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Shall We Dance, 1937

Here, Fred and Ginger are dancing Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; yes, on roller skates.

There is an interesting lesson in body lines in this photo—that the shape of the body can be pleasing and add to the beauty of the dance, and that matching or complementary lines between partners can multiply that beauty more than two-fold. Notice how Fred and Ginger's leading shape, their right legs, torsos, and arms match almost exactly. Their head positions, gaze, and even their "artful" right hand shapes match. We can't see Ginger's left leg, but we can certainly imagine that their thighs, the angle of their bent knees, and the amount of rotation and consequent relationship of their legs to the floor are all exactly the same.

Why is this important? Balance and symmetry are pleasing. The shape of one dancer reinforces the other and pushes the effect of the whole to a higher level. Matching shapes not only look good; they feel good. By matching your partner's line, you are dancing with him or her, rather than doing your own thing in her proximity. It is a form of visual communication: "I see what you are doing, like it, and am with you." "We are one."

Given all this, it is interesting to see what they are doing with their left arms (or what they are not doing). It pains me to suggest that Fred could ever make a mistake, but they are not together back there, and he looks a little tired in his droopiness.

(click on any thumbnail for a larger view)

Open Position
Left Open

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
They All Laughed



Open Position


Shall We Dance






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dingbat




If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC . Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.

Aditional articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Richard Lamberty
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)



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