Yesterday’s secret word was “feather”. Well it wasn’t really a secret but it was the concept OwnerGuy wanted to drill into my mind. According to him, if you do International Fox Trot, this is the first step they teach you so it will probably be familiar to many of you. I’ve actually done it before because they have a step in Bronze called the continuity ending which is really the same thing but, back then, you are just learning the step and there is so much more.
Well maybe not that much more. It seemed pretty simple once he explained it. Its really just a slow/quick/quick where you pass your feet on each step. But you are using it in places where there is generally a lot of contra body needed and the trick is that you generally need to remain in that position on the quick/quick steps. This naturally gets your partner to stay outside partner and it makes the moves more gliding and, I guess, Fox Trot like. Sometimes, all three steps are on a line. Sometimes, the first moves one direction and then the second and third are on a line so, if you put down tape, it might look like a 7 – depends on the angle. And you can do this with the first step moving forward, or backwards, or in promenade.
So, lets see how much I can recapture from last night.
The routine starts the same way the one I did with Kid T and that part ends in a terrace locks where we are in a double hand hold and moving down the floor with two small lock steps.
Then we do an open box and the back half of the open box is the first feather. The back half starts with me moving backwards and then the second and third steps should head towards the corner. (He has us doing this on the long wall). But the key is that my head and feet point towards the corner while my body still faces her so that’s where the contra body stuff comes in.
That sets up the push away explosion nicely because there is some unwinding of the upper body which creates a little momentum for the explosion. Then, we come together for a run around and OwnerGuy really wants me to make sure that my torso faces hers which is interesting because we are circling around each other so it creates this very twisty position.
Then we do a series of parallel twinkles. Pretty sure there is a feather in there somewhere but we were covering a lot of ground and it was getting towards the end of the lesson so I really don’t remember. That leads into the pivot which we didn’t work on as much so it still remains a place that needs improvement.
After the pivot, we do a curved run into a back run. I’m getting a little better at remembering to shape the back run a bit. That leads into a weave which is all quicks but the end of the weave is another feather. This one is all forward steps and all on a line but it had the contra body so we stay outside partner and don’t square up to each other.
There is a spiral after that into a funky kind of step which he called alternate rise. Normally, after the spiral, we’d just do a slow/quick/quick to close back up (well that’s the option if you want to transition to a different step). Instead, I’m doing all quicks. The first step is a heel lead but it is for me to get her into promenade. Then we do two more steps in promenade and that is actually another one of those feathers. That keeps us from closing our feet and keeps us outside partner.
The next part is a spiral turn into a hover corte. He had some pointers on the alignment of the Hover Corte which is all quicks and in my toes. After the spiral turn, I just check outside (with contra body so my feet move but my upper body stays towards her). Then, there are several more quicks as I come around her and it ends with yet another feather. That one also starts with me moving backwards at first and then rotating the second step to take it down the short side of the floor. From there, we loop the thing.
This is a concept that has been explained before. For me, it was just one of those things that I heard multiple times but it never clicked until last night. Then you look at how simple it is and start asking “why wasn’t I doing this all along?” But, with the exception of the pivot, the rest of the Fox Trot is feeling pretty good.
We talked at the very end of the lesson about Showcase so I could let them know that I’m in and ready to go. It is in November so there is still time but the plan is to take all nine dances on the floor a few times and see how it goes.
Oh, and they have another open house in a couple of months and they were looking for volunteers so I told OwnerGuy I was in for that as well. He asked what dance and I said Viennese Waltz. JoNY seems to be into that dance and it can be a fun one to watch given how much it travels.
So I’m getting back in the game.