Lady: 
      • 1: LF back  across back; Lady head to left. LF on toe, the step is not too big (not as big as contra check). Weight in middle.
        • RF is on outside edge. Lady's hip swing to her R. Don't drop left side. Keep left side up toward Man. It's a hard twisted position.
      • &: RF replace, head still left
      • 2: LF to side (need to be enough around Man), head turn to right, make sure left side is very up. Chest is up to Man. 
      • 3: hold (body continues shaping to R to a peak before contra check, balance with Man). The shape is the same as end of Turning Lock 1 & 2.
  18. Contra Check  (123) finish in PP. 
    • The step needs to feel more free. Lady does not bend straight back, there is rotation and head continue to extend go along body line.
    • Prep: bend/lower left knee, shoulder level off, rotate hips to left.
    • 1: 
      • RF big step back (after rotating hips), (bigger step, more extension), CBMP (do not get to Man's L side space), R toe turned in, point first, then on ball of feet, keep right heel up, weight split. Flex both knees. Get there first, then give Man hip and ribs to Man for extension (left leg more straight)
      • Keep left toe down on floor, do not lift. LF is pretty much flat on floor, but left leg can extend to be more straight during extension, right leg is bent.
      • Extension: 
        • Lift glute and center up to Man. (butt cheek up) and give whole R side to Man. Imagine stretching R side longer to give to Man more, effect is shaping and extending to left. 
        • Upper body has the look of rotating/shaping to left (but don't rotate away from Man, upper body and hip to Man), head "finishes" the extension with breathing.  (Don't be afraid to extend head more. Go into his hand.) 
        • The whole body is not one piece. There is torch in upper body - rotation and sway and at tail end, stretch even more before recovering. The elasticity doesn't stop. Continuous extension and all the way to head. Upper body, not locked and still, but stay soft and flexible, go and fill the space Man created with his R arm/hand.
        • Don't break neck
        • Don't "sit", don't just go "down" which feels heavy. Continuous shaping and then bounce up.
      • Man start recovering after Lady finish extending head.
    • 2: push off back foot, time with Man. Stay very left, keep big frame. keep right side to Man (don't fall to R side). Articulate head
    • 3: step RF fwd in PP. Make sure R side is to Man. Next step, move bigger step.
  19. Wing  (123)
  20. Fallaway Reverse And Slip Pivot  (1&23) 
    • Lady: keep head to left throughout the steps to Drag Hesitation.
    • See comments for earlier Fallaway step.
  21. Double Reverse Spin  (1 2& 3)
    • Carefully not to fall back, back weighted, middle center forward while moving back, spine upright,
  22. Fallaway Reverse And Slip Pivot  (1&23)
    • Center can't fall back. Hips more forward and up to Man.
  23. Drag Hesitation  (123)
    • Lady: 1: RF back; 2: LF to side, head turn to right; 3: hold
    • Lift chest up to Man. Then Man changes shape to do outside partner. Follow Man's shape.
    • 3&: by "&" lowered and head turned to left.
  24. Back Whisk  (123), ending in corner, moving DC on new LOD
    • Lady: RF fwd, OP into Back Whisk. Keep the connection with partner.
    • PP: shoulder more left and keep parallel with Man. Don't open shoulder too much. Think about R ribs to Man.
  25. Weave From Promenade Position end in PP  (123 123)
  26. Chasse From Promenade Position  (1 2& 3)
  27. Natural Turn  (123)
  28. Closed Impetus  (123)
    • 2: frame needs to "breathe", give hand/arms to Man.
  29. Reverse Pivot  (&)
    • controlled lowering at the end, before next step.
  30. Reverse Turn  (123)
    • 1: lower first, curve. Then release L leg to prepare, make sure for Man, but don't step on LF yet, wait till Man decides how big step is.
    • Lady: on 2, LF to side, extend left side, keep R side to Man, stretch up, leave head, so head effectively turns to right, keep there. take all the time in next Hover Corte to turn it back
    • Lady's head turning comes from Man's shaping/sway. When spine shapes/sways to one side, it's comfortable (and looks better) for head to go with the spine and shape/turn. If Man shapes, and Lady's head doesn't turn, Man feels resistance. Shaping is for improved balance and it looks better.
  31. Hover Corte  (123 456) at corner.
    • 1: big step
    • 2: big step (T), R side to Man, hips & ribs/chest, stretch forward and up to Man and turn. LF closes to RF, use leg muscle. L side to Man as well.
    • articulate head during 2 3 4 5. Breathe, body to Man, to create more shape. 
    • 6: articulate LF coming out. soft knees, prepare next step by controlled lowering of knees.
  32. Outside Change  (123) ending closed position, but head to right
    • Lady: 
      • step 1, outside partner; keep head position, 
      • step 2, head ending head to right, recover during Natural Spin Turn. Turning body (don't gap with partner) more, body feels twisted, middle of body connect with Man, left shoulder side very forward, following Man's shape, body  may shape (twist) more to left, but relative to hips, left side is fwd, 
      • step 3, the step can be thought of side or back step, depending on the moment looking at the step. 
Repeat from Natural Spin Turn