IFa beginner was to follow the texbook he would assume that you would use the same amount of energy from each foot to dance the rise in a NT,but we know that good dancers use body swing to dance the rise and fall to the rhyme of the music so it is perhaps posable to swing up onto that left foot without using it for anything more than to change weight. As for timing we are told to dance a long beat two and Johnathen has said in the past that he takes longer than half a beat to change shape and lower, also it seems that many good dancers reach the top on beat two of the music?
cdroge. A good dancer will not reach their maximum height on two. Commence to rise at the end of one Continue to rise on two and three. Lower at the end of three. In the Foxtrot you will reach your maximum height on two.The third step is the same height as the second step. Rise at the end of one. Up on two and three. Lower at the end of three. Its as simple as that once you get the above firmly into you mind. For the lady who is stepping backwards Look in your technique book for NFR. ( No Foot Rise ) and learn how to apply it.
The difficulty is that the technique book defines a step as starting when the feet close, whereas the music (which the dancing is interpreting)is defined by its beats. Worse still, there is no specification of when a step starts relative to the musical beats. So saying "rise at end of 1" is open to lots of intereptation (which ultimately is a good thing, but not for those trying to improve). So, according to the text book, "start to rise end of 1" means starting as the left foot passes the right foot in the 1-2-3 natural turn. For most people, this time is on beat 1&.This is not the same as "end of beat 1" The real problems (for me anyway) are: When is "end of 3" in relation to the music? and The technique book talks about rising...continue to rise... lower. So for how long am i actually "UP". Is it zero time? Watching Sinkinson, Hilton and Gozzoli, they have important differences in the way they interpret all this. On a related issue, what would you say to an aspiring improver to help them improve their interpretation of the character of the slow waltz? - to get the 'lilt' of a previous thread
However, I would agree that the rise occurring during the later part of step two and the earlier part of step three feels more like you are "floating up" from the swing than that you are lifting yourself by intentionally pushing with your muscles. This reply by Anymouse may help with the lilt. We swing up strongly at the beginning of the bar of music and then cruise towards the end of the bar letting gravity slow us down and change our direction, as we descend we gather speed. So simple yet so hard to do with style.
phil.samways, your last question strikes at the heart of many new dancers' frustration.
My first recommendation would be to listen to different pieces of music and select those for which the rhythm is the easiest to discern. We often speak of "bronze" waltzes or cha-chas, meaning selections with easily recognizable beats.
The second recommendation is obvious: practice, practice, and practice. Preferably, one should practice with a more experienced dancer when possible but the important thing is to spend time on the floor.
Phil Samway. Forget about the beats. The instructions are commence to rise at the end of Step One. Not beat one. Now we do go to beats. We are at our highest and our lowest on beat three with a count of 3 ( and ). Three we are up, on ( and ) we are down.
Poished: We are at our highest and our lowest on beat three with a count of 3 ( and ). Three we are up, on ( and ) we are down. That's if you wish to dance to the beats. I prefer to dance to the Rhyme,melody or harmony of the band,singer or instrument"sax,etc" . Sometimes you have to choose between the vocalist or the beat . Only beginners dance strictly to the beat.
Maybe when i called myself an aspiring improver, i mis-lead people to think i'm a novice dancer. jj, i have no problem with music. I can pick the rhythm in anything. I play music. Polished: i'm confused, you ask me to forget beats, then you go back to them. My point was that the book indeed talks about steps, doesn't give the relationship between steps and beats, and yet we're interpreting music which is tied to beats (the fundamental time signature is in terms of beats)even though of course, as cdroge says, we don't always dance strictly on the beat. So when you start to rise, or lower, relative to the music, isn't specified. Actually, i wish i'd never started!! (this thread, not dancing)
Phil, when dancing to the music I feel I am dancing to the bars rather than beats. I always have trouble dancing the international foxtrot to the beat but dancing it to the bars of music is a breeze. Like you I am not a beginner and have been dancing for 35yrs and have had lessons in the past with some of the best but, I am still improving thanks to this wonderful website and the kind people who take the time to respond to my questions.
I suspect that the word 'fall' is not liked because it implies no control (as in falling off a cliff). Lowering suggests control. Which is the best way to describe it in dancing. But i agree, the english language is full of strange things (and i'm english!).
"Does anybodyn else believe that the ISTD made a mistake when they allowed the word fall to be used. Should it have been rise and lower.What we most certainly don`t do is fall. We lower dont we."
Ultimately, it is like this:
When you practice, you "lower".
When you dance, you "fall".
To fully dance, you must make use of the full energy of gravity pulling you towards the floor, and do so with abandon, without holding back.
But to do that safely and not bombastically, you must spend a lot of time practicing careful movements to build control, both as a skill and as a physical strength in your muscles.
Therefore - practice "lowering" but when it comes time to fully dance, let yourself "fall" and trust in your practice-earned ability to use that energy.
It's like that "life lived in fear is a life half lived" quote from the movie. You can't go around being irresponsible all of the time. But you also can't fully live without occasionally taking a risk.
cdroge. Practice for Foxtrot. On your own to music. Dance down the floor all slows and with every step a heel.Only allow the moving foot to arrive under the body on the second beat and on the next step on the fourth beat. Obey the golden rule spoken about by John wood on his tape.. Stand on the supporting foot as long as possible. This may feel like a momentary pause, but it isn`t because you are now flexing the knee which at the extent of the stride was straight. You must count either 1 2 3 4, or slow (and) slow (and). (and) being beat two and four. If you had been made to do this type of practise 35 years ago you wouldn`t have needed to read the above. I`ve gone into a bit of detail here because reading this there might be some less informed. Any of you who are into the Rumba would be well advised to do the same up and down the floor to music but stepping ball flat and not heel leads of course.
Lets get back to the raising and lowering in the Swing Dances. The person who has written and believes that the third step is down on a Feather Step and not maintained as the technique book says. How would you do an Open Telemark third step. Are you up and then lower. How about in the same step in the Waltz. What of the last step of a Progressive Chasse. Don`t tell me that isn`t at its highest point after step three onto step four. How about the last step of a Lockstep in the Quickstep. Don`t tell me that that isn`t with height maintained then lower. How about step four on your Quarter Turn in the Quickstep. What does the book say. Page 44. Alex Moore.