Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heel Pivots, Heel Pulls, Heel Turns

Heel Pivots, Heel Pulls, and Heel Turns are used in the four Ballroom (Standard) dances  - Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Tango, and Quickstep. These three actions are used a great deal by the Advanced Dancer.
The Heel Turn and the Heel Pull is always introduced to the beginner dancer in the Waltz and Slow Foxtrot at Bronze level. Unfortunately the Heel Pivot was removed from the Syllabus when Alex Moore's "The Revised Technique" book was updated by a Committee appointed by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) and published as "The Ballroom Technique". The Heel Pivot's technical details are still presented in "The Ballroom Technique" at the back of the book together with other deleted figures as they can still be danced in Student Medal Tests, Syllabus Pro/Am competitions, practical side of all Professional proficiency examinations. Professional candidates do not have to give any technical details of these deleted figures.
So what are these three actions?

The Heel Pivot is only danced by the Man. It only turns to the left. On the second step the feet come together and there is no change of weight (LF closes to RF slightly forward without weight). Timing is S Q Q. Example - it is danced mostly in the Quickstep following the Quarter Turn to Right, or Chasse Reverse Turn, Natural Spin Turn or Closed Impetus, 1 - 3 Quick Open Reverse.
The Heel Pull is only danced by the Man. It only turns to the right. On the second step the feet are apart (small step) and the weight is changed to the RF. Timing S S S. Example - this move is used in Waltz - Hesitation Change. Slow Foxtrot - Natural Turn, Reverse Wave, Natural Telemark, Natural Hover Telemark, Natural Twist Turn. Quickstep - Natural Turn, Natural Turn with Hesitation. Tango - The Chase (ending in PP or square to partner).
The Heel Turn is danced by the Lady and the Man. It turns either to the right or left. On the second step the feet close with a change of weight. Timing S Q Q. Example - the Heel Turn is used in Waltz - Double Reverse Spin, Closed and Open Telemarks (all as Lady). The Man dances the Heel Turn in the Closed and Open Impetus. Slow Foxtrot - all as Lady, Natural Turn, Reverse Turn, Reverse Wave, all Closed and Open Telemarks, Hover Cross, Natural Twist Turn. As Man - the Closed and Open Impetus. Quickstep - as Lady Double Reverse Spin, Running Right Turn, Closed Telemark. As Man - Closed Impetus.
For further information consult "The Ballroom Technique" obtainable from the USISTD at

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