Monday, September 29, 2008

The Macarena Still Going Strong

In 1996, a piece of Samba music captured the imagination of the world, reaching the number one position in the popular music charts of many countries around the world. It was called Macarena, and it was sung by several artistes but the favourite version was by a group called Los Del Rio from Spain. The version by Los Del Rio spent 14 weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and also broke records at that time by remaining in the Top 100 Chart for 60 weeks. The song Macarena has recently been named as the number 5 most popular song in the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

A special line dance was created for this mega-hit and it became the International Dance Of The Year 1996. In the Macarena, the dancers usually arrange themselves in lines facing front. Everybody starts together and performs the same sequence of moves, one for the first beat of each new bar of music. Start by standing with your feet a little apart and just go with the music.

  1. Extend the right arm, palm down
  2. Extend the left arm, palm down
  3. Turn the right hand, palm up
  4. Turn the left hand, palm up
  5. Move your right hand across to the left shoulder
  6. Move your left hand across to your right shoulder
  7. Place the right hand behind your head
  8. Place the left hand behind your head
  9. Move the right hand across to the front of left hip
  10. Move the left hand across to the front of right hip
  11. Move the right hand on to the back of right hip
  12. Move the left hand on to the back of left hip
  13. Roll your hips to the right
  14. Roll your hips to the left
  15. Clap your hands
  16. Jump, making a quarter turn to the right
Then, simply start again. Due to its simplicity and repetitive choreography, the Macarena became very popular at parties, functions and social gatherings. Whilst its popularity has waned somewhat, the Macarena together with Achy Breaky Heart and Night Fever have remained firm favourites with line dancers. The Macarena is without doubt one of the defining songs and dances of popular culture.

Related Posts

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 1

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 2

Friday, September 26, 2008

Village People Honoured With A Star On Hollywood's Walk Of Fame

Village People, the disco group who gave us such memorable hits like YMCA, Macho Man and In The Navy in the 1970s has been honoured with a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. Sporting their iconic costumes - the Indian chief, the cowboy, the construction worker, the biker, the policeman and the soldier; the 6 members of the group received the prestigious award from Hollywood Chamber of Commerce President Leron Gubler at a ceremony on September 12 2008. Fittingly, their star at 6529 Hollywood Boulevard is a block north of Hollywood's YMCA.

The Walk of Fame which is one of Hollywood's most popular tourist attractions, covers both sides of Hollywood Boulevard from Grower to La Brea, both sides of Vine Street and from Yucca to Sunset. More than 2000 bronze star plaques are embedded in pink and charcoal terrazzo squares in the most famous sidewalk in the world. These sidewalk stars honor not only movie actors; but radio, television & stage performers, directors, singers, songwriters and other well known showbiz personalities. Kermit the Frog of The Muppets Show, and two television show dogs, Lassie and Rin Tin Tin are also immortalized here.

YMCA was released by Village People in 1978 and reached the number 2 in the US charts and number 1 in the UK at about the same time.
The song also spawned a new dance, aptly called the YMCA dance in which the dancers use their arms and bodies to spell the letters YMCA as they are sung in the chorus.

Y - Arms raised and outstretched

M - Elbows bent and held high, hands placed in front of chest

C - Arms extended and outstretched to the left, waist bent to left

A - Hands held together above head

The dance is still popular at parties, dinners and functions as it is fun and easy to dance. If you are ever at a social gathering and they start playing Village People's YMCA, you can be assured that people will take to the dance floor to do the YMCA. As the lyric of the song goes: "Let's do the Y M C A"!

Warmest Regards,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

1st Muar Rising Star Dancesport Championships 2008

SBW Dancesport Centre of 48-39A, Jalan Sakeh Baru 1/2, Taman Sakeh Baru, 84000 Muar, Johor, Malaysia will be organizing the 1st Muar Rising Star Dancesport Championships 2008. Details are as follows:-

Date: November 16 2008 (Sunday)

Venue: Yuan Shun Restaurant, Muar

Events: Ballroom Standard & Latin - Rising Star, Grade B, Pre-Amateur, Novice, Master Beginners, Master 1, Junior Under 16, Juvenile Under 12, Beginners (1 Dance)

Participation: Open to competitors from Malaysia and Singapore

The closing date for entries is October 15 2008

Tickets (inclusive of set Chinese dinner) for the competition are priced at RM150 and RM120 per person. There will also be a show performance by Asian Professional Latin Champions, Alonggod Nutsati and Wanchaya Kumsook from Thailand.

