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How it has changed
Posted by Mad Russian
3/23/2007  7:54:00 PM
In Alex Moore`s technique book. The very first chart in the Waltz section hasn`t been performed that way for many years. The Closed Change, either backward or forward you will see that once step one is in place, step two goes straight out to the side and then the closing of the feet takes place. The way it is done today after step one is in place the now moving foot comes under the body before going to the side. If anyone is being taught or allowed to do different I would suggest they try for themselves and see which is the better and do the same on any simular steps. This now gives us one type of stepping back or forward in any of the Swing Dances. If you put a little pressure when going backwards on the heel of the moving foot you will find it adds to your ability to balance. If we now go to the next page which is a Natural Turn the moving foot passes under the body at the time the turn takes place. I seem to remember some discusion a while back about being able to lift the moving foot off the floor after it is is in place under the body in practise which proves i believe that a person is perfectly balanced. Correct me if I am wrong but it came from a lecture by Andrew Sinkinson. My apologies to Alex, but he did have to write as it was being done in those days. His hands were tied.
When doing a Backward Lock in the Quickstep as you draw the left foot to Lock a little bit of pressure on the heel will not go astray. From there you can find other places where this technique can be applied. IIoka
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/23/2007  9:11:00 PM
Pressure on the moving foot might help control a beginner's poorly aimed movement, but with good aim it is wholly unecessary.

As for being able to lift the moving foot off the floor to prove balance. Well, first it doesn't prove balance unless you can stay in that position. Certainly there is a point in each step where (if you were not already moving) you could hold the position indefinitely - you are balanced. But during most of the duration of the step, you are not balanced, for the simple reason that your body weight is not over your only standing foot. It doesn't matter if you lift the moving foot or keep it on the floor - as long as it is not supporting your body weight, it cannot contribute to the physics of your balance.

What a little moving foot pressure could do though is contribute to your SENSE of balance - it uses one of your five senses (touch) to give you feedback to improve your aim, but it does not actually contribute to supporting your body. Again, beginners need that, experienced and well practiced dancers usually aim well enough that they don't need these after the fact corrections unless something unexpected happens.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/23/2007  9:20:00 PM
"In Alex Moore`s technique book. The very first chart in the Waltz section hasn`t been performed that way for many years. The Closed Change, either backward or forward you will see that once step one is in place, step two goes straight out to the side and then the closing of the feet takes place."

The line drawn for the path of the 2nd step is most certainly NOT STRAIGHT TO THE SIDE!!! There is mot definetly a change of direction part way through the movement, from forward/back to sideways - drawn more clearly on the lady's chart than the man's unfortunately.

It seems to me that what is likely happening is that the 2nd step swing forwards as the standing heel rises and the moving KNEE arives under the body. From there - before the man's moving foot can close - the body pushes sideways out of the inside edge of the standing toe and over into the position of step two.

So there is most definitely a close towards before the sideways movement; the only question is how complete that is - apparently more complete for the backwards action than for the forwards one.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Quickstep
3/23/2007  10:43:00 PM
There must be some pressure on the moving foot other wise it is in flight and out of any control untill it lands once again on the floor. The idea of lifting the foot from the floor and putting it down again in practise magnifies the need to dance all the body weight from foot to foot. Many people are none committal especially in the Foxtrot. They never fully go onto the foot carrying the weight. The war cry here is stay on the supporting leg longer and dance from foot to foot. Or balanced to balance. Do that and we are part way there. There being a better dancer.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/24/2007  10:47:00 AM
"There must be some pressure on the moving foot other wise it is in flight and out of any control untill it lands once again on the floor."

It is perfectly in control without ANY MOVING FOOT PRESSURE provided that:

1) you aim it properly

and

2) your moving foot is strong enough to carry your entire body weight on the pads of its toes (not the ball of the foot - ultimately you will have to go to the pads of the toes of one foot, not due to extereme rise, but to extreme forward position of the weight before you leave the foot)

If you can't do these things, you probably want to make your movements smaller.

Moving foot pressure can have some role in letting you feel where you are... but if IT MUST NOT PLAY ANY ROLE IN SUPPORTING THE BODY.

"The idea of lifting the foot from the floor and putting it down again in practise magnifies the need to dance all the body weight from foot to foot. Many people are none committal especially in the Foxtrot. They never fully go onto the foot carrying the weight."

