WCS Anchor Steps

Spitfire

Well-Known Member
#1
In WCS us leaders are taught to do our final steps in place known as Anchoring. Thing about this is that many followers will take huge steps creating more distance and the result of anchoring is that we end up tugging with each other. To alleviate this I will actually step forward rather than anchor which works fine, and I don't know of any way to lead the follower so that this does not happen.
 
#2
In WCS us leaders are taught to do our final steps in place known as Anchoring. Thing about this is that many followers will take huge steps creating more distance and the result of anchoring is that we end up tugging with each other. To alleviate this I will actually step forward rather than anchor which works fine, and I don't know of any way to lead the follower so that this does not happen.
There are two answers, depending on how the follower responds.

The usual answer is that at the end of count 4, you "set the post". The usual analogy is that you aren't connected to each other, but rather you are both holding onto a pole. You can do anything you want on the anchor so long as your hand doesn't move from the pole.

So the follower can go "wherever she wants", provided that she leaves her hand in place.

Second answer is to recognize that if the follower is going an extra foot "that way" on her anchor, then you need to short change her by a foot earlier than that. One answer is to chop the 4 short, but a better approach is to either (a) make your movement toward her on the 4, then anchor normally OR (b) to lead her through smaller steps on all of steps 1-4, so that she arrives where you want her to.

The latter of these turns out to be very useful when you are looking at wrapping patterns. Many leaders adding these patterns to their repertoire find that they "explode" on the social floor. In my experience, the most common cause is that the follower is too far down the slot on count 2, and therefore is too far past him on count 4, and in the middle the leader just runs out of arm.

If instead, you make a habit of staying ahead of the follower on count 2 (however you manage it), the wrapping movements become a lot easier - with the follower in front of you, you have enough arm to reach her other side, and can therefore do cool stuff without pulling her off balance.
 
#3
Is it possible that followers are stepping away from you in order to create the tension in connection that you aren't providing them? The purpose of the anchor is to set your center behind your front foot, providing a connection in extension. If you're stepping FORWARD on your anchor, you're not providing that essential connection, so the followers are probably trying to compensate in that regard by stepping backward.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#4
You're travelling through another dimension. A dimension, not only of sign and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that determined by each individual. Next stop, The Anchor Zone.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#5
Skippy would tell you to do your part as best you can, which I know isn't much help.

Curious if you step together, feet parallel, or third postion, or what, when you do your 3rd step on the anchor?

There may be an opportunity to get on your left foot a bit early, and react to your partner's moving away as you take that last step forward a bit on you right. Yes, it's supposed to be in place, but if you want to avoid "tugging"... And you could still settle your weight onto your heel as you finish that last step.

Also, do you run into this everywhere, or just certain places?

I'm sure you know that there is supposed to be "some" "away tension" in the connecting arms. And I'd be surprised if you didn't know that the anchor steps are primarily in place.
And I'd be surpirsed, too, if you didn't already know that people who learned years ago have a style with more tension in the arms or the anchor.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#9
There aren't that many regulars who have been doing West Coast and are pretty good at it where I'm dancing. So, I can either be satisfied with what I get from the newbies, or I can coach them to up their skills. And, anchoring is a big thing that's missing. Someone who does a pretty good two step was telling me last night that she gets comments from the other guys about things. She seems open to suggestions.
Anyone care to talk about their method for explaining / coaching new dancers on anchoring?
 
#10
In the Phoenix area the women are being taught that anchor steps are passe, old fashioned, and not necessary. So women are taught to do psuedo Lindy back swings and drifts that give no anchor. Women love this stuff because the moves are easy to learn -- and it gives inexperienced ladies opportunities to fantasize that they look glamorous.

I'm sure this stuff is cool for advanced dancers, but the average woman who dances WCS has never learned proper anchor steps so they really don't understand the timing or connection issues. Now they don't have to bother learning any of this tough stuff.

For us guys it means chaos, no connection, and ladies that use us as nothing more than poles to dance on. It also means pulled shoulders and other associated injuries.
 

Mr 4 styles

Well-Known Member
#12
Ugh leading women who never anchor and do all these floating actor variants Ihave a solution lead a syncopated runout. i bring them forward on the and of one. The little tug they feel will ground them nicely
 

twnkltoz

Well-Known Member
#13
Ugh...I wish people would learn basics before they learn variants. Learn to anchor, then you can play with it without screwing up the lead. Of course it's not always their fault if they're not being taught good basics.
 

Steve Pastor

Moderator
Staff member
#15
I was searching for information for another thread, and came across this Skippy Blair material. I don't remember seeing this on the dvd, and am thinking that it was on the tape but was edited out to fit the dvd format. I might take another look at the dvd.

What is interesting is her comment at around 6:40 about the &a before the 1 "for the lady's advanced, very advanced...the &a before she goes forward on 1"


And, sort of a low key, wow... 2005. Ten years old now.
 

Dance Ads