For more information, kindly contact the organizing chairman Mr Siow Boon Wah at telephone: 019-7745871, 012-6232377, fax: 06-9511069 or email:

It is heartening to note that many dance studios in the state of Johor are helping to promote dancesport. Last month on August 24, the MPDC Malaysia Open Dancesport Championships 2008 was held at the Grand Sea View Restaurant in Batu Pahat. This event was organized by Yih Chyn Dance World of Kluang (email:

For the competitors who are going to Muar to take part in the 1st Muar Rising Star Dancesport championships 2008 or spectators going to watch the competition, do not miss the opportunity to partake in the seafood for which Muar is famous for. Their asam fish head, oyster omelette and otak otak is really out of this world and something to die for! A friend in Muar has recommended that I try Merlin Restoran (Asam Pedas) in Taman Orkid, Jalan Bakri, Muar. Bon Appetit!

Good Luck,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 2

Chubby Checker (real name, Ernest Evans) was born on October 3 1941 in Spring Gully, South Carolina, USA but grew up in South Philadelphia. His song The Twist which he recorded in June 1959 became a smash hit climbing to the Billboard No. 1 in the summer of 1960. In the fall of 1961, record history was created when The Twist re-entered the charts and became no. 1 again in January 1962. Combining its 1960 run with its 1961/1962 return, The Twist spent an amazing total of 9 months on the US best seller charts. The song helped to inspire a dance craze around the world.

In 1961, Chubby Checker came out with another song called Let's Twist Again. While this song did not make it to the Billboard No.1 (it peaked at no. 8) it had a very upbeat tempo and a catchy refrain which went like this - "Who's that flying up there? Is it a bird? (Chorus) No!, Is it a plane? (Chorus) No!, Is it a twister? (Chorus) Yes!" Not surprisingly, Let's Twist Again was Checker's first platinum album. The twist was an easy dance to learn where you basically swivel on the ball or flat of the feet. The simplicity of the dance meant that almost everyone (except those with hernia or back problems) could do it in convincing style and it became very popular not only with teenagers but with adults as well.

Chubby Checker also had another hit in 1962 called Limbo Rock which made it to the no. 2 on the charts. This song reignited a fad for another dance - the limbo. The limbo is a dance that originated in Trinidad. In this dance, the dancers move to a Caribbean rhythm, lean backwards and then dance under a pole (usually part of a high jump apparatus) without touching the pole. The dancer who touches the pole or who falls backwards is considered "out". When several dancers compete, they line up in single file and take turns to dance under the pole. The pole is gradually lowered and by a process of elimination; the last dancer to go under the pole is declared the champion.

The dances that were popular in Malaysia during the 1960s included the twist, limbo, off-beat cha cha and a go go (not to be confused with go go dancing). The off-beat cha cha was danced mainly to Chinese songs and was popular in the night clubs and cabarets. The a go go was a party dance and some of the hand movements are quite similar to the macarena which was a dance sensation in the 1990s . The song Macarena by Sol Del Rio which was released in 1996 is ranked at no.5 in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Next week, we'll go retro and learn to dance the macarena again.

