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Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by terence2
6/3/2013  3:48:00 AM
All good questions.. but, what you need isa teacher/coach who is able to breakdown the "path " of flight . It is complex, and to clearly understand all the principles involved, a physical demo.is really the only solution/answer, to your question .

( A former world Champ. dancer) was once asked " which part of the body do you move FIRST ?.. his reply " The Knee ".. heres another answer, from someone
of equal stature ,that says " The head ".
Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by Waltz123
6/3/2013  7:48:00 PM
On the first step of a Waltz or Foxtrot to use the word Swing is wrong. If we were to Swing that step we woukd need a [sic] trench dug into the floor to be able to Swing the leg.

The error in this line of logic is one that I mentioned in my first post: Either (1) thinking of the swing as occurring from the knee joint rather than the hip joint, or (2) not accounting for the ability of the knee joint to adjust the shape of the entire leg independently of the swinging thigh.

If your supporting leg is straight, then as the moving leg swings at the hip joint, even if the knee were kept perfectly straight throughout, your moving foot would arrive at the same level when passing the supporting foot. In other words, it would be at the same level as the supporting foot, not below as though to "dig a trench". (I'm purposely not factoring in the shape of the foot from the ankle and toe joints to keep things simple).

When the supporting leg is bent, as would be the case at the bottom of a swinging figure, you would most certainly have to dig a trench if you wanted to keep the moving leg straight. However, at the moment the free foot passes the moving foot, the knee joint of the moving leg will be at least equally as bent as the supporting knee, meaning that there, too, the foot would be at the same level.

As for floor pressure from the moving foot, there are various schools of thought with respect to this topic -- some teachers believe in more, some less. I've already given my own opinion on the matter. But here's something to put in your pipe and smoke: If your goal is to maximize leg swing, floor pressure stands in the way of it... at least in the way I've defined swing. Criterion #4 states that it must move freely, not wholly controlled, in order to give the impression of swinging. The more resistance it faces, the more it will become bound and controlled by muscular force. So if you think about it, in order to reduce floor pressure, the knee joint of the moving leg should be ever-so-slightly more bent than that of the supporting leg during the moment of passing. However, this difference will probably not even be enough to be perceptible.

After all those years you would have thought that tha description of a Forward Walk would have been altered. It is in the Alex Moores Technique book Quote. Swing the leg forward from the hips. End of Quote.

You're assuming they're talking specifically about the narrow scope of a walk commenced from a static position. I realize they do begin by describing a starting position, however, I suspect the totality of their description is meant to encompass the action of walking in general. In all but the very rare walk from a stopped position, the legs are meant to swing on some level.

I do agree that starting a swinging action from the center position is not much of a swing at all -- like setting my son on a swing and pushing him from the bottom rather than pulling him to the top and releasing him. That first push is not much of a swing as I previously defined it. But likely they're thinking in more general terms. On most walks, especially those that continue one after the other, the legs do swing, and it's a good description of the free/unbound type of action you want from your leg, even when starting from zero (even if it doesn't exactly fit the pure definition).

Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by O.Z.
6/6/2013  7:14:00 PM
We have been refering to a Forward Walk. But the same mistake is printed for a Backward Walk. The book says . Take the weight on the Right Foot and Swing the left foot back from the hip. There is no mention that the right knee will bend towards the front as the left leg is extended to the rear. Swuing from the hip. I dont think it is physically possible
Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by Waltz123
6/7/2013  12:37:00 AM
Actually, where the free leg is concerned, the situation is almost exactly the same for a backward walk, just in reverse. Same curved path, same fulcrum (the hip), same effort (the knee, not the foot). The only real difference is that it's swinging in the opposite direction. But it's still swinging.

On the forward walk as well as the back, the supporting leg causes the body to move through space. When the fulcrum itself moves through space in the same direction as that of the swing, it tends to increase the impression to the observer that the object is swinging. This could explain why people describe even fairly bound leg actions as a swing, when you consider that the legs are usually attached to a body that itself is moving through space.

Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by terence2
6/7/2013  5:47:00 AM

I believe its only fair to point out, that, ALL techn. books are only " guides ".
Originally designed for teachers doing prof. exams .

As to The " wordy " explanations given here,which are fine,but if ALL steps,actions, were described in this manner, it would take volumes !!.

Ya cant learn to dance from a book !!
Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by O.z.
6/14/2013  10:11:00 PM
I have yet to see a competent lady dancer on a Backward Walk swing any part of the movement. What I do see is a bending of the knee of the standing foot to the front, with the body weight over that standing foo,t as the moving foot is sent to the rear on the toe Which does not lower untill the now moving foot passes.
Re: What it means to swing your leg?
Posted by anymouse
6/16/2013  6:19:00 AM
If you want to disqualify anything without a fixed radius from deserving the label "swing" then it might be reasonable to say that the foot does not swing in a movement where the knee articulates to shorten and lengthen the leg.

But the upper leg (femur) would still swing.
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