Standard Practice Notes
Body isolation: 3D head, chest, hip
LF to side: not too far, follow Man's leg
There is leg rise, body extend to L more (L side stretch, shoulder closer to ear), L knee is not locked, there is still propulsion from LF pushing floor, this is metronomic swing. Pushing yourself off from the heel.
Propulsion: Focus on standing leg, not moving leg.
Not moving off standing leg too fast, roll the foot. Bicycle, feels slower
Forward step from up to down: extend pass spine (foot in front of spine), lower heel, bend knee, weight onto heel, roll on foot.
When feet come together, circle loop, roll feet
Projection direction and knee and foot lines up
Don't lose frontal curve. Rib cage and chest projecting to Man while body moving backward. Weight does move onto foot (head/tailbone), but leaving frontal curve, increase volume in posture, don't let chest go back fast (looks like chest caved in).
Frame: not rigid, needs to breathe
Stay left, body more left, stretch; ribs to partner, then extend.
Do not keep R arm high artificially, it will be stiff. RH tone coming from back. shoulders down. Arms have to match body, in harmony.
Imagine 2 triangles
1st triangle: from center (where ribs meet) to the 2 inner elbows. This triangle is "outside the body", not "in" or on same plane as the chest/body, i.e. the elbows should not be inline with shoulders/side of body.
It is stable, does not move, provide structure of the frame, solid, constant, but not stiff. It keeps arms in front of body.
Even in PP, center of body rotates, but the relative position of the triangle does not change, elbows still in front of body.
The triangle can be put to left side, or right side, and can be projected more forward.
When moving the elbow from center to side, think about moving the center point (not moving the elbow points).
Lady moves the triangle "passively", following Man's lead, but she's responsible for keep the triangle stable), while having the center point following Man.
The triangle is always opposite the shape, i.e. sending triangle to left creating shaping to right (head to R too)
2nd triangle: from center to the 2 wrists, a much bigger triangle, and is moveable. It can move forward and up (also means more extension of frontal curve). It creates breath, more free, but after the structure.
The muscle in body between arms should feel "loose", not tense.
Keep frame/arm forward, especially when moving back, e.g. Double Reverse.
Arm/frame is not doing the leading, Use center body, arm/frame follows.
The movement of the triangle needs to be balanced with the progression (center balance, propulsion), i.e. will look more balanced with bigger shape and bigger movement (not bigger shape with small steps).
Head goes the opposite of the triangle.
Don't think about doing it in a physical way. Think about moving the energy. Head movement is in harmony with center moving, all in one action. When it's coordinated, head will not look broken in a bad way. It will look more extended in a good way.
Reverse Turns: stretch left, head left, keep left side body forward with Man.
Natural turns: (Lady)
1st step curve, hips turn more, follow Man's hips, allow them to move, stretch and keep R arm forward
2st step: smaller side step, allowing Man to pass.
Promenade Position: do not loose R side. But do not be stiff.
Man needs to feel Lady's RH and R side, but Lady's R arm should be soft, with tone. (Elbow more up or down is personal preference. English coaches prefer arm more down. Current teachers prefer more up and out.)
If Lady's arm is stiff, Man feels he is not allowed to create sway to exit Promenade, he's forced to stay in position. Arm can not be completely weak either.
You do not maintain side up because of arm. You main the R side up by using the back and hand, not arm.
e.g. Waltz, chasse, to outside change to PP and then chasse close (pay attention to allow vertical dial sway, but not changing head)
Lady: always to be ready, don't anticipate, wait for Man to lead, they may or may not exit with Sway etc.
Best skill for follower, understand where your responsibility/action ends, where following starts. "Follow and do yourself" happen at the same time.
Some actions Man will do, Lady has to allow it to happen ("follow"). "Heavy" is usually when Lady doesn't allow certain action to happen.
Lady is very much in charge of the back of her head and tail bone. ("do yourself"). Don't move head without intention.
Lady doesn't decide how much to turn and sway. Turn and sway is "passive".
Allow what's in between head and tail bone to rotate and sway around the spine, without affecting head and tail bone. Lady use head/spine/tailbone to move forward and back.