Related Post

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 1

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 1

Chubby Checker's "The Twist" has been ranked as the number 1 song in the 50 years of the the Billboard Hot 100 Chart while the Beatles have topped Billboard's all-time Hot 100 Artistes. Here is a list of the Top 10 Singles and the Top 10 Artistes

The Top 10 Singles

  1. The Twist by Chubby Checker
  2. Smooth by Santana
  3. Mack The Knife by Bobby Darin
  4. How Do I Live by Leann Rimes
  5. Macarena by Los Del Rio
  6. Physical by Olivia Newton John
  7. You Light Up My Life by Debbie Boone
  8. Hey Jude by The Beatles
  9. We Belong Together by Mariah Carey
  10. Un-break My Heart by Toni Braxton

The Top 10 Artistes

  1. The Beatles
  2. Madonna
  3. Elton John
  4. Elvis Presley
  5. Stevie Wonder
  6. Mariah Carey
  7. Janet Jackson
  8. Michael Jackson
  9. Whitney Houston
  10. The Rolling Stones
Many would be as surprised as I am that none of Elvis Presley's songs have made it to the Top 10 as many of his hit singles like Teddy Bear, Love Me Tender and Jailhouse Rock were released before the Billboard Hot 100 started in August 1958. I am all shook up that Elvis's top hits like It's Now Or Never, Are You Lonesome Tonight and Good Luck Charm which were released after August 1958 did not even make it to the list. I had also expected classic hits by The Beatles like I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hands or And I Love Her to be in the Top 10 but certainly not Hey Jude. The song Hey Jude isn't all that great and the ending is pure cacophony!

Geoff Mayfield, the director of charts of Billboard magazine acknowledged that the list may not be consonant with some fan's personal thoughts of the most popular songs of the past 50 years. "This is simply a chronicle of how each of these songs performed in their era on the Hot 100. We're not saying these are the most memorable songs of your life. Everyone has a subjective frame of reference," said Mayfield. Billboard is also showcasing some other chart achievements on its website The other "controversial" list is the Most No.1s by an artiste.

Most No.1s By Artiste (Number In Brackets)

  1. The Beatles (20)
  2. Mariah Carey (18)
  3. Michael Jackson (13)
  4. Madonna (12)
  5. The Supremes (12)
  6. Whitney Houston (11)
  7. Janet Jackson (10)
  8. Stevie Wonder (10)
  9. Bee Gees (9)
  10. Elton John (9)

You may notice that Elvis Presley isn't on the Top 10 list of Most No. 1s by an artiste. While Elvis had 7 number 1s on the Hot 100, 11 of his number 1 hits were released before the Hot 100 existed. Elvis had a total of 18 number 1 hit singles in his career. This means to say that there is a tie between Elvis and Mariah Carey for the most number 1 hit singles by an American artiste ever. I believe many would not disagree with me if I were to rank The Beatles as the greatest band or group and Elvis Presley as the greatest solo singer of the 20th century. Next week, I'll be talking about Chubby Checker and his song that helped inspire a global dance craze - The Twist.

Related Post

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100 - Part 2

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Viennese Ball 2008 Kuala Lumpur Set To Be Social Event Of The Year

The Viennese Ball 2008 Kuala Lumpur will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on October 25 2008. This is the second year the ball is being held after the resounding success of the ball last year. Modelled on the most prestigious ball of the European ball season, the Vienna Opera Ball; the Viennese Ball is organized by the Austrian Embassy in Malaysia. The Vienna Opera Ball is an event filled with glamour, elegance and romanticism. The tradition of the Vienna Opera Ball dates back to the 18th century and has been held since then almost every year.

One of the the highlights of the Viennese Ball will be the introduction of 50 debutantes and the opening dance by the 50 debutantes and their partners. A debutante was by tradition an upper class girl in Europe who had come of age and is to be formally introduced or who makes a debut at a ball to announce her eligibility to other men. For the Viennese Ball, the debutantes and their partners will perform an opening dance comprising of the Viennese Waltz, Polonaise and Quadrille. The Best 5 couples will be selected to take part in the Vienna Opera Ball in Austria.

The Viennese Ball is a formal black-tie affair. Ladies are expected to be dressed in long ball gowns (white for the debutantes) and gentlemen are required to wear tailcoats or tuxedos. The glitterati and the whose who in Malaysia are also expected to attend this event. YAM Tunku Naquiyuddin ibni Tuanku Ja'afar, the Crown Prince of Negri Sembilan has kindly consented to be the Royal Patron of the Viennese Ball 2008.

