Hey everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a great weekend and are looking forward to lessons this week! I wanted to put up a summary of the Standard/Smooth lessons from last Thursday (October 21) just in case you’re wondering what all the pointers we went through during the lesson.
Our beginner lesson on Thursday was American Tango. During this lesson we worked on a sequence fo a few steps: basic walks, basic walks turing, corte, promenade. Also, we started introducing the open reverse turn.
For the basic walks (turning or straight) there are a few things to remember:
- Men, make sure that you take strong heel steps on both the first and second steps. Make sure that you aren’t cheating on the second step.
- Women, make sure that you move your legs out of the way so that the men can take big steps forward.
For the corte there are a few important things to consider to make this step look nice.
- Men need to make sure that they do not drop their right side when shaping for the corte. Turn out the left food and step diagonally backward onto food. The shape happens through the hips, not by forcing it.
- Ladies need to step straight forward and keep their bodies parallel to their partners. Make sure that you keep your eyes up, keeping your gaze up and left towards the ceiling behind you, not down. Also, make sure that you are not collapsing your left side.
Finally, there are a lot of things to remember about promenade.
- Make sure that the toe is pointed in the direction that you wand to travel in. It is not turned out. Just put a little pressure on the inside ball of your foot and keep your knee angled in towards your partner.
- Men, make sure that your second step is not make too big because the lady needs to be able to rotate around back to closed position.
- Also work on not breaking frame when turing to promenade. This is one of the most important things! Break that habit early!
- To help with above, men make sure that you aren’t rotating your frame to turn into promenade: the turn comes from the hips. Also, ladies, don’t break at the shoulders to turn, leave your upper body still and just turn your head to the right.
For the intermediate lesson, we worked on quickstep and very important basic technique points for making your quickstep easier to dance and look much nicer.
For the beginning of the lesson we worked on progressing basic turns. Make sure that your steps are traveling diagonally center and diagonal wall on the first and fourth steps. Also, it is important that you don’t over rotate these to line of dance.
Additionally, make sure that you are focusing on the correct footwork (taking heel steps on the first steps of each figure and toe/heel on the last step of the figure (when moving forward).
Also for lock steps, some pointers:
- Ladies, make sure that your hips are facing the guy, don’t rotate them off to the side, this makes it very hard for you to be led and keeping your hips straight forward will make this step much better.
- Also, during this step you should feel like you are dancing more sideways and then slightly back (not mostly/completely backwards and slightly side) — This should be the opposite for the men.
Additionally, we did a little drill to practice moving together through the basic turns and lock steps.
- Stand in practice hold — make sure that hips are remaining towards each other.
- Practice taking side steps and outside partner steps without turing hips away from each other
- For steps in outside partner, make sure that you are stepping diagonally backward and not rotating hips.
Finally, we finished up working on the spin turn. For this step it is important that they guys end up backing line of dance before turing into the spin. Then they should step back, turning in the back foot (left) and turn on the toe then drop the heel down at the end of the turn prior to stepping on next step. Additionally, for the ladies, it is very important to make sure that you keep your head to the left and to power forward on the first step, you are the one generating the power for this turn! Also, make sure that you brush your feet together between steps 2 and 3.
During the advanced lesson we worked on American Foxtrot. We reviewed alignments during the open left (reverse) turn starting diagonal center and ending diagonal wall. Also the alignments of the open right turn – diagonal wall to diagonal center. Additionally, we worked on the transition into promenade. When opening into promenade from diagonal right, the promenade should travel towards diagonal wall (or possibly diagonal center) but never down the line of dance. Additionally we worked on specifics of the underarm turn and the underarm turn into the grapevine (with down, down, up, down footwork).
I hope that these summaries help some people! As always, feel free to ask anyone if you have any questions.
Bag Lady xx