Re: I think you're completely wrong. Posted by anymouse 11/3/2008 3:57:00 PM
"The energy for steps 2 and 3 of the feather comes from the power generated during the first step."
Only if you dance in the "wasteful" way using muscles to do everything rather than letting it come from your downswings. Some people do that because they feel it makes it easier, but it makes the dance look heavy rather than effortless and floating. And it doesn't change the challenge of projecting in the risen outside partner position.
"Also, this "projection of the body" that you describe as part of this difficult movement is really no big deal."
If it was no big deal, then people would get it right. They don't - in large part because they lack the foot strength to do it. You can see the same lack of strength in the temptation to depart step one of the waltz natural sideways from the ball of foot, rather than continuing forwards over the toe, though it's not as drastically detrimental to the flow of the dance there as failing to project forwards from step two of the feather is.
"The man simply comes out of the first step with a left-shoulder lead. Doing so from a toe (shorthand for "risen foot") is just as easy as doing so from a heel."
Doing it from a toe requires that he support the entire weight of his body not just from the ball of his left foot, but ultimately from the toe of it - not because he is going up, but because he is projecting his body beyond the standing foot. In waltz or quickstep he could project from a supporting foot that is flat on the floor rather than risen.
Most newer dancers, males especially, cannot stand on one foot with the ball of the foot slightly off the ground and the toes taking the weight, which is an equivalent challenge even though the application in foxtrot is forward projection rather than vertical rise. But dancing a lot of waltz and quickstep can develop the foot and start to build that capability.
Lighter females, especially those with some childhood ballet background may be able to do it, but unfortunately in the feather they are not asked to project from a risen standing foot, instead they are asked to send their body weight backwards to and ultimately through the standing heel, something that those with either a ballet background or simply reflexes for self-preservation when wearing ordinary high heels tend to be very hesitant to do.
It occurs to me that bronze foxtrot might work better if we had the ladies do the forward outside partner action projected from a risen toe, and the men roll through their standing heel!