Discussion in 'Videos' started by Dapenda, Dec 19, 2007.
A short Luca & Lorraine Foxtrot Demo
name of the music playing is ??
This is beautiful dancing!
The song was must much appropriate for bolero though, I would love to see a bolero danced to it as well ;-)
They have beautiful movement across the floor...
Beautiful movement, flow of energy, perfect control and release of the weight. Nice, full movement. Beautiful sway of the body. But in the preparation step they sway right. I think if you sway right in the prep step in a competition, that would be wrong. I thought you are supposed to rotate left on the prep step and then then on the first quick to rotate right and sway. What do you think about that?
I'd say at most they reach a neutral position. Don't you think starting and finishing sway just on the first quick would be very abrupt and un-foxtrotty? The way I think of it, the prep step in foxtrot should be executed just like the last step of a three step (as we dance it, not as it's written) except of course the footwork is H (heel) since we don't commence a prep step in a high position.
i could never tire of watching that sequence... such beautiful harmony... beautiful.
On the prep step he sways left and rotates left, not sure what you're seeing there.
On the first slow of the feather (RF fwd for the man), CBM is applied and this begins the turn that creates the OP position fully achieved on the last quick (RF again for man) of the feather. Be careful about phrasing like "rotate on the quick"... also, be aware that in its most basic form sway is used to control and redirect swing, so sway is not needed on the prep step, as this is the first step and there is no swing yet. If sway is present, as it is here, it's stylistic, though luca and lorraine may have some reason technically that they choose to use it as well.
I agree about the association of sway with the redirection of swing - this situation is especially obvious with the sway that occurs in the case where swing and turn are combined.
However I would disagree that a prep step has no swing. To my way of thinking, the prep step is the downswing from a preceding figure that you never danced - you pick it up already halfway down (feet flat on the floor) and continue the downswing from there, through into the upswing of the first full figure.
In waltz, swings clearly go from up, through down, and back up again, because waltz swing has a noticeable stall/break at each up point. Foxtrot traditionally rounds off the tops blending up more smoothly back into down, so it's not as clear if swings go from up through down and back up, or from down through up and back down, but in terms of energy management I would still say they are from up through down to up. Luca's foxtrot interpretation seems to push tradition slightly in the direction of waltz, the tops of his swings seeming to "catch" as much as "drift" - it works on him, but a lesser dancer trying to do this might look too waltz-like.
I have been told basic prep step for FT is equivalent to steps 5 + 6 (minus heel pull) of Natural Turn.
I'd probably put that the other way around ;-)
But it's still the same thing - you are simulating the end of a lowering from a risen position, because you've actually started instead from a flat foot position.
Corrected wording (actually meant it this way when first written)
'I have been told basic prep step for FT is equivalent to steps 5 (minus heel pull) + 6 of Natural Turn.'
My "other way around" was to suggest that the act of getting going again from a natural turn is just a new prep step.
And hence, the swing never existed This is one of those chicken/egg situations I think chris, so I don't want to draw it out. In my philosophy, swing inherently comes from something created before it IMO, and so in my book that prevents the prep from having swing.
No, it is only the top half of the downswing which is missing. The lower half is very much there.
But there was something created before: the annoucer said "please line up for xxx" and you rose from sitting height to standing height and walked on the floor. The half of the downswing that is present is the free descent from this flat-footed standing height to the fully lowered position encountered between steps. Ordinarily of course there would be a descent from a foot rise altitude, but even without that it is still a downswing from a higher position to a lower position.
If it helps you dance better, then you go with whatever works for you. As I said above, it's based on my philosophy, and in the principles of dancing that I adhere to, it's not so important either way--the academic recognition of swing or the absence of it on a prep step is pretty ho-hum in my universe.
It's anything but academic!
Either you convert potential energy to movement via a downswing (from standing height) and use that to aid the following upswing, or you must produce the upswing from muscles alone. This creates two very different means of movement with two very different looks.
