Standard Practice Notes

Standard

  • Prep step:

    • 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.

  • Projection direction and knee and foot lines up

  • Movement:

    • Focus on standing leg, not moving leg. Not moving off standing leg too fast, roll the foot. Bicycle, feels slower

    • fwd step from up to down: extend pass spine, lower heel, bend knee, weight onto heel, roll.

    • When feet come together, circle loop, roll feet

  • Body isolation: 3D head, chest, hip

  • Arm/frame is not doing the leading, Use center body, arm/frame follows.

  • Frame: not rigid, needs to breathe

    • Stay left, body more left, stretch; ribs to partner, then extend.

    • RH tone coming from back. shoulders down.

    • Keep frame/arm forward, especially when moving back, e.g. Double Reverse.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Moving fwd with toe: step foot large enough step that foot should be in front of spine, land on to heel of front foot. Roll on foot.

  • 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.

  • 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).

  • Foot placement

    • 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.

Waltz

  • 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

Tango

  • 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

  • Posture: 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

Viennese Waltz

  • 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.

Foxtrot

  • Feather Step:

    • 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)

    • Preparation:

      • 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

    • Feather Step:

      • 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.

    • Three Step:

      • 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.

Quickstep