If they keep some body weight in the moving foot as you appear to advocate, obviously they won't go fully onto the other foot. If they use only the standing foot as I advocate, then obvioulsy they will.

"The war cry here is stay on the supporting leg longer and dance from foot to foot. Or balanced to balance. Do that and we are part way there. There being a better dancer."

You should keep all weight off the moving leg, and in that sense you do stay "on" the supporting leg.

But you must not make the FATAL MISTAKE OF TRYING TO STAY "OVER" THE SUPPORTING FOOT. If you do that, you movement will be halting an choppy.

You must develop a williness to PROJECT YOUR BODY BEYOND THE STANDING FOOT, INTO IMBALANCE. Wihtout this you will never develop smooth and gracefull movement.

And it really should not be an intellecutal stretch, given that you've been doing the same thing in walking every day of your life since age 2!!!
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Quickstep.
3/24/2007  6:08:00 PM
These few words answer all the questions. We do not dance as we walk. Or if you like walking is nothing like dancing. When we walk we all lift our foot from the floor. When we dance our feet skim the floor. Striding is not dancing. Keeping the weight on the supporting foot longer will allow us to go to the full extent of our drive and is the only way you will be able to have two straight legs with the weight suspended between the heel of the front foot and the toe of the back foot. Exactly as it is written in the technique books and demonstrated on DVD` s . If I dance as I walk I will be continuously standing on one leg with a partner also continuously standing on one leg and I will literally fall onto my forward step from the push off the standing foot. Anyway there is no argument here. In the technique books a Forward or Backward Walk is explained in detail Pages 9. 10. 12 . page 11 is a picture.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/24/2007  8:06:00 PM
"These few words answer all the questions. We do not dance as we walk. Or if you like walking is nothing like dancing. When we walk we all lift our
foot from the floor."

Not necessairly. It really doesn't matter if you do or don't - the smooth action of the body across and beyond the standing foot into imbalance is the exact same either way.

Too bad that you still can't understand something so obvious about something that you have been DOING ALL YOUR LIFE.

You just plain can't see beyond the nearly irrelevant distraction of how the the moving foot is or isn't off the floor.

"Keeping the weight on the supporting foot longer will allow us to go to the full extent of our drive"

On, BUT NOT OVER. If you are not willing to send your body BEYOND YOUR STANDING FOOT, PROJECT INTO IMBALANCE you will really have a really weak, sorry action with no drive at all.

"and is the only way you will be able to have two straight legs with the weight suspended between the heel of the front foot and the toe of the back foot."

Using championship lowering, it is nearly impossible to get two straight legs - you just can't move yourself far enough to create the hypoteneuse of that triangle. But at wimpy social dance height, it's a picnic to get two straight legs.

"Exactly as it is written in the technique books"

Gross ignorance - you will not find any mandate for straight legs. And your description of the footwork is of a WALKING EXERCISE, NOT ANY ACTUAL DANCE STEP.

Another day, another helping of GROSS IGNORANCE from quickstep...
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Quickstep
3/25/2007  8:47:00 PM
Anonymous. Just for your benifit once again. But instead this time tell us exactly how you interpret this. Page 10
In the actual Walk the weight is first on the stationary foot At the full extent of the stride it is divided for a moment in between the heel of the front foot and the ball of the back foot.
You said Paragraph eight. It is nearly impossible to get two straight legs.( straight doesn` t mean rigid )
What exactly do you do. Is your knee bent at the extent of the stride. Is that what you are being taught. Is your front foot flat on the floor. Is that how you are being taught.
Are you a lazy social dancer who has never passed a medal and believe their messy way is the right way. Please look at the demonstrations on this site as well as the picture print if you wish to become more informed
As we are aware the ball of the moving foot from a closed position skims the floor. Then it becomes a heel skimmimg the floor with the toe slightly raised.
Then at the extent of the stride the weight is divided for a moment in between the heel of the front foot and the ball of the back foot. Try that with a bent knee. I put that bit in twice because you are incapable of understanding.
You` ve been watching to many Groucho Marx movies. Has that also gone over your head. If you want to see how you must be moving get a video out of the Marx Brothers.
I am still interested on your interpretation of at the full extent of the stride the weight is divided between the heel of the front foot and the ball of the back foot.
For those who wish to see for themselves go to The Learning Centre and click on a Forward or Backward Walk get your own picture printed on how it should be done.
In your reply I would expect you to say that at the extent of the stride the front foot is flat on the floor and the knee is bent.
For those of us who are competing in Latin we know the importance of keeping in contact with the floor. But to even suggest that a persons feet can leave the floor in Standard is too stupid for words. That is how we walk not how we dance. Again look at the picture.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/25/2007  9:00:00 PM
"Anonymous. Just for your benifit once again. But instead this time tell us exactly how you interpret this. Page 10
In the actual Walk the weight is first on the stationary foot At the full extent of the stride it is divided for a moment in between the heel of the front foot and the ball of the back foot."