The body does need to feel "connected" from head to spine and tailbone, but there also need to be come "looseness" to allow upper body to rotate and sway, otherwise, if Man leads more rotation and sway, it will pull Lady off balance.
Have the feeling that rest of body is "hanging" from the head, allow body to move without affecting head.
Foot always go straight. But we can walk on straight line or curved line.
When walking curved line, it can come from standing thigh, standing thigh turns, foot is straight compared to hips. Ankle is always straight. When walking backward, foot is also straight backward, but thigh turns in.
Double Reverse heel turn: create rotation in standing thigh, then place foot backward straight.
Typically, there is more curve when going backward than going forward. Especially in Viennese Waltz, going forward is pretty straight.
To move better, one has to have both "Propulsion" and "Center Balance"
"Center Balance" is where weight is in between feet, in split position. This is where a step ends.
Step doesn't end when full weight is on one foot - which gives partner the feeling of moving away too fast, throwing too quickly into the movement, no time for Man to lead.
Need to see what's "in-between" the steps to create fuller movement, "slow down the movement", not moving too drastically from one foot to another.
When there is no "Center Balance", the movement is choppy, too fast. If only prepare leg without moving body/center, it will block partner.
Need to create "nice resistance". Person moving forward is the engine, providing power "pushing". (The person moving backward is steering direction)
Movement practice (keep both legs straight for this exercise):
Keep upper body/spine straight (do not lean fwd or back), start by moving the body/balance fwd, which causes the feet to catch up and slide fwd
Stop in split position.
collect back foot to pass the standing foot and repeat and stop in split position
Keep upper body straight and move the whole body backward (first) without sticking leg/butt back. It's the moving of body causing the leg to move and catch up with weight.
use whole BALL of back foot (not just toe which can not accept weight), put a coin under the ball of feet and slide/push coin back before starting to collect front foot. Hit split position.
the back heel doesn't touch ground till front foot is collected/parallel to the standing foot.
keep moving body weight back and foot continues to pass the standing foot and land on ball and slide again, hit split position.
Back steps are typically smaller than forward steps.
Practice whole choreography focusing on the split center balance leg position. Legs are like scissors, beat is the split position.
Different movement in swing dances: Common: all split position. Difference: different footwork and shape of legs
Drive/push (HT): both legs bent. slide fwd with toe, then flat and then heel, both knees are soft
Rising/elevation: 2 toes, long legs
Lowering/landing: 1 flat foot, 1 ball of foot, long legs, not stiff.
Collecting/closing/crossing: including heel turns
When moving correctly with center balance on the beat, Man will not feel Lady is flying away, or lady is too heavy. Feeling movement is slower (in a good way) and active.
Position of pelvis/hips:
in an attempt to hold center, often tummy is crunched, pelvis is tilted up, which makes the movement start from thigh, harder to create bigger movement.
To be able to move free and bigger, one needs the whole extension of the leg and hip to create a bigger base of the steps.
Respect the natural curve of the body so body can move freely, tail bone naturally curved back a little. But, don't fix the problem by positioning tail bone back, the focus is on lifting center internally and just let tail bone fall naturally where it is. "allow" the natural curve. But do not "open" center". Center is lifted.
Things can happen at "physical" level or "energetic" level. The energy is upward, belly button is back, tail bone falls with its natural curve. Body needs to be in its more natural position to be able to move freely.
There are three planes of the body:
Coronal (frontal) plane: separates the front (anterior) and back (posterior) of the body
Sagittal (longitudinal) plane: separates the left and right sides of the body. (swing)
Transverse (axial) plane: separates the upper (superior) and lower (inferior) halves of the body (rotation)
Hip movement - Foxtrot example
CBMP: not just from shoulders, it starts from hips. Don't do Latin style isolation, the body is connected when hips rotate
Foxtrot Feather and Three:
one hip "invites"/"moves" faster than the other, though both hips are traveling backwards. One hip never moves forward.
The movement is still in one line, hip is not rotating so much cuz you don't want to curve the steps. Do not think about rotation. Rotation will make one change direction.
