Meredith & Harold

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One Figure 

A Step is a movement of the foot from here to there. A Figure is a specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete, is often standardized, and is widely accepted and used as one component of a dance routine.

Paso Doble Grand Circle

by Harold & Meredith Sears

One way to think of the Grand Circle is an extended Twist Turn where the man crosses his right foot in front of his left, and the woman walks around him counter-clockwise, unwinding him with elevated, prancing, flowing steps. We begin in semi-closed position facing line of dance with trail feet free. The man steps strongly thru and across his left foot without taking full weight (woman thru L), he twists left-face with right-side stretch and proud aspect in a "caping" action leaving his feet in place but gradually shifting weight to his left foot as the woman steps forward R, fwd L high on the balls of her feet, fwd R; she continues fwd L, R, L, R to semi-closed position facing somewhat reverse and wall; the man steps thru R turning left (woman thru L), both close lead feet to end in closed position man facing wall (qqqq; qqqq; qq).

There are variations. The figure can begin with an appel R (woman appel L), both step side to semi-closed position, and then the thru step and unwind. Often, the last two steps are omitted for a Grand Circle 8 that takes a neat two measures. We've done a Grand Circle 6 and hold—another way to use two measures. A Mini Grand Circle is only four quicks and will probably turn only 1/2, but always, the man is sweeping his cape around his body in a swirling movement, drawing the eye of the bull and thrilling the crowd into a frenzy.

A small caution for the men — Don't get so caught up in your own steps, posture, virtuosity, and machismo that you forget about your partner. Yes, be brave in the face of the bull, be daring as you take your hip just out of the reach of its horn, but remember that your lady is truly your lifesaver. Appreciate her. Dance with her. 

More Paso figures here, or go to index.


this article was published in the
Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, September, 2009



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

If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors quarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

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

Some articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid


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Page last revised 12/22/09