Two comments:

1) This is an EXERCISE not a dance figure - you will not find that exact action occuring anywhere in any dance, though you will find many things related to it.

2) It doesn't say anything about straight legs.

"You said Paragraph eight. It is nearly impossible to get two straight legs.( straight doesn` t mean rigid )
What exactly do you do. Is your knee bent at the extent of the stride. Is that what you are being taught."

Stop chopping things out of context!!
I said that with CHAMPIONSHIP LOWERING it is nearly impossible to get two straight legs. This is because when you construct a triagle with that kind of angle at the top of it, your feet would have to be IMPRACTICALLY FAR APART. This is simply geometry. As a result, in championship dancing it is quite rare to be able to get both legs fully straight. On the other hand, IF YOU DON'T LOWER VERY MUCH, THEN IT IS EASY TO GET STRAIGHT LEGS.

"As we are aware the ball of the moving foot from a closed position skims the floor. Then it becomes a heel skimmimg the floor with the toe slightly raised."

Yes, that's usually what happens.

"Then at the extent of the stride the weight is divided for a moment in between the heel of the front foot and the ball of the back foot."

No, that almost never actually happens in well coordinated dancing. In good dancing, your weight would depart the old foot before it arrives on the new - momentarily, you are not being supported. Only if you keep things short and choppy are you likely to be able to achieve a dual-support phase.

"In your reply I would expect you to say that at the extent of the stride the front foot is flat on the floor and the knee is bent."

Of course not - that would be really unwise!

"But to even suggest that a persons feet can leave the floor in Standard is too stupid for words. That is how we walk not how we dance. Again look at the picture."

Nobody suggested that the feet should leave the floor. But what you are missing is that 99% of the issue is what the body and the standing leg do. And that is THE SAME FOR WALKING AND DANCE-WALKING. The 1% difference of how high the moving foot is off the floor is FUNCTIONALLY IRREVELEVANT if the movement itself is well aimed. Only if you aim poorly, or fling the weight of a raised moving foot around, would the fact that it has lost contact with the floor actually change anything.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Puzzled
3/25/2007  11:31:00 PM
Anon the "",
I always read what you write, but I do not understand how the weight is not centralized at the extent of the walk. What about the side step? How much weight is carried into these steps? On any walk does the foot arrive into its position with the body weight over the foot? If so, does this mean the body stops moving until the other foot closes under the body?
Re: How it has changed
Posted by phil.samways
3/26/2007  4:55:00 AM
In response to "mad russian". I agree with your comments. Alex Moore's book, good as it is, is a little bit dated. Very good dancers don't dance as it is written in the book. If you really struggle, you can make the book's text and diagrams nearly fit in some cases. But these attempts in this only underline the point that dancing has moved on a little. The diagram for the closed change doesn't show the way it is done. I followed this for a long time while i was a beginner, and had to learn the correct technique later. I'm sure i'm not the only one, and that's not the only example
I am a traditionalist at heart, but my top priority is good dancing
Re: How it has changed
Posted by phil.samways
3/26/2007  4:57:00 AM
Anonymous and quickstep - will you two guys please stop arguing about this weight change thing. nobody is learning anything from it
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/26/2007  5:33:00 AM
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Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/26/2007  5:33:00 AM
what bicth
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/26/2007  6:32:00 AM
"do not understand how the weight is not centralized at the extent of the walk. What about the side step? How much weight is carried into these steps? On any walk does the foot arrive into its position with the body weight over the foot?"

Generally, yes, - by the time the foot is placed, the body weight will already be ready to get on it.

"If so, does this mean the body stops moving until the other foot closes under the body?"

No, the body keeps moving - usually it projects beyond the standing foot a bit before the moving foot has closed.

