ROUND DANCING — CHOREOGRAPHED BALLROOM

FIGURE DESCRIPTIONS

MAJOR SECTIONS: Figures | Articles | Links | Alph. Index | Search | Home

BROWSE
Figures in the Smooth Rhythms
Foxtrot
Quickstep
Waltz
Viennese Waltz
International Tango
American Tango
Two Step
Five Count
One Step
Polka
Rhythm
Figures in the Latin Rhythms
Cha Cha
Rumba
Jive
Single Swing
West Coast Swing
Lindy
Hustle
Bolero
Slow Two Step
Mambo
Salsa
Samba
Argentine Tango
Merengue
Paso Doble
Dance Articles
Articles Home

Dance Figures

Dance Rhythms
Lead and Follow
Dance Styling
Fred Astaire Album
Other Sections
Dance Links
Music Clips For Each Rhythm
Instructional Books and Videos from Amazon
Search Site/Web
Sources
Contact Me

Page Contents
History & Technique
Specific Figures
Quote

Foxtrot—

4 beats/measure; 28-34 meas/min

At the beginning of the 20th Century, few in the US danced. Those who did danced the Waltz, Polka, and Two Step. But in 1910, ragtime music was bringing unprecedented numbers of dancers into the dance halls. Especially, a whole flock of "animal dances" were briefly popular, formed out of the earlier Two Step. There was the Squirrel, in which dancers took small, mincing steps, a Duck Waddle involving quick walks and sways of the upper body to the left and right, a Snake, where dancers walked sinuously to banjo with a dip and then to sidecar. There was the Lame Duck, Chicken Scratch, Kangaroo Hop, a Horse Canter, and a Horse Trot. And of course, there was the Fox Trot.

However, the Fox Trot might not actually have started as an "animal dance." One story tells of Harry Fox, a burlesque comic and a part of the Ziegfeld Follies of 1913, who worked on a stage scattered with scantily clad women in static poses. His act involved a fast, comical dance to 4/4 ragtime music from one woman to the next where he would deliver his jokes. The act was popular, the music was widely marketed, and Fox's "Trot" became popular in dance halls and dance studios. It was introduced to members of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in London in 1915.

In these earliest days, the Fox Trot was not the smooth: slow, quick, quick, of today (which if you think about it, is nothing like a "trot"). Back then dancers might have taken four slow steps down line and then eight quicks with just a little bit of a prance. They walked in a circle. There was a lunge, close, lunge, close; producing a full turn. There were hops, kicks, and capers. There was a definite strutting or trotting look. One of the first "definitions" of the rhythm came from an American teacher who said, "There are but two things to remember; first a slow walk, two counts to a step; second a trot or run, one count to each step."

But Vernon and Irene Castle and other teachers wrote new figures for the rhythm, and by 1916, the Fox Trot had evolved into the Foxtrot, a slower, more elegant, floating kind of dance.

During the Jazz Age of the 20s, the Foxtrot was sped up again. It acquired some of the jazzy hops and skips of the Charleston and became our present-day Quickstep. Of course, the Quickstep didn't replace the Foxtrot, but joined it, a close cousin. The existence of the Quickstep maybe allowed the Foxtrot itself to slow back down. In England, the Foxtrot was danced at 48 measures per minute in 1927, at 42 in 1928, and between 38 and 42 in 1929. The Quickstep was being danced at 54 to 56. By 1932, the Foxtrot tempo was down to 36 measures per minute.

Foxtrot uses long passing steps that keep the dancer up, stretched, and extended. It has a gentle rise and fall but not as much as that of Waltz, where the third closing step causes you to lower more dramatically. (Where Waltz is "mountains and valleys," Foxtrot is "rolling hills," and Tango is "as flat as Kansas.") In three steps, we step heel, toe rising, toe, toe, heel lowering again.

The passing steps encourage us to keep moving, too. We want fluidity, continuity; a graceful, steady glide. Even when checking a movement or when in a picture figure, where your feet have stopped, we keep the body flowing. We introduce sway, change the sway, change it again if we have the time, incorporate arm and hand movements that extend these body movements, and then flow right on out into the next figure. The long, gliding steps of the slow Foxtrot give an impression of elegant ease, but control and balance are required to maintain that smooth flow.

Still another sophisticated feature that developeed in Foxtrot involved angled bodies so that dancers aren't directly facing or backing the line of progression; they are angling or slicing down the hall. I think of a barge plowing forward, directly into the wind and current, "breasting" the waves. The Foxtrot doesn't do that. Dancers progress at a graceful angle, slicing through, with one or the other side leading.

The slow, elegant, gliding Foxtrot is a rich and sophisticated rhythm and is one of the most popular dances ever. The Foxtrot seems more sustainable, less intense, than the Waltz for instance. Maybe it is the slow count that gives us a little rest in each measure. Certainly, the "slow, quick, quick" rhythm and the more subtle downbeats on 1 and 3 (and upbeats on 2 and 4) provide more variety and interest than the steady "1, 2, 3" and strong, regular downbeat on 1 that we find in Waltz. Where the feel of waltz music has been described as "BOOM, cha, cha," the feel of foxtrot is more like "BOOM-cha, BOOM-cha." Maybe it is the soaring glide of Foxtrot that feels so good, compared to Waltz's more dramatic rise and fall.

Regardless of your personal reaction, the Foxtrot has developed and matured over the last hundred years into a wonderful and engaging rhythm, and if we occasionally think back to the silly and slightly bawdy beginnings with Harry Fox, we might have even more fun.

Figure Name, Roundalab Phase Level, & Timing

q=quick, 1 beat
s=slow, 2 beats
&=1/2 beat; a=1/4 beat

Steps and Actions That Make Up the Figure

Each description focuses on the man, with the woman's footwork in parenthesis. If a woman's step is not given, it is the natural opposite or follow of the man's. Help: basic dance positions and steps, actions, directions, and abbreviations. Non-standard punctuation: a comma separates two beats of music, a semi-colon marks the end of a measure, and a slash (/) indicates a split beat, two things occurring in a single beat.

Here are some sequences to help you visualize the figure in context.

Three Step

phase IV

sqq;

In closed or banjo position facing line of dance, step forward L (W bk R), -, fwd, fwd;

Curve these steps just a little to the left, and end in closed position, even if you didn't begin that way.

Properly, this figure is unusual among foxtrot figures in starting with two heel leads. Most foxtrot figures begin with a step, heel to toe, giving early rise, and then the second step is toe, maintaining that rise. The second step of a three step is heel/toe, driving kind of under partner and producing a late rise. The third step is then toe/heel as usual.

The Scotts' Steppin Out with My Baby, has a diamond turn;; three step to closed position; half natural turn; closed impetus; and box finish;
Back Three Step

phase IV

sqq;
In CP or in BJO, step bk R (W fwd L), -, bk L, bk R ending in CP;

As the man does in a three step, the woman takes her first two steps with a heel lead.
In Love Wonderful Love by Ross, part A begins with a reverse wave;; back feather; back three step; hesitation change; telemark to semi;
Forward, Run Two

phase III

sqq;

In closed or banjo position facing line of dance, step forward L (W bk R), -, fwd, fwd;

May begin with either foot.

In My Kind Of Girl by Kirsch, the dance begins with together touch; box finish; fwd run 2 twice;; reverse turn;; three step; half natural;
Box

phase III

sqq; sqq;

Footprints
Man's Forward Half Box
Man's Back Half Box
Woman's Full Box
In closed position with lead feet free, step forward L (W back R), -, side, close; back, -, side, close;

Each half of this figure can be separately cued: a Forward Half Box; and a Back Half Box.
Follow with a hover to semi; through, -, face, close back to closed position;

In It's D'Lovely by Kincaid, there is a maneuver; spin turn; back half box; diamond turn;;;;
Progressive Box

phase III

sqq; sqq;

In closed position with lead feet free, step forward (W back), -, side, close; fwd, -, side, close;
Box Finish

phase III

sqq;
In CP, step bk R (W fwd L) turning up to 1/4 LF, -, sd L, cl R;

Note that the box finish turns; the back half box does not.

Left Turning Box

phase III

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;

In closed position, line of dance, step forward & turn 1/4 left, -, side, close; back & turn left, -, side, close; forward & turn left, -, side, close; back & turn left, -, side, close; (face each wall of the room in turn) In Why Don't You Spend the Night? by the Matthews, there is a hover; pickup side close; left turning box;;;; 3 cross hovers;;; to a maneuver side close;
Diamond Turn

phase IV

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;

Step forward and turn left to diagonal center, -, side continue left, back to banjo position (turn 1/4 left each measure, facing each corner of room in turn); back, -, side, forward; for, -, side, back; back, -, side, for; Follow with a open telemark; open natural;

In Valenta's Bye Bye Baby, there is a quarter diamond turn to a feather finish;; and again;;

Quick Diamond Four

phase IV

qqqq;

In banjo, step forward L (woman back R) and turning LF, side R, back L, back R; You will end in a position that will be cued. The Rumbles' That's You has a diamond turn one half;; quick diamond four to closed position line and wall; dip back, -, recover, -;

Another neat sequence from LeBlanc's Remember When is a quick diamond in four progressing down line and ending facing reverse; dip back, -, recover, -; quick diamond in four to reverse; dip back, -, recover, -; to a 3-step down line;

Fox Trot Wheel

sqq; sqq;

In banjo position, lead feet free, circle one full turn: fwd, -, fwd, fwd; fwd, -, fwd, fwd; Start diagonal wall, do the wheel;; change of direction; closed telemark; maneuver;
Right Turns

phase III

sqq; sqq;
In CP LOD step fwd R turning 1/4 RF (W bk L), -, sd & bk L across line of progression to CP RLOD, cl R to L; bk L trng 1/4 RF, sd & fwd R trng to CP LOD, cl L to R;

Natural Turn

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

In closed position facing diagonal line of dance and wall, lower and step forward R (W back L) leading a RF turn with the hips, -, step forward and side thru woman and across line of dance leading the woman's heel turn, step back to closed position facing reverse (W fwd L); step back turning RF, -, step side, step forward to closed position DLC;

A full natural turn is not as common as one might think. We more often hear Half Natural; and then something else, such as a heel pull.

In all right-turning figures, the actual foot turn tends to be early, accompanied by upper-body turn. (In left-turning figures, upper-body turn precedes foot turn, and the foot turn is late.) So here, the man begins with his toes pointing toward DLW. He signals a right turn with upper body rotation, but at the same time allows his foot to turn as he steps forward R. As he takes weight, his toes are already pointing toward the wall. Foot turn has occurred early, before the step has even been taken. This is comfortable because the woman is naturally on his right side and so on the inside of the turn, as he dances around her.

In the Valentas' Was That the Human Thing To Do, part A begins with a three step; half natural turn; closed impetus; feather finish overturned to diagonal reverse and center checking; top spin; reverse wave check and weave;;;

In All In A Night's Work by Molitoris and Firstenburg, there is a hover telemark; and a slow half natural checking to a weave;;; hover telemark; to in & out runs;;

This half natural is interesting in that it is danced slow, slow, slow, checking on that third step, and then we weave 6 quicks.

Open Natural Turn

phase IV

sqq;

From closed, banjo, or semi, step forward right turning RF, side across line of dance, and back to contra banjo reverse. In the Cunninghams' I Found You Just in Time, part A begins with a three step; open natural; open impetus; in & out runs;; to a promenade weave;;
Running Open Natural

phase V

sq&q;

This is an Open Natural Turn with an extra step, a syncopated Open Natural.

In semi-closed position facing line and wall, step thru R (woman thru L) beginning to turn RF, -, side and back L with left side stretch/back R with right-side lead, back L with slight right-side stretch to end in contra banjo facing RLOD;

In Nearness Of You by the Cantrells, part A begins with a hover; feather; reverse turn;; three step; running open natural; feather finish; change of direction; to a reverse wave;;
In and Out Runs

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

In SCP LOD, step forward right turning RF, -, side and back left to closed position diagonal reverse and center woman forward right between man's feet, back right to contra banjo; back left turning RF, -, side and forward right between woman's feet continuing to turn, and then forward left to semi-closed position, line.

A little more sophisticated version has us doing the first "run" not to BJO RLOD but to RSCP LOD. We both step through on step 4, and we end in SCP with a little easier, smoother turn, and the body line of RSCP is quite elegant.

Another option is to begin in BJO LOD, take it to BJO RLOD, and then to BJO LOD, again.
In the Woodruffs' Wonderful Wonderful, there is a hover telemark; fwd hover to banjo; bk hover to semi; in and out runs twice;;;; chair and slip to closed line and center;
Open In and Out Runs

sqq; sqq;

In half open position facing line of dance, step forward R (W fwd L) turning RF, -, side & back L across in front of W turning with slight sway to the right (W fwd R), sd & fwd L turning to left half open facing LOD; fwd L turning (W fwd R turning RF), -, sd & fwd R turning (W sd & bk across in front of M), sd & fwd L to half open facing LOD;

Notice that the woman is not at all holding back or dancing in place to allow the man to get across. She is dancing forward, as is the man in the second measure. Those steps are much like a man's hover telemark: fwd, fwd, fwd, turning RF. If she does hold back, then when he gets across, he will tend to "scoop her up" in his left arm, and the resulting push will not feel good to her.

In Breathless by the Moores, there is a telemark to half open; open in & out runs;; running open natural; to a reverse wave ending;
Reverse Turn

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

In closed position or banjo facing line of dance, step forward L with right-side lead. This lead will turn the body about 1/4 LF. Step forward and side R through the woman turning LF a total of 1/2 and leading a heel turn for the woman, and back L to closed position facing reverse; back R turning LF, side and forward L, and forward R to contra banjo facing line and wall.

The common error is for the man to dance down line and think that he has to dance "around" his lady. If you do this, she will be led to progress, will not be able to do the heel turn, and you will end in banjo at the end of the first measure (I speak from long experience). Instead, take steps 1 & 2 DLC, turning your body as you move through her left side; dance a straight line, not a curved path around her.

Footprints
Man's Reverse Turn
Woman's Reverse Turn
Remember too that foxtrot has early rise. Begin each figure with a slight lowering action but rise by the end of the first step. Making your turn in this "up" position will stop the woman's progression and help to lead her heel turn. In contrast, in waltz, we extend our rise over the first two steps. This more gradual rise lets the woman step back and then side in a Left Turn, and there is no heel turn.
Broadwater's Dream of Me has a reverse turn;; three step; half natural; closed impetus;

In If I Had My Way by Slater we do a feather finish DLC; top spin DLW; change of dir; reverse trn;; hover; feather;
Open Reverse Turn

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, banjo, or semi-closed, step forward left turning LF, forward and side turning, and back to contra banjo reverse and center.

Notice that in a reverse turn, there is a heel turn and so less progression down line. In an open reverse, there is no heel turn by the woman and so more progression.

In the Scotts' Hand Over Your Heart, part B begins with a diamond turn 1/2 checking;; open impetus; chair & slip; open reverse; hover corte; back whisk; and pickup, -, side, close;
Quick Open Reverse

phase V

sq&q;

We want to do an open reverse turn, but we have the trail foot free. In semi, we step thru with the trail and she begins to turn LF, -, forward L to closed position and both turning/side and back R turning to face reverse and center, and back L to banjo reverse; In the Rumbles' Change Partners, part B begins with a hover; quick open reverse; outside check to banjo facing reverse and wall; and back & chasse to sidecar facing line;
Solo Reverse Turn

sqq;

This is a reverse turn done not as a couple but individually. You might be in shadow position facing LOD, both with the left foot free (the woman will be doing a man's reverse turn). Step fwd L turning LF, -, sd & fwd R turning to face RLOD, and bk L to end in left open position both facing RLOD; In the Shibatas' Orange Colored Sky, there is a shadow fishtail; solo reverse turn; and feather finish woman transition to banjo DLW; for a 3-step;
Reverse Wave

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

This is half a reverse turn and then a curving, back three-step. In closed position, step forward L turning LF. She draws L to R as he steps side R leading a heel turn, she closes. On beat four, step back L (woman fwd R) to closed position diagonal reverse and center. During the second measure, step back R, back L curving LF, back R curving, to closed position RLOD. That curving path in the second measure is the "wave" (the curve of an ocean wave?)

It is interesting to compare the open telemark, the first measure of a reverse turn, and the first measure of a reverse wave. All three figures begin with the same lowering into a forward step and a rising into another forward that leads a lady's heel turn. You stay in closed position through these three beats of music, and you turn as a couple. In the open telemark, you turn 1/2, from diagonal center to diagonal reverse and wall. In the reverse turn, you turn 3/8, stopping so that the man faces reverse. In the reverse wave, you only turn 1/4, ending diagonal reverse and center, so you can do the curving "wave" part during the second measure.

