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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—

Two Latin Actions 

DISHRAG — Both turn under at the same time. 

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One of Roundalab’s Phase 3 actions is the “Dishrag”.  Probably the most famous dance that has a Dishrag in it is the classic “That Happy Feeling.” Note that this is considered an action, not a figure.  That means that many figures could have a Dishrag action in them.  How it is done may differ from dance to dance, but in all of them, the action of both going under the joined hands at the same time will be part of the figure.  For instance, in “That Happy Feeling” the following sequence is used:  “From OPF-wall, Two Step to a Lady’s Tamara Position; Lady Turn to Face (BFLY-RLOD); Dishrag; Around to face LOD;” Here the Dishrag is done beginning with lead foot going toward center of hall.  You raise the joined trail hands and in 3 quick steps, both man and lady go under the joined trail hands (optionally keep lead hands joined and begin swinging them over); then both turn to face LOD (man right face, lady left face) in three more steps. What makes the Dishrag hard is that both must turn under while coordinating the use of both arms.  It is also done so rarely that unfamiliarity makes it seem harder than other phase three stuff. 

SNAKE (aka Pretzel Wrap) — Only one turns under at a time. 

Roundalab officially defines the Pretzel Wrap (not the same as the Pretzel Turn in phase 4 Cha and Rumba) as the act of wrapping, unwrapping, and/or rewrapping one partner at a time in a stationary location using either left or right turns and double joined hands.  Roundalab also says this may be cued as “Snake” and it has been done in dances such as “Dancez Merengue” and “A La Playa.” Note the similarity between the Dishrag and the Snake.  The primary difference is that only one partner goes under at any one time in the Snake. The man and lady alternate going under and change their turning direction at times. The other difference is that the Snake usually involves three measures of turning instead of just one. Perhaps that is why the Snake is considered a phase 6 movement.  The Snake also uses the Hammerlock position (all hands joined low, one hand of one partner behind back, partners facing but offset).

 

Tim Eum originally prepared these Tips for
Calls 'n' Cues, (WASCA);
reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council
(DRDC) Newsletter, March 2009

 

 


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Past DRDC Educational Articles by
Jim & Barbara German, ca. 2000-2001
Chris & Terri Cantrell, 2001-2005
Harold & Meredith Sears, 2005-present

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