5 years ago

Reading Ballroom Dance Scripts - Dance -

Reading Ballroom Dance Scripts - Dance -

Each dancer is slightly

Each dancer is slightly to the left of the other’s centre line. If they both have their feet together then each person’s right foot points between the other’s feet. Hence if you step forward on your left foot you step ‘outside’ your partner, meaning to the left (from your point of view) of your partner’s right foot. If you step forward with your right foot you step between your partner’s feet. When dancing with body contact, this means the insides of the partner’s right thighs brush together. The offset to the left has a practical purpose. If you step forward on your left or right foot slightly before your partner steps back on his or her right or left foot respectively, the offset means your foot passes beside your partner’s legs rather than kicking him or her in the chins. In Tango, the sideways offset may be slightly larger. ‘Normal Position’ is one of several names in common use for this position. However, the ISTD publication does not actually seem to name this position. They don’t need to name it since we’re in this position most of the time. In the descriptions of moves, unless there is an explicit mention of being in Promenade Position, we’re in Normal Position. In practice some dancers refer to Normal Position (probably inappropriately) as ‘Contact Position’ or ‘Closed Position’, though these two terms are used to describe two slightly different positions in Latin American Dances. 2.6.2 Promenade Position – PP (The author does not wish to hear any more suggestions that this should be called ‘Pacman® Position’.) The man and lady face at 90° to each other, the man’s right and lady’s left hips being in contact. Again, that’s the theory, but in social dancing some distance may be maintained. Promenade position arises by opening out from facing position while maintaining Normal Hold or Tango Hold. Since each partner was slightly left of the other’s centre line in facing position, the result is that in promenade position the man’s right hip is in contact with a point slightly in front of the lady’s left hip, though the diagram above isn’t that accurate. It is the relative position rather than the absolute position that is important, so rather than drawing this position as it would be just a valid to draw it as However, most men seem to think of this position in terms of the first diagram rather than the second, perhaps since this results in the most likely direction of movement from this position being leftward on the page, rather than diagonally up and left. (Ladies are invited to rotate the page 180°.) 1.7 Standard Style – What positions and holds are used in each dance? Holds Positions Dance Normal Tango Normal Promenade Hold Hold Position Position Waltz, Foxtrot √ √ √ Quickstep, Viennese Waltz √ √ Tango √ √ √ 6

2.8 Latin American Style – Holds The holds in the first 4 sections below will see you through most figures. The holds in the remaining two sections can probably be safely ignored until you start learning advanced figures. 2.8.1 Normal Hold (This is identical to Normal Hold under Standard Style.) Most easily assumed when standing face to face with your partner, each with feet together, your right foot pointing between your partners feet, with minimal gap between partners’ hips. Man’s right hand cups lady’s left shoulder blade. Lady’s left hand grips man’s upper right arm, exact placement varying with the height difference between the partners. Lady’s right hand is placed in man’s left, palms facing, lady’s fingers in the vee between man’s fingers and thumb. 2.8.2 Various single hand holds – RRH, RLH, LRH, LLH The man’s hand is listed first. Thus ‘Right to Left Hold’, RLH, is man’s right hand holding lady’s left hand. The linked hands are usually held at lady’s waist height. The precise grip of the linked hands may vary, depending on the figure that gave rise to the grip or the next figure which the man wants to lead. The ISTD Latin American books don’t define the grips. 2.8.3 Double Hold Most easily assumed standing face to face, about half a metre apart. Each partner holds their arms as if in the ‘up’ position for doing push-ups. Man’s left hand holds lady’s right and his right holds her left, palms facing. In both cases, lady’s fingers are in the vee between the man’s thumb and fingers. Adjust the height of the hands to about the lady’s eye height. 2.8.4 No hold No physical contact. This state of affairs usually only lasts for a small number of steps. We don’t want to be accused of line dancing! 2.8.5 Right Shadow Holds (includes Cuddle Hold) These 3 holds are described under Right Shadow Position in the ISTD Rumba book. There, they are collectively referred to as the Right Shadow Holds. One is individually named Cuddle Hold; the other two are unnamed. (None of them precisely match Right Shadow Hold as defined for Australian New Vogue Sequence Dancing.) In all the cases, the hold is most easily described when in Right Shadow Position, the lady standing slightly to the right of and slightly in front of the man, both facing the same way. Version 1: The man’s right hand on or slightly below lady’s right shoulder blade. Man’s left hand holds lady’s left hand, wrist or forearm. Version 2: Cuddle Hold: Lady’s arms are crossed in front of her body at waist height, the man holding her left hand in his right and her right hand in his left. Version 3: Man’s right hand as for Version 1 and his left hand as for Version 2. The odd thing about Cuddle Hold is that until you get used to it, it’s very difficult to stand in the appropriate position and adopt the hold. It’s easier to start in a different position and manoeuvre into the hold. So: Stand facing your partner, with man’s left hand holding lady’s right and man’s right holding lady’s left, hands at waist height. The man raises his left, circles it anticlockwise above the lady’s head, 7

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