Do a reverse wave;; back feather; back feather finish; three step;

In Call Me by the Collipis, there is a chair recover slip; reverse wave 3; slow sway right and left;; feather finish; three step;
Wave Ending

sqq;
In closed position facing DRC with trail feet free, step back R, -, back L curving LF, back R curving to closed position RLOD;

This is the second measure of the standard reverse wave and is sometimes danced by itself.

Four Waves

sqq; sqq; sqq; sqq;
In CP DLC, step fwd L (W bk R) commencing LF body turn, -, sd R M fcg COH and cont. to turn, bk L to CP DRC; bk R  curvg LF, -, bk L cont curv LF, bk R to CP RLOD; bk L, -, bk R with rgt sd leading, bk L; bk R with slight CBM, -, bk L with left sd leading, bk R end’g CP RLOD;

In On A Little Street In Singapore by Valenta, there is a small change of direction to CP LOD; four waves;;;; back tipple chasse pivot to CP DRW; to an extended nat weave end [8Qs] to BJO DLW;;
Lilt

phase V

qq

In semi-closed position with soft knees, step forward R (woman fwd L), close L to R rising onto toes but keeping knees bent,

Try hard not to bounce. This is a soft and gentle "down, up."

May be done from closed, banjo, or sidecar positions.

In the Moores' Breathless, they have a reverse wave 3; check & weave 2; double back lilt; to a weave ending; and a three step;

Here, the double back lilt begins with the man's L and the count is s&s&;

Lilt Pivot

phase V

s&

In semi-closed position with soft knees, step forward R rising and turning a little LF (woman fwd L rising and turning LF in a pick-up action to closed position), -/fwd L lowering and pivoting a little LF,

The man turns left to lead the pickup, but often he really doesn't pivot much. The "pivot" in this lilt pivot is really the woman's as she turns to face him.

In Irresponsible Me by the Nelsons, part B begins with a whisk; curved feather checking; outside swivel lilt pivot; to a right lunge roll and slip;
Change Of Direction

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position facing diagonal line and wall, step forward L (W bk R) and then forward R turning left up to 1/4. Draw lead foot and touch to face line and center (only two weight changes, end with lead foot free). In Just In Time by Shibata, the dance begins in BFLY SCAR DRW with check lady develope; inside underarm trn; chg of dir; rev wave;;
Drag Hesitation

phase IV

ss;

In closed position facing line of dance, step forward L (W back R) beginning to turn LF, -, side R continuing to turn and draw left to right ending in contra banjo position facing diagonal reverse and center with lead feet free, -;

May begin in other facing positions. Total turn is about 3/8.

In Molitoris' Really Mine, part B begins with an open impetus; feather; double reverse spin; drag hesitation; back twist vine 4; and hesitation change;
Hesitation Change

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position facing RLOD, step back L turning RF, -, step side continuing to turn, rise draw and touch to face DLC; (only two weight changes, lead foot free)

May begin in other facing positions. Total turn varies from 1/8 to 1/2.

In the Woodruffs' Christmas Island, there is a telemark to semi; overturned maneuver, side, back; hesitation change; to a diamond turn 1/4; and outside check;
Heel Pull

phase IV

ss;

This is a hesitation change with a modification to reduce the amount of progression.

In closed position facing diagonal reverse and center, step back L turning RF, -, continue to turn on your left heel as you draw your right heel toward your left and change weight (woman side L and draw R to L no weight) , -;

End in closed position, usually facing line and center, although the amount of turn can vary. Feet should be a little apart (second step not a true "close"). Given that separation, you should be down in the knees, without the tendency to rise, as at the end of a heel turn. Lead feet are free.


Close Point

q&

In any position, bring the free foot to the weighted foot, take weight, and extend the newly free foot to the side and point the toe. This isn't particularly standard for foxtrot, but it is a great action to use if you find yourself with the wrong foot free for the next figure.
Jete Point

phase V

&q

From SCP and on the "&" of the previous beat, step fwd L (W fwd R trng to fc M or "picking up" on the lead foot) with a bit of a springing action and sharply lowering into the knee. On the  beat (the "q"), extend the trail foot to the side with the inside edge of the foot in contact with the floor. Sway and look in the direction of the extended foot.

Often, this figure is done from SCP with the trail feet free, and the cue is "thru to jete point." Here, we can rise on the thru step and get a nice sharp leap and lower during the figure itself. (Don't overdo; we want elegant, not Tigger-like.)

Note that the figure is one-and-a-half beats only, but it creates quite a picture. Therefore, choreographers often use a full measure ("jete point & hold") or end the dance with this figure, where we have lingering notes to develop the extension and the sway.

May be done from other positions and in any facing direction. One may spring onto the trail foot and extend the lead (although I have never done it).
In In A Mellow Tone by the Sandemans, there is a half natural; spin turn overturned; back chasse to banjo; curved feather check; outside change to semi; thru jete point; fallaway ronde & slip; curving 3-step; back curving 3-step; hover telemark;
Pickup

sqq;

Properly, a pickup is a phase II waltz figure in which you step forward down line in semi-closed position, and the lady turns LF to closed position LOD or DLC. Complete the measure with a side step on the lead foot and a close trail to lead foot.

Notice that there is no suggestion in this description that the woman should step across in front of the man as she turns. The "pickup" step is a straight step down whatever line of progression you are traveling and a turn to face. This puts her neatly on his right side in good closed position.

Can be danced from other positions, e.g., OP, and in other facing directions.
Do a hover; pickup; reverse wave;;
Slow Side Lock

phase IV

sqq;

This is the proper foxtrot pickup. In semi-closed position, step thru with the trail foot. Step side and forward to closed position, and then cross right in back of left, turning slightly LF (woman crosses L in front of R). In the Hartungs' White Lilacs, there is an open reverse turn; outside check; open impetus; slow side lock; to a diamond turn;;;;
Rising Lock

phase V

sqq;

This is a pickup starting from closed position facing RLOD. Your trail feet are free. Step back R (woman forward L) beginning to turn LF, -, side and forward L, cross R in back of L (woman XLIF of R) ending in closed position facing line and center;

Starting position and amount of turn can vary.


Turning Lock

phase V

q&qs;

In tight contra banjo position facing reverse and wall, step back R (woman fwd L) with right side lead and right side stretch/cross L in front of R (woman XRIB of L), back R turning LF, side and forward L to end in contra banjo facing line and wall;

Sometimes cued Left Turning Lock to distinguish it from the Right Turning Lock.


Whiplash

phase IV

ss;

In semi-closed position, trail feet free, step thru, turning body RF (woman LF) to closed position. On the second "slow" point the lead feet and hold. Sometimes, the music might tell you to step and sharply ronde the lead foot, like the crack of a whip, leaving a little extra time to shape to your partner and then sway away from that extended lead leg.

Increasingly, we are being cued to "Whiplash to Banjo." Usually, this means banjo facing approximately LOD, so the woman swivels almost 1/2 and the man only shapes a little left to lead her swivel and then right to contra banjo position.

A refinement to the whiplash to BJO is for the man to step thru with right sway and a right head folding her to CP DLW but with the intention of leading her outside partner on the next step. So, we whiplash to CP, and with a little LF rotation, we achieve BJO to begin the next figure.

A whiplash to CP wall might be followed by a fallaway ronde & slip. A whiplash to BJO DLW might be followed by a back whisk.

In the Sechrists' Believe Me, part B begins with a natural weave;; reverse wave; back to a slow throwaway oversway;; link to semi; open natural; outside swivel and whiplash;

Shibata's This Can't Be Love has a hover to semi; whiplash and freeze; quick change sway and check back; double reverse;

Maneuver

phase III

sqq;

In closed position facing LOD, step forward R and turn 1/4 RF, -, side L and turn 1/4 , close R; In La Vie En Rose by Molitoris, part A begins with fwd run 2; maneuver; spin turn; box finish; 2 left turns;;
Pivot

ss;

In closed position reverse, step back L turning 1/2 RF. Having left the right leg extended between the woman's feet, step forward R continuing the turn for a full turn over one measure. This figure does progress down line. It is important for both partners to step well under the other and to change places completely with each step.

This figure might be cued, "Pivot Two." As you might imagine, a choreographer might ask for any number of these one-step actions (depending on how sadistic…)

If you do make the full turn, you can pivot again and again. If you don't quite make it, you'll fall behind.

In Just In Time by Shibata, we dance diamond turn 3/4;;; bk to hinge M fc COH; lady rec & pivot 2 to LOD (full); right lunge roll & slip DLC;

In I'd Do Anything by Palmquist we dance a rev trn;; three stp; half nat trn; pivot 3 [SQQ]; nat weave;;
Pivot Right Face Double

phase IV

ss; ss;

I don't think I've ever heard this cue. This is a Pivot Four.

In closed position facing reverse, step back L turning 1/2 RF. Having left the right leg extended between the woman's feet, step forward R continuing the turn for a full turn over one measure. Do it again.

One key to success is to stay low, with soft knees. Once you rise, you stop turning. Another thing to think about is that each step, especially that forward step right (man or woman) should be taken down line. You might be tense and worried (panicky?) about getting around, but don't rush your steps. Let yourself rotate and don't step forward right until you can do so down line.

I recently ran across another point, about footwork; I'm not sure how useful it might turn out to be. Normally, we think of a back step as being taken "toe-heel" and we will do that automatically, without thinking about "footwork." This teacher suggested that we dance our back steps in the pivot "toe-heel-toe" and that we let the left heel barely kiss the floor as we turn and push off with the left toe into the forward right step. I'm going to try to remember to think about that the next time we dance a pivot 4 or a pivot 6 and see if that little detail might help the figure flow.


Reverse Pivot

phase VI

q or &

In closed position facing RLOD, step back R (woman fwd L between M's feet) and spin to the left on the ball of the right foot. Stay low—no rise or fall and no sway.

Or in CP LOD rotate LF and step fwd L between W's feet spinning LF.

May progress LOD (as above) or RLOD. Amount of turn is usually 1/2 but may vary. Ends in CP unless otherwise cued. Multiple reverse pivots alternate the actions described above.
In The Best Is Yet To Come by Preskitt, there is a change of direction; telefeather;; left feather ; ,, reverse pivot ,; hover;

In Jeanie and Shenandoah by Ross there is a reverse fallaway & slip to LOD; reverse pivot 2 to wall; side to a throwaway oversway;
Slip Pivot

phase III

sqq;

The word "pivot" is not only used to refer to a couple action. Here, the woman pivots, but the man does not. In semi-closed position, step back on lead feet, the woman beginning a LF pivot on the ball of her right foot (her thighs locked and left leg extended forward). On the first quick, the man steps back R turning LF, and the woman steps forward L, completing about a 1/2 LF turn, placing her foot just outside his right foot. Finally, he steps forward L in closed position. Of course, the "pivot" is the lady's LF turn on the ball of her right foot. The "slip" is the smooth turning action, the sneaking of her left foot against his right, and the neat change to closed position.

There is a general rule associated with slip movements that says, if there is no or only a little LF rotation of the couple, then the woman steps L outside the man's R. The man will use his frame to control this. If the man intends to turn the partnership, say, 1/4 LF, then he will guide her to step L between his feet. This will allow him to turn LF during the third step and end in closed position. If she had slipped outside his feet, the turn would have put them in banjo.

In the Springers' Stardust Foxtrot, there is an open telemark; hover fallaway; slip pivot; manuver; and two right turns;;
Outside Change

phase IV

sqq;

In closed or banjo reverse, step back L, back R turning LF, and side and forward to banjo or semi, line of dance. The woman will step forward R, forward, and then either side and back to banjo or side and forward to semi, depending on the lead (and cue). In Am I Blue IV by Slater, there is a promenade weave;; change of direction; turn left & right chasse; outside change to SCP; half natural; closed impetus;
Outside Check

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position RLOD step back R, -, side and forward L turning LF, and then check forward R to banjo reverse and wall;

May begin in other facing directions and turn varying amounts.
In Lefeavers' Christmas Candles, part B has a reverse wave;; back 3-step; outside check to banjo reverse and wall; back hover telemark; to a promenade weave;;
Outside Swivel

phase IV

ss;

In banjo, step back L, woman forward R. The woman then turns RF on the ball of her right foot while the man crosses his right foot in front of his left to get that leg out of her way. Only one weight change; end in SCP, trail foot free.

Although not standard, we can dance an outside swivel from SCP beginning with the trail foot. Both step forward, M right and W left, and the lady swivels LF to BJO. Sometimes, the cue is "outside swivel twice." We begin in BJO. The man rocks back and forward, and the lady dances a forward swivel to SCP and another forward swivel to BJO.
In the Fishers' C'est Si Bon, part A has a closed telemark; open natural; outside swivel twice; impetus to semi;
Inside Swivel

ss;
In CP, step back L, bringing R side strongly back, taking R hip out of the lady's way. She steps forward R between his feet and swivels on the ball of her R to a tight SCP.
Cross Swivel

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position facing LOD, step forward left turning LF (W bk R), -, both point trail feet toward line and continue to turn, and finally check thru to banjo reverse (two weight changes, lead feet free at the end). In the Moores' Just In Time, there is a three step; natural turn; back feather; back feather to sidecar checking; cross swivel to banjo; maneuver and pivot 3 to semi; to a whiplash;
Traveling Swivel

phase VI

qqqq;

In closed position facing LOD, step forward L (woman bk R) turning LF with left sway, sd R swiveling LF (woman close L), back L stepping toward line and center swiveling LF and leaving right foot forward (woman fwd R outside partner flick left foot up in back from the knee and swivel RF to semi-closed), thru R (woman thru L) toward line and wall to end in semi-closed position;
Spin Turn

phase III

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse, step back L (woman fwd R) pivoting RF, -, forward between lady’s feet rising and completing the turn, recover side and back to CP DLW;

A second standard ending position is CP DRW, a turn of 7/8. The preferred cue is Spin Overturn.

Again, the standard figure ends DLW (5/8 turn), but the figure may underturn to face LOD or overturn to face reverse and wall or even RLOD. When the amount of turn wanted is other than 5/8 or 7/8, the cue should be, spin turn to a particular facing direction, such as wall.

The figure can begin in other facing directions, such as CP LOD. We'd end facing DRC. I find it surprisingly difficult to do this. I suppose it's because it doesn't happen often.

Do a spin turn to a back half box; and three step down line;
Spin Overturn
aka Overspin Turn

phase III

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse, step back L (woman fwd R) pivoting RF, -, forward between lady’s feet rising and completing the turn, recover side and back;

End facing reverse and wall.

Sometimes, dancers feel that they can't get far enough around when they are asked to overturn a spin turn. The secret is in the second step. First, ladies, keep a strong left head. This will add to your turning momentum. If you pull in to your man, you can stop the rotation dead. Second, milk that beat (beat 3 of the measure). Don't be in a hurry to put your lead foot down. Ride the spin until you are where you need to be, and only then recover onto the lead feet. If that isn't until the "&" of beat 4, that's okay. Don't even think about that third step, and certainly don't plan a leaping or lunging side step at the end, thinking that this might take your farther around. The woman drives as she steps forward on her right. The man drives as he steps forward on his right. Right here, think of your frame as a rectangle, instead of an oval, and ladies, put your head in that back left corner. Then ride the momentum around. Let the free lead leg just hover behind the weighted leg, and you should actually feel the need to put the brakes on as you spin even to RLOD.

In the LeBlancs' Remember When, part B ends with a 3-step; maneuver; overspin turn to wall; back half box; and then into a jive sequence.
Running Spin

phase VI

sq&q;

The term "running" implies the syncopation in this figure. It is a syncopated Overspin Turn.

In closed position facing RLOD, step back L (woman fwd R) pivoting 1/2 RF, -, fwd R turning/side L (woman bk L/sd R), bk R to contra banjo facing reverse and wall;

In To Each His Own by Shawver we dance a three stp; half nat trn; running spin; outside chg to SCP; curved feather;
Spin and Twist

phase VI

sqq; q&qs;

In closed position, reverse line of dance, lead feet free, step back commencing RF pivot, -, step forward between lady's feet turning, and step side to face diagonal reverse and wall; During this first measure, you are dancing an overspin turn.

Now, the trail feet are free. The man hooks his R behind his L with no weight, and she steps fwd L/R around him. On beat 2, she steps fwd L turning RF and unwinding him. He changes weight as she does so. On the last "slow," he steps side and back L, and she steps between his feet R. End in closed position facing diagonal wall, wall, or even diagonal reverse and wall.


Spin and Double Twist

phase VI

sqq; q&qs; q&qs;

Do a spin and twist (see above) overturned to face reverse, and then do another twist turn.

