Country and Western > Help with two-step pivot

Discussion in 'Country and Western' started by Chris Hennes, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Chris Hennes

    Chris Hennes New Member

    I was at a local comp this weekend (as a spectator) and attended a basic two-step workshop where we learned pivots—I think also called "natural pivots" if that means more to you. At any rate, in the workshop we got as far as doing a few pivots in a row in place, which looks pretty good, but also turns out to be a great way to get run over on the dance floor. Yeah, learned the hard way not to go around too many times! Anyway, I have seen these pivots done in a manner that progresses line of dance, and was hoping someone could tell me a) if that has a particular name, and b) if there are any YouTube etc. videos I could watch to see if I can figure out how it's done. Any advice you have on the matter would be appreciated, thanks!
  2. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Hi Chris. Welcome! :-D I'm sure somebody will be along to answer your questions soon. (Steve?)

    In the meantime, welcome to DF. :-D
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    welcome...yes pivots can travel...and yes, I imagine if you go to you tube and do a search for pivots you can find instructions...regardless of the dance genre in which they are shown, the principles are not likely to be very different..there is probably also some basic technical information on them in the ballroom section as well if you do a search
  4. Chris Hennes

    Chris Hennes New Member

    Thanks: dropping the "two step" from my search helped a lot (once I ignored all the basketball videos—a search for "traveling pivot" gives a lot of those too).
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Hi, Chris!

    Since I learned my two step at a truck stop, I still have to look up terms like "natural" when it comes to turns and pivots.

    Josh wrote “In a natural pivot the primary amount of turn is done on the left foot. When the turn is done on the left foot, the right leg will then be in front, much in the same way in a reverse pivot the free leg is held in place during the pivot.”

    Shall we saw if you step left and turn left, that’s “natural?” (Ballroomers – correct me if that’s wrong!)
    Problem is, if you continue pivoting, your will next turn left on your right foot!

    This from Skippy Blair who's been teaching since 1953. Skippy is mostly known for West Coast Swing, but also has written about and taught a lot of dances, including country western.

    PIVOT -
    (1) Half a turn (180 degrees), turning in the direction of the forward foot. (2) Verbal Call: "Step forward - Step Back" as each step pivots for 1/2 a turn. (3) Partner Pivots require BOTH partners to be in 4th foot position, and to understand balance and leverage in order for them to travel down Line of Dance. Anything less than 4th foot position half turns is a "Pivot Turn," rather than a complete Pivot.
    Teaching Note:
    The partner who steps BACK is the one who sets the strongest resistance. Verbal: "He leads - She leads.” It is not that she is really leading, but that she understands the leverage as she steps back, and that Pivots done with a partner require a "50-50" involvement.

    What's "4th foot position"?
    4th: A Walking Step, one foot in front of the other, with a line through the center of the heel and the center of the big toe.

    Which leads us to

    There are "IN-PLACE PIVOT"s and "TRAVELING PIVOT"s, to use terms from a 1983 CW dance manual. Since two step is a travelling, or progressive as some would have it, dance, you're better off if your pivots travel.

    On your first step you are going forward, but on your second step you are going backwards.

    I say, get some momentum going with a qqs s (or s s qq if you prefer).

    After running through it myself, I’d say try pivoting on the qq, but only turn 180 and face backwards line of dance. That’s two steps qq to turn 180.
    Then keep turning to your left and end up facing “line of dance” (another 180) on the slow slow.

    It helps to look over your left shoulder towards the wall behind you, or at least turn your head in the direction you are going to turn, just before starting to turn.

    I’d say practice this by yourself to get how it feels.
    When you try it with a partner, it’ll be a bit more complicated. Maybe we can talk again then?

    I looked for some videos, but there is a bunch of stuff out there, and it’s kind of funny to read the comments on YouTube for some of it. And, I agree of a lot that is written.
  6. Chris Hennes

    Chris Hennes New Member

    Thanks Steve, Skippy Blair's description sound just like what we were taught (the workshop instructor was Juan Manuel from All That Dance in Albuquerque). The way we got into it was to do a right curve first so the leader is facing almost reverse LOD, and then go into the pivots. I suspect that Juan intended to teach the progressive version but ran out of time due to slower-than-expected students :).

    Yeah... somehow real followers never behave quite like the imaginary ones!
  7. kayak

    kayak Active Member

    One thing to just put in the back of your mind. Pivot turns are on the slow rhythms and not the quicks. You can also only turn the direction of your leading foot. If you lead with your left, pivot left. So it takes two pivot turns to make a complete 360 - one left and one right.
  8. chuck4788

    chuck4788 Member

    Different dances and different instructors teach pivot turns differently. For me pivot turns are basic SS pivots, but my partners does them on QQ, and for some patterns I lead double and triple QQ turns such as three 360s on QQ QQ QQ.

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