Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rise and Fall and Two Cars, One Parking Space!

One very famous professional champion and coach gave us a lecture at the Blackpool Dance Festival many years ago on the subject of “Rise and Fall” in the Ballroom dances. He stated, “any fool can rise up on to their toes, it takes the champion to lower” How true.

Looking at “The Ballroom Technique” book you will notice the heading in the 5th column to be “Rise and Fall” and this is what most dancers do –they rise and then they FALL (that is if they rise at all!) Looking further under the same column you will see the word “lowering” and this is what the dancer should be doing – “lowering” with control.

Consider steps 1 –3 of the Natural Turn in the Waltz, as Man. The Lady would be the normal opposite.

The Man steps forward on his Right Foot and commences to rise as his Left Foot is passing it. He continues to rise as his Left Foot ends to the side on the inside edge of his Left Toe. He continues to rise as his Right Foot closes towards his Left Foot reaching his highest point as the feet close. NOW the important part – as the feet come together (and we mean TOGETHER!) his Right Heel starts to squeeze to the floor “lowering” with resistance as the Left Foot commences to move back out of the way of the Right Foot. Imagine that you have two cars and only one parking space! You have a Right Foot car and a Left Foot car and they both will not fit into one parking space. So as one car arrives the other has to start moving out! Remember that what goes up, must come down. After achieving your highest point at the end of the third beat of music you must start going down (lowering) prior to swinging back.

This can be practiced by dancing, without turn, the Right Foot and Left Foot box steps. Notice how the Heel of the closing foot receives the weight of the body and the toe will release in order to step backward on the forward half of the box step and the Heel of the closing foot just kisses the floor and releases when you lower in order to step forward on the backward half of the box step.

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