One of the problems inherent in this "double twist turn" lies in the long side step L that overturns the first twist turn and prepares you to do the second twist turn. It can become an abrupt leap that disturbs the smooth flow of the dance. Again, a twist turn for the man involves two weight changes. He crosses his right behind his left. She unwinds him. He takes weight on his right on beat 2, and then steps side on the "slow." You can smooth out a double twist by taking four weight changes and by making the third step a progressing pivoting step. Cross R behind L taking weight/step L as she begins to unwind you. On beat 2 step forward R and pivot in a maneuver action, and then step small side L to set up for the second twist turn. The count becomes q&qs; just as it is for the woman, and the flow is so much smoother than the usual "hook/unwind, step, leap."


Twist Turn

q&qs;

This figure is perhaps most often found as a part of the Spin and Twist (above), but it can stand alone following other figures than the Spin Turn.

Begin in closed position, trail feet free. The man crosses his R behind his L with no weight, and she steps fwd L/R around him. On beat 2, she steps fwd L turning RF and unwinding him. He changes weight as she does so. On the slow count, he steps side and back L, and she steps between his feet R. May also end in semi-closed position.

In the Cantrells' All Of You, part A begins in closed position with a forward to a right lunge; recover, step, double ronde and twist turn;; to a feather; into three fallaways;;;
Natural Twist Turn

phase VI

sqq; sqq;

In semi-closed position facing LOD, step forward R (woman fwd L) turning RF, -, side and back L (woman fwd R between man's feet) to closed position facing RLOD with right sway, cross R in back of L with no weight change (woman fwd L in contra banjo position); unwind RF shifting weight to both feet (woman fwd R in contra banjo), -, unwind and take weight on R (woman swivel RF on right and close L to R), step back L (woman fwd R) to closed position facing reverse and wall;

This is a "standard" figure but not a common one in Foxtrot. Actually, the twist turn originated in Tango and only later came to be danced in various combinations in other Smooth rhythms.


Outside Spin

phase V

sqq;

This one begins in contra banjo, usually facing reverse, lead feet free. The first thing the man does is use upper body rotation and right side lead (back) to cause the woman to take a big step forward, outside, and turning RF. In the process of leading this movement, he takes a little step back, toeing in. Don't think of taking a back step. Just let your weight shift to the left foot, toe to the instep of the right foot, as you rotate about 3/8 RF. The man's second step is a long forward step outside of the woman and again turning about 3/8 RF. She draws her left to right and does a heel turn. During the second quick, he steps side and back, and she steps side and forward between his feet to closed position, completing one full turn during the figure. Note that the woman takes a big step first, the man second, and both step together on the third step. Some teachers summarize these steps as: "lady around, man around, step side." In the Heinys" Must You Dance, there is a hover to banjo; natural hover cross;; turn left & right chasse; outside spin; feather finish; and hover to semi;

In the Finchs' Sam's Pants, there is a hover telemark; open natural; outside spin overturned; to a hairpin;

Royal Spin

phase V

sqq;

This is somewhat like an Outside Spin for the man, but his third step is forward, rather than side and back, and he has to be careful to dance a circular arc. He can't move away and then back toward his partner, or she'll topple.

Begin in contra banjo position facing reverse. As in the Outside Spin, begin RF body rotation, and allow that movement to place the left foot just a little back and L toe to R instep (woman turns with the man, staying well into his right arm in contra banjo, and steps forward R outside the man). Step forward R outside woman, turning (woman continues to turn on ball of right foot over counts 2, 3, & 4, and as she spins, she makes a small CW ronde with her left foot, raises the left knee to bring the left foot to the right knee, toes pointed down, and then lowers the L to R with a touch). On the second "quick" the man slips L under body and steps forward L with left-side lead.

The woman is doing a sort-of "ronde/kick" that actually aids considerably in causing the spin. She has just stepped forward R, so the left leg is back. She makes a small ronde forward to a kick and at the same time bends the knee so the left foot ends up at her right knee. The movement is like a reverse develope superimposed on top of the rotation. The momentum of the kick part really helps to rotate the couple. It has a neat, wooshing kind of feel.

Again, the woman takes only one step and then rises to her leg flourish, as the man turns her on the spot. For this figure to be stable, each of his steps must be the same distance from her pivot point. He must walk a circle, the center of which is the ball of her right foot.


Impetus to Semi

phase III

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse, step back L and she steps forward R between the man's feet. The man brings his R to L and touches and leads her to step L thru his right hip, turning him in a heel turn 1/2. The effect will be much as though she pushed through a turnstyle. Don't close on the right too early, or you will lock that turnstyle. Close at the end of beat three. Then open her head with a little right side stretch and step forward L to semi-closed position, diagonal line and center. In the Rumbles' This Is the Life, there is an impetus to semi; promenade weave;; three step; natural turn; closed impetus; to a back feather finish;
Closed Impetus

phase IV

sqq;

As in the impetus to semi or "open" impetus, in closed position reverse, step back L leading woman to step R between feet turning 1/2 RF and then side and forward L brushing right to left. Man does heel turn, changing weight at the end of beat 3. On count 4, the man steps side and back, and woman steps side and forward to closed position, diagonal line and wall. In the Goss' Nessuno Mai, there is a three step; natural turn 1/2; closed impetus; feather finish;
Reverse Impetus Turn

phase V

sqq;

In closed position facing RLOD, step back R beginning to turn LF (woman fwd L), -, draw L to R for a heel turn sway right and close L (woman side R rising and brush L to R) turning 1/2 LF, continue turning LF on ball of L and step back R (woman fwd L) to end facing DRC; In They Say It's Wonderful by Doi, there is a quick weave 4 to BJO RLOD; reverse impetus to BJO DRC; bk & pivot to a hairpin;
Hover

phase III

sqq;

In closed position, man facing wall, step forward L (W bk R), -, forward & a little side R rising to the ball of the foot, side & fwd L to SCP LOD;

The second step, rising, and perhaps prolonging that step, by borrowing just a bit from the previous or from the next step, is the "hovering" action. You float on air for a moment and may brush lead to trail foot. May be done from other facing directions, but the effect is a little LF turn. (Contrast with the hover telemark, which tends to direct us a little RF.)

May start in banjo position -- blend to CP during the first step. May be danced from other facing directions.
In Once In A While by the Gloodts, there is a curved feather checking; back feather; feather finish; hover; slow side lock; double reverse spin;
Back Hover

phase III

sqq;

In closed position, step back, -, side and back (W sd and fwd & brush free foot to supporting foot) with a slight rise, recover to closed position.

May start with either foot. May begin and end in other positions in which case the woman may have some body turn. For instance, in a Back Hover to Semi, she would turn RF.

In the Broadwaters' Dream of Me, the dance begins in left open facing position, diagonal line and center, with a back hover to semi; feather; reverse turn;; three step; half natural; closed impetus;
Cross Hover

phase III

sqq;

In sidecar position, step fwd L (W bk R) with slight crossing action and beginning to rise and turn LF, -, side and fwd R completing 1/4 turn, diagonally fwd L to banjo position lowering at the end of the step;

This is a progressive figure with each step being taken along a diagonal. May begin in banjo with the trail feet free. The woman may brush her free foot to the supporting foot at the end of the second step. The figure may end in semi-closed position if so cued. In this case, the woman will turn strongly at the end of the second step and her last step will be forward.

In the Bucks' Flamingo, there is an open natural; outside spin & twist to diagonal reverse and wall;; back and chasse to banjo; natural telemark; cross hover to semi; promenade weave;; change of direction;
Forward Hover

phase III

sqq;

In closed position, step forward, -, side and fwd rising, recover; In the Tuckers' Un P'tit Foxtrot, there is an open natural turn; back, back/lock, back; open impetus; forward hover to banjo; quick feather finish to banjo line and center; to a reverse turn check and weave;;;
Closed Hover

sqq;

In closed position, step forward, -, close rising, recover; In Kiss Me Slow by the Nelsons, the dance begins with a closed hover; feather finish; hover; feather; reverse wave check & weave;;;
Running Hover

phase VI

sq&q;

The word "running" can imply quick steps or it can mean to add a step to a figure through the use of syncopation. In the running hover, we want to do a hover, but we have the trail feet free. In banjo, we would step forward R (woman back L) and then do a quick syncopated hover: fwd L to closed position/ fwd & sd R with right side stretch, and fwd L;

The figure could begin and end in a variety of positions.


Hover Telemark

phase IV

sqq;

I like to think of this figure as a hover with an open telemark ending. It also involves a forward step thru the woman, which is an important part of telemark turns.

In closed position, step forward L (woman back R), side and forward R into the woman turning up to 1/4 RF and woman brushing R to L. Both step small step forward on lead feet to semi-closed position.

You might consider dancing this with qsq timing. This would give you two beats to emphasize the hovering action and turn it into a little picture.

Where the hover tends to lead into left-turning figures, the hover telemark usually preceeds right-turning figures.

In the Rumbles' More, there is a promenade weave;; hover telemark; open natural turn; outside swivel twice; and weave ending;
Back Hover Telemark

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse line of dance, step back L (W fwd R) turning RF. Step side and fwd, rising and continuing to turn; brush if you like. Small step to semi facing diagonal line and center, trail feet free.

The beginning orientation can vary. The man turns up to 3/8; the woman will turn more, up to 5/8.

I suppose this figure is named for the initial back step and the hovering action and ending position of a hover telemark, but I believe the ballroom world knows this figure as a Hover Impetus. It is an impetus turn with a side step instead of a heel turn for the man.

In the Esquedas' Pensando En Ti, there is a double reverse spin; change of direction; fallaway 4 to banjo; back hover telemark to semi; and promenade weave;;
Link To Promenade

phase VI

sqq;

In banjo position, perhaps facing line and wall, step forward R with slight right sway (woman back L turning RF), -, draw L to R, fwd L rising to toes and with left sway to open woman's head (woman fwd R);

May begin in other positions and orientations, so first step may vary. The essence is to move from some other position in two steps to semi-closed position, trail feet free.


Hover Corte

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, reverse line of dance, step back right turning LF, step side and forward left rising, and recover right to contra banjo, line of dance. Booz's The Unicorn has this in part A: three step; natural turn; spin turn; hover corte; reverse hover corte; back box; two left turns;;
Reverse Corte

phase VI

sqq;

This is a Hover Corte in which the man takes only one step. It can have an elegant, soaring feel.

In closed position, perhaps facing RLOD, step back R (woman fwd L) turning LF, -, continue to turn on the right foot now with right sway (woman fwd R turning), turn to contra banjo and touch L to R (woman close L to R);


Reverse Hover Corte

sqq;

Not a standard figure, but in The Unicorn, it is a mirror image of a hover corte. Booz's spin turn puts you facing diagonal line and wall. The hover corte turns 1/2 LF to banjo diagonal reverse and center. The reverse hover corte then steps back L behinning a RF turn, a side R rising in a hover action, and then a back L to sidecar diagonal line and center for a 1/4 RF turn. The use of the word "reverse" is unfortunate here, since we usually think of a left-turning action, and here it is used to mean the opposite of a regular hover corte, which is a LF action. Oh well—there you are. We have to be flexible.
Whisk

phase III

sqq;

In closed position facing wall, step forward L (W bk R), -, side rising to ball of foot, both hook behind; End in a tight semi-closed position, high on the balls of the feet, trail foot free.

A nice little refinement has the man stepping forward L with left-side lead. This turns the lady just a little and causes her second step to be back L, rather than side L. All three of her steps then become back steps, and she stays on the man's right side much better.
The Tullus' Kiss Me Goodbye begins with a whisk; feather; to a reverse wave check and weave;;; three step;
Back Whisk

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, step back L (woman fwd R), back and side, and both cross lead behind trail in semi-closed position.
Back Turning Whisk

phase V

sqq;

In contra banjo position facing reverse, step back L toward diagonal wall and turning RF (woman fwd R), -, side R continuing to turn to semi-closed position facing diagonal center, and cross lead in back of trail; In the Nelsons' The Rose, in semi-closed position, there is a thru hover to banjo; back turning whisk; feather; to three fallaways with feather finish;;;;
Left Whisk

phase IV

sqq;

In semi-closed position, trail feet free, step thru, -, side to momentary closed position, and then cross well behind to a reverse semi-closed position;

As you take steps 2 & 3, your hips will be turning RF (woman LF), but your upper body should lag behind, producing a strong LF "wind-up" in the torso. Stay flat - does not have the strong rise of the normal whisk.


Syncopated Whisk

phase V

sq&q;

In semi-closed position, step thru with the trail foot, -, close and face partner/step side with slight right side stretch, and cross lead behind trail in tight semi-closed position; In the Goss' From My Guy, there is a reverrse turn;; whisk; syncopated whisk; wing; reverse turn to sidecar check & weave;;;
Natural Fallaway Whisk

phase V

qqqq;

Remember that "natural" means turn right, a "fallaway" is a step back in semi-closed position, and a "whisk" is that tight tucking of the lead foot behind the trail foot.

Start this figure in semi-closed position facing LOD. Step thru R turning RF to closed position facing reverse and wall (woman thru L), side and back L continuing to turn (woman fwd R between man's feet and staying well into his right arm still in closed position), side and back R turning (woman sd L), cross L tightly in back of R with strong right-side stretch (woman XRIB of L) to a tight semi-closed "whisk" position facing RLOD;


Wing

phase III

sqq;

In semi-closed position facing LOD or DLC, step thru with trail feet, draw L to R with no weight change, the woman walking forward around man turning LF. End in sidecar, line and center. The man takes one weight change and the woman takes three.

An important consideration in any figure that puts you into sidecar is to maintain your dance position. Sidecar is considered to be a kind of closed position, so the man needs to rotate his torso left face and keep upper bodies in a closed relationship, even as he shifts his hips to the right, to their sidecar relationship. The woman turns her body sharply LF between steps 2 & 3 and closes her head.

The figure is called a "wing" because the lady's part resembles a large bird, maybe a sea gull, folding it's wing into it's body (the man). (Josephine Bradley) We do not want to see the lady's body and head directed straight ahead or even off to the right somewhere, but center on your partner.

In Hover Dreams IV by the Meyers, there is an open reverse turn; hover corte; back whisk; thru & chasse to SCP; wing; and cross hover 3 times ending in SCP;;;
Progressive Wing

phase IV

sqq;

In semi line, step thru with trail feet. The man turns his upper body LF to lead woman to walk in a semi-circle, LF around in front of man as he steps forward L and then locks RBL to end in a contra sidecar position. Same as a plain wing (just above), but the man takes three steps and progresses down line.
Closed Wing

phase IV

sqq;

In closed or banjo, diagonal line and wall, step forward right wih LF upper body turn, leading woman back left, -, side right across man, and forward left to sidecar.
Right Lunge

phase IV

s

In closed position trail feet free, flex left knee lowering, step side and forward between her feet, flex right knee, rotate body a bit LF, and look at partner.

First, a caution. Men, we spend most of our time with head left. We are looking up, but her right elbow or right hand might be in the bottom of our field of view. When you are told that you may "look at partner," we usually mean only that you may shift your gaze a little farther right, maybe over her right ear. Don't get in her face to probe deeply those limpid pools, searching out her very soul. I suppose at the end of a dance, you might give in a little, but generally we want to stay in closed position and maintain proper frame. Keep your torso up. Don't invade her space and push her over.

Second, note that you step between her feet. Your goal is to contact the inside of her left thigh with your right knee and to gently ease her leg out there. If the two of you step to the side independently, it is easy to go different directions and to end up apart from each other. We want to end a right lunge tight together.

In Love Wonderful Love by the Rosses, the dance begins in closed position with a right lunge recover; feather finish; reverse wave;; back feather; back three step; hesitation change; telemark to semi;
Rolling Right Lunge

s

This is a right lunge in which left sway is accentuated at the beginning of the figure, and then smoothly the sway is changed.

In closed position with right-side stretch and woman's head to her right, flex left knee lowering, step side and forward R between her feet, flex right knee, rotate body a bit LF, change from right- to left-side stretch closing her head, and look at partner. Your frame should slowly "roll" from left to right sway.

In That's How It Goes by the Vogts, the dance ends with a natural hover cross checking;; topspin 3 to a rolling right lunge; and hold;

In this dance, the figure extends into the last measure and actually spans 5 beats, rather than just a "slow."