Think about one hip moves faster than the other hip on two sub-vertical axis across left and right chests. Start with moving 2 hips, if only moving one hip, it's very easily turn into rotation.
CBM movement is not a rotation (if you do rotation, partner feels you are taking a side away.) CBM is one side moving faster than the other.
When it's done right (moving one hip faster than the other), a little is enough, doesn't even need too much. Main axis doesn't deviates from the traveling line. When rotating. main axis deviates.
Feather: R side travels faster. Three, L side travels faster than R side, but slower than Feather step. (When talking about "side", think more about the hip, not upper body. Keep action lower)
Both hips and body parallel to Man, otherwise, Man feels like it's difficult to pass on hips.
Do not confuse moving hips back vs up. In Feather and Three, hips are moving back.
in CBM/CBMP, body goes with hips and then can turn even more (but you'd want to start with hips). Rotating to R usually has bigger range, rotating L side is not as much.
Hip joint has to be free to move. Imagine sitting on edge of a chair. the first joint to bend is the hips.
Head can either go opposite of the hips (e.g. Lady's preparation to R) or go with the hip (e.g. Lady's Three Step)
Going forward, it feels like one hip is the axis while the other hip/side is moving forward.
Coming out of PP to weave in Foxtrot:
In PP: Lady's L hip is behind. Coming out, leave L hip behind, R hip forward and step LF out
Step on to RF and R hip becomes axis, changing to L hip forward and continue in that position during weave, till Feather finish (R hip is still behind)
When taking frame, also have slight hip rotation to R, cork screw spiral up to L into Man's arm/hand.
Exercise: combine propulsion, center balance and hips together.
The movement is not just in the knee (for example, lowering to go back), ankle, knee, hip all need to move.
Moving center balance - when going forward vs. when going back - they are different.
Moving forward is more active, driving.
Moving back is more passive, receiving, sensing the partner moving toward you, have some "good" resistance without being heavy. ("less" going backward, "more" going forward.) Partner's frame leads Lady's center, which leads to the foot moving back to center balance. When body moves, legs moves too.
Posture and big "C" curvature
Upper body "up and over", chest should not be the most forward point (do not "blow" up the chest area)
Don't "tuck in", front is lengthened, open; back work down, shorter. If front is "closed/tucked", and doesn't open, Man can't find connection point. Still want to feel compact in center, but do not make pelvis and sternum close up, do not connect those 2 points in front, think about shortening in the back without sticking butt out.
Chest is very projected. Head will follow the curve chest creates.
Lady's front below rib and above hip are connection part, make that available to Man all the time, so Man can touch, connect and give direction using that connection. (Belly connecting. "Belly button" back is at energy level, not physical level.)
Lower part of C changes, it could curve more (driving backward) or less (when rising).
Upper part of C is more stable. (Frontal curve)
2 different energy (both Man and Lady are vertically balanced, but they have different shape), Imagine a invisible line (axis) that describes the balance, not the body:
muscular - leader, line passes through head, throat, stomach, middle of feet
feminine - follower - line passes through throat, collar bone, but doesn't touch nose or chin; line goes through collar bone and lower shoulder blade which are on top of each other, then middle of feet).
to increase volume/space- change angle of femur bone (from knee to hip), knee more ahead (never behind). Head is falling off feet. Hip and rib flat, tummy not sucked in, but very engaged. Below rib and above hip is area for Man to come in and connect.
If "tucked in", Man find nothing to connect. "tummy is missing"
If the imaginary line is behind the feet, then it's not aligned in vertically balanced position. Head is "off" the feet" and chest is front of feet, which balances the body.
"Pressure" and "Curvature" 2 edge of same action.
Pull back head, so the back of the head is not perpendicular to floor. It is angled. Hands pressure into Man's R arm and his L hand.
changing the curvature of the chest, chest is very much in front of face.
Lady often feels the "base" is in front. Man could feel "base" is behind and chest in front. (For practice, Lady keeps free RF in front)
Hips: don't stick hip forward, pull hip back to allow space for Man and to be able to move freely.
Quickstep typically has a little less space than other dances.
