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Re: Foxtrot as displayed on this site
Posted by Waltz123
1/31/2006  10:25:00 PM
As an experiment, I overdubbed some Foxtrot music on the Feather Step video clip, which rendered some interesting results.

For starters, I must say that I was pretty lucky to have nailed the tempo almost spot-on, without having to speed up or slow down the music. With many of the dances, we were actually trying to dance slower than the true tempo, to give a more detailed look at the inner workings of the movement. However, with the swinging dances, which rely quite a bit on momentum, this would have been counter-productive. So without being fully aware, we danced the Foxtrot much closer to actual tempo. In the case of the Feather, it was right on tempo for the song I chose to overdub, making my editing job very easy.

The original plan was to dance each figure slowly to narrated counts, then up to speed with the music. Unfortunately, we ran out of time for the music clips. No official decision was ever made as to which musical interpretation we would use for our Foxtrot timing (ie traditional or "book" vs modern competitive timing), but since the music never happened, the decision was never needed. Or so we thought...

Here's where it gets interesting. After overdubbing the music, it's very clear that we did dance with a specific timing. Not surprisingly, that timing happened to be the one that we have used in recent years -- modern competitive timing.

What a lot of the current finalists and champions are dancing and teaching nowadays is to land the second "quick" on count 1 (whereas a few years ago, it was to land on 4, or slightly after). You might say it's gone to a bit of an extreme, but that's the current climate in competitive circles. Do I think it's good timing for a basic syllabus video? Of course not. But that wasn't our intention when we danced it to narration.

As far as the overdubbed video is concerned, the timing of the steps was correct for modern competitive timing. The only major problem I noticed was the follow-through after the last step, which was quite late. But I would expect this to happen, as we were slowing down to break our momentum in order to come to a balanced stop. If we'd taken the extra forward step (like I wished we had), that would'nt have been an issue.

The lesson here is that we should always dance, at the very least, to a metronome. But that lesson was already learned long before this was pointed out. Actually, we realized the importance of the metronome during the video shoot itself, just a couple of hours after finishing Foxtrot.

If we had danced Foxtrot to the metronome, we would have made a conscious decision about which timing interpretation to use. As it happened, the decision was made, if subconsciously, and unfortunately it wasn't the one I would have consciously chosen for an instructional syllabus video.

On the other hand, because it's danced to narrated "SQQ" counts, the only people who will even notice or care are those sophisticated enough to understand and recognize modern competitive timing.

Regards,
Jonathan
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