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Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/10/2007  8:38:00 PM
Some people seem to be having a lot of confusion about the physics of body weight. Specifically, that there is a difference between what part of the foot is bearing the pressure of the weight, and where the weight is located. Let my illustrate with a simple but informative case.

If you stand normally, feet together, weight located over your heel, your weight is in/on your heel and it is located over your heel.

Now if you send your weight forwards, what happens?

If you send your weight very slowly, your weight might end up located OVER your toe, and also resting ON your toe.

However, if you drive your weight forwards as for a dance action, something different happens. You weight will still go OVER your toe, but the actual pressure will, as long as your maintain the drive, remain further back.

If you stop the weight over your toe and try to stay there, of course you would then have the obligation of maintaining your balance, and so would support your weight from the part of the foot direclty under it, the toe.

But to send your weight, you have to push from a point BEHIND where it is located.

Send your weight to the toe, and as long as your are pushing, the push comes from further back.

PROJECT your to send your body BEYOND your toe, and your weight will be located OVER a spot on the floor in front of your foot. But as long as your keep pushing from the standing foot, your weight will still be located ON your standing foot, because that is where the pressure is coming from.

When you can no longer keep yourself up by pushing from the standing foot, that is when you have to start arriving on the moving foot.

During the entire drive the body weight is located ON the standing foot. But during most of it, the body is not OVER the standing foot - instead, it has projected furether and further beyond.

And yes - when it is beyond, it is NOT BALANCED, yet that is not a problem as long as you support it by maintaining the drive.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by phil.samways
4/11/2007  6:17:00 AM
There's a lot of confusion here arising from, I believe, the subtle use of English.
When standing, my weight is not over my heel. It's located about mid-way between my heel and the ball of my foot.
When moving forward in a dance action, the first action is to move onto the balls of the foot. My heel may stay in contact with the floor, but there is virtually no weight on it. I don't think any athlete drives forward from the heel.

“”””””Send your weight to the toe, and as long as your are pushing, the push comes from further back””””” No, The push can only come from the point of contact with the floor..

“””””””PROJECT your to send your body BEYOND your toe, and your weight will be located OVER a spot on the floor in front of your foot. But as long as your keep pushing from the standing foot, your weight will still be located ON your standing foot, because that is where the pressure is coming from.””””””.
This I find confusing. Using “YOUR weight” or “THE weight” implies you're talking about the body's weight, and this does indeed move ahead of the standing foot. But you cannot say ”YOUR weight will still be located on your standing foot…”. The standing foot IS STILL WEIGHTED, because, as you say, there is still pressure on it.But this pressure is not "YOUR weight" or "THE weight"
The force from the standing foot has a vertical component which is NOT the same as the body's weight, but which, acting with the body's weight through its centre of gravity (which is in front of the standing foot) controls the vertical flight of the body. Controlling this vertical component from the standing foot so that the correct vertical body flight is achieved is part of the skill of dancing.

I think a lot of confusion has been caused in other discussions because of the use of “weight”, “your weight”, “the weight” and so on.. There is weight on a standing foot, but if you say it's “the weight” or “your weight” then you're in trouble.

Sorry to be so technical.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  10:17:00 AM
"“”””””Send your weight to the toe, and as long as your are pushing, the push comes from further back””””” No, The push can only come from the point of contact with the floor.."

Obviously the push can only come from A POINT of contact with the floor, however it must also come from a point of contact that is BEHIND the thing being pushed.

"But you cannot say ”YOUR weight will still be located on your standing foot…”. The standing foot IS STILL WEIGHTED, because, as you say, there is still pressure on it.But this pressure is not "YOUR weight" or "THE weight""

The pressure in your standing foot the vector sum of your weight and the accelerating force being applied as a push.

Nothing but your standing foot is available to support you weight, so even though your center of mass is now well in front of your your standing foot, to whatever degree your weight is supported, your weight is indeed on your standing foot.


The force from the standing foot has a vertical component which is NOT the same as the body's weight, but which, acting with the body's weight through its centre of gravity (which is in front of the standing foot) controls the vertical flight of the body. Controlling this vertical component from the standing foot so that the correct vertical body flight is achieved is part of the skill of dancing.

I think a lot of confusion has been caused in other discussions because of the use of “weight”, “your weight”, “the weight” and so on.. There is weight on a standing foot, but if you say it's “the weight” or “your weight” then you're in trouble.

Sorry to be so technical.

Reply to this message
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Rha
4/11/2007  10:32:00 AM
Anonymous,

To a large extent you have been a contributor to this confusion because of your incessant harping on YOUR narrow definition of BALANCE (and indeed a few other dance concepts as well).

Clearly dancing is concerned with DYNAMIC BALANCE by default. To understand dynamic balance one needs to understand the concepts of CENTRE OF WEIGHT and POINTS OF PRESSURE into the floor, and how these interact to create a SENSE OF BALANCE. Through proper transfer of your CENTRE OF WEIGHT, building the POINTS OF PRESSURE through the floor in the correct way one achieves a SENSE OF BALANCE that is DYNAMIC BALANCE. This is the default BALANCE that we talk about. It is a feeling we're talking about here. Now feeling may not be anything of substance to a physicist but it is everything in dance. It's real. You will find this difficult to understand because your entire model of weight transfer is built on a physicist understanding of efficiency.