The axis doesn't always have to be perpendicular to floor, it can change. e.g. when lady takes left side forward, the axis tilted, but the posture didn't change (related to axis, chin still doesn't touch the axis)
"Falling off" - is a movement issue, not posture level issue. Move with the balanced posture and not change the shape of the body.
When working on creating space, it is often at the cost of movement. When working on movement, it is at cost of losing space. Try to find balance.
If Man's R pinky feels pressure, it means Lady needs to open up front more.
The energy, from Lady's side, when "pushing" Man and creating shape, is a bit more forward and to her right (not just pushing forward). The "pushing" energy needs to be always there, never "pulling" Man toward yourself.
Lady's balance is vertical, the axis line is vertical, but lady's body (side to side, front to back) is not "split" on this axis, but overall body is balanced
Front and back-wise: head is back (axis does not touch chin), chest is forward, so it's balanced.
side to side-wise (shape): In normal closed position, Lady is slightly diagonal to her left. (Head is to the left of the axis, right side lower body is to the right side of the axis.) Sway from R toe to tip of the head. still balanced.
The plane of back can also rotate to different diagonals.
Lady is still vertically balanced, but the line through middle of head through tail bone is not vertical (body axis), the balance axis is still vertical.
When body axis (in normal closed position) is diagonal to left, in order to keep arm flat, think about left side is stronger than right side (70/30), making left side more lengthened. Left side is more toned up. Right side is more relaxed. When this is done, Lady's R arm often appears to be too high.
With Lady shaping to left with stronger left side, it creates a spiraling effect with the partner, so it is not too square.
In Promenade, it's the other way - Lady's R side is stronger, L side is more relaxed.
Lady should be able to shape in all different ways, left and right without changing the pressure with Man's R arm and L hand. (No pulling in Natural Spin Turn for example) Lady's R arm angle relative to shoulder joint/back plane can change, but pressure with Man's L hand should not change, so Man does not feel being pulled.
Shoulder trapezius muscle rolls back, connect to the two heels at all time. e.g Waltz Fallaway Whisk. It must be maintained. Head projection is toward ceiling. Reverse Turn, connect R shoulder down more. Natural Turn, connect L shoulder down.
Hands and arms
Big circle, hands and arms belongs to bottom part, has the energy that goes forward and up at Man. Hands are giving.
Lady's left hand, keep the edge of big thumb to wrist more forward in front of Man's bicep (not on top of his arm), easier to apply pressure.
Practice in "pancake" hold: Lady's LH push onto Man's shoulder, RH palm to palm, close all fingers, and don't grab, but "push". To "give", not "take"..
Practice by putting 2 hands on Man's chest, "pushing" to Man (and Man doesn't move), at the same time, the effect is Lady increasing curvature, creating more space. This happens at the same time - one action has 2 "edges"/effects.
Use the right side to create L side shape: Use the "double edged pressure" on right side (RH push into Man, as the same time R shoulder blade roll down and back) . The energy comes from right side (don't just focus on left side fwd action).
The right side shoulder feels like round and empty. left side is more stretched and flat.
Feel the energy is a circular.
Man's head is 1, Lady's head is 3. area 2 and 4 are fulfilled by the arms.
Natural Spin Turn: Lady stretched even more in area 3, spiral up and grow. When there is torsion/twist, there is growth. The whole action is connected with over balancing - when the feet are brushing, body is twisting and body goes over-balancing and feet brushing out. The visible part is head finishing last, the reason for that is
the body is twisting around the axis, with the "feminine" posture, the head didn't do anything on its own.
don't keep muscle too strong, when rolling shoulder back, learn to maintain posture/working, but keep them softer, there is playfulness, the back can still dance, don't lock it. Place the bones in certain postuer, but don't use muscle to lock them down, try to stay loose. Practice to have both good posture and good mobility.
Head is in the back, but it's not "back-weighted", it's balanced by chest going forward. Very balanced on the foot (likely middle of foot). Do not put hips forward, relax hips back to be able to move. Angle of the body is changed.
Natural Spin Turn is a figure where Lady can often "reset" posture" by re-pushing the hands.
