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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.

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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.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  7:23:00 PM
"Your torso is not directly alignment over your knees if your knees are ahead of your body."

I didn't say the knees were ahead of the body! I said the body was vertically aligned over the knees.

"The weight of the body is over the balls of the feet."

At one point. And soon therafter it is located BEYOND the feet, because the movement of the body weight is CONTINOUS WITHOUT PAUSE.

"You are saying the torso is in front of the feet."

Yes - the bulk of the body, or the torso if your prefer, is over the feet, then it is in front of both feet, then in front of the standing foot... because it keeps moving!
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Quickstep
4/11/2007  8:30:00 PM
But doesn` t the foot also keep moving. And moving faster than the body. Wouldn`t it be easier to say drive your centre forward keep verticl and let the rest look after itself.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/11/2007  9:33:00 PM
"But doesn` t the foot also keep moving. And moving faster than the body."

Yes, but it starts later. So there's a period when the body is over the feet, then a period when it is ahead of both feet, then a period when it is ahead of only the standing foot.

"Wouldn`t it be easier to say drive your centre forward keep verticl and let the rest look after itself."

Simplification is great when it works. But a simplified theory can't be used in an argument over details, when the opposition is using a more detialed and accurate model. Go ahead and use the simple model to guide your practice if you want, but don't seek your argument ammuntion from it!
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by phil.samways
4/12/2007  2:08:00 AM
My point about "weight" and "your weight" is simply that, when discussing weight transfer and the like, it's important not to use "your weight" when you just mean "weight"
"your weight is over your foot" means your centre of mass is over the foot. If you say "weight is on your foot", it says nothing about where the centre of mass is. Simnply that there is a force between the foot and the floor.
A lot of arguments are caused by this simple confusion.
And yes, i agree, dancing isn't just the laws of physics. The laws of physics are beautiful in themselves, but they're not dancing.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/12/2007  6:41:00 AM
"My point about "weight" and "your weight" is simply that, when discussing weight transfer and the like, it's important not to use "your weight" when you just mean "weight""

Since the weight is almost always on only one foot at a time, there's really no difference between "your weight" "the weight" and "weight".

Some will argue for split weight at mid stride - I argue very strongly against it, but that' really doesn't matter since we haven't been talking about that part of the action lately. Instead, we've been discussing the first half or so of each step.

"your weight is over your foot" means your centre of mass is over the foot. If you say "weight is on your foot", it says nothing about where the centre of mass is. Simnply that there is a force between the foot and the floor.
A lot of arguments are caused by this simple confusion."

Yes, one must realize that the DURING MOVEMENT the body weight will often not be located over the only foot that is supporting it.

"And yes, i agree, dancing isn't just the laws of physics. The laws of physics are beautiful in themselves, but they're not dancing."

True, but any theory of dancing which obviously violates the laws of physics is obviously in error. That doesn't mean that physically impossible ideas may not sometimes provide useful inspiriation - dancing like anything else is substantially a head game - but one shouldn't go around trumpeting them as revealed truth, when they are in fact false.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by phil.samways
4/12/2007  8:55:00 AM
Anonymous
Most of what you're saying is technically correct, but i think you've not grasped the point i'm making, which is about the use of English, not the laws of physics. I'll make the point again. When you say "the weight is over your foot" Or "your weight is over your foot" it is usually understood to mean that the body's centre of mass is over the foot. That's the main point i'm making
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by phil.samways
4/12/2007  9:02:00 AM
I meant to add another technical point, since we're talking physics of dancing.
If i lower at the end of '3' in a waltz, the lowering would be about 6 inches (at least) and would occupy about half a beat, i.e. 1/3 seconds. If you do the sums on the average acceleration of such a movement, it works out to be 9ft/sec/sec. i.e. more than 1/4 the acceleration due to gravity. So, in such a movement, the 'weight' on the standing leg would be reduced to less than 75% of your body weight.
It will only be the same as the body's normal weight if there is no vertical movement
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/12/2007  10:05:00 AM
"Most of what you're saying is technically correct, but i think you've not grasped the point i'm making, which is about the use of English, not the laws of physics. I'll make the point again. When you say "the weight is over your foot" Or "your weight is over your foot" it is usually understood to mean that the body's centre of mass is over the foot. That's the main point i'm making"

And the point of this thread was to point out that this is exactly what I mean by using the word "over"

In contrast, when I use the word "on" or "in", I mean that the weight, which is really to say the force due to gravity and acceleartion acting on the center of mass, is producing a pressure in the foot. The difference is that this does not necessarily mean that the center of mass is over the foot - in most cases where there is acceleration, in fact most of the time it will mean that the center of mass is NOT over the supporting foot.

In terms of the vertical acceleration of fall lessing your apparent weight, I agree, but would take it further. Championship dancers will fall much more than 6 inches, and so will "weigh" substantially less as they are accelerating downwards to cover this greater distance.

But the flip side of that is that while you weigh less while your downwards speed is increasing, you will weight MORE while your downwards speed is decreasing, which is to say when you start transitioning your movement from vertical to horizontal. At the bottom of the curve, your weight will be substantially more than your static body weight - and again, by a greater factor for championship lowering than it would be for relaxed social movement.

(A championship dancer probably would have a more gradual transition from vertical to horizontal movement though - they aren't going to drop in place and only then move, they will start moving even as they drop)
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Anonymous
4/12/2007  10:20:00 PM
A Championship dancer would most likely say. i have not a clue what you are on about. Lets dance.
Re: Weight ON/IN the foot vs. OVER the foot
Posted by Quickstep.
4/27/2007  5:24:00 PM
Put it this way. In a Rumba there is a point where the body is deliberately and physicaly placed ahead of the foot. In Modern there is not.The movement of the body is from the heel to the ball of the foot. This is spoken about from a standing position in the technique book page 10 . Once we are moving there is no need for any further instructions regarding this. It will take care of its self and depends on the person. If you are one who continuously tries to send your weight in front of your front foot and it is visibly so. Then the judges will not mark you. Unless you are doing the Rumba.
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