To comprehend some key dance terminology or to be an exceptional dancer one has to factor in the inherent subjectivity and experience of the feeling, thinking dancer. Like some physicists out there you believe in a objective and absolute reality that can be observed without prejudice from the outside. So you apply this narrow thinking to dance and attempt to say that physics can embraces the entire concept of dance.

Dance is a human construct shaped by the subjectivity of the dancer and the also the subjectivity of the observer looking on. Your objectivistic approach to arguing points of dance as if it were a construct of nature where we are studying the motion of an inanimate body is testament to your inability to think outside your physicist box.
Remember that why to choose to move in a certain way is shaped by music, melody, rhythm, emotion, expression, communication, feeling, society, history, etc. as much as the biology of our bodies or physics.

Rha
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  1:59:00 PM
"Clearly dancing is concerned with DYNAMIC BALANCE by default. To understand dynamic balance one needs to understand the concepts of CENTRE OF WEIGHT and POINTS OF PRESSURE into the floor, and how these interact to create a SENSE OF BALANCE. Through proper transfer of your CENTRE OF WEIGHT, building the POINTS OF PRESSURE through the floor in the correct way one achieves a SENSE OF BALANCE that is DYNAMIC BALANCE. This is the default BALANCE that we talk about. It is a feeling we're talking about here. Now feeling may not be anything of substance to a physicist but it is everything in dance. It's real. You will find this difficult to understand because your entire model of weight transfer is built on a physicist understanding of efficiency."

I think you will find that I have repeatedly commented on the fact that dancers, while technically off balance most of the time, do not feel as if they are off balance, because when the action is danced properly, with good timing and aim, there is no sort of alarming feeling to the movement. Instead, it feels familiar and comfortable, in precisely the same way that the unbalanced period in our normal walking feel familiar and comfortable.

As for "dynamic balance" I challenge you to state a specific definition of it as something that should be maintained, but it possible to loose by doing things wrong. You won't be able to - the problem is that your definition must either not apply to cases where the body is undergoing acceleration, or it would have to accomodate the case of acceleration known as falling flat on your face.

"To comprehend some key dance terminology or to be an exceptional dancer one has to factor in the inherent subjectivity and experience of the feeling, thinking dancer."

That's why I've mentioned the preservation of the emotional feeling of balance, even when physical balance is obviously not being preserved.

The objective reality is that physical balance is not being preserved when the dancing is done right. The subjective opinion however, may be "I went exactly where I wanted to go, at exactly the rate I wanted to go there" - and that satisfies an emotional conception of balance, even though obviously not a physical one.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Quickstep
4/11/2007  3:11:00 PM
There is an old saying. The proof is in the pudding. I can see weight arriving over the foot. I can see the weight being behind the foot. but I have never seen a spirit level where the top is in front of the base and is still verticle. How would that be posible. In all the years I have been connected to dancing nobody ever told me to get my weight in front of my feet and to catch my body. Except in Latin. If in Standard anybody can point in the direction of some instruction from any Tape Lecture or Book I would be very gratefull.
Just two steps the first and the second of a Feather Step. We drive on the RF. and lift the hip to the left on the second step high on the toes. The left hip is higher than the right Try that with the weight in front of the foot. What about a Progressive Chasse in the Quickstep. Is it possible to imagine what it would look like on step one with the weight in front which will be over the back Then on the side together side to get the body ahead of the feet.
Who doesn't beleive that the body is carried by the feet. How long does it take a baby to learn that the foot travels faster than the body. A couple of days or is it hours.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  3:15:00 PM
"There is an old saying. The proof is in the pudding. I can see weight arriving over the foot. I can see the weight being behind the foot. but I have never seen a spirit level where the top is in front of the base and is still verticle."

That's because, unlike your body, a spirit level doesn't have any KNEES.

The body - actually everything from the knees up is vertically aligned (so there is no "leaning"), and all of it will at times be found well in front of both feet.

Later in the step, you will get a similar situation where everything from the waist up is vertically aligned (again, no "leaning") and located well in front of the standing foot - which would still be the only foot providing any support.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Quickstep
4/11/2007  4:05:00 PM
That is because the spirit level doesn' t have knees.
Did I understand this correctly. Are you now saying the knees are in front. How long is it since your knees were not part of your body, or your feet. If your knees or even your toe is to the front then the body weight is not in front of your feet or your knees.
In the beginning I wrote it is dangerous to tell a beginner to push the body ahead of the feet. I have nor read anything since to make me change my mind.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  4:16:00 PM
"That is because the spirit level doesn' t have knees.
Did I understand this correctly. Are you now saying the knees are in front."

That is what I have been saying to you OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN for about a year now!

"How long is it since your knees were not part of your body, or your feet."

They are not generally considered part of the body when we speak of vertical alignment of the body. Perhaps you'd be happier if we said vertical alignment of the TORSO then. I've probably said it that way numerous times over the past year, too.

"If your knees or even your toe is to the front then the body weight is not in front of your feet or your knees."

The body weight is vertically aligned directly over the knees, which are in front of the toes!

Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Quickstep
4/11/2007  6:28:00 PM
Your torso is not directly alignment over your knees if your knees are ahead of your body. The weight of the body is over the balls of the feet.
You are saying the torso is in front of the feet.When teaching we must be precise otherwise it could become a joke.
Isn' t that right.

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