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Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/21/2012  10:33:00 AM
Hello everybody!

I would greatly appreciate any help with understanding the Foot Positions given in Laird's book (2003 6th edition).

Page 40 describes the lady's Step No. 2 of The Fan in Rumba as a "Fwd Walk Turning" with a Body Turn of "1/8 to L" which is supposed to result in a Foot Position described as "RF back and slightly to side".

This is confusing, since in the man's Step No. 6 of The Close Hip Twist (p. 49) is also given as a "Fwd Walk Turning" with "1/8 to L", but it results in "RF to side and slightly fwd".

Since both steps come from a forward motion on the previous step, where does the difference in Foot Postition come from? While I can follow the description given for the Hip Twist, I cannot find a way to reproduce the Foot Position given for the lady in step 2 of The Fan.

Can anybody help me with this?
Thanks in advance!

Simon


Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by O.Z.
10/21/2012  4:45:00 PM
BioSimon. I have Laird`s book edition 1988. I think the page numbers have been altered.Maybe this will help. Going to the Fan Position after the Swivel on 4 1 Step forward on 2 .Step on 3 turning at the end of 3. Then one Backward Walk on 4 1. You are now in the Fan Position. Remember that the step on 4 1 is not a side step. It is one Backward Walk. In the Fan Postion if you drew an imaginary line straight forward from your RF it would pass 15 cms in front of the mans body
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/21/2012  9:13:00 PM
Thanks O. Z. for your swift reply! :)

Regardless of the actual page number, I suppose that any recent edition of Laird's Technique will contain a decription of the figure named Fan in Rumba.

Unfortunately, my above question still remains unanswered: how can a Fwd Walk Turning of only "1/8 to L" result in "RF back and slightly to side" (Step No. 2)?

If I try to dance it, I end up "RF to side and slightly fwd".. Any ideas?

Thanks a lot!
Simon
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by Guest
10/23/2012  11:57:00 PM
FWT is used in two basic situations:
1. Make a turn while moving fwd, and continue to move fwd
2. Change direction from moving fwd to moving bwd

The lady's step in the Fan is the later one.

From Laird's, Under "First Principles", Section "Forward Walk Turning":

"When using a Forward Walk Turning to change direction from moving forward to moving backward...... The foot position at the end of this step is "Back and slightly to side". If the figure being danced requires more turn to be made this is achieved during the following backward step. An example of the use of the Forward walk Turning to change direction from moving forward to moving backward occurs in Rumba during the last two steps, for lady, in all figures that finish in Fan Position or Open Position".

(As opposed to *all* men's steps that finish in fan position, which are fwd-to-fwd)

Hope this helps
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/24/2012  3:15:00 PM
Thanks for the reply!

I did read that part very carefully, and it also says:

"The change in direction is achieved by dancing a NORMAL FORWARD WALK action but with a gradual turn in the required direction made throughout the step."

And:

"..to continue forward or backward on the FOLLOWING step".

According to this description, the lady's step No. 2 of the Fan has to be actually still taken NORMAL FORWARD. The FOLLOWING step No. 3 is a backward step.

How is step No. 2 a "normal Forward Walk", when it actually has to be taken to the side and then turned 1/8 to the L in order to achieve the required Foot Position? (Taking it forward and turning it only 1/8 would not result in "RF back and slightly to side".)

If eg. the lady comes from a Hip Twist, she turns 3/8 - so she really does take a Forward Walk and turns it to end up in a position to continue with a backward walk - that makes totally sense to me, I see the Forward Walk in this.

Not so much with the lady's step 2 of the Fan though.. I cannot detect the "normal Forward Walk" anywhere here.. "Side Walk Turning" would sound much more descriptive in this case, wouldn't it?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!
Simon
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/24/2012  7:57:00 PM
O. Z. The reason why you don't ever end up with your legs crossed is because Laird defines:

"When using a Forward Walk Turning to change direction from moving forward to moving backward the maximum turn that can be made during the Forward Walk Turning is 3/8. The Foot Position at the end of this step is 'Back and slightly to side'. If the figure being danced requires more turn to be made this is achieved during the following backward step".

That is why there is no indication in the book of walking across the body on this step. This also applies to the figure you have described, which sounds like an Open Hip Twist ending in Fan position. That is a different figure, however, and I don't have any problems with following Walter Laird's description of this one.

I appreciate your comments very much, yet my question was really a different one: what I am trying to find out is Walter Laird's logic when describing step No. 2 of The Fan as a FORWARD Walk Turning "1/8 to L" ending "RF back and slighly to side". Therefore, I cannot simply forget the 1/8 turn, as this is the actual point of interest of my discussion of this section of the book.

Greetings - Simon :)


Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by Telemark
10/25/2012  4:34:00 AM
Don't overlook that Laird's charts define turn in the body, not the feet.
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/25/2012  6:00:00 AM
@Telemark: yes, I have taken that into account, but, unfortunately, it still does not explain the Foot Position.


Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by Guest
10/25/2012  3:48:00 AM
I guess I've misunderstood your main point .I thought the you had a problem with the position of the foot (which is at the end of the step, indeed "backward and to the side". This gives the lady the opportunity to perform a bwd walk on the next move).
Now, if I understand you correctly, the term "Normal" FWT is the issue.
Well, I've got to admit that you've got a point there, although I failed to see the definition of "normal" (in terms of "distance" and "direction").
So, I guess that what you've pointed out make sense *only* if you treat "normal" FWT as taking a "full stride" directly fwd (which I'm not sure is the correct interpretation of the term).
I'll be more than happy of any further information on the subject.
Best regards,
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
10/25/2012  6:00:00 AM
@Guest: exactly - I would be inclined to call the action here a "Side Step Turning" instead... please correct me if I'm wrong
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by socialdancer
10/26/2012  7:12:00 AM
Is nobody prepared to consider the possibility of a mis-print? Substitute a B for the F and step 2 becomes a Bwd walk turning, which is effectively what the other technique books describe.

Remember we are discussing the basic Fan, not the hip twist which does use a fwd walk turning but with more turn so that the ending foot position becomes back and to the side.

The basic fan is so rarely danced nowadays except in the very early beginner stage that we tend to forget that it exists in its own right.
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by Guest
10/28/2012  3:42:00 AM
O.Z. wrote: "...Take one Checked Backward..."

SocialDancer wrote: "...Substitute a B for the F and step 2 becomes a Bwd walk turning..."

Never heard of these terms. Can someone please clarify what is a "checked backward walk" and what is "backward walk turning" ?

It seems that while BioSimon is trying to figure out the *logic* of using the term Normal FWT in regard to the lady's part of the Fan, others seems to be throwing misleading (or even non-existing) terms....
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by socialdancer
10/30/2012  3:43:00 AM
Guest, you will notice that O.Z. always tries to take a discussion away from the original question, complaining about the word basic (or plain, simple, standard, ordinary, unadulterated) and then confusing Fan with 'fan position' and going on about alemana, hockey stick etc, and referring to the lady's swivel on 4,1 of the previous bar which does not apply to a "basic" Fan. If you read through the forum you will note his distinctive style appears under several nom-de-plumes.

Re the Backward Walk Turning, please see man's step 3 (lady's step 6) of the basic movement.

Laird is AFAIK unique in the use of "action used" and although it can be useful IMHO it can also lead to confusion as in this case.

In my 1988 edition Laird starts the figure in close hold.
Step 1 has the lady LF fwd in (line with partner) so on step 2 the man's LF will obstruct any forward movement so she cannot take a FWT but must step to the side at least or, subject to body turn, step back as described in the ISTD book. On this site Jonathan says "Right foot back and slightly to side." which tallies with Laird's foot position.

But! Laird also allows for a precede of 'Fwd walks in Shadow Pos'. From this position the lady will use a FWT as well as making additional turn.
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by Guest
10/30/2012  10:22:00 PM
socialdancer:
"...Re the Backward Walk Turning, please see man's step 3 (lady's step 6) of the basic movement...."

I'm well aware of the action used during the basic movement. I was referring to BioSimon's original issue: the Fan.

In this context, following the lady's FWD walk, I fail to see how can one consider a BWT ??

If we'll refer back to BioSimon original issue, he's got a point *if* one considers "normal FWT" as "full stride" fwd.
IMHO, the lady's position is set according to the man's lead and position, so the *action* should still be referred to as FWT.

Guest.
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by socialdancer
10/31/2012  9:59:00 AM
Sorry Guest, I was responding to your question: "Never heard of these terms. Can someone please clarify what is a "checked backward walk" and what is "backward walk turning" ?"

I think we are agreed that BioSimon has a point that there is inconsistency in the use of the term FWT. In his first post BioSimon gives two examples of FWT with 1/8 turn to L, starting from similar positions but ending with very different foot positions. These foot positions have effectively 1/4 body turn to L between them, which is consistent with the lady's action during a hip-twist to fan position.

Laird's introduction of the 'action used' column in his charts was very useful, but I feel it would be more beneficial and less confusing if it is only used when the action is significant. IMHO in many cases, such as the one being discussed, the attribution of an action used is rather artificial.

Out of curiosity I check Laird's 1972 Green Book, which gave more details than later editions. That gives lady's step 2 as "RF fwd and slightly to side to finish RF back and slightly to side." while the man has a leading action "Lead lady to L side by tension in both arms."

For the lady to move fwd at all requires the man's shaping which results in the overall turn of 1/8 L which is common to most basic figures. In the UK at least it is common for beginners to be taught the basic movement and Fan without this 1/8 turn (an ISTD suggestion). As a result, the lady's step 2 does tend to become a sideways or even bwd step, turning.
Re: Foot Position in Laird's Technique
Posted by BioSimon
11/1/2012  12:45:00 PM
Thanks a lot, everyone!

socialdancer, your last post totally makes sense, and has resolved my issue, thanks a lot! If the step is really taken not only forward, but also to the side, the foot position makes sense - too bad it was not described this way in the Red Book! I have been dancing for decades and I really love Walter Laird's technique, but I still find the Red Book extremely difficult to understand when checking some details.

Any idea how and where I could get my hands on the Green Book? It seems to contain much more useful information! Thanks for any suggestions!

Greetings,
Simon

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