Right Lunge Roll and Slip

phase V

sqq;

Begin in closed position, often facing line and wall, with the trail feet free. On the slow count, flex the left knee and lower, step side and slightly forward R between her feet (woman steps side and back L), flex the right knee, and stretch the left side to produce a little right sway. The sway will close her head: she will look left and he will look right. On the first "quick," rotate the upper body up to 3/8 RF, lowering just a little more to help you get your lower body back under yourself, and recover L rising and rotating LF. This is the "roll." Then slip the right foot past the left for a back R (woman draws L to R and slips forward L) turning LF and lowering again to closed position facing line and center.

We find this a complex figure. There is footwork, rise and fall, rotation to the right and then to the left, and there is right sway and then loss of sway—all layered on top of one another. The steps are side and forward R, -, recover L, back R;—straightforward. The lunge uses beats 1 & 2. The right sway is part of the lunge—we are inclined to the right and looking right (woman left). So the sway develops in beat 2 and goes away during 3. The rotation is layered over the lunge, the recover, and the slip; so it uses beats 2, 3, & 4, first to the right and then to the left. Finally, the rise and fall extends over the whole measure. We lower during beat 1, stay down during 2 and even try to lower a little more as we finish the roll. As we recover during beat 3, we rise (this is very late rise for foxtrot). Finally, we slip back to a lowered position at the end of beat 4. The whole thing has a sort-of figure-eight, roller-coaster kind of feel to it—very exciting when it all comes together.


Right Lunge Rag Doll Sways and Slip

sqq; qq

Begin in closed position, often facing line and wall, with the trail feet free. On the slow count, flex the left knee and lower, step side and slightly forward R between her feet (woman steps side and back L), flex the right knee, and stretch the left side to produce a little right sway. The sway will close her head: she will look left and he will look right.

The rag doll sways us the first three "quicks." Recover L (woman R) and sway left, fwd R sway right, rec L sway left.

Finally, slip the right foot past the left for a back R (woman draws L to R and slips forward L) turning LF and lowering again to closed position facing line and center.

In I'm All Right by the Cantrells, there is a double reverse spin; fwd, right lunge; rag doll sways & slip; to a left curving 3;
Chair

phase III movement

s

In semi-closed position, lunge thru with trail feet, heel-toe, and lower. Angle your foot out toward partner for balance. Be sure to maintain your semi-closed position, rather than easing into some kind of half-open position. That means your inside thighs should be touching, and your shoulders should be turned toward your partner in good toned, contra frame. But as always, keep your upper bodies up and even arched back a bit: hips together, upper bodies apart. Arms up. May be done with lead feet to reverse. The Slotsves' September Foxtrot has a simple but really nice sequence in part A: hover; chair, -, recover, -; promenade weave;; three-step; natural turn; closed impetus; and feather finish;

I love the feel of that slow chair and recover.

Broken Chair or Chair and Change Sway

ss;

The Chair (above) has definite forward poise. It is a lunge thru. If you then sway to reverse by looking at your partner or even over the trail shoulders, you can change from a forward poise to a back poise, perhaps on the last beat of a dance.
Chair and Slip

phase IV

sqq;

In semi, line, check thru with the trail feet in a lunging action, recover with slight LF upper body turn leading woman to swivel LF on right. Slip right behind left as woman steps forward left outside man's right foot to closed position diagonal line and center. Do a reverse turn;; hover telemark; chair & slip; telemark to semi;

Or, the Bucks' Fools Fall In Love has a hover; chair & slip; to diamond turns;;;;

Contra Check

phase V

s

In closed position, lead feet free, lower into your right knee (woman left), begin LF rotation, and slide the left foot forward. Your left foot is moving forward as your right side is leading strongly. This is the contra body action. Of course, the woman is lowering and stepping back R, allowing her toe to slip across the floor. His left thigh is actually pushing into her right thigh. Only when she feels the man stop and begin to change weight, will she stop that slipping foot movement and take weight herself. She must wait. The LF rotation causes the man to turn his left foot out. If he is facing DLW, his toes will be pointing LOD. This angled foot placement helps a great deal in maintaining balance. The woman steps straight back R, but her CBM causes her left foot to angle out and may turn her right foot a bit in. All four feet end up pretty much in one straight row (her R, his L, her L, his R), but the foot angles and the tight contact at the thighs helps maintain balance. Hips are in. Toplines are well apart—you are stepping forward, but don't lean forward. Heads are left.

There are two things that the man can think about to make this figure more comfortable for the woman. First, he can relax his right arm, slide his hand down toward the small of her back, and let her go. If he keeps his hand on her shoulder blade and his arm flexed, she will not be able to arch back and rotate left as freely. Second, he can rotate his whole frame left, which means his left arm will come back. We don't want to pull the left hand back separately in a broken-chicken-wing effect. Maintain the same relationship between the left arm and the shoulders as usual, but rotate the whole assemblage. I often find myself rotating my torso but leaving my left arm and hand forward. This pushes on the woman and again interferes with her rotation and contra action.

Timing varies. A slow contra check can easily span a whole measure.


Contra Check and Slip

phase V

sqq;

In closed position, lower into the right knee (woman L), begin to rotate upper body LF, and step forward L (woman back R). Keep your hips in and up and your shoulders well apart. On the first "quick" recover R, and then slip back L (woman fwd R).
Contra Check and Switch

phase V

sqq;

In closed position, lower into the right knee (woman L), begin to rotate upper body LF, and step forward L (woman back R) in strong contra-body position. Keep your hips in and up and your shoulders well apart. On the first "quick" recover R beginning to turn RF, and then slip back L (woman fwd R) continuing to turn about 1/4. In Where Or When by the Worlocks, we have a good example of a one-step switch, but it is not associated with a contra check. Part A begins with a promenade weave 5 with a check back on the trail foot and a slow switch;; to a natural weave;;

In this dance, the "switch" is a slow forward L for the man turning 1/2 RF to face LOD for the standard natural weave.

Traveling Contra Check

phase VI

sqq;

In closed position perhaps facing line and wall, step forward L with right-side lead (woman bk L turning RF) [contra body motion], -, close R rising to toes, fwd L to end in semi-closed position;
Open Contra Check

s
An open contra check is the same as a standard contra check (see above), but we are apart from partner, usually in a R/R handshake position. We dance the same lowering, LF rotation, and sliding under partner, but we have that handshake-worth of distance between us. We have only one point of contact to direct our lead and follow, so maintaining our toned frame is maybe even more important than in the standard, closed-position contra check. Keep the joined right hands and arms well toned and connected to the upper-body frame. Don't tug or push as in an arm-wrestling match.

We lower. The man moves forward with right-shoulder lead, under the lady, though at a distance, and the lady slides her lead foot back. She feels the pressure through joined right hands, and she continues to reach back as long as she feels the man moving forward. She can feel that through toned right arms. She reaches back as far as she can. As he takes weight and she feels the forward pressure weaken, she takes weight. Of course, it is so important that she not simply take a short back step and end the figure.

As we take weight, we usually now have time to develop the body lines. Left arms are extended. The man straightens his right elbow; this is analogous to the relaxing of his right arm in closed position. She stretches to her left and looks well left out along her extended left arm. We might have a whole measure, even two measures to create this long, graceful line across the whole partnership.

Chasse

phase III

(pronounce "sha-SAY" — a "sashay" is a square dance term)

q&q

In French, chasse is a chase, chasing, pursuit. Chasse is a ballet term and refers to one foot "chasing" the other. In round dancing, the steps are side/close, side, and may begin with either foot. Partners are facing each other with shoulders parallel. In That's How It Goes by the Vogts, part A begins with a curving 3 step; back chasse to banjo DLW; curved feather; back tipple chasse pivot; pivot 3; to a rudolph ronde & slip; to an open telemark;
Thru Chasse

phase III

sq/&q;

In semi-closed position, step thru with trail feet in CBMP, -, side/close, side;
Turn Left and Right Chasse

phase III

sq/&q;

In closed position, LOD, step forward L (woman back R) turning LF, -, sd/cl, sd ending BJO reverse and COH; In Stardust Foxtrot by the Bucks, there is a hover telemark; open natural turn; hesitation change; turn left & right chasse to banjo; bk & bk/lk bk; to an outside change to SCP;
Ripple Chasse

phase V

sq&q;

In semi-closed position, step thru R (woman thru L) to contra banjo. The chasse begins with a side and forward L/close R with left side stretch and looking R (woman L) ("closed heads"). This stretch is the "ripple:" tipping the upper body in the direction away from that of progression. Finally, step side and forward L again blending to semi-closed position. May also end in contra banjo. In the Worlocks' Where Or When, there is a hover; thru ripple chasse; big top; double reverse to line and wall; and change of direction;
Tipple Chasse

also cued Back Tipple Chasse

phase V

sq&q;

In closed position, reverse line of dance, step back L (woman forward R) turning 1/4 RF. Step side R/close L with slight left side stretch. This stretch is the "tipple:" tipping the upper body in the direction of progression. Finally, step side and forward R with another 1/8 turn to face line and center in closed position.

May begin with the trail foot in which case the turn would be LF and the ending position line and wall.

Notice that this description includes both sway in the direction of progression and body turn. Some teachers do not emphasize the sway and instead think of a Tipple Chasse as a "turning" chasse.


Forward Tipple Chasse

phase V

sq&q;

In contra banjo or closed position facing LOD, step forward R turning RF, -, side L/close R with right-side stretch, side and slightly back L to end in closed position facing reverse and wall;

Again, a "tipple" is a sway toward the direction of progression. Bill Goss has described this action as stretching up to look over a fence as you dance past. Maybe there's a nudist colony over there?


Tipple Chasse Pivot

sq&q;

This is not a standard figure but a combination of the tipple chasse and a one-step pivoting action (phase II) made on the last step of the chasse: step back L turning RF (or back R turning LF), -, side/close turning 1/8, and then side and forward pivoting 1/2 for a total turn of 7/8; In the Rumbles' Blue Moon, part A begins with a reverse wave;; back tipple chasse pivot; impetus to semi; promenade run (qqqq); thru & chasse to low butterfly;
Vine
(Grapevine is the American Foxtrot name.)

phase III

sqq;

In closed position step side L (W sd R), -, both step behind, side;

May begin with the trail feet and progress in the other direction. A Front Vine begins by crossing in front.

May be done in OP, in which case, we might "vine apart and then vine together."

Often in foxtrot, our vines are done in all quicks: Vine 4 or even Vine 8.

In A Wink and A Smile by Rumble we are in wrapped position LOD. We rock L&R; lady roll across to lunge apart M in 2; both roll across 3 to OP LOD; front vine 4; feather; three step;
Twisty Vine

phase III

sqq;

In closed or butterfly position, step side left (woman side R), -, cross in back R (W XLIF of R) to sidecar position, step side to facing position again;

This "foxtrot twisty vine" can run for any number of measures.

Follow with a maneuver.

In I Could Write A Book by Parker we dance an impetus to SCP; cross hesitation; back twist vine 4; outside change to SCP; chair & slip;  Note that here the vine is qqqq.
Shadow Grapevine

qqqq;
In a tight shadow position, perhaps facing wall, with the lady's right hip firmly into the man's right hand, both XRIF of L, sd L, XRIB of L, sd L;

Note the twist-vine feel.

May start with either foot and proceed in either direction.

Advanced Shadow Grapevine

qqqq;
In a tight shadow position, perhaps facing wall, with the lady's right hip firmly into the man's right hand, both XRIF of L, sd L, XRIB of L allowing the W to shift to the M's left putting her L hip into his left hand, sd L;

Of course, the "advanced" feature of this figure is the extra body rotation that allows the lady to shift from the man's right to his left. In order to show off this shift from side to side, one might prefer to continue the figure for 8 steps and so shift her left, then right, then left again.

May start with either foot and proceed in either direction.
In Sisters by Goss, we do an impetus to SCP; inside underarm trans to shadow; shadow feather; shadow telemark; advanced shadow grapevine 8;; lady roll RF trans half open; feather;
Switching Grapevine

qqqq; qqqq; qqqq; qqqq;

In American Foxtrot, the vine is often referred to as a grapevine, and the switching grapevine is very American: done in open position, perhaps both facing wall, both with right feet free. In the nutshell, we do a front vine 4 moving toward LOD, the woman rolls in 4 in front of the man to his left side, we do another front vine 4, and then the man rolls in front of the woman back to OP again.

We begin in open position, both facing the wall, both with right feet free. We XRIF of L, sd L, XRIB of L, sd L; chk thru R (W fwd R beginning to roll across changing sides), recover L (W fwd L turning LF), sd R (W sd R trng), rec L (W sd L) to LOP both fc wall W on M's L sd; XRIF of L, sd L, XRIB of L, sd L; fwd R beginning to roll across changing sides (W chk thru R), fwd L turning LF (W recover L), sd R trng (W sd R ), sd L (W rec L) to OP both fc wall M on W's L sd;

Can begin in LOP so the man would roll across first. Can begin with the roll across and end with both front vine. Could begin with the left feet free and progress RLOD or facing COH, again with either foot free. American Foxtrot is very flexible.

In Sisters by the Gosses, there is an impetus to semi; roll out transition to left open position, both facing wall, right feet free; switching grapevine (front vine; man across; front vine; woman across;) to a front vine 4;

In Exactly Like You Foxtrot by the Gosses, there is a six-measure switching grapevine beginning in LOP wall, right feet free, in which the man rolls across; front vine; woman across; front vine; man across; front vine; into continuous cross checks with lunge and arms (the end);;

Zigzag

phase V

qqqq;

In banjo reverse and wall, step back L (woman fwd R). Close R to L turning RF as woman steps fwd & sd L turning RF. Step fwd L to sidecar diagonal line and center. On the last quick, step side and back R turning LF to banjo diagonal reverse and wall. It's like a twisty vine in two-step. In the Cantrells' Ain't That a Kick, the introduction begins with a zigzag; back feather; feather finish; and a change of direction to face line and center;

Later, they have a forward zigzag 8;; to a maneuver, pivot 2 to a promenade sway;

Zig Zag or
Natural Promenade Zig Zag

phase V

sqq; qq

In semi-closed position, step forward R (woman fwd L) beginning to turn RF, -, side L (woman fwd R), back R to contra sidecar facing reverse and wall; turn LF and step side L, keep turning and step fwd R to contra banjo facing line and wall,

Another way to think about this one is to consider it a "forward to a zigzag." It's like a twisty vine.


Hover Fallaway

phase III

sqq;

In semi-closed position, line of dance, step through with trail feet, -, step fwd on lead rising to ball of foot checking, and recover back on trail foot still in semi;
Natural Hover Fallaway

phase IV

sqq;

In SCP LOD, step forward R with slight RF body turn (W fwd L), forward L turning and rising to a hover, the lady stepping between his feet and remaining in SCP, then recover back on trail feet (the fallaway step). End SCP DRW.

Each step progresses down LOD; remain in SCP throughout. Amount of turn may vary from 1/4 to 1/2.
In the Scotts' Warsaw Concerto, the intro has a natural hover fallaway to a weave ending;; three fallaways with feather finish;;;; double reverse; drag hesitation; open impetus;
Reverse Fallaway

phase IV

sqq;

To "fall away" is to step back in semi-closed position. In the natural fallaway (above), we step down line, turn RF, and step back to SCP facing reverse and wall. In the reverse fallaway, we turn LF and step back to SCP facing DRC.

The reverse fallaway might begin in CP or BJO facing DLC. From CP, step forward L (woman back R turning LF). Step side and then cross lead feet behind trail into a tight SCP facing reverse.

The Reverse Fallaway from Semi, LOD, begins with a step forward on the trail feet turning LF, man forward L turning and woman back R turning, and then both step back on the trail feet to SCP RLOD.

May be done in other facing directions. The amount of turn is usually 3/8 LF.

In the Martins' Old Fashioned Foxtrot 6, there is an open telemark; curved feather check; open impetus; feather; reverse fallaway & slip to closed position line; double reverse spin;

In the Bucks' Dance and Dream, there is a double reverse spin; bounce reverse fallaway 4 to banjo; back hover telemark; to a Viennese Cross;

Extended Fallaway

sqq; qqqq;

To "extend" is to add steps, but the choreographer must specify the details.

You might begin in SCP and step thru with trail feet turning LF, -, forward L (woman back R) turning, both step back on trail feet to SCP facing RLOD; XIB, sd, XIB, sd;

In Breathless by the Moores, part B begins with a hover telemark; feather; and then counter promenade to extended fallaway slip to banjo and back wing checking;;; (sqqqqqqqqs)
Bounce Reverse Fallaway

qqs;

This is a reverse fallaway with a sharp rise and fall incorporated into the individual steps.

