Sunday, August 16, 2009

Standard Technique Notes

Some new updates on Standard Technique:
  • When a pattern in the ISTD manual mentions "pointing" in a direction, rather than facing it, it is referring to foot alignment where it differs from body alignment. For example, the foot might "point diagonal center" where the body will still be aligned facing center. (See alignment diagram.)
  • It may appear sometimes looking at competition dancers that they wind up before making a turn. What is in fact happening is that they underturn their bodies in the preceding figure, to achieve essentially the effect of a windup. An actual windup would take too long, since it would have to be lead, and then followed, and then the turn led, and then followed.
  • On pivot turns, the leader keeps his legs in a line so that, for example, on a natural pivot turn, he ends with his right foot on the same track as his left foot (like he was on a balance beam). This prevents the leader from essentially crashing into the follower's legs as he turns. The follower, on the other hand, always maintains two tracks for the feet on a pivot turn, so that the leader can step between her feet for the next figure.
  • When stepping backwards, the follower does not put her heel down until feet are together to settle. She also starts stepping with the toe, rather than the ball of the foot. She should show someone behind her the whole sole of her shoe. This gives her a significantly longer stride and more power.

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