Thursday, December 10, 2009

One Good Turn Deserves Another

Some basic facts that dancers need to be aware of. In each of the ballroom (standard) dances – Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Tango and Quickstep we have Basic Natural Turns (turns to the right) and Basic Reverse Turns (turns to the left). All Basic Natural and Reverse Turns in all of these dances have six (6) steps or foot positions. There are three (3) steps for the man to go around the lady and three (3) steps for the lady to go around the man (think of our original ballroom dance - the Viennese Waltz).
So, having understood that, we now must address the correct procedure of dancing in a ballroom. There is a Line of Dance which means that the dancing must progress around the ballroom in a counter clockwise direction (don’t ever ask me why it is a counter clockwise direction, I don’t know). In order to do that there is a “rule of the road” and it is – all Basic Natural Turns (turning to the right) should start by dancing towards the wall or outside edge of the ballroom, usually diagonally to wall. All Basic Reverse Turns (turning to the left) should start by dancing toward the center of the ballroom, usually diagonally to center. Change this and you will be going around the ballroom the wrong way!
Note that the Waltz, Slow Foxtrot and the Quickstep have Basic Natural Turns and Basic Reverse Turns. The Tango has three (3) Reverse Turns (plus the Progressive Side Step Reverse Turn which has more than six (6) steps) but NO Basic Natural Turn. The Viennese Waltz Natural Turn starts facing diagonally to center (DC) and the Reverse Turn starts facing the line of Dance (LOD).
If there is any subject that you would like me to address please send me an email to with your request.
Geoffrey M Fells
(808) 955-3134

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