L shoulder is "strong", R shoulder is more relaxed down, and free feeling, not too high. Imagine a shoulder circle. L shoulder is more up. R shoulder is down.
There is body alignment, there is "elasticity", which is different.
Outside Partner Movement
If partners are bumping legs when moving outside partner, it is because the legs are swinging front and back, which does not work for outside partner.
Outside Partner is direction of swinging legs, it's not a "position"
Legs never swing straight forward and back (relative to hips), even when moving forward, there is always a slight CBM. Legs are never square. The degree of swinging diagonals changes (the levels of twist): closed position (slight), OP (more across, twist), PP (very extreme swinging side side ways)
For outside partner:
swing legs across in front and back and follow the leg to step
don't put down foot too quickly, stay longer on standing leg, wait for Man to bring Lady onto her own foot (i.e. Man puts down lady's foot, don't freeze leg in air, use the momentum, keep swinging movement and wait for Man. The legs are very crossed when reaching center balance and after center balance, it will start to square up.
when swinging across, you can move legs as much, so don't try to reach too much, it's a smaller step. Once one is used to swinging across, the step will get bigger than when first starting to step across.
In Weave, for Lady, R leg swinging across fwd is smaller step (more limited), LF swinging forward is a bigger step (free environment)
Example of OP swinging legs: Foxtrot Feather Finish, Weave, Quickstep Quick Open Reverse.
Understand that "alignment" (in the "book") is related to the ballroom for the figure (leg swinging direction), not to self.
"Perceived self diagonals" e.g. swinging across body. The swinging direction has to match the right alignment, which means hip needs to be under turned (for legs to swing across in OP). It is wrong to create the diagonal with body and walk straight.
Feather finish: underturn hip, so legs swing diagonally which is BDW.
Finesse: turn shoulder even more. But it's not the shoulder that creates OP. That is just embellishment. Mechanically, hip is under turned and legs swings and travels across.
Once weight is moved onto the foot, CBM is used to neutralize the hip (hip and leg square up) (except when it's Weave in which case hip does not square up, you keep the position) and then started swinging in different direction, changing from one diagonal to another diagonal. No stopping at neutral, hips/legs/body keeps moving.
The one going backward has to anchor a bit (inside of turn), inviting/allowing the other to pass.
In Feather step/Feather finish, the amount of turn is small, but it's still there.
In addition to hip position (hip is underturned in Feather finish), upper body (not just shoulder, include body, rib cage and shoulder) to tell partner, they can go pass. Have whole upper body "project" diagonally backward. Man and Lady share the space, the one going backward needs to make the other feel welcome in that space. But also pay attention not to "turn away too much" to let partner go. Find the right balance.
The rib cage has to rotate around the axis, shoulder lay on top side of collar bone. Movement is not from shoulder joints, but from the rib cage and shoulder blade.
In feather/feather finish, combine with foot go across in back, L leg go BDW, do not try to rotate body L to get leg to go across more.
The "elbow triangle" - place Man to outside partner. In Feather step, take that triangle to right. In Weave, after placing Man in Outside partner, maintain/keep Man in outside partner during Weave.
You don't take a Promenade Position, you "travel into" PP by turning the feet and swing across body sideways, biggest twist in lower body.
3 levels of twist for Man: regular, OP twist, Promenade twist.
Lady: regular twist and OP twist which is the most twisted position for Lady, when going over that, it will just turn head and to PP.
Foxtrot Weave, practice with closed head to feel the twist more. Fallaway slip pivot, keep head left. Bounce fallaway, can play with head.
Head: opposite with sides till very end and change, whicih delays the head change as well.
While keeping posture, legs still need to be able to relax, cushion, drive and move. Legs: suspension/absorb. Breath in leg joints. There is tendency when focusing on posture, legs got straighter, locked up and not able to move freely, will appear rigid.
When not moving, it will just be legs up and down. When moving, it will swinging.
Body, joints, always a sense of movement, not static, constantly changing, like bicycle keep peddling.
Over balance is not out of balance. Legs need to act in a way that over balance doesn't become out of balance.
If you simply put lower standing knee and stick moving leg out, that's not over balance.
