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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—

Position Problems 

SEMI-CLOSED POSITION — To go from closed to semi-closed position, maintain upper body “frame” and turn it clockwise. 

The great majority of dancers DO NOT follow this tip.  When going from closed position to semi-closed the man will turn left face instead of our suggested right face and will pull their left shoulder away from their partner and “open” up to face the line of dance. 

Consider what this “normal” way does.  The trail arm gets jammed up.  Many men compensate by shoving their right arm further around the lady’s back or by dropping their right elbow.  Both look bad. 

Instead, maintain the “frame” and rotate the entire upper body slightly right face when going from closed position to semi-closed.  Properly done, the rotation motion will prompt the lady to turn her head from her left to her right.  Maintaining the frame keeps the trail arm from getting jammed. 

REVERSE SEMI-CLOSED POSITION — Keep your shoulders parallel when you go to reverse semi-closed position, with the man turning right shoulder in towards lady. 

Some things are just not intuitive – such is the reverse semi-closed position.  From closed position, the man turns his head right and lady’s head is turned left.  But it’s what you do with the shoulders (and upper body) that makes the difference.  Most men turn their right shoulder away from the lady which stretches the trail arms uncomfortably as well as “crunching” the lead arms.  Both problems disappear if the men simply turn their shoulders left face, keeping their upper body parallel to the lady’s. 

SIDECAR POSITION — In sidecar position, the man looks to his left over lady’s right shoulder and lady looks to her left high over man’s right shoulder. 

Most people do sidecar wrong!!  Try it and see if you do what is most common – man looking straight ahead over lady’s left shoulder and lady looking straight ahead over man’s left shoulder.  The problem with this is that you tend to lose contact with your partner and some even go too far “hip to hip” and end up with their partner’s right arm choking their necks. 

Instead, both lady and man should turn their upper bodies slightly left face towards partner while keeping their feet pointed outside partner with partner on the left.  This will have the man looking over lady’s right shoulder and the lady “closing” her head to look left --- just like when you were in closed position.  In fact the upper bodies in sidecar should be just like they were in closed position --- it is that little “twist” with feet twisting opposite that makes sidecar.


Tim Eum originally prepared these Tips for
Calls 'n' Cues, (WASCA);
reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council
(DRDC) Newsletter, March 2010

 

 


If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



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