Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Standard: basic footwork and movement

Basic footwork:
  • heel toe - toe - toe heel
    • keep foot skimming across the floor, avoid picking up foot and walk.
    • start with toe coming in, ball of foot, then whole of the foot, slide a few inches flat, then toe release up, then step forward.
  • foot is in contact with floor at all times: whether it's stepping forward, back or closing foot from side.
Forward movement:
  • Swing from hip area, keep blocks of weight line up.
  • Don't use body weight early, lean forward.
  • Don't tilt upper body back in order to step forward.
Backward movement:
  • Keep blocks of weight lined up. Lower. Don't lean forward or fall back. Pull up ab muscle
  • Extend leg back ahead of body, at mid point of stride, transfer block of weight to split weight position.
  • Draw heel of front font to standing foot.
  • Heel of receiving foot comes down gradually as the other foot passes by. Do not let back foot drop down to heel too quickly and too early. This need foot and ankle strength.
Four ranges of motion:
  • CBM: turning body as you lower - the torquing action. Practice all four directions, stepping forward and back with left or right foot.
  • Sway is used to counterbalance the force of movement, otherwise, body will fall out of balance.
  • Do not "break side" - swaying only from waist area, while hips and legs are straight. Body is broken.
  • Good sway: incline the entire body, the whole body is lined up diagonally.
Preparation step:
  • Prepare and give the lady wind up to get into the first figure.
  • Man:
    • Start stepping LF forward to invite lady. RF is in the back.
    • RF to side, IE of toe heel, start winding up 1/8 to left (turning entire body 1/8 to left)
    • Draw IE of LF in. (turn completes)
    • Step LF forward, HT. (Lower and use range of motion.)
  • Lady:
    • LF to left side: ball heel. 
    • IE of RF draw into LF,  and then step RF back, BH.
      • Prepare the hip for backward action. Don't lock the hips.
      • Keep body poised forward, left hip will relax, allow body to remain forward, then step RF back, use range of motion.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Standard: dance posture and hold

Basic posture points:

  • Stand in upright position. Line up head, shoulders, ribcage and hips. The blocks weight should completely lined up, Don't pitch forward, lean back, tilt, or disconnect in strange diagonals. 
  • Don't lift arm too high, a little lower than shoulder. Consider lady's height,make sure it's comfortable for the lady. 
  • Line up 4 blocks of weight, just like the Man. 
  • It's particularly important that ladies internally lift up abdominal muscle, i.e. pick up central weight. There should be no arches in the back. "Lift up the hips to the Man". "Squeeze the butt cheeks." 
  • Head: Natural left position along wrist watch. No other funny positions. 
  • Keep the right to right connection with Man, but pickup left side, strong diagonal stretch. Don't turn right shoulder or left shoulder away from the Man. Keep body evenly balanced with Man. 
  • Relax other joints, don't tense up.