In CP or BJO facing DLC step fwd L (W bk R) turning LF and with strong rise, sd R DLC but body facing DRC (W bk L) sharply lower, bk L with sharp rise (W bk R) in SCP RLOD, -;

In order to emphasize or to showcase the bounce, this figure is often done in 4 steps (qqqq): "bounce reverse fallaway in 4" or "bounce reverse fallaway and back." An additionsl back step on the trail feet is taken. Another slight modification that emphasizes the "up" part of the bounce is to dance the figure s&s&. With this timing, we rise on the slow-counts and hold the up position just a little, and then fall quickly on the &-counts.

Sometimes the directional cue (reverse) is omitted from this figure and we only hear "bounce fallaway." If the choreography places you facing DLC, it would be uncomfortable to do a right-turning figure, so "reverse" does not need to be stated. Perhaps the reverse fallaway is enough more common than the natural fallaway so it can be considered to be the default—just something to be aware of—if you're not told otherwise, turn it LF.

In Ain't That A Kick by the Cantrells, we do a feather finish; change of direction; bounce reverse fallaway & back to BJO DRW; weave ending; three step;
Reverse Fallaway and Slip

phase V

qqqq;

This is a quick Reverse Fallaway with one more step on which you spin 1/2 LF to closed position. So, in closed position facing line and center, step forward L, (woman back R) turning LF, back R in semi-closed position facing RLOD, and then cross lead behind trail tightly under body—this is the "fallaway." Tuck that lead foot farther under the body than in a plain Reverse Fallaway in preparation for the "slip." On the last step, slip R past L toeing in to a small back R (woman fwd L pulling left shoulder strongly back) with LF body rotation, and turn 1/4 more LF softening R knee to closed position facing line and wall.

The "slip" is really a slip pivot, so the figure name is a bit of an abbreviation.


Bounce Reverse Fallaway & Slip

qqqq;

This is a reverse fallaway and slip with a sharp rise and fall incorporated into the individual steps.

In CP or BJO facing DLC step fwd L (W bk R) turning LF and with strong rise, sd R DLC but body facing DRC (W bk L) sharply lower, bk L with sharp rise (W bk R) in SCP RLOD, slip R past L toeing in to a small back step R (woman fwd L pulling left shoulder strongly back) with LF body rotation, and turn 1/4 more LF softening R knee to closed position facing line and wall;

In order to emphasize or to showcase the bounce, this figure can be danced s&s&.

In Smoke Gets In Your Eyes by the Rumbles, the dance starts with a bounce reverse fallaway and slip; change of direction; telefeather;; three step;

In French Poodle by the Moores, there is a three step; natural hover cross overturned to BJO DRW; top spin to BJO DLC; bounce fallaway & slip; change of direction;

Three Fallaways

phase VI

qqqq; qqqq; q

In CP DLC step fwd L with R shoulder lead and with right-side stretch (W bk R turning LF). Sd R to SCP RLOD and then back L well under the body. We still have sway toward RLOD. This is our first of the three fallaways. On the 4th Q, step back R turning LF and bring the lady to CP RLOD with no sway. On beat 5, step back and side L with left-side stretch = right sway (W side and back R) to RSCP facing RLOD, W on the outside of the circle. Step back R well under body (W bk L). We have danced the second of our three fallaways on counts 456. Now turn LF and step fwd L to CP LOD with right-side stretch = left sway, side R turning; and back L well under body to SCP RLOD. We have danced the third fallaway on counts 789.

This figure is comfortably danced if we pay attention to our positions and make our SCP and RSCP properly tight. Each roll across becomes a tight slip and fold to the next position with little separation between partners. Notice that the standard figure is linear, progressing down LOD, first to SCP, then RSCP, and finally SCP, all facing RLOD.  If we start facing DLC and  end RLOC, the total turn is 1 3/8. The amount of turn may vary.

The timing of the figure can also vary. The standard timing used to be SQQ; SQQ; SQQ; for a total of 3 measures, and so the current standard timing would have been cued "quick" three fallaways. We might continue to hear this cue, as a "helper" cue.

In the ballroom world, three fallaways is not a linear figure. It makes conspicuous use of the diagonals, and you might enjoy this little different shape. Specifically, the first four steps progress toward diagonal line and center (DLC). Steps 5 & 6 go down LOD, and then steps 7, 8, & 9 move toward DLW. "Like the shape of a frying pan," says one of our teachers. If you can imagine looking at the pan in cross-section, edge-on, we dance down the slanted side of the pan, across the flat bottom, and up the other side. We move diagonally in and then diagonally out again. It's a gentle flow, the changes from SCP to RSCP and back are a little easier, and it's a nice alternative to straight down LOD.

Here is a detailed description that emphasizes the diagonals. In CP DLC, step forward L (W back R) turning LF 1/4 and with right side stretch (woman left side). Step side R in SCP facing DRW, and cross lead foot in back of trail foot. The second fallaway begins with a step back R still toward DLC and turning to CP with no sway. The woman steps forward L and slips to closed; she is facing LOD. Step side L directly down LOD, now with left side stretch, leading W to step side and back R to RSCP, and cross trail foot in back of lead with a strong LF "wind-up" in the torso as in a left whisk. The man is on the inside of the circle. Finally, step forward L (woman back R) toward DLW turning LF now with no sway. The man is rolling across to the outside of the circle. Both step side with the trail foot and then cross the lead foot behind to SCP facing DRC, still no sway and lady's head therefore closed. The total turn here is 1 1/4.

You might be tempted to dance the first and third fallaways the same, but the ballroom figure is designed to consist of three different fallaways, the first with left sway and lady's open head, the second with right sway, and the third with no sway and lady's closed head.

In the Bahrs' Broken Hearts, part C begins with a change of direction; quick three fallaways and feather ending;;; to a three step; natural hover cross;; and double reverse spin;
Promenade Weave

phase IV

sqq; qqqq;

In semi-closed position facing diagonal line and center, step forward R (woman forward L), -, forward L turning a little LF to closed postion (woman sd & bk R). Turn & step side and back R (woman fwd L) to banjo. Continue to turn LF, step back L, back R to closed position wall, side and forward L, and forward R to banjo position facing line and wall, lead feet free;

One of the problems in this figure arises if the man tries to "pick up" the woman too soon. Don't take the first step and try to fold her in front of you right away.

In part A of Prow's Every Street's a Boulevard, we have a hover; start a promenade weave to banjo reverse; outside swivels twice; and then finish the weave; to a hover telemark; and a thru chasse to semi;

In the Worlocks' Where Or When, there is a promenade weave 5 with a check and slow switch;; to a natural weave;;

Weave Ending

qqqq;

Various "weaves" can put you in contra banjo or in fallaway position facing reverse and wall at the end of the first measure, but other figures can do the same. A Weave Ending lets you weave out of a position that you didn't actually weave into in the first place.

So, in banjo position facing reverse and wall, begin to turn LF, step back L (woman fwd R), back R to closed position wall, side and forward L, and forward R to contra-banjo facing line and wall, lead feet free.

In the Rumbles' A Wink and A Smile, they have an open telemark; curved feather check; outside swivel twice; quick weave ending; to a hover;
Weave to Banjo or to Semi (sometimes, "weave 6" or "fox trot weave")

phase IV

sqq; sqq;

In semi-closed postion, diagonal line and center, trail foot free, step forward R and then forward L, turning LF to closed position center of hall. Step side and back, continuing to turn, back L to banjo, reverse and center, back L turning to closed wall, and finally forward L to banjo, line and wall. Figure may also end in semi, in which case, during the last step, turn the woman to semi. Her last step will be side and forward R, rather than side and back. In the Scotts' Call Me Irresponsible, part B has a hover; weave 6 to banjo;; half natural turn; and impetus to semi;
Natural Weave

phase V

sqq; qqqq;

From closed line, banjo, or semi, the man steps forward R turning RF, and the woman steps back L (from semi, she will step forward L). In the second step, she draws R to L and he steps side L with left side stretch leading a heel turn, she changes weight at the end of the turn. At this point, her head is strongly closed, so his head needs to be stongly left, too, to counterbalance her topline. If the man looks at his partner, he will move into her space and maybe tip her off her heel turn. On the fourth beat, step back R with right side lead, she steps forward L to closed position, diagonal reverse and wall. In the second measure, step back L with right side stretch into contra banjo, she forward R outside partner. Step back R turning LF to closed position wall. Step side and forward L she side R turning. Finally, step forward R and she back L to contra banjo diagonal line and wall.

The second measure of the promenade weave or the natural weave is also called a "weave ending" and is sometimes cued as a separate, one-measure figure. So, we can think of the natural weave as a combination of an open natural turn followed by a weave ending. For the man, the first measure is forward on the right foot beginning to turn right face. At this point, he might be facing the wall. Then step side and forward with the left turning to face reverse and wall. You need left side stretch here and left side lead. Think of "banking" into a right turn on a bicycle. One of the important things you are doing here is "cutting off" the woman; you are stepping right in front of her, preventing her from stepping forward, and so leading her heel turn. Finally, step back with the right, now with right side lead, in closed position about to blend to a tight contra banjo position (she steps forward L here).

To do the weave ending, step back L, changing to right side stretch, back R beginning to turn left face and leading woman into closed position. You are facing wall now. Step side and forward L with left side stretch turning, and finally step forward R in contra banjo facing line and wall. Right side stretch is the same as left body sway, so this weave ending has a kind of rocking sway change to it. You step back L with left sway (body inclined or tilted left), back R turning to closed position with no sway, side L beginning to develop right sway, and forward R with full right sway.

Do a hover telemark to semi; feather; open telemark; natural weave;; reverse wave;; open impetus; feather;

In Kiss Me Slow by the Nelsons, there is a closed telemark; natural weave;; whisk; feather;
Natural Fallaway Weave

phase V

sqq; qqqq;

This one is a combination of a natural hover fallaway (see above) and a weave ending. In semi-closed position, LOD, trail feet free, step forward R turning RF (W fwd L), forward L rising to a hovering action, the woman stepping between his feet, turning, and remaining in SCP, then recover back on trail feet. End the first measure in SCP DRW lead feet free. In the second measure, step back L well under body (W bk R trng LF), -, back R turning LF (W turns LF and slips fwd R to CP DRW, side and forward L (W side R turning), forward R (W back L) to contra banjo DLW.
In the Slaters' I'll See You In My Dreams, part A begins with a solo roll to half open; natural fallaway weave;; whisk; jete point; fallaway ronde & slip; double reverse spin; hover to semi-closed; promenade weave;;
Check and Weave

phase V

sqq; qqqq;

In closed position facing RLOD, slip the right foot back under the body with a little LF body rotation (contra) and check your backward progression (woman slips fwd L with slight LF body rotation). This is the "check," done on the slow count, and it is very like a contra check with the woman doing the man's part. Now, step fwd L turning LF (woman bk R), side R with right side stretch having turned 1/8 LF; back L to contra banjo and turning another 1/8 LF, back R to closed position facing wall, side and forward L with left side stretch and turning 1/4 LF, and step forward R to contra banjo facing line and wall;

A threat to the success of this figure lies in dancing the previous figure with no anticipation. The check can then come as a surprise, with a bump or jerk, as you stop your progression and launch into the Weave. To eliminate that surprise, rise a little more on step 2 of the entry and make step 3 smaller than usual. You might be dancing an Open Natural into a Check and Weave. You would normally rise on step 2 of the Open Natural, but in this sequence, rise a little more to signal a change. Make the back step of the Open Natural smaller — in essence, you are hinting at the Check or beginning the Check before it actually occurs. Now you can check step 4, and it won't be a surprise; it won't feel like a crash.

There is still more potential awkwardness within the beginning of this weave sequence. Think about what is happening to the woman. The man checks her forward motion, sends her back as he steps forward L, and then pulls her forward again as he takes that first side step. And some dancers will actually make that a side and back R, since they know that a weave needs to progress down line, so the pull becomes even stronger. The woman is pushed and pulled — manhandled. We considered softening the check, the push, in the paragraph above. We can soften the pull by stepping forward L and then closing R and turning a little RF — get that right side back. This action sets or tucks the woman into the man's right side and constitutes a nice preparation and warning for his back L and her forward R into contra banjo for the weave ending.

You can begin this figure in other positions and from other orientations. You can adjust the amount of roatation to flow into whatever the next figure might be.

One common entry is reverse wave; check and weave;; Notice that you will only do one measure of the reverse wave. The cuer is telling you to begin the reverse wave, but stop in the middle (check). Now continue dancing a weave sequence.
Extended Weave

sqq; qqqq; qq

To "extend" a figure is to add steps. Where a Promenade Weave is one "slow" and 6 "quicks," an Extended Weave might contain 8 "quicks."

In semi-closed position facing diagonal line and center, step forward R (woman forward L), -, forward L turning a little LF to closed postion (woman sd & bk R). Turn & step side and back R (woman fwd L) to banjo. Step back L, back R, turn and step bk L, bk R to closed position facing wall; side and forward L, and forward R to banjo position facing line and wall with lead feet free,

In Sisters by the Gosses, there is a bit of business called a fallaway ronde & slip lady wheel kick that puts you in closed position facing DLC, lead feet free. Among other things, this takes the place of the initial "slow" count of the weave. Then we do an extended weave 8;; turning hover to banjo; and feather;
Natural Hover Cross

phase V

sqq; qqqq;

In closed position facing diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, recover R, side and forward L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch lowering to heel for next figure; The last four steps of this figure are known as a hover cross ending.

May begin in banjo position or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,

In ballroom, this figure specifically serves as a "corner figure," a figure that turns the couple 1/4 LF, from following one wall to following the next. Round dancers don't think so much about straight walls and corners. We dance in a circle. But the next time you dance a hover cross in a corner, notice how much easier it is. It flows so smoothly. You will feel less jammed up.

In September In the Rain by Slater we dance a promenade weave;; three stp; nat hover cross;; rev turn;; hover telemark;
Hover Cross Ending

phase V

qqqq;

In a good contra sidecar position, step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, recover R, side and forward L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch; In I Could Write A Book by the Rumbles, part B begins with a hover telemark; feather; reverse fallaway and slip; drag to sidecar position facing line and wall; hover cross ending to banjo facing reverse and center; and then fwd L to a reverse pivot to a throwaway oversway man facing COH;
Traveling Hover Cross

phase VI

sqq; qqqq;

In closed or semi-closed position facing line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF with right sway (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar [with left sway]; step forward L outside woman with right side stretch, fwd & sd R blending to closed position, forward L blending to contra banjo [with right sway], fwd R outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch;

Note that this "hover cross ending" travels—fwd, fwd, fwd, fwd;


Continuous Hover Cross

phase VI

sqq; qqqq; qq

The next five figures are derived from the natural hover cross above. Where the natural hover cross consists of 7 steps, the continuous hover cross consists of 9. We can think of the first 4 steps as the same and the last 3 as the same. The extra 2 steps in this figure are steps 5 and 6 inserted into the middle of the natural hover cross making it "continuous." Notice that the added steps also make this a 2 1/2 measure figure. It splits a measure, so is perhaps less commonly used.

So, in closed position, diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, now the first new step close R and move woman to closed position facing line and wall, step back L in contra banjo, back R beginning LF turn and blending to closed position; side L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch and facing line and center,

May begin in banjo or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,


Interupted Hover Cross

sqq; qqqq; qq

In this figure too, we can think of the first 4 steps as the same as in the natural hover cross and the last 3 as the same. The extra 2 steps in this figure are steps 5 and 6 inserted into the middle of the natural hover cross making it "interupted." Notice that the added steps make this a 2 1/2 measure figure too.

In closed position, diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; rock forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, recover R in sidecar [this is the "interuption"], and now do your standard hover cross ending: step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, recover R; side and forward L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch lowering to heel for next figure,

May begin in banjo or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,

In On the Street Where You Live by the DeChennes, there is a left feather ~ feather finish ~ three step ~ interupted hover cross;;;;;; top spin;
Extended Continuous Hover Cross

sqq; qqqq; qqqq;

This figure "extends" the continuous hover cross with 2 more steps and so completes that third measure, making the figure easier to use in choreography than the continuous. The additional 2 steps are two more back steps at 8 & 9 for a total of 11 steps.

In closed position, diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, close R and move woman to closed position facing line and wall, step back L in contra banjo, back R beginning LF turn and blending to closed position; side and back L, back R, side L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch and facing line and center,

May begin in banjo or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,


Interrupted (or Checked) Continuous Hover Cross

sqq; qqqq; qqqq;

This figure "interrupts" the Continuous Hover Cross with 2 steps and also completes that third measure. The additional 2 steps are a little rock-recover in sidecar at steps 4 & 5 for a total of 11 steps.