This is somewhat similar to the decision to take a prep step or simply launch directly into step one, but not identical: eventually the skilled dancer discovers that they can create a release-of-energy downswing even without taking a prep step - you can just create a bigger one with it. (Practicing creating a downswing without the prep step can do a lot to inform how to get the most benefit from taking one, too)
Note that I'm not saying it's wrong to say it has swing, or that it's wrong to sway. The body turn is helpful IMO (see natural turn, step 6) to make better use of CBM on 1, and the momentum enables greater power on 1. But I don't buy that it enables anything useful on the feather that can't be gained without it. The upswing on the feather is created by the rotation and rise and fall, hence sway is used to control it. If you feel swing is inherent and sway is thus necessary on the prep, then how is it you say that 6 of the natural is idential to the prep? Does this step have sway? (your book will say no) The sway (and swing) is dissolved on step 6 of the natural.
Sway controls swing, and it always slows down movement--it never increases movement. Now, if it looks good and it helps you, then put it in. But something that inherently slows down movement cannot be used to create it, which is one reason I'm doing a prep in the first place.
I view none of this as gospel truth, and this is only my school of thought which is shared by some others as well. Convince me of something different or better, and I'll believe it. But I need a more useful belief if I replace my existing one, and this hypothetical previous step that never took place is not too convincing.
This seems to slightly confused the roles of sway and swing and assume that swing must imply sway when it does not in fact need to.
I was not arguing that the prep step had sway (though some people's may), I was saying that it properly constitutes a downswing from average flat-footed standing height to the fully lowered position from which the upswing begins. You get very a real benefit from doing this - you accelerate on a relatively free trajectory during the decent, converting the loss of potential energy into an increase in kinetic energy - height for speed. You then smoothly blend that into the upswing, in which you trade speed for height. A downswing inherently matches an upswing much more than a "lower then push" beginning driven by muscles alone would.
Yes, but not all swings have sway. Basic downswings do not have sway, wheras most upswings do have a sway against the movement, especially those where turn is involved. As a downswing, the most basic form of the prep step would not have sway. And even an interpretation that did have it would not necessarily need to being to develop that sway before commencing the downswing - so for example you can be standing in a neutral position as you commence your prep or end of foxtrot natural, and still manage to have achieved sway and perhaps even dissolved a sway by the time your downswing has given way to the upswing.
Dancers are initially taught to use sway during upswings only (which will of course slow them) but more advanced dancers often make use of the "head weight" - which is to say, a sway into the movement - to properly accelerate the beginning of downswings. Tipsy would be the classic syllabus example, but it comes up in tumble turns and even as an additive to basic figures when they are danced to the maximum.
Another way of putting it would be to say that sway against the movement in upswings slows movement, while the sway into the movement that could be used in a downswing increases it. However, sway in upswing is relatively safe because the distance between the partner who is "underneath" the sway and the floor is increasing. But sway in downswings is relatively dangerous because the distance between the partner who is underneath and the floor is decreasing, and we don't want them to get crushed in there. This suggests the actual practice of dancing: slowing sways of upswings get bigger as the rise progresses, but acceleration sways of downswings are used with care just at the start of the descent, and dissolved before the lowering has progressed too far. The more skilled the dancers and the more they trust each other, to neutralize rather than crash, the more they can safely experiment with this element.
Well, no one said that it should be "lower then push." What you said in this paragraph makes some sense in theory, but do you have anything to back it up?
I guess I didn't classify this properly as sway, although it is. This is used a lot on chasses, and enables the body to continue flight while we hover.
Why don't all swings have sway? Why aren't all ballgowns pink?
Because it's not the only possibility, and not always the best choice from the possibilities. For upswings, sway usually is the best choice. For downswings, the best choice is either none, or only a little early in the descent, dissolving before you reach your lowest point.
Why that? Because downswing sway is limited by the need to not trap the underneath partner, wheras upswing sway occurring during a rise does not have that concern.
In terms of downswing vs. lower then push, what other options are there? Seems to me that either the lowering and traveling are functionally coupled, which we call swing, or they are independent actions (you could make a distinction between lower and push vs. lower then push, but I'd consider both to be independent, while swing has them functionally coupled).
Well that's logical and helpful to know. If you put all these things into practice Chris, I can't wait to see you dance... you should be a very strong competitor on the floor.
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