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Teacher opinion
Posted by joelbean
4/12/2017  4:45:00 PM
I am having trouble leading two patterns in American Waltz (and Foxtrot for that matter).
Can teachers weigh in on the following with some advice please?
1) Generally, how can I lead my partner to chasse (without saying "chasse... NOW")?
2) If I am doing a natural spin turn and I wish my partner to end with an additional lock step (to go into wing), how do I lead this (without saying "lock step... NOW")?

I am beginning to think that these intricate steps are choreographed patterns that regular partners do. This limits my silver routines with able, active, trained partners when I am hosting at social dances and on ships. I really prefer not to talk them through the steps.
Help please!!
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by Guest.
4/12/2017  6:00:00 PM
I dont do any American Smooth. But I would suggest that you brush up on your C.B.M and C.B.M.P. If it was me I would do an Open Impetus Turn into a Wing. Or a Turning Lock which finishes in promenade ready for the Wing. Both of these are in the Modern Waltz
Also if you think that competent dancers don`t speak to their partners , think again.
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by phil.samways
4/20/2017  4:30:00 PM
hi Joelbean. I'm not a professional dance teacher, but I am an experienced well trained dancer (international style) and have helped quite a few beginners and social dance regularly. Some general points I would make first.. There should be no difficulty for an experienced dancer to lead the steps you mention - provided you can have reasonable contact with your partner (which may not be welcome in all cases at social dances). Your message implies that they know you quite well, and i sort of get the feeling that they are 'trained' by you. This should make it much easier. Secondly, as the more experienced dancer when dancing with someone for the first time, you must start with basic figures to assess the lady's capabilities; you must be aware of what the lady is doing and especially which foot she is on, so that you can make appropriate adjustments to keep her happy. This would include 'giving up' what you hoped to do if the lady is obviously not in a position to do it.
On your specific question. On the chasse, you don't mention what the preceding figure might be, or if it's a closed chasse or in promenade position. If it's a whisk or an open telemark, there should be no problem with a promenade chasse because you'd be in a promenade-type position already. Opening a lady to promenade from closed position requires a more subtle body action which needs good contact and of course the lady must recognise the signal, but this can be done without any words. The back lock out of a spin turn is something i wouldn't attempt unless I'd recently taught it to the lady.
Good leading requires at least a reliably maintained frame for the lady to dance in, good and appropriate body action (strong cbmp action to lead a lady outside you for a back lock, for example) and good control of body weight. It also requires a lady with appropriate skills. Only you can assess these as you dance with the lady. I can assure you that well trained dancers can dance reasonably complex groups of figures the first time they dance together.
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by nloftofan1
4/21/2017  9:45:00 AM
I'm also not a professional, but would like to pass along something a professional instructor I know teaches: Try to give the lady no other option than what you want her to do. That doesn't tell you specifically what do do in a given situation, but it's a very good mind-set for a leader. You know what you plan to do next, but--unless she's telepathic--the only way your partner knows is through your lead. Your lead gives her information. That doesn't mean you use force; dancing isn't arm-wrestling. And if your partner doesn't interpret your lead in the way you hope she does, that gives YOU information.
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