The whisk is a popular and beautiful dance figure. In the Waltz, the whisk is a three-step dance figure whereby one foot crosses behind the other foot when dancing the third step. Three types of whisk figures are mentioned in the ISTD ballroom dance syllabus. They are the Whisk, Back Whisk and Left Whisk. What are the differences among these 3 dance figures?
For the Man, the Whisk and Back Whisk is danced taking the first step on the LF. For the Left Whisk, the first step is taken on the RF. The Lady of course dances these figures taking the first step on the opposite foot.
In the Whisk, the feet positions for the Man is - 1) LF fwd, 2) RF to side and slightly fwd, 3) LF crosses behind RF in PP. For the Lady it is - 1) RF back, 2) LF diag back, 3) RF crosses behind LF in PP. As the name suggests, the Back Whisk is a figure moving backwards for the Man.The feet positions for the Man is - 1) LF back in CBMP, 2) RF diag back, 3) LF croses behind RF in PP. For the Lady it is - 1) RF fwd in CBMP; OP, 2) LF to side, 3) RF crosses behind LF in PP. The most common ending for the Whisk and Back Whisk is a Chasse from PP.
In the Left Whisk, the feet positions for the Man is - 1) RF fwd and across in PP and CBMP, 2) LF to side and slightly fwd, 3) RF crosses behind LF. The Lady's feet positions is - 1) LF fwd and across in PP and CBMP, 2) RF to side and slightly back, 3) LF back in CBMP. The Lady may overturn slightly to the L on step 3 and turn her head well to the L. The Man should look towards her face, not over her R shoulder. A popular follow is for the Man is untwist on both feet for approximately 5/8 turn whilst Lady runs round Man RLRL (1,2 & 3) and then follow with a Back Whisk and Chasse from PP. This is a beautiful amalgamation and the Lady can help to make it very attractive by the skilful use of her head turns and positions when dancing the figures in this amalgamation.
One sequence which can be used to practise all the 3 whisk figures together is as follows:-
At corner, do a Natural Spin Turn and 4-6 Reverse Turn to end facing LOD. Now dance the Whisk, followed by a Left Whisk. The Man untwists on both feet for approximatley 5/8 turn to R whilst Lady runs round Man RLRL (1,2 & 3). Next do a Back Whisk followed by a Chasse from PP. Repeat the sequence. You should be dancing in a square or box formation. Happy dancing!