Continuity of the motion: Move center of body forward to over balance, but activate leg before body is out of balance (maybe 3/4 weight on foot). After it started/take off, it just continues, don't stop and redo overbalance. Overbalance continues without hesitation (i.e. body is moving continuously, no stopping), legs are catching up.
Need to activate the legs at the right time so it doesn't feel like legs are stepping short to catch balance (which means leg is activated too late).
Overbalance is not falling. We never "fall". We intend to over balance, when it's still in balance, make sure the other foot goes into position so the overbalance can seamlessly continue to go.
Explore the "above" space and "lower"/"deeper"/"below" space when moving.
e.g when stepping back, compress the standing leg, diving balance in between legs.
"Visiting the deep space"/"going down" make the moment of going over balance go a bit further. It feels there is a little bit of extra time.
"Divide" is the gliding of the feet.
First hip is open/extended when leg is extending back, leg is very long. When transferring weight onto new standing leg, new standing leg need to "accept"/"receive"/settle - both hips (flexed) and knees (cushioned/bent). Prepare the next leg back (so Man doesn't feel block), but not "sticking" it out - find the right balance.
When rising, there is also the feeling of "accepting"/settling the movement/weight transfer and not "blocking" it. Body is "welcoming", not fighting/blocking. Body should not be tense. When rising don't lock the hips (that will feel blocking/stiff)
Change step: body rotation 45 degrees each step, but no turn.
Don't overshoot weight on count 2 side step, partial weight.
Closing feet needs to time with center of gravity, not dragging too long or too soon. Center of gravity aim to the IE edge of foot.
Natural Turn: 1st half more sway, 2nd half more swing (Lady)
Chasse From PP: change inclination hip tilt a little earlier, going into 1.
Whisk: L hip high
Propulsion is physical, train contact with floor. Slide foot. Controlled over balance.
Dance not from foot to foot, skate on floor, go from center balance to center balance 50/50 weight.
Beat is center balance moment, beat is not weight fully on foot moment.
Focus on split position, but not too big stretch, has to be able to move. Maintain center balance
Slide back: don't use toe, use ball of foot (different coach has different opinions)
Over balance: off the foot will cause foot to move.
Step fwd: flat foot, slide over balance, then Heel Toe
Spin Turn: RF slide out over balance
* Step back: ball , can put weight on. If using toe, it's using indirect center - ankle (direct centers: knee, sternum)
Cross perception vs. linear/parallel perception
The "circling" motion: winding up for back step, knee should not pass toe
Set up: RF not turned out; LF is not turned out
Tango close: 2nd side step partial weight, don't overshoot.
Open finish: shape by rotating to R, do not lower heel too early
Lady's left hand: think about left thumb coming to almost front of Man's upper arm from the bottom. Finger is the "hook", together with left wrist, the left hand has the feeling of pull back of Man's right arm, while the right hand is pushing Man's left hand. (just pressure)
"Filling the space"/"Fullfil" the arm: 2 dimensions: one is to Lady's left side (Man's right), one is depth, into Man's right hand. create curvature/head back.
knees more bent.
Closed Promenade: R arm forward. don't lose energy. R arm needs to be more consistent with tone, not too much pressure and not too loose.
Movement: stay flat. Feet flat, lift foot. Balance in middle of foot, not to much in ball of foot.
Energetic pathway: direction of over balance, may not be the same as direction of movement path
Over balance can be curved, but direction can be straight. Partner over balance complete each other.
Back step: create invitation, pull center, pull hips back,
Lower belly "in", doesn't shortern front, front longer than back, must not arch back. Respect natural arch of back, keep the arch when moving. Front is long and supported up. Keep arch: not decreased, not increased.
Fallaway: invite, break at hip.
Continue movement, not interrupted. Body doesn't stop, even when closing feet.
Promenade in Tango: R hip toward Man, L hip roll down, pull L hip, feels like sitting, seated. Hips L and R level, usually R hip is too high up. Make sure R hip level.
Carry the natural curve through movement. The part hat has to move happen in lower area than where you hold your core.
Move while in the meantime, "stay" with Man.
Promenade link: do not stop the movement.