In closed position, diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; step fwd L, recover R still in sidecar [this is the interruption], step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, close R and move woman to closed position facing line and wall; step back L in contra banjo, back R beginning LF turn and blending to closed position, side L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch and facing line and center;

May begin in banjo or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,

In Irresponsible Me by the Nelsons, there is a hover telemark; interrupted continuous hover cross;;; three step; open natural to an outside spin;; and a back & chasse to DLC;
Interrupted Extended Continuous Hover Cross

sqq; qqqq; qqqq; qq

Finally, this figure "interrupts" the Continuous Hover Cross with the little rock, and it extends it with the 2 extra back steps for a total of 13 steps. Again, we see a split measure, and I must admit that I have never seen this one used.

In closed position, diagonal line and wall, step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L turning (woman heel turn), side R completing 3/4 turn to face line and center in contra sidecar; step fwd L, close R still in sidecar, step forward L on toe outside woman with right side stretch, close R and move woman to closed position facing line and wall; step back L in contra banjo, back R beginning LF turn and blending to closed position, side and back L, back R; side L, fwd R on toe outside partner in contra banjo with left side stretch and facing line and center,

May begin in banjo or in semi-closed position, in which case the woman's first two steps would be fwd L, -, fwd R,


Open Telemark or Telemark to Semi

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, diagonal line and center, step forward L; of course the woman steps back R. The woman draws L to R and puts her heels together as the man pivots on his L and steps to the side behind her heel turn, maintaining connection at the hips but letting the top line grow and separate. Opening the top line creates a little more centrifugal force to get you around. The man has led her heel turn by lowering, leading with the hips, stepping through her with right side lead, and by stepping across the line of dance. Note that his turn happens well before his second step. He turns and gets into position facing DRW and then he changes weight. This early turn helps to lead the heel turn. She rotates on her right heel and gradually changes weight by beat 3. If he can delay his second step just a little, it will give her a little more time to complete her heel turn, and that will feel good to her.

Sometimes, a description like this can imply independent action on the part of the woman, but she should not "step back and turn." Such initiative will almost invariably lead to separation, bumping, and overall roughness in the flow of the figure. Instead, she should wait for the lead. She should step back and bring her heels together, but then let the man turn her as he steps through her left side.

In all left-turning figures, the actual foot turn tends to be late and preceded by body turn. (In right-turning figures, the foot turn is early.) So here, the man's toes are pointing DLC. He uses LF upper-body rotation to tell the woman that we are going to turn left, and he steps forward L, but his toes still point DLC — he hasn't really turned yet. There is torque in the body — the body has turned left, but the feet are going straight. He takes weight on his L, and now the foot turns. His toes point to COH. This delay in turning helps to place the woman on the central pivot point around which the man is going to turn. Now he can step side and complete the turn.

Ideally, the man and woman have precisely changed places by the end of beat 3 in the measure. He is facing DRW, still in good closed position. On beat 4, simply use a little right side stretch to open bodies to semi-closed position, and step side and forward on the lead feet toward diagonal line and wall. Point the toes a little out for stability. (If you step directly forward with the foot straight, you will feel as though you are standing on a rail.)

Of course, this last step can be adjusted a little in preparation for the next figure (as we should do at the end of any figure). Stepping side and a little forward for the man is good preparation for a subsequent right-turning figure, such as a natural turn or natural weave. Stepping side and a little back for the man would more comfortably flow into a promenade weave or a wing.

As mentioned in the introduction to this page, try to step heel, toe rising, toe only on the second step, and then toe and heel lowering on the third step. A common problem in foxtrot is to rise and then step out with a heel lead. Footwork like that brings you down with a clunk. Usually, we rise at the beginning of a measure, stay up, and then come down at the end of the measure. So the rule is, if you are up, do not use a heel lead; use a toe lead and only then lower to the heel.

Then, do a thru chasse to a maneuver;;

Or, the Rumbles' This Is the Life ends with a diamond turn;;;; open telemark; quick thru, side, behind, fan; behind, side, thru, fan; thru vine 4 to butterfly position; chair and hold;


Richardson (1946?) tells us that the telemark was introduced in England, in 1928, by Miss Josephine Bradley and Mr. Wellesley Smith (husband). It was named after the telemark turn in snow skiing, which is used to quickly change direction.

Double Open Telemark

sqq; &qqs;

This figure is two telemarks in a row, and the "&" count is simply a quick step used to pick her up and get the lead foot free for the second telemark turn. So, in closed position facing line and center, step forward L (woman back R) beginning to turn LF, -, side R turning and with right side stretch (woman bk L to R for a heel turn), sd & fwd L to semi-closed position facing LOD;

On the "&" count, step fwd R turning LF much as you would do in leading a Wing (woman fwd L, then turning to closed position or picking up).

In the second measure, execute a "quick" telemark, by which I do not mean synchopated but beginning with a "quick" count rather than a "slow." Step fwd L turning, sd & fwd R (woman back L to R for a toe spin), sd & fwd L turning to semi-closed position facing line and wall, -;

The woman's toe spin occurs in the second telemark, rather than a heel turn, because of the quicker turn (quick, quick; rather than slow, quick).

The timing does vary, and the figure may be danced sqq; sq&q; or sqq; qqqq; or sqq; q&qs; Ending with a slow count, as described above or in the last option mentioned here, is perhaps the most advanced option. It gives you a little time to create a "picture" ending to the figure.

In the Worlock's Gone With the Wind, there is a turn L & R chasse to banjo DRC; bk zig zag 4; impetus to semi; feather; double open telemark;; thru ripple chasse; to a continuous hover cross and slow tumble;;; feather finish; and change of direction;

In September In the Rain by Slater, there is a whisk; feather; dbl op telemark (sqq; q&qs);; curved feather check;
Closed Telemark or Telemark to Banjo

phase IV

sqq;

In closed, banjo, or sidecar position, facing line and center, step fwd L (woman bk R) turning LF, -, side R turning (woman heel turn), side and forward L (woman bk R) to banjo position facing line and wall;

Notice that the woman must rotate much more in a closed telemark than in an open telemark (one full turn). Therefore, the man must borrow a little extra time for step 2 to allow her to complete that turn. He will delay the taking of step 3.

In the Slaters' It Happened Again, there is an open natural; back turning whisk; syncopated whisk; feather; closed telemark; running hover to banjo; natural weave;;
Natural Telemark

phase V

sqq;

Begin in closed position facing line and wall, trail feet free. Step forward R beginning to turn RF (woman back L), -, side L with left side stretch (woman draws R to L for a heel turn and changes weight) completing 1/4 turn, continue to turn and step side and forward R (woman side and back L) to end in closed or sidecar position facing line and center;

May begin in banjo and in other orientations; normally 3/4 RF rotation.

I must admit that I don't remember ever ending this figure in closed position. Left-turning telemarks certainly don't. If you end it in sidecar (which is legal) then you might be tempted to do a cross pivot instead of the natural telemark. But notice that the woman should do a heel turn rather than a forward pivoting step on count 2, and notice the use of stretch/sway in the telemark.
Double Natural Telemark

sq&q; sqq;

As the name implies, this figure consists of two natural telemarks, but in order to do the second one, you have to syncopate the first, in order to have the proper foot free. So, in closed, banjo, or semi-closed position facing line and wall step forward or thru R (woman back or thru L), -, forward and around L turning RF (woman fwd R between his feet) to closed position/ step side and forward R continuing to turn (woman side and back), and small step L outside partner to sidecar (woman bk R); At the end of the first measure, you could also be in closed position. Your trail foot is free again. Now step R between her feet turning RF, -, forward and around L (woman does a heel turn) so that he faces center, and forward R small step to closed or sidecar position facing line and center;


Teleswivel

phase VI

qqqq;

In closed position facing line and center, step forward L (woman bk R and draw L to R for a heel turn) turning LF with left sway, fwd & sd R (woman heel turn and close L) turning, bk L well under body turning (woman fwd R), and swivel a little LF on the left foot leaving the right foot crossed in front without taking weight (woman swivel RF on R) to end in semi-closed position facing line and wall;
Telespin To Closed

phase VI

sqq&; qqs;

Start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R with right sway), - , fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward (woman fwd R) to a tight sidecar position;

In this first measure, the woman has done an open telemark, but the man has held back and not taken that third step.

On the final & of the first measure the man leads the woman to step fwd L. He finally takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin), side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin), back L (woman fwd R) to closed position RLOD,- ;

The figure turns 1 3/8 LF.

I believe that this represents the first description of the telespin that we have had in round dancing. More commonly, we now dance a telespin to semi or a telespin to banjo (see below).


Mini Telespin

phase V

sqq&; qqs;

This is the same figure as the telespin, except the last step is a touch instead of a back, leaving the lead feet free.

So again, start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R with right sway) , -, fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward (woman fwd R);

At the end of the first measure, the man leads the woman on an "&" count to step fwd L. He finally takes weight on his L and spins LF drawing R to L (woman fwd R to a toe spin), close R lowering (woman closes L at end of toe spin), hold ending in closed position reverse and center, -;

The figure turns 1 & 1/4 LF.

A common exit is a contra check and switch; perhaps to a half natural;
Telespin To Banjo

phase VI

sqq&; qqs;

Start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R with right sway), -, fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward (woman fwd R) to a tight sidecar position;

In this first measure, the woman has done an open telemark, but the man has held back and not taken that third step.

At the end of the first measure the man uses upper body rotation to lead the woman on an "&" count to step fwd L. He finally takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin), side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin), side & fwd L (woman sd & bk R) to banjo position facing line and wall, -;

The figure turns 1 3/4 LF.


Telespin To Semi-Closed

phase VI

sqq&; qqs;

Start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R with right sway), -, fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward (woman fwd R) to a tight sidecar position;

In this first measure, the woman has done an open telemark, but the man has held back and not taken that third step.

At the end of the first measure the man continues to turn and so leads the woman on an "&" count to step fwd L. He finally takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin), side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin), sd & fwd L (woman sd & fwd R) to semi-closed position facing DLW, -;

The figure turns 1 3/4 LF.


Double Telespin

sqq&; qqs&; qqs;

Start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R with right sway), -, fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward toward W (woman fwd R);

On the "&" count, the man uses LF body turn to lead the woman to step fwd L. He takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin), -, side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin), sd & bk L with only partial weight (woman fwd R);

On the "&" count, the man again leads the woman to step fwd L. He takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin), -, side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin), back L (woman fwd R) to closed position facing reverse and center;

The figure turns 2 1/4 LF.

As in the case of the telespin, we often dance the double telespin to semi-closed or to banjo and so turn the figure 2 3/4 LF.


Telefeather

phase VI

sqq; &qqqq;

This is a Telespin to Banjo with one more step so you end in a "feather" position.

Start in closed position facing line and center. Step forward L turning LF and with left sway (woman bk R) , -, fwd & sd R turning (woman draw L to R for heel turn and change weight), sd & bk L with only partial weight maintaining sway and keeping left side forward (woman fwd R); At the end of the first measure, you are in an L-position with the man facing line and wall and the woman facing line and center.

At the end of the first measure, the man leads the woman on an "&" count to step fwd L. He finally takes weight on his L and spins LF (woman fwd R to a toe spin). On the second beat, he steps side R turning (woman closes L at end of toe spin). On beat three, he steps sd and fwd L with right sway (woman sd & bk R) to banjo position line and wall, fwd R to contra banjo;


Teleronde

phase VI

sqq; q&qs;

In closed position facing line and center, step forward L turning LF with left sway (woman bk R and draw L to R for a heel turn), -, fwd R turning (woman heel turn and close L), sd & bk L keeping left side in toward woman (woman fwd R); spin LF on left foot (woman step fwd L keeping right side in to the man lift R leg up straight forward and ronde LF), step side R turning, back L to closed position reverse and center, -;

This is essentially a telespin with a woman's ronde in the second measure. One difference is that the man may take full weight on his third step and uses only upper body rotation to lead the woman to step, kick, and spin. Alternatively, he may take the usual partial weight, as in a telespin, and then full weight on the first beat of measure 2, with the woman.

The "q&qs" timing in measure 2 implies that four things are being done during the second part of the figure, but there are only two weight changes each. The man turns left (q), turns left (&), steps sd R (Q), and bk L (S). He takes his two steps late. The woman steps fwd L (q), kicks R (&), rondes R (Q), and fwd R (S). She takes her first step quickly, waits, and takes her second step late.

In Broken Hearts by Bahr, we have a three step; natural hover cross;; dbl rev; teleronde;; back three step; imp to SCP;
Teleweave

sqq&; qqqq; qq
In CP DLC fwd L comm LF trn (W bk R), -, fwd & sd R trng (W cl L to R for heel trn), sd & slightly bk L LOD partial weight to fc DRW (W fwd R LOD)/trn upper body LF (W fwd L beginning to pick up); fwd L trng (W sd & fwd R) to CP DLC, sd & bk R (W sd & fwd L) to BJO DRC, bk L, bk R to CP; sd & fwd L, fwd R to BJO DLW,

Note that this figure is the beginning of a telespin to CP DLC, lead feet free, and then the six quicks of a prom weave. May begin in other positions and other facing directions.
In Blown Away by Worlock we dance a three step; natural twist turn to DRW;; back left feather to BJO DLC; ,, teleweave , ;;; double reverse spin;
Cross Hesitation

phase IV

sqq;

In semi-closed position facing line of dance, step thru R with LF body rotation leading W to step thru L, -, continue to turn (W side R around man), continuing to turn (W close L to R) blending to contra banjo position facing diagonal reverse and center.

May begin in other facing positions. Total turn varies from 1/4 to 3/8.


Cross Pivot

phase IV

sqq;

In semi-closed, line of dance, step forward right in front of woman turning RF, side left continuing to turn while woman steps forward right between man's feet and turns 1/2, and then forward right, woman side and back left, to sidecar diagonal line and center. In That's You by the Rumbles, part A begins with an open telemark; cross pivot to sidecar; check fwd to a back twist vine 3 to banjo - scissors to sidecar checking back twist vine 3 to banjo - scissors 2 to sidecar;;;; cross hover to SCP;
Develope

(If you want to give it the French pronunciation, say "day-vlo-PAY.")

phase IV

ss;

In sidecar, step forward left and hold. Woman steps back right, raises left knee, bringing left foot up her right leg to the outside of the right knee and extending body up and back, and then extends the left foot forward. It is a controlled knee, and kick. It may be done in other positions and with either leg.

In ballet, it is said that the "developpé" is a major "show" step, the show being how high the dancer can push the leg. But Suzanne Farrell, the most influential American ballerina of the late twentieth century, didn't care about height. What does "developpé" mean? she once asked a class. It means development, like a Polaroid photograph developing, going from black-and-white to all those colors. "And I want to see all those colors"—a different energy at every stage of the leg's rising. Before it rises, too, please: "I want to see the idea, emanating from you, that you're about to do developpé." (this from Joan Acocella, 2007, p.243)

In the Moores' First Snowfall, there is a forward and right chasse to reverse; contra check and hold; recover and chasse to banjo check and woman develope; back & back lock back; back hover to banjo;
Feather

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, line of dance, step forward with the trail foot, turning the body a little right face (left side lead). On the first quick, step forward L. On the last quick, step forward R across the left leg to a contra banjo position.

Any time you are dancing outside your partner in the smooth rhythms, your feet will be going one way (down line in this case), but your body will be facing another direction (line and wall, here).

In Too Young by the Cunninghams, there is an impetus to semi; thru chasse to semi; feather; three step; natural weave;;

A nice practice exercise is three step to closed; feather to banjo; and repeat. In each figure, don't walk straight forward, but swing the right side ahead (right side lead) in the three step, then swing the left side forward in the feather. The left side lead turns both of you from a flat, breasting progress to a diagonal, slicing movement. Your shoulders are parallel but diagonal to the line of dance. Given the left side lead, the final step of the feather will be a crossing of the thighs into a good contra-banjo position. Lower a bit at the end of each figure; collect yourselves before swinging into the next.

Feather Ending

sqq;

In semi-closed position, line of dance, step thru R (W thru L). Step fwd L (W side R and turning left face 1/4. On the last quick, step forward R across the left leg to a contra banjo position.

