Disclaimer: These exercises are provided for information purposes only. Please consult with your physician before undertaking any program of exercise.
Standard Exercises - Individual
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.
Stepping with CBM
Use opposition (when RF is in front, Left shoulder should feel more forward, body is twisted). Bend knee and lower first before moving forward or backward.
Step toward mirror, soft knees, keeping shoulders and hips flat, with CBM. Do not turn foot.
When moving forward, with CBM, it still should be moving forward, and not shoulder moving backward.
Step back with CBM. Remember to lower first.
Waltz Box: Using the Whole Foot
Waltz box is a simple, but very effective exercise. This can be done individually or with a partner.
Exercise #1: Simple box without turns and sways, focus on footwork.
LF box (123 456) (can repeat another time)
LF change step (123)
RF box (123 456)
RF change step back (123)
Exercise #2: Turning box, adding rotation and sway. Practice range of motion, three planes of movement (frontal, rotary, sway).
Natural and Reverse Turns
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.
Stationary Rotations, Shaping and Extensions Exercise
Start with: stand with partner, both with two feet very wide apart, both feet flat down, be stable, getting down to both knees (2 bent knees). Keep weight in between feet (not all weight on one leg.) Standard closed hold or practice hold.
Focus on breathing, keeping frame soft, but with tone, finishing head, taking chest more towards partner in order to extend head even more. (Do not bend backward from waist.)
Lateral rotation without shaping:
Lateral rotate to right as far as possible. Lady: Keep head left.
Rotate to right, by turning body while keeping whole R side in contact (give ribs and hips). Breathe to extend more from bra point up. (Body/knees naturally rise when turning).
To achieve more extension/volume, make sure head "finishes" the extension by going more. R side connection will move lower a bit (feels like upper part is separated)
Natural Spin Turn - finish head using the position in this exercise.
Lateral rotate to left. Lady: keep head left
Rotate to left while keeping whole R side in contact, extend more, make sure to take left ribs forward to Man (opposition to head extending left/back), connection might move slightly lower (upper chest area "peel off" a bit), but do not collapse/fall back, the middle of body is quite forward to Man with pressure.
Do not get to middle or left side of Man.
Keep shoulder joints down, especially the right shoulder joint.
Breathe to extend head diagonally up left more. Head stretch more to finish.
This is the the Foxtrot three-step position. (In Foxtrot, the legs are moving which helps to finish the rotation.)
Add shaping: Depending on if Man is extending his left or right side for shaping, Lady will follow shape and turn her head accordingly.
Rotate to right and extend right side for Lady, left side for Man. Lady: keep head left
Rotate to left and extend right side for Lady, left side for Man. Lady: keep head left
Rotate to right and extend left side for Lady, right side for Man. Lady: follow shape, head turn to right
Rotate to left and extend left side for Lady, right side for Man. Lady: follow shape, head turn to right
Positions and Shaping with Partner
The following exercise practices the possible leads that a Man can lead a Lady into.
Start with weight on RF for Man, LF for Lady. Steps below are for Man.
Step forward straight, LF (Man) -- take a big step.
Step back straight, RF
Step straight left
Step straight right
Lower on right leg
Straighten right leg
Step forward, LF, turn frame right -- frame turns before the step, Man's head follows his left hand going forward (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 for Lady. But upper body turns even more (flexibility) to open up. Don't lock up the whole body. Each part may move independently.
Step back, RF, turn frame back to straight
Shape Left. When shaping left, Man's left side rotates forward, weight stays on left side.
Step Left, keeping shape.
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.
Step on Right foot
Shape Left (weight is still on Right foot)
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