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The Right Lunge Line

by Mary & Pete McGee

A Right Lunge is a phase IV figure, and we dance it a lot in waltzes and foxtrots. Sometimes the choreographer gives us a full measure to go into the lunge line, and a full measure to come out of it, but usually the lunge, roll, and slip are all done in one measure.

Because a lot happens in that specific figure, we have a tendency to become anxious and rush in and out of it with too much turning action, making it look rushed and out of control. There are a lot of reasons that make this happen, so let's start with what I call the main reason, and that is the preceding figure. If the preceding figure is not ended correctly, it seems to make everything that happens afterwards go wrong. Make sure that the preceding figure ended in the proper position. Also, make sure that you have lowered into the supporting foot at the end of the figure. After we have this correct, we are then ready to do our right lunge.

When practicing the right lunge, we should think of it in terms of one piece at a time, as follows:

  1. Push off the supporting foot straight to the side. What happens at this point is the flexed knee transfers from the man's L knee into his R knee, keeping the inside edge of the L foot taut on the floor. At this point, make sure all your body parts are lined up on the right side, i.e., shoulder and hip on a straight line.

  2. Lift the L hip still staying on the same "straight across" line with no turn. The R knee still has a little flex in it.

  3. Drop your L hip while turning no more than 1/8 to the right. Also, make sure this turn happens with the body and arms as one piece.

  4. Recover on the L foot bringing the lady to CP, and slip the R foot behind the L on the ball of the foot (this should be a small step). Turn slightly to the left, and lower onto the heel of the R foot, and you are ready to push off into the following figure.

The lady lowers on her R foot to go out with the L foot into the lunge line, keeping her head well to the left with right-side stretch. She recovers on the R Foot and slips to CP on the L. Her head remains well to the left throughout.

This sounds like a lot, and probably you feel that you won't have enough time to do all of these things in one measure, but the secret is practicing it several times slowly, making sure you are standing over each foot for balance, and in time you can do it all with a rolling action and it will look much more in control.

Good Luck!!! And remember, "Practice Makes Perfect."


Published in the ROUNDALAB Journal, fall 1995. Reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, November 2012.




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