That is a question that has become a big issue in the last decade. There is so much misunderstanding about this subject that the results that the dancers are coming up with, are almost looking comical. There are several pictures that have been appearing on facebook that shows these extreme top-lines and many top coaches are making comments that critique the couples. We know that the couples are just trying to create what they think would make big shapes. It almost seems like the coaches are not giving the insights on how to create great a big top-line or maybe the couples are choosing to not listen to the insights. It is however clear that somewhere there is a missing link. Many couples seem to think that the way to create a big top-line is by both the man and the lady getting horizontal. This not only looks ugly but it is devastating on the body in so many ways. The joints, ligaments and muscles will in the long run pay for this misuse of the body. A teenager may be able to do that extreme action with no or little pain. This kind of misuse will however have a price if continued for several years. When the couples get older, they will be paying for doing such extreme action to their bodies. Once they retire many will have develop chronic issues and pains that we never heard about two decades ago.
Most things in dancing are created in ways that is not obvious to the naked eye. They don’t make logic sense to people that are not in the know. The logic is only understood once you know the insights to creating the result. This is why you need somebody that either have done the insights themselves, have learned the insights or in best case scenario have both learned and done the insights. It is impossible to guess what it takes to create the picture that is seen in top couples. Most people just can’t imagine, even in their wildest imagination, what it takes to create the image they themselves/coaches/judges are looking for. Looking back at my own dancing there is no way I could have imagined what it would take to become a world class dancers. I was so lucky and fortunate to have Benny and Janet share the insights with me.
The understanding of a big top line can be explained with one of the basic Laws of the Universe. Creating a big top-line is very simple once you understand just one of these 7 basic Laws of the Universe. The Law that we use in creating the look of the big top-line is called the Law of Relativity. The Law of Relativity states that “everything just IS , until it is compared to something else”. This means that we don’t see or recognize a big top-line till we see a neutral (or what you would call “small”) top-line. I can just hear you all say “hey, wait a minute….a small top-line????Are you crazy???….I don’t want to create a small top-line”. Please note that I didn’t say a small top-line. I said a neutral top-line. There is a big difference. I know, I know that all of you are really scared, maybe even terrified of a neutral (small) top-line. I however promise you that the top-line will look bigger when you have a neutral (small) top-line that the big top-line can be compared to. I am not saying that you should always have a neutral (small) top-line or that you should spend a long time with a neutral (small) top-line. I am saying that the change between the sizes of the top-lines will make the eye recognize/notice a big top-line.
It is also important that the man holds the frame so that the lady can be the picture that is changing between neutral and big within his frame. The man needs to be the constant which gives the eye a focus point that the top-lines can be compared to. The lady then moves from “lady’s neutral” to “full selling” and back to “lady’s neutral” giving the spectator a full spectrum of different sizes of top-lines. It is therefore really important that the man and lady each do their own jobs to the fullest. It is the lady’s job to do all the selling and only the lady’s job. I am sorry gentlemen; you may feel that I have taken a job away from you. You, gentlemen, do have lots to do with your own jobs. It is really important that the lady’s do the selling job one hundred percent. If the ladies don’t do their jobs then the men are tempted to step in and do the lady’s jobs. Ladies please make sure you are doing your jobs so that the man can focus one hundred percent on his own jobs.
I hope this will give you all some food for thought and that you will consider changing the way you think of a big top line. I know it is going to be difficult to change overnight. We are all controlled by our programming and fears. I will however encourage all of you to consider changing and take better care of the body. I am sure you don’t want to end up with chronic pains for the rest of your life. Make it a mission to change the way you create a big top line. I look forward to seeing the change at the competitions this year.