The Austrian Embassy will be providing free dance lessons for the participants. Austrian dance instructor Reinhart Polt will be conducting the dance classes at the following place:-

Venue - Sapura Auto Showroom, Level 1, Sapura Auto, 362 Jalan Tun Razak, K L

Date - October 6 to 9

Time - 8.00 to 10.00 pm

Reinhart Polt will also be teaching the foxtrot, cha cha cha, rumba, samba and rock n' roll. For more information on the Viennese Ball 2008 please log on to

Best Wishes,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Interesting Dance Spots In Kuala Lumpur

For those living in Kuala Lumpur where do you normally go to for ballroom dancing or practice your dance routines? Where would you find a dance hall big enough to perform your Quickstep scatter chasses, Foxtrot bounce fallaways or Viennese Waltz natural & reverse turns? Here are some of the few dance spots in Kuala Lumpur which have big dance floors suitable for ballroom dancing.

KLDA - The Kuala Lumpur Dancers' Association (KLDA) is located at Level 2, Indoor Sport Complex, Wisma OCM, Jalan Hang Jebat, diagonally opposite the Stadium Negara. There are 2 dance halls at the premises, namely, the "superstar" and "fame" halls. Both halls are available for rental and are ideal for private practices, dance lessons, seminars, functions, etc. The bigger "superstar" hall is available for practices every Sunday from 2.00 pm to 6.00 pm and every Monday to Friday from 8.00 pm to 10.30 pm. To join as a member you need to pay a one-time entrance fee of RM500 and a monthly subscription of RM30. For non-members the floor charges is RM15 per person per visit. For enquiries and bookings please call Tramaine (012-2339123), Grace (012-3255380) or Jane (016-2220716).

YMCA - Did you know that dance competitions and workshops were held in the YMCA Kuala Lumpur during the 1960s as there were not many suitable venues in KL back then. Founded in 1905, the YMCA KL is located at 95 Jalan Padang Belia, Brickfields near the KL Sentral Railway Station.The dance hall is open for practices on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9.30 pm to 11.30 pm. To join their dance section you will first need to become a member of the YMCA by paying an entrance fee of RM20 and an annual fee of RM60. In addition you will have to pay a monthly fee of RM25 to the dance section. For visitors, the floor charges is RM10 per person per visit.

RSC - The Royal Selangor Club or RSC in Jalan Raja was established in 1884 and was one of the earliest clubs in Malaysia. From the dance hall you have a magnificent view of Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) with the beautiful Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the background. The ambience really gets you in the mood for dancing. The dance hall is open to RSC members and their invited guests only. The RSC has a strict dress code for members and their guests. Jeans, tee-shirts and sports shoes are not allowed. Members are able to dance there every night unless the dance hall has been booked for a function. The dancesport committee also organizes a "dancesport night" once a month for members and their guests.

SDS - Super Dance Studio (SDS) is located at 2-2 Jalan 9/95B, Taman Cheras Utama near the Cheras Pantai Medical Center. Ballroom, Latin American and other social dance classes are conducted here. SDS is open to the public for dancing and karaoke sessions every Friday and Saturday from 7.00 pm to 12.00 midnight. There is also a tea dance every Sunday from 2.00 pm to 7.00 pm. For more information please contact Andy Wong at 012-3866906, Angie Chin at 014-2333811 or email:

Best Wishes,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Friday, September 12, 2008

Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 2

Elvis Presley was reputed to have worn more than 120 of his iconic jumpsuits during his concerts in the 1970s. The jumpsuits were in different designs and colours, from white to blue, red and black. His earlier jumpsuits came with matching capes but these were omitted in later designs. About 90 of his jumpsuits are being kept in Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee, USA of which more than 50 are on display at the museum there . Elvis's jumpsuits were truly haute couture works of art and many were embellished with the images of birds or animals like an eagle, peacock, tiger, or Chinese dragon.