This is a ballroom term. In rounds, we are more likely simply to "feather" from SCP.
In This Is the Life by Rumble we dance a three stp; half nat trn; closed imp; feather fin; qk dbl fallaway to banjo; qk weave end; hover [to SCP]; feather; rev wave;;
Feather Finish

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position, reverse line of dance, step back on the right, beginning to turn left face. Step side and back, continuing to turn. On the last quick, step forward R across the left leg to a contra banjo position. In the Vanguntens' Look for a Star, there is a curved feather check; open impetus; feather finish; to a diamond turn;;;;
Running Feather to SCP

qqqq;
In semi-closed position step thru with the trail feet, fwd L staying down and leading woman to turn LF by taking left side away (woman steps thru L/sd & bk R turning to banjo), fwd R outside partner (woman back L in banjo) and bringing left side back toward woman, fwd L (woman sd & fwd R turning RF to SCP); In Speaking of Happiness by Hurd, we step back to a throwaway oversway;; link to SCP DLC; running feather SCP; prom weave w/ outsd check end;;
Curved Feather

phase V

sqq;

In semi-closed position DLW, step thru R (W thru L) turning right face and with left-side stretch and left-side lead. Man steps side and forward L. On the second "quick," continue to turn body and step fwd outside ptnr to contra banjo, diagonal reverse and wall. Check the last step, preparing to move back. The M's left-side lead greatly helps to make this turn.

In making this rather tight turn into your partner, you might be tempted to look at her or simply look where you are going. Don't. Keep your heads left in a good closed or banjo position.

Figure may also begin in CP or in BJO DLW, in which case the W's first step will be back L.

The Broadwaters' It Had To Be Foxtrot has a natural weave;; three step; curved feather check; back tipple chasse pivot; back tipple chasse pivot; pivot three to semi; and thru to a whiplash;
Hairpin

phase V

sqq;

I understand that the Hairpin used to be only a waltz figure — essentially a syncopated curved feather starting with the lead feet (1, 2/&, 3;) — and the term "feather" was reserved only for foxtrot. But the two terms are used almost interchangeably in foxtrot and waltz today.

In closed position facing LOD, step forward R beginning RF turn (woman back L), -, fwd L with strong left-side stretch and left-side lead, fwd R outside partner to tight contra banjo and thighs tightly crossed; The strong left-side lead makes the turn sharper, like a hairpin turn in a mountain road. In a curved feather check, you end facing DRW; in a hairpin, you are more twisted and almost facing DRC. You can increase the drama one more notch by stepping forward R, -, fwd L with left-side lead but no curve to the steps, and finally fwd R outside partner and with up to 1/2 turn sharply RF; The idea is to produce a sharp, "hairpin" turn within the figure.

Finally, just so you have choices, I have heard the interpretation that a Curved Feather can be relatively gentle or sharply turned like a hairpin, so the name Hairpin should be reserved for figures that are syncopated (reflecting its waltz roots?), as in "pivot to a hairpin" [sq&q;]. So a Hairpin might be quicker, as well as being a sharper turn.


Pivot To Hairpin

phase VI

sq&q;

We have talked about the Pivot and the Hairpin above. This standard figure is a combination of the two—a pivot one and then a "quick" or syncopated hairpin.

In closed position facing RLOD, step back L (woman fwd R) and pivot 1/2 RF, -, forward R/L with a strong curve to the right and with right sway, fwd R on ball of foot to contra banjo checking;


Extended Continuous Hairpins

qqqq; qqqq;

In closed position facing LOD, step fwd L (W bk R), fwd R between W's feet beginning to turn RF, fwd L toward DLW turning, fwd R to contra banjo facing DRW; bk L (W fwd R) pivoting RF to CP LOD, fwd R turning, fwd L turning, fwd R to contra banjo facing DRW; In Just Smile by the Worlocks, there is a curving three; quick hinge facing wall; pivot (sqq, W-&sqq) to CP LOD; extended continuous hairpins;; to an outside change to semi; chair & slip;
Back Feather

phase IV

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse and wall, step back L (woman fwd R), -, back R with right side lead and right side stretch (turning a bit right face), back L to contra banjo; In the Slaters' Perfidia Foxtrot, there is a reverse wave;; to a back feather; feather finish; whisk; feather; open reverse turn; and back chasse to banjo;
Back Feather 4

qqqq;
In CP RLOD, step bk L (W fwd R), bk R blending to BJO, bk L, bk R ending in BJO RLOD;
In I'm Confessin' by Rogers, we begin with an open reverse turn; bk three step; back feather 4; weave ending;
Left Feather

phase VI

sqq; qq

In banjo position or in closed position LOD, step forward L to CP, -, forward R with right side lead and stretch, forward L to SCAR; side R and woman back and side L turning left face to closed position facing center, continuing turn step back L with left side stretch to BJO diagonal reverse and center, (1 1/2 measures; 1/2 turn).

You can think of this figure as consisting of two parts: first, three steps to SCAR. On the second quick, the man steps outside partner on her left side. And then two more quicks, turning to BJO where the lady steps outside partner on his right side, a standard feather step -- a "left … feather."
In Hang On Little Tomato by Harris we dance a continuous hover cross ;; ,, left feather , ;; bk three stp ; closed impetus ;
Back Left Feather

sqq; qq

In banjo position or in closed position RLOD, step back R (woman fwd L), -, bk L blending to CP RLOD, bk R to SCAR; sd L turning LF to closed position facing DRW turning, and fwd R to banjo position facing DLW, In I'm All Right by the Cantrells, there is a left curving three step; back left feather, three step, and fwd;;; to a hover telemark;
Four Feathers This figure is not a part of the official Roundalab canon yet, but it may be approaching that official status. Four Feathers is a four-measure figure. It starts with a Feather and a Left Feather, so you can see above for a little more detail; at the end of those 2 1/2 measures, you are in banjo, diagonal reverse and wall. The final 1 1/2 measures have varied in different choreography. In Woodruff's Milica 6, she uses three slows to turn left face to banjo line and wall. In Valenta's On a Little Street in Singapore and in Read's More Than You'll Ever Know, they use a slow and four quicks to do the same thing.

Beginning in semi-closed position, line of dance, here is the first version: (SQQ;SQQ;QQS;SS;) Step thru R, -, L sd ldg fwd & sd L, fwd R to BJO LOD; fwd L to CP, -, fwd R with R sd ldg, fwd L to SCAR; sd R trng LF to CP, complete 1/2 LF trn bk L to BJO DRW, bk R trng LF, -; sd & fwd L contg trn, -, fwd R tp BJO DLW, -;

Here is the second: (SQQ;SQQ;QQS;QQQQ;) Step fwd R, -, fwd L, fwd R; fwd L, -, fwd R passing thru CP with rgt sd lead preparing to step outsd on lady’s lft sd, fwd L outsd lady tng lft fc; bk R [lady sd L] bkg DLW, bk L twd LOD, bk R to CP/RLOD,-; bk L with lft sd lead preparing to lead lady to man’s lft sd, bk R tng lft fc twd wall, sd & fwd L, fwd R outsd lady ending BJO/DLW;

In Woodruff's Milica 6, the dance ends with four feathers;;;; to a double reverse spin twice;; forward & right lunge;
Curving Three Step

phase V

sqq;

In closed position facing line, step fwd L beginning LF turn, -, fwd R with right side leading and continuing the turn, fwd L continuing the turn; to face diagonal reverse and center.

This name is just a bit of a misnomer. Where a curved feather check does curve evenly on all three steps, most of the turn in a curving three step occurs on step 2. There is a little turn on step 1 but no more than in a forward three step. On step 2, we again step heel to toe (as in a forward three step), and as if we stepped from the gutter to the curb, we turn quite sharply on that step. Then step 3 turns little, like step 1.

In the McGees' Rising Stars, part A begins with a curving three step and switch (sqq&) to a curved feather check (qqqq);; back feather; feather finish;
Back Curving Three Step

phase V

sqq;

In closed position facing reverse and center, step back R beginning to turn LF (woman forward L). Step back L well under body with left side stretch and continuing to turn, and back R turning with thighs strongly crossed. Total turn is 3/8 to 1/2.

In the Hoffmans' Farewell To Roma V, part A begins with a reverse turn;; curving three step; back curving three step; three step; open natural turn; outside spin; back & chasse to banjo; to a natural hover cross;;

Hinge

phase V

ss;

From closed position, step back on the right foot and turn 1/4 LF. Step side on lead with strong left side stretch; continue to rotate hips LF, leading woman to collect her trail foot and change weight. His left and her right hips are tight together. Flex left knee to lower and cause her right foot to slide forward, leg straight. End in almost an L-position with man's left knee flexed and his right leg straight and extended to his right side, and woman's left knee flexed and her right leg straight and extended in front of her, parallel with his. She is almost sitting on his left thigh. You may gaze into her eyes.

May begin in semi-closed position, in which case the first step is forward for both.


Same Foot Lunge

phase VI

s

Where the hinge has the right legs for both extended on a strong diagonal, the same foot lunge has the left legs extended into a pretty picture figure.

Begin in closed position with trail feet free. Since this is a "same foot" figure, we have to do a transition. Often, the cue is "prep for a same foot lunge." The "prep" is a slight rise and right face rotation causing the woman to rise to her toes and change weight to her left foot. She has rotated a little RF but not as far as to semi-closed position—you are still closed. Her right knee is tucked just behind her left knee. Her left hipbone needs to settle into the hollow of his right hipbone (inside his right hip). Both now have right feet free. Now we can do the figure.

Lower in the left leg, push, and step side and slightly forward R with right-side stretch and looking right. Give her your right side—that will close her head (woman steps back R turning LF and looking well left—very like a contra check step for the woman). The man's left leg will be extended to the side, straght and strong. The woman's left leg will be crossed in front of her right and extended on the same diagonal as the man's. Keep your hips well in to your partner. Again, you are in closed position (not an L-position).

This position that you have assumed as a result of a same foot lunge is called a Same Foot Lunge Line. One "steps" into a same foot lunge, and one simply "lowers" into a same foot lunge line. More specifically, a prep to a same foot lunge involves one weight change for the man and two for the woman. Lowering into a same foot lunge line involves no step for the man. He is on his R foot already, and he simply lowers into position. The woman transitions by closing her R to L (one weight change), and then she lowers into position.


Promenade Sway

phase IV

ss;

Look at this figure name. "Promenade" means semi-closed position and "sway" means inclination of the body, in this case, to the left. So a Promenade Sway is a left sway in semi-closed position.

Step side and forward L (woman sd & fwd R), blending to semi-closed position. Stretch the right side (woman left). Look up and over your extended lead wrist. "Look at your watch." (if you wear a wrist watch on that arm) During the second "slow," relax your lead knee just a bit and so emphasize the right-side stretch (woman, left-side). Keep your unweighted legs straight and strong. In any "line" or picture figure, you will have one soft knee (the weighted leg) and one straight leg (the unweighted) — not two bent or two straight. Only one weight change.

One thing that you can do to make this figure smoother is to be sure to get your lead foot out there before you put your body out there. Point the foot, place it, then push off with the trail foot and move the body over the lead foot. If your body gets there before or even at the same time as the foot, the action might end with a jerk

Another name sometimes used for this figure is High Line, a more general term that includes any one-count picture figure with high poise.

A Challenge Line (phase VI) is also similar to the Promenade Sway. It is entered more forcefully, both sides of the body are stretched up, we look up above the lead hands, and there is slight body turn right-face. The top line is in SCP, but the hips are in CP. The heel of the lead foot should remain on the floor for a slightly aggressive stability. Grrr.

A pretty picture figure is to do a promenade sway and then slowly change the sway by stretching the left side and rotating your hips a little to the left, keeping your shoulders up and level. Rotating the woman in this way puts her into closed position, so you are changing from a semi-closed sway line to a closed sway line.

You can really extend this picture, draw it out, at the end of a piece, as the music fades.

Oversway

phase IV

s

I must admit that I don't know where the "over" in this figure name comes from. We certainly don't want to over-do anything in our dancing. In brief, where a Promenade Sway is a left sway in promenade position, an Oversway is a right sway in closed position.

Step side and forward L down line (woman R), blending briefly to semi-closed position, but immediately stretch the left side (woman right), drop your right hip, and rotate your hips LF, turning the woman to closed position. She will actually rotate about 1/4 on the ball of her right foot (ladies, don't put any weight on that heel or you won't easily turn). Keep your shoulders up and level. Push your right hip into your woman; don't hunch your shoulders over her. Your lead knees are soft, but your trailing legs are straight and strong. Look up and over your partner, perhaps over her right elbow.

Rotating while lowering results in the woman's trail foot remaining extended and pointed to reverse.

Here is a good place to mention a frequent ending to a foxtrot: promenade sway and change to an oversway. If we have only one measure, we'll have one slow for the promenade sway and one slow for the oversway -- a rather abrupt ending. The music could easily support that. If we have two measures, then we can milk things a little: dance a full promenade sway and then slowly rotate into the oversway -- what a nice picture!

If you have three or four measures, as the music slowly fades, you might dance the promenade sway and then open it a little further. The cuer might even ask you to open, overturn, or accent the promenade sway. Use a little fight-face rotation to open her head and upper body a little more than standard SCP. It's like the opening of a flower over a whole measure. And then reverse the rotation and the sway, slowly, to CP into your oversway. Our goal is to dance all the music that is provided. We don't want to finish early and then just stand around.

At the end of a dance recently, I actually paid attention to the final cue, and it was this: "oversway and change the sway." Somehow, I'd always been doing a left sway down line and then a right sway back to reverse and wall, but that's not what the cue says, is it? Do you suppose the choreographer really means for us to do a three-part figure: right-side stretch into a sway, left-side stretch into the oversway, and then right-side stretch again to change that oversway? I tried it, and it felt very twisty and even a little indecisive.

In Nite Lites by the Moores, part A begins with a feather; open telemark; in & out runs;; wing; diamond turn 1/2; quick diamond 4; oversway looking about COH and recover to closed position facing line and center; open telemark; feather; 3 step; natural turn; open impetus; to a promenade weave;;

Throwaway Oversway

phase VI

s

You might precede this figure with a back step ("back to a throwaway oversway"). You'd be in closed position facing reverse and wall, trail feet free. Step back R with left sway and turning LF, and then step side L to execute the figure. The man points his left toe where he wants her to "throw" her left foot. He might step side L and turn his foot to point diagonal line and wall or a little farther toward line of dance.  At this point, he uses left sway, and we are briefly in a promenade sway line. She steps side R with an open head. The man rotates his hips and torso CCW to cause the lady to collect her L foot and at the same time lowers into his L knee so that she won't take weight on that foot but will continue to move it back behind her, exposing the sole of the foot to passers by. (NOTE: Theoretically, if you rotate the hips in your stretched posture until she gets her trail foot under her, and only then begin to lower, she will change weight, and your subsequent lowering will put her into a hinge.) Finally, he changes to right sway to close her head.

The above is a lot to think about in only two beats or half a measure, but we often dance a "slow throwaway" over a whole measure, and then we'll be glad to have something to do over all that time.

The man's motion is a rolling action, upper-body rotation and lowering, maybe a little like "bowling the foot down the alley." It is a little more elegant for her to slide her foot back with the inside of the big toe touching the floor, rather than the tip of that toe. Look at your partner lovingly.

This is a good place to think again about maintaining your whole frame. This "bowling" is rotation of the frame to the left. The man's right hip and right shoulder go forward. His left hip, left shoulder, and even the left arm and hand go back. Don't move any one part of the body by itself, but keep the parts of the frame toned and rotate the whole frame as a unit. This action gives the woman the space to dance her figure and prevents him from pushing on her (with his left hand) in an interfering way.

Rather than a suggested sequence using the throwaway oversway, let me summarize the three leads that theoretically give you the oversway, the throwaway oversway, and the hinge:
  • rotate while lowering →oversway
  • rotate and then lower →throwaway
  • rotate, rise, and pause before lowering →hinge
Top Spin

phase V

&; qqqq;

In a contra-banjo position, lead feet free, use upper body rotation to spin on the trail foot 1/8 LF and step back L (woman forward R). The spin occurs on the "&" of the previous beat and the step occurs on the first quick. Then the man steps back R turning, with left side stretch forward L turning, and forward R to contra banjo, for a total rotation LF of 1/4 to 1/2.

In some descriptions (RAL), the "spin" is the 1/8 LF rotation preceding the initial step back. In this view, the figure could be thought of as a spin and step back to a feather finish or a spin to a weave ending.

In other descriptions (ISTD), the spin occurs on the second step. So, the man steps back L taking out his shoulder lead, back R spinning 1/8 to 1/4 LF (this is a spiral-like action), side and forward L turning, and finally fwd R to contra banjo. Note that this form of the top spin is a little more similar to the waltz top spin (see entry immediately below), in that the spin occurs within the figure, rather than preceding it.

The top spin is usually preceded by forward motion that is checked. To make this figure flow smoothly, you need to anticipate that checking action (and the cuer really needs to give that cue early so you can do this). The "anticipation" is a little more than usual rise on the step before the checked step and then a little shorter step than usual on that checked step. For instance, you might be dancing a natural weave checked to a top spin. On the sixth step of the natural weave, rise a little more than you normally would. Then on the seventh step of that weave, step forward only a small step. In so doing, you are beginning the checking action early (with the rise and the smaller step), and the actual check is then not a surprise. Another thing that I do is cup my right hand, increasing the pressure of my fingertips on Meredith's back. All of this stops our forward motion very smoothly, and we flow right into that top spin with no jerk or stumble. If I'm daydreaming and I don't do this preparation, then we just keep progressing down line, and the top spin never happens.

