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Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by ClumsyFellow
4/26/2011  7:12:00 AM
Can somebody walk me through the weight changes between steps two and three for the man? Currently feeling slow and clunky with the step.

Thanks
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by jofjonesboro
4/26/2011  11:59:00 AM
Lots of folks have difficulty with this step at first.

Generally speaking, weight is transferred from the standing foot to the moving foot once the moving foot has reached its proper position (i.e. stopped moving). There are, of course, some exceptions to this principle.

For the Closed Impetus, the weight is transferred after step 2 from the left foot to the right as the man's body and right foot come into position and before the man begins his rise at the end of step 2. You may be rising on both feet, keeping your left foot from moving backward freely and your body from completing its turn.

You need to consult an instructor whom you trust and then practice what you're taught.

jj
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by Waltz123
4/26/2011  9:41:00 PM
The short answer is: Think about the lady's weight changes, and time yours to hers. You have some leeway in this respect, since her weight change on step 2 is just fractionally more gradual than yours (she has space to cover while you don't), but this aim alone will get you in the ballpark.

From the book perspective, you turn 3/8 *between* 1 and 2, so you should be facing approximately diagonal center at the moment you transfer weight from LF to RF.

The heel turn, whether danced by man or lady, has roughly the same sequence of actions, and similar mechanics in many respects (the most notable exception being rise & fall, but we'll save that for another discussion): First you step backward, then draw the front foot to meet the back foot, closing initially without weight while turning on the heel of the receiving foot (e.g. if the step is back on LF, turn is on the left heel). At the end of the heel turn, weight is transferred to the ball of the opposite foot, rising to toe, and continuing to turn if the figure calls for it -- which the Impetus does.

If you have trouble turning on the heel, you're not alone -- It is probably the most common problem I see amongst men dancing the Closed Impetus. The heel is a very small target, and so it is easily missed. Most novice dancers are content simply to find balance on a foot; To balance over one specific part of the foot takes more skill. This skill, as any, is sharpened through repetition of the correct action. So make sure, first and foremost, that when you practice either alone or with a partner, your aim is for your heel, not just your foot. If you miss, you can then analyze what caused you to miss, and fix it.

The most common cause of a missed heel is early rotation. You can curve gently as you move the body weight away from the right foot, but once the left foot is placed, the feet must track and weight must move in a straight line until the weight arrives fully over the heel*. In particular, the left side of the body must move straight to the heel of the left foot. It's very tempting to rotate prematurely, which has a nasty tendency to deflect the weight short of hitting the heel.

You're much more likely to hit a target that you're aiming for, and awareness is always the first step toward fixing your aim. If you're not aware that the weight has to move all the way to the heel before the turn begins, or that the closing foot must not take weight until the end of the turn, or that early rotation can deviate your aim, you're just shooting aimlessly in the dark. Understand those points, and you have something to aim for. The rest is just a matter of repetition.

As an exercise to help sharpen the skill, practice stepping back on the left foot, lifting the right foot and placing it next to the left ankle an inch or two off the floor. This will ensure that your weight is on one foot only. Pause momentarily before turning to check that the weight is actually over the heel, then turn. For this exercise, the actual amount of turn is irrelevant so long as the action is correct. Do not sacrifice precision in an attempt to achieve a certain amount of turn, or you've missed the purpose of the exercise.

I hope this all makes sense. As always, these things are much more easily demonstrated than written about. Let us all know how you're doing with it after a week or two, and remember: Never be ashamed of your Impetus!

Regards,
Jonathan

============

*Some people teach that the upper body continues to turn to a certain limited degree during this moment of straight movement, but it cannot do so in such a way as to affect the linear movement of the left side of the body to the left heel, nor can it affect the direct tracking of the feet. If it does, you'll miss the heel. On expert dancers, this slight twisting action has a beautiful smoothing effect on the heel turn. But if you're still working out your habit of early rotation, you're better off focusing on straighter tracking and full weight delivery to the heel.
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by ClumsyFellow
4/28/2011  5:14:00 AM
Thanks for the help!

Off to practice, I'll let you know how it goes.



Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by Anonymous
4/28/2011  7:27:00 PM
There is no mention of the most importanmt part which is CBM on step four of an Impetus Turn. To not understand this would be like dancing with a brick wall. Richarde Gleave says also that the head must be taken back with the left foot.
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by Anonymous
5/2/2011  9:17:00 PM
No comments on CBM. Does anybody know how to use it. On a Heel Turn CBM before the step is taken makes a Heel Turn an absolute breeze. So the question is. Is it applied as the step is take. Or is after the step is taken. Or is it before the step is taken. Only one is correct.
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by ClumsyFellow
5/3/2011  5:07:00 AM
Before, as you lower. It would clear the right hip for the lady and provide enough stretch in the body to unwind smoothly. Don't know for sure but that would be my guess.

I would like to hear you describe the step if you don't mind.

I have been practicing still jerky in the left heel right toe weight transfer but it's getting better. I have a lesson today, I'll keep you posted.

Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by Waltz123
5/3/2011  8:55:00 PM
Actually I described it very explicitly, just without using the vocabulary preferred by Anonymous:

You can curve gently as you move the body weight away from the right foot, but once the left foot is placed, the feet must track and weight must move in a straight line until the weight arrives fully over the heel.

Some people teach that the upper body continues to turn to a certain limited degree during this moment of straight movement...


So there's your answer. Rotation of the body begins as you commence to move away from the right foot, and, depending on who you talk to, either (1) ceases the moment the left foot stops moving, then resumes once the left heel has taken full weight and begins turning, or (2) continues to turn throughout, but restricted to a subtle turn of only the upper body during the same time period.

The other subject open to interpretation is whether the track of the left foot (and therefore the direction of body travel) curves at all during the time the left foot is moving, or whether the direction is straight with the body simply turning above (i.e. "curve" vs. "twist"). I encourage you to try both and decide which works best for you. If you have a teacher, he/she will probably have a very strong opinion one way or the other. Neither one is wrong, as long as you can execute it comfortably.

Regards,
Jonathan
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by silver
5/4/2011  11:19:00 AM
You made me think, Jonathon. Thanks. You said, "The other subject open to interpretation is whether the track of the left foot (and therefore the direction of body travel) curves at all during the time the left foot is moving, or whether the direction is straight with the body simply turning above (i.e. "curve" vs. "twist")." This made me think that I need to be able to use both depending upon a need to change direction for floor craft, etc. It also reminds me to be aware of how far a partner may have to travel in an outside curve to track my movement.
Re: Closed Impetus Weight Changes
Posted by ClumsyFellow
5/6/2011  3:03:00 PM
Jonathan,

I printed your replies and drilled them religiously for about a week. I went to my lesson today and nailed (for me) the Closed Impetus. It felt great. My teacher just grinned and said "now, if you can do that with a double reverse spin we can start dancing for real".

Thank you for your help, I still have work to do with the head weight but your posts have helped tremendously.

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