Recently, one of Elvis's favourite jumpsuit, the "Peacock" jumpsuit was sold for a record US$300,000 (MR986,000) in an online auction in New York. Two of his jumpsuits, namely the "American Eagle" jumpsuit which he wore in the "Aloha From Hawaii" concert in 1973 (see video clip above) which was telecast live to an estimated one billion television viewers worldwide, and the "Sundial" jumpsuit which he wore in one of his last appearances in 1977 are valued at up to US$1 million (MR3.3 million) each. I believe his "Chinese Dragon" jumpsuit would fetch a world record price if it was put up for auction in China or Hong Kong

Elvis was hugely popular in Asia - in China, Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asia. In China and the Chinese speaking communities around the world, he is known affectionately as Mao Wong meaning King Cat in Chinese. In Japan, Elvis has a large fan base and many of his fans dress up to look like him. Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi who was born on the same date (January 8) as Elvis is reported to be a big fan of The King.

In Malaysia, the anniversary of the birth or death of Elvis is commemorated every year in some restaurants and pubs with performances by Elvis impersonators. A couple of years ago, a restaurateur in Kuala Lumpur had an Elvis birthday bash by displaying a pink Cadillac, similar to the one owned by Elvis in front of his restaurant. Elvis impersonators also gave a performance in front of the restaurant during the lunch hour and caused a massive traffic jam in the vicinity. Elvis would have been 73 if he were alive today.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Elvis impersonators were aplenty in Malaysia. One of the first and most successful impersonators was Rocky Teoh of Taiping. Rocky had some success as a recording artiste and released several albums of cover versions of songs by Elvis and other singers. Rocky and his backup band, The Fabulous Falcons of Ipoh toured Malaysia and Singapore from 1965 to 1967 performing in Cathay Organisation cinemas to packed audiences everywhere. They also toured Thailand in 1966. Rocky Teoh died tragically on September 8 1990 at the age of 44 in a road accident in Kuala Lumpur.

Related Posts

> Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 1

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dance Instructor Lilli Ussaraporn Kosin Wins Clorets Amateur Pole Dance Competition 2008

Fifteen finalists battled it out for the title of Malaysian pole dance champion at the Clorets Amateur Pole Dance Competition which was held on September 5 2008 at Zouk Club, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. The finalists - 13 girls and 2 guys, performed various genres of dances ranging from ballroom, Latin American, ballet, broadway, hip hop and even martial arts to the cheers of the raucous crowd.

Judging was based on clarity, technique and artistic value. The grand winner was Lilli Ussaraporn Kosin, 29, who impressed the judges with her beautiful dance routine and graceful style. She bagged a RM5000 cash prize and a Celebrity Fitness one-year gym membership. Lilli who is a dance instructor said she only learned pole dancing for a month.

First runner-up was professional dancer Yee Mei Er (stage name Sam), 28 who walked away with a RM3000 cash prize and a Celebrity Fitness nine-months gym membership. The second runner-up Andrew Tan (stage name Auto) 21, a digital animation student, incorporated gymnastics, hip hop and martial arts in his presentation. Andrew took home a RM2000 cash prize and a Celebrity Fitness six-months gym membership.

Pole dancing as a form of dancing and fitness is relatively new in Malaysia but interest seems to be picking up. One centre promoting pole dancing in Malaysia is Viva Vertical. For more information on classes in your area, please contact Lola at 016-2096997 or email You can also log on to their website at

Best Wishes,

Dance Aficionado
Dancesport Malaysia

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rapt Rumba Dance Figures

The rumba is often referred to as the queen of the Latin American dances. It is a slow, romantic and sensuous dance characterized by the use of strong hip action. Although the first step of each figure is taken on the second beat of the music (count 2), the dance is commenced with the hips already moving on the preceding beats 4 1. Every step commences to move with a slightly flexed knee. The knee straightens just before the foot reaches its position. As the weight is taken fully on to the step, the hips move naturally in the direction of the leg receiving the weight. Here are some popular rumba dance figures.

Cucarachas - Cucaracha means cockroach in Spanish. This dance figure supposedly mimics the action of squashing a cockroach with one's foot. A Cucaracha is a group of three steps ended with feet together. Either foot is placed in any open position with part weight. Weight is then transferred to the other foot and the moving foot will close. A rotary or lateral hip movement may be used. In some figures two steps of a Cucaracha are danced in which case these are known as a Cucaracha action.