Obviously the action in tango is rather different.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Quickstep.
3/26/2007  3:54:00 PM
Puzzled. It is interesting about the side step. This is what we are taught. When you step to the side you will be on both toes passing the weight from one foot to the other. At some point for a moment your wight will be split. One place in particular where it is often done wrong is between the first and second step of a Reverse Turn in the Foxtrot. Also between four and five on the Reverse Turn. The mistake is being lazy, (or having never been told ), and coming off a flat foot. It is also taught that on the step to the side think of the leg as being a rod. On a Backward Walk I think all of us will agree with the technique book that the feet stay in contact with the floor man or lady.
So all we have under the microscope is one step forward. With the moving leg under the body say the right foot, The ball of the foot touches the floor untill it becomes a heel. The push is from the standing leg. The heel skims the floor and at the extent of the stride we will be on the front heel and on the ball of the rear foot. The heel of the left foot having left the floor. If anybody follows that they will not be wrong. None of this will happen if the weight of the body is allowed to go in front of the moving leg. Where this idea ever came from goodness knows. I would not want anybody to believe me on this last bit concerning the body weight. Go and look for yourself. There is enough right here on this site to look at and to prove.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/27/2007  7:22:00 PM
"None of this will happen if the weight of the body is allowed to go in front of the moving leg. Where this idea ever came from goodness knows."

It is a PLAIN AND OBVIOUS FACT that in ordinary walking, as in the action of the swing dances, EACH STEP BEGINS WITH THE BODY GOING AHEAD OF THE LEGS. Then the moving leg starts moving under the advancing body. Eventually it may overtake the body by some amount.

BUT THE BODY GOES FIRST.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/28/2007  5:16:00 PM
In the Technique book it very clearly says in three places in as many pages that from a stationary position the weight must be brought forward over the balls of the feet. Absolutely nothing is mentioned about getting the body ahead of the feet. Once we start walking thats it. The foot, it is calculated travels twice the speed of the body. As s soon as from a stationary position the weight moves over the ball of the foot the foot is off travelling twice the speed of the body. If you walk the way you discribe down the aisle in your local super market you would soon be followed by the Security.
Close your eyes, or anybody close your eyes. Imagine walking with your body going ahead of your feet.
If you are doing a Rumba Walk very definitely the foot freezes on beat two which is step one and the body continues to go to the point of imbalance and then is caught by the next step, by a foot that is travelling twice the speed of the body. If it didn`t we would finish flat on our face.
But we are not doing Latin here. This is Standard.
When you say. EVENTUALLY the foot MAY overtake the body by some amount. That is to stupid for words.
Who flogged this information to you. It must have been a Dr.Good and his Travelling Medicine Show. Who then ran off laughing all the way to the bank.
When comencing a walk from a closed position the weight must always be brought forward over the Balls of the feet. That`s right, we do it every day. But where did you get the idea that this happens at the end of the step onto the next step and from there on. Give me a discription from any technique book or DVD. Excluding DR. Good`s. Also keep those feet in contact with the floor.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/28/2007  5:29:00 PM
"In the Technique book it very clearly says in three places in as many pages that from a stationary position the weight must be brought forward over the balls of the feet. Absolutely nothing is mentioned about getting the body ahead of the feet."

Nothing is mentioned about not doing it either. Yet if you analyze how humans walk it is OBVIOUS THAT IT HAPPENS.

But before we get too distracted, the important thing is that the body weight project beyond the standing foot, INTO IMBALANCE. Usually the moving foot would take a while before it got ahead of the body, but as it's not supporting the body anyway, its position is less critical (unless of course it collides with the partner, as it rather easily can).

"If you walk the way you discribe down the aisle in your local super market you would soon be followed by the Security."

Who would be walking EXACTLY THE SAME WAY THEMSELVES. That is just the way HUMANS MOVE.

You really are going to have to read some of the literature on the subject of human locomotion... or continue in your idiotic denial.
Re: How it has changed
Posted by Anonymous
3/28/2007  5:45:00 PM
To everyone who still believes we are balanced when we walk:

Look up the concept of the "zero moment point" or ZMP.

The constraint for walking is usually that the ZMP is within the footprint of the standing foot. It is NOT that the CENTER OF MASS is within the standing foortprint - in fact, it usually isn't.

We are not balanced when we walk, however, the net forces and desired accelerations do balance out - if they didn't we would move in an undesired direction, which of course is something neither healthy adults walking, nor skilled dancers dancing would tolerate. But both are OFF BALANCe more of the time than theya re on balance.
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