One common sequence is a hover cross, to end facing diagonal reverse and center checked;; to a top spin checking; to another top spin; impetus to semi-closed position facing LOD;

In the Worlocks' Gone With the Wind, there is a feather checked to a topspin;; to a reverse wave 3;

For an example of a top spin that is not preceded by a checking action, look at Call Me by the Collipis. We do a drag hesitation; bk bk/lk bk; top spin; diamond turn;;;;

Waltz Top Spin

phase V

sq&q;

Figures that originated in or that are typical of one rhythm are certainly not constrained to that rhythm. Choreographers borrow freely.

In banjo position, trail feet free, the man steps back R turning LF and with left side stretch (woman forward L), side and forward L to contra banjo facing diagonal line and wall, forward R spinning LF, and step back L in contra banjo having made up to one full turn; This figure may begin in closed position, and it may be danced qqqq. (In a waltz, it would be danced 12&3.)

Compare the two top spins: Both have four steps, but the fox trot top spin begins with the lead foot free and steps back, back, side, forward; for a total turn of up to 1/2. The waltz top spin begins with the trail foot free and steps back, side, forward, back; for a total turn of up to a full turn. The "spin" in the fox trot figure might be done before the first step or on the second step; in the waltz figure, it occurs on the third step. In any case, the spin of a top spin does occur on the trail foot.

We may have encountered the waltz top spin in other foxtrots, but I first noticed it in Chris & Terri Cantrell's All of You. In part B, we do a reverse turn 1/2 to closed position reverse; back to a top spin to banjo reverse; back tipple chasse pivot to closed position reverse and center; finish a reverse wave to closed reverse; and heel pull to closed line and center; This sequence gives us two full turns of smooth soaring: lovely.
Double Reverse Spin

phase V

sq _; (sq&q;)

Beginning in closed position, diagonal line and center, step forward and begin to turn LF on the slow count. Continue strong upper body turn, and step side and through the woman's left side, again diagonal line and center, leading her to do a heel turn and beginning a LF spin. Note that the turn happens well before the second step. He turns and gets into position facing DRW and then he changes weight. This early turn helps to lead the heel turn. During this beat three, the woman will bring her L foot to the R as she does the heel turn, change weight, and step side and back R diagonal line and center. She steps thru his L hip as he did on beat one, not around him and not down line. During beat four, the man touches L to R. The momentum of the spin and the man's upper body rotation turns the woman, and she draws the L in front of R and takes weight. Note: two weight changes for the man (slow, quick, hold) and four for the woman. End in closed position, line of dance, lead feet free.
Footprints
Double Reverse Spin

The amount of spin varies, and the best way to deliver a 3/4, 7/8, full, or even greater spin is with the man's second step. If he places his foot on the diagonal, the amount of turn should be 7/8. If he steps farther around, the turn will be greater. Theoretically, if you pay attention to this step, you should be able to start facing DLW, do several double reverse spins, and comfortably end facing DLC.

I know the Schmidt's Little Papillon is a waltz, but we just ran into it, and it does let you practice your double reverse spins.

The sequence in part C is two double reverses to face the wall;; whisk; thru chasse to banjo; fwd, fwd/lk, fwd; to a maneuver;


Richardson (1946?) tells us that the double reverse spin was introduced in England, in 1928, by Mr. Maxwell Stewart. Why is it a "double" reverse spin? One story is that Mr. Stewart always danced two in a row, hence "double." Another explanation that I have heard is that the double reverse accomplishes in one measure what the reverse turn does in two. And a third explanation is a little different -- the double reverse is a combination of two left turns: the man turning left around the lady on his two steps (sq) and the lady turning left around the man on her last two steps (&q).

Double Reverse Overspin

phase VI

sqq&; (sq&q&;)

This figure calls for a lot of rotation in only one measure of music. You will turn as much as 1 and 1/2 LF. Do a full double reverse spin, as described immediately above. Then the man and woman both take an additional step with the lead foot, turning. Lower into that lead leg to coax additional turn, and you will end in closed position, facing reverse line of dance, trail feet free.
Checked Reverse Slip

phase VI

sqq;

In closed position facing line of dance and center, step forward L (woman back R), -, fwd R on toe turning LF and with right-side stretch and checking forward motion (woman close L to R and rise onto toes turning LF), now turning RF recover back onto L (woman turn and slip R fwd to closed position) and continue to turn RF to end in closed position facing line and wall;

You can think of this figure as the start of a reverse turn, check it, and then slip back close to where you began. Sometimes the cue will be checked double reverse and slip. This is the start of a double reverse spin, check it, and slip back to where you started. The checked double reverse turns a little more that the checked reverse, but they are very close to being the same figure.


Double Natural Spin

phase VI

sq-; (sq&q;)

In closed position facing line and wall, step forward R (woman back L) turning RF, -, fwd and side L spinning RF (woman close R to L for a heel turn and continue turn on ball of right foot), and touch R to L (woman quick sd & fwd L around man/fwd R) ending in contra banjo facing line or even line and wall;

Given the names of the double reverse and double natural, it is natural to suspect that they might be mirror-image figures, but they are not. In the double reverse, the last two steps for the woman are side and cross in front to end in closed position. In the double natural, her last two steps are run two to banjo.


Checked Natural Slip

phase VI

sqq;

In closed position facing line of dance, step forward R (woman back L), -, fwd L on toe turning RF and with left-side stretch and checking your forward motion (woman close R to L and rise onto toes turning RF), now turning LF recover back onto R (woman turn LF and slip L fwd to closed position) and continue to turn LF to end in closed position facing line and center;

You can think of this figure as the start of a natural turn, check it, and then slip back close to where you began. Sometimes the cue will be checked double natural and slip. This is the start of a double natural spin, check it, and slip back to where you started. The checked double natural turns a little more that the checked natural, but they are very close to being the same figure.


Ronde and Slip

phase VI

sqq;

In closed position facing wall, ronde the left leg counter clockwise and cross behind R with left sway and no weight change (woman ronde R CW and XRIB of L), -, back L and rise turning LF with no sway (woman bk R turning LF), slip back R (woman fwd L near man's R) to closed position; In Foxy Jones by Prow, there is a curved feather; back tipple chasse & pivot 3 to;; oversway; recover ronde slip; bounce rev fallaway; weave end;
Rudolph Ronde

phase VI

s

In closed position, lower and step forward R between the woman's feet rather like dancing a chair, and she will step back L. As a part of this step, tap the inside of her right knee with your right knee, leading her to lift her R leg from the hip and ronde it CW. Actually, she really shouldn't lift her leg at all. She simply does a ronde—on the floor, really. If she does try to do the lifting, she will lift her hip (not just her leg), and her hip will look distorted and awkward. If he lifts her leg, her hip stays pretty. She is surprised—"Whoa!"

The man has more to do. He should leave the left leg side and back and the right leg soft, but lift and rotate the upper body RF to suggest something about the height of her ronde.

Third, the amount of follow thru leads the speed of the ronde. Sometimes a Rudolph is danced in one slow; sometimes over a whole measure. The lady's head should follow her foot and so move from closed position to strongly right.

In closed position reverse, you might try a strong pivot three 1 1/2; to a rudolph ronde and slip; to a full reverse turn;;
Rudolph Ronde and Slip

phase VI

sqq;

In closed position, lower and step forward R between the woman's feet, and she will step back. Leave the left leg side and back, but lift and rotate the upper body RF to lead her to lift her R leg from the hip and ronde it CW. On the first quick, rise from your chair-like lunge and recover back on the left, and she steps back R beginning a LF pivot on the fall of the right foot. As she pivots, she keeps her thighs locked and her left leg extended. On the second quick, he steps back R rising, and she steps forward L in a slipping action, both rotating a bit LF (up to 3/8). In That's How It Goes by the Vogts, there is a curved feather; back tipple chasse pivot to face reverse; pivot 3 once and a half to face line; rudolph ronde & slip; open telemark; and a feather;
Split Ronde

sqq; (sq&q;)

This is a waltz figure also used in foxtrot.

This figure begins in closed position, both with left foot free. Turn a bit so knees are outside but not fully to banjo, lower on the right and push the left forward to ronde the left leg CCW turning LF. On count 3, cross the left behind the right continuing to turn (on the & the woman steps side and back R), then slip back R (woman fwd L) to closed position; The woman is doing a little circular vine -- don't pull away from partner. The amount of turn is usually 1/2 to 3/4, maybe from diagonal line and wall to diagonal reverse and wall.

The above description assumes that you have already done a transition to get on same footwork. If a transition has not been choreographed into the preceding measure, then it must occur at the beginning of the split ronde, and the transition is the woman's. On the slow count, she steps in place R and then performs the left-leg ronde. Her count becomes &/s, -,q/&,q;

Notice that the man takes two steps total, and the woman takes three (or four if the transition is needed).

In This Can't Be Love by the Shibatas, there is a double reverse spin to face DLW; split ronde to DRW; contra check recover and step to banjo DLW; to a natural weave;;
Double Ronde

s

In closed position, the man takes a small step forward on his right foot (woman back left) turning right face. Both ronde the lead foot CW and end in closed position with lead feet free.

The Double Ronde is not a standard Roundalab figure, and cue sheet descriptions do vary. Sometimes, the woman is asked to step forward, but we don’t want to collide. She doesn’t want to get up into his armpit, and we don’t want our toplines to collapse. She could step to the side, but this causes us to get out of position, to open into a sort-of semi-closed position. In the end, she should take weight on her left foot pretty much wherever he puts her, and this a good example of a figure where lead and follow are important to comfort. If she steps on her own and takes weight before he does, there will certainly be a sense of collision, separation, or tugging.

In They Can't Take That Away From Me by the Gosses, part A begins with a reverse wave check & weave with a hinge ending;;; lady recover to a double ronde; extended twist turn overturned to sidecar position facing DRW;; feather finish/ and change of direction;
Eros Line

phase V

ss;

In closed position, step forward and side R between woman's feet with slight RF upper body rotation and right side stretch (left sway). Woman steps back and side L with slight RF upper body rotation and left side stretch, -, raising right leg from the floor, knee back, and leg out so right toe, heel, and calf are parallel to floor, -;

She doesn't so much lift her knee as send it back from the hip. Her's head is right. Man looks at woman. This is rather like the Rudolph Ronde, except the man stretches to lift her leg but holds his left side back so as not to lead a ronde. There is no ronde and much less rotation.

Tumble Turn

phase VI

sq&q;

or maybe
q/&qs;
or
q&sq;

"The music tells you what to do."

In closed or banjo position facing RLOD, trail feet free, step back R lowering and beginning to turn LF. Step side and back L with R sway (W strongly side and forward R to remain in closed position). On the "&" the man sneaks his R across to a contra banjo, line of dance, and rises with right side stretch, opening her head; she crosses behind. Lead feet brush up to trail as both swivel on the trail foot to face center, and he steps forward L pivoting a little LF and lowering into a "contra" closed position facing COH or DRC.

This last step contains the "tumble" action, and the figure might be more descriptively called a "feather finish to a tumble ending." It is a little like a contra check. The actual step is shorter, but she has stepped side and back to move from tight contra banjo to closed, and he steps forward into her with right side lead (contra), lowering.

The pretty part of this figure is really the swivelling in contra banjo and the tumble to closed, so the music might tell you to dance the sequence in a way that gives more time to these parts. To make a picture out of the tumble, dance q&qs. To feature the rise and turn, dance q&sq.

In Puppet On A String by Bahr (1990), there is a natural weave;; fwd right lunge recover (SQQ); tumble turn (SQQ&);

In the Goss' My Guy, there is a closed telemark; natural weave with tumble ending (sqq qqq&q);; step ronde (woman syncopated pick up lock) fwd; slow right lunge;

In Make Believe A Dream by Patrick, there is an open impetus; running open natural turn; tumble turn; feather finish; three step;

Rumba Cross

phase VI

qqqq;

In closed position facing LOD, step forward L (woman back R). Knees are soft. Use strong left side lead and left side stretch. On the second "quick" cross right in back of left (woman left in front of right). Use a Latin Cross action with the heel leading, R toe to L heel, making a momentary "7" and turning RF up to 1/2 on the toes. This strong left side stretch will cause/allow the woman to cross in front. On the third step, step back L, pivoting RF 1/2. On beat 4, step forward R to closed position. Standard amount of total turn is a full turn but may be under or overturned.

A syncopated timing (e.g., q&qs;) may be more commonly used.


Big Top

phase VI

sqq;

In semi-closed position, trail feet free, step thru like a chair, commencing a LF spin. The man leaves his left leg extended back with the left knee tucked behind his right knee. As he spins on his right, his left rotates "as one" and remains extended behind. During the first of the two quicks, the woman steps quickly side and forward to closed position, continuing the spin, and then the man steps back, crossing his left well under his body with right side stretch. During the second quick, he rises, no sway, and slips back R (she forward L) in closed position. Total rotation is about 3/4 LF.

Notice that the timing is a little different for the man and the woman. She takes her second step at the beginning of that beat, and he delays taking his step until the end. We can describe the stepping in this figure as "we, she, he, we." The Bucks, in Dance and Dream, give the count as sqq for the man and qsq for the woman. The Worlocks, in Until Now, give the count as qsq for the man and q&-q for the woman.

One teacher compared the big top (phase VI) to an amalgamation of phase IV figures: a chair and slip and a cross hesitation. More specifically, the big top is like a chair with a strong cross hesitation rotation and then the slip action.

It is hard to get the full spin. I've heard the cue "big top to face line" and thought, this should be cued "Huge Top." The man needs to use upper body rotation to lead the woman's second step. She needs to close up to the man, stay centered on his body, and keep her head strongly left, and he needs to stay down during the spin. Rise only at the end of the spin and then slip back.

The second step is not a big one for the lady. It is easy to want to reach out, trying to get around, but the lady's second step is close to the man's right foot, which he hasn't released yet. Her right foot is next to his right foot, which puts her on his right side, in good closed position. If she takes a big step, it will put her on his left side. Don't do the big top in SCAR. This is a spin on one spot, the spot of the lady's second step; it is not a "runaround" or wheel. She then collects her left foot as he takes his second step and his third, slipping back step, and she only then slips into him and takes weight.

In the Worlocks' Until Now, part D begins with a telemark to semi; open natural; open impetus; promenade weave;; whisk; big top; three step; to a natural weave;;



Here are some American figures that are not used in round dancing but are common in freestyle dancing.


Basic ("magic" step)

ss; qq

Step forward L (W bk R) in closed position, -, forward R, -; side, close,
Footprints
Man's Foxtrot Basic
Woman's Foxtrot Basic
What's "magic" is that you end with your lead foot free. You can repeat these steps all night long.
Basic Backward

ss; qq

step back on the lead, -, back, -; side, close, Alternating the basic forward and backward will allow you to weave among the other dancers on the floor more effectively.
Turning Basic

ss; qq

forward L in closed position, -, back turn LF 1/4, -; side, close,
Basic to Promenade

ss; qq

forward on lead feet & open away from partner into semi (=promenade), -, both forward, -; side & turn back to partner, close,
Basic with Underarm Turn

ss; qq

forward on lead & open away from partner to semi-closed position, -, both step forward & man raise left arm, -; side & woman turns RF under man’s L arm, through to face partner as she finishes turn,
Side Rocks

ss;

In closed position, step to the side L, draw R to L without weight, step to the side R, draw L to R without weight;
Promenade Walk-Around

ss; qq
ss; qq
In SCP LOD walk 2; W unwind M LF 2 Q to CP RLOD ,, rock fwd L (W bk R), -; Rec R trng LF to CP Wall, -, sd, cl;

Footprints from Shall We Dance by Eric Zimmerer, Ace of Hearts Publishing, Sunnyvale, CA, 2003, and Ballroom Dancing by Alex Moore, Routledge Publ, NY, 2002.




dingbat




If you would like to read articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, please visit the article TOC. Go beyond this site. Find other references on our Sources and Links pages.











Alphabetical Index to
Figures
and Technique
Dance
Figures
Dance
Articles
Dance
Search
Dance
Links
Dance
Home
Glossary of Terms
and Abbreviations
Fred Astaire
Album
Reader
Comments
Dance
Videos & Books
Sources Harold Sears
Home
Online since 2001 ©Harold and Meredith Sears, Boulder, CO, harold@rounddancing.net. All rights reserved.