The Basic One-Hand Connection
To illustrate the basic technique, we will
use a very simple one-hand connection, where the man holds the lady's right hand
in his left, at approximately waist level. Once learned, this technique can be
applied to almost any other hand-to-hand connection.
The elbow should be held low, slightly in front of and outward from the hip. The
forearm should extend straight forward from the elbow, roughly parallel to the
floor. Leader's palm should be turned upward; follower's palm turned downward.
The connection is sturdy but not heavy, without any squeezing or gripping of the
There are many reasons why we use this
specific positioning of the arms and hands. Most importantly:
1. The point directly between each partner's center of balance is the point
of maximum leverage. Placing the hand connection in this area improves the
partners' sensitivity to each others' movement.
2. At waist level (or slightly above), the
forearm is roughly parallel to the floor. Both forearms are aimed directly into
one another, so that the energy moves straight down the middle of the
connection, without deflecting out to an angle.
Let's take a closer look:
STRONG. Energy directed straight through the middle of the connection.
WEAK. Energy deflected off to an angle.
In the basic one-hand connection, the man's hand is extended with the palm turned
upward, while the lady's hand extends with the palm turned downward. Both hands
should be very lightly cupped, with the fingers held together (not spread
Don't grab or squeeze your partner's hand. Not only are your fingers very poor
transmitters of lead and follow signals, they're actually distractions. The more
you squeeze, the more you muddy up the connection, and the more difficult it is
to communicate with your partner. Besides, it hurts!
For similar reasons, don't press down on your partner's hand with your thumb.
Don't spread the fingers apart, or stick them out in various directions. The
thumb can be held loosely apart from the fingers, but the fingers themselves
should stick together, as though you were wearing mittens.
Keep the hand loosely cupped. This creates just enough friction to hold the
connection together when tension is applied through push or pull, without the
need for a grasp. Don't allow your hand to flatten-out completely, as it may
cause you to slip and lose the connection with your partner.
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