Whisk after oversawy: move back, don't stop movement, continue.
Keep middle of body with Man. Bottom and Top away from Man.
Maintain good arch through strenth in lower belly that goes all the way up. Shoulders have to be able to fall back and can relax.
Heel turn drop oversway: Butt feels go out, break hip line; hip doen't flatten out at oversawy. (Swing dances have rise to finish the swing which flattens the hip crease). L knee flexed. LF pointed, articulated, extended. Bikini line, one side line goes up, the other side goes down.
Outside swivel where Man swivels: Lady does not stop movement, rotate R thigh, then L leg can continue to step.
Even when movement is sharp, movement does not freeze or stop.
Promenade Link: pivot on LF, but put pressure (pressure not weight) on R ball, 20-80, can produce sharp stop, impact. Then use standing Leg again. RF helps to stop the momentum.
Balance weight move back to middle of foot, not too much on ball of foot. When weight is too much on front of foot, it feels in front of Man's face. Use least effort to feel balanced.
Fulfil Man's arm, not be in his space. Man wants to feel connected and being able to communicate, but not invasive each other's space.
While creating the maximum space at the top, make sure to relax left hip (pull back, especially in PP) to create space with Man at hips to move. It's more prominent in Tango cause other swing dances are more continuous movement and Tango is staccato.)
Think about light suspension in hip area. Hip is not flat, to front. Should feel like having crease in hip area, free to move.
Another imagery: close the hands from right above head to pull diagonally down toward left corner and back.
Work on getting used to the shape/posture, so body can be more relax and not rigid/stiff "holding" the posture. Understand the "feel" without using muscle/strength to "force" the shape.
Mobility of center area: don't "lock" the posture, while keeping the posture, center has to be able to rotate and shape in all directions (sides, diagonals).
Arms tend to be too strong in an attempt to maintain the posture/shape.
What keeps everything together is the energy the partners apply to each other. Project energy to each other. Don't use arm stretch to keep shape.
Arms are passive followers of the movement.
Forward half of Natural Turn: do not underturn.
Don't overshoot 2nd side step, weight is shot too far. 2nd step: stretch and then bend knee and stay flat
Don't pop up, more flat, focus on movement.
Keep volume, left. Stay connected with Man in upper body, lower body is free to move.
Different from Waltz, in V. Waltz, on 3, close and is already doing the action for next step.
Pay attention to allow middle body to sway without affecting head and tailbone.
Man and Lady takes turns to create new center for rotation. The person going backward, identify center of rotation to allow the turn of the other person. Step, anchor (without bringing head with it), change of sway under the head, with a purpose to invite the partner, create a center for partner to pass and rotate around.
Have some calmness in the dance even when going for bigger movement.
Stay on standing leg longer, the moving foot can prepare. The more to prepare, the body needs to actually go forward for a second, then Man put Lady back.
During count 3 and 4 (or 7 and 8 during Feather Finish), Lady has to balance on her RF flat (BH footwork, so on flat foot, don't stay on ball for too long), LF next to RF on toe (not ball, think about showing shoe size numbers), beautiful feet, it also puts body weight more forward, the right posture.
Using body - swing/sway 3D, for Lady: (practice upper body motion sitting on a chair - which neutralize the hips)
5 6: body horizontal rotated to left, vertical rotate to R (L side longer), and with frontal rotation
7 8: neutralize horizontal and vertical rotation (keep frontal rotation) for a moment then starting to the other direction
S( 1 2): horizontally rotated to R about 45 degrees, vertical rotation to L (R side longer) , keep frontal rotation.
Q Q (3 4): at end of 4, neutralize horizontal and vertical rotation.
S (1 2): horizontally rotate to L about 45 degrees, vertically rotate to R (L side longer), keep head position - this position is not as natural as the other side because we are keep spine to L
Q Q (3 4): neutralize at end of 4.
In Foxtrot, the rise is from leg rise, not because of foot rise. It has a "normal" height, then "deeper"/lower when driving forward or stepping back.
Foxtrot's signature gliding movement:
Aim for longer air time. Longer time on ball of feet with balance, spine not falling backwards. Dance the Q-Q slower.