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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.
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by fadslaguna
5/1/2017  7:35:00 PM
Hey Joel,

As a professional, I can say the Chasse is tricky. to make it very clear the lady has to keep her right side closed to her partner. Also you have to kept your left side closed. The Chasse is truly a "side-together-side" action. If either persons legs can swing freely to take it as "forward-forward-forward, the follow will likely miss it. Also, often times the rise gets in the way. If the leader rises too early it is hard to distinguish. The majority of the rise should be put on the "together" not before it, which is where most people put it. Try strengthing up your frame to make sure the lady stays with her right side toward you, and you keep your left toward her in promenade. stay low until you get to the closing action.

The lock actin is a all about body position. if you flatten out the natural spin, the lady won't have the room to do the lock action...this is pure CBM stuff. keep you left side forward coming out of the spin turn and that should allow correct positioning. Also, stay low until the locking action. Infect if I had to guess based off of the 2 steps you've given me, without ever having seen you dance, id say you are probably rising too early, but it could also be a mix of CBM and rise.

Good Luck and Happy Dancing
- Marcus
Re: Teacher opinion
Posted by Guest
5/5/2017  1:27:00 AM
The Lock step in the Quickstep is taken Diagonal to the wall with the L.O.D.
So. Facing Diagonal to the wall with the L.O.D. If we do a 1/4 of a turn to the Right on our Basic. Followed by a Quarter of a turn to our Left on our Progressive Chasse . Our Left shoulder should be leading when we take our first step on our Right Foot outside Partner in C.B.M.P . diagonal to the wall. Keep the Left side leading into our Natural Spin Turn. The position of the two bodies does not change throughout the whole of that group. Open, or turn away from our partner changing our position is the most common mistake. What we do is give the lady a clear indication that we are turning by literally cutting her off on the first step of the Natural Spin Turn again in C.B.M.P.

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