Cuban Rocks - The "rocks" here do not refer to any stony outcrops or islets off the coast of Cuba. They refer to the oscillating or rocking movements of the dancers' hips. Cuban Rocks are a group of three weight changes keeping the feet in place and may be danced in any position where the feet are apart with weight on either foot. They may be danced together or individually while partner dances a solo Spot or Switch Turn. A rotary or lateral hip action may be used.

Hockey Stick - This dance figure is popular with beginners and it traces out the contour of an ice hockey stick or an inverted obtuse letter "L" as shown by the lady's steps. This is a six-step dance figure. The first three steps outline the "blade" of the hockey stick and the next three steps outline the "shaft" of the hockey stick.

Fencing - A delectable dance figure mimicking the actions of a fencer. The man steps RF forward and across in Promenade Position with R knee flexed. The lady steps LF forward and across in Promenade Position with L knee flexed. Both dancers recover to stand in Open Counter Promenade Position. As you lunge, extend your arm on that side and imagine you are thrusting a fencing foil. Raise the other arm for balance and effect. En Garde !

As the rumba is a slow dance it is considered relatively easier to dance than the other Latin American dances. Strong hip action is however often emphasised. There are basically two types of hip action - lateral and rotational. A lateral hip action is where the hips move to left or right with minimal rotation whilst a rotational hip movement is where the hips rotate around the vertical line of the spinal column. Happy dancing!

Related Posts

> Latin American Rumba And Cuban Rumba - Dances Of Love And Seduction

> Should Dance Figures Be Named After Persons?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 1

Thousands of visitors gathered recently on August 16 at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, USA to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. It was on this date 31 years ago that Elvis passed away at the age of 42. Elvis Presley will always be remembered as one of the greatest singers/entertainers of the 20th century and his popularity has remained largely undiminished till today. Graceland is a mecca and a shrine to the multitude of his fans from all over the world who come every year to pay homage to Elvis at his grave , tour Graceland and visit the museum where his memorabilia including his famous collection of jumpsuits are on display.

During his younger days Elvis would wear tight-fitting pants or jeans when performing on stage. His dance moves especially his controversial leg shakes and hip gyrations would send the audience wild with frenzy. The "King of Rock and Roll" was not given the sobriquet "Elvis The Pelvis" for nothing! When Elvis appeared in the Ed Sullivan television variety show in 1956 he was televised mainly from the waist up as his dance moves were considered risque and a negative influence on the youth of America!

Elvis wore his trademark jumpsuits during the 1970s when he toured the United States. It is often said that Elvis made the jumpsuit fashionable. His outfits were elegantly tailored and were often embellished with sequins and precious stones. Elvis would often wear scarves with his jumpsuits and give away or throw the scarves to his delirious fans during his performances. Elvis must have given away a lot of his scarves during his concert tours. Looking back with hindsight, if Elvis had autographed the scarves that he gave away, they would be collectibles today, worth a small fortune and maybe even traded on eBay!

On August 7 2008, it was reported that one of Elvis's favorite jumpsuits known as the peacock jumpsuit was sold for US$300,000 (RM1 million) at an online auction in New York, making it the most expensive piece of Elvis memorabilia ever sold at an auction. The white outfit with a plunging V-neck and high collar, features a rhinestone bejeweled blue-and-gold peacock design on the front and back with tail feathers tapering off as they cascade down the entire length of the legs that flare at the bottom. The jumpsuit is also cinched at the waist by a wide belt decorated with gold medallions in a design resembling the eye of a peacock. More of The King next week.

Related Posts

> Elvis Presley And His Trademark Jumpsuits - Part 2

> Chubby Checker's "The Twist" Named Top Song Of Billboard Hot 100

Monday, September 1, 2008

Quirky Quickstep Dance Figures

The quickstep is a fun, lively and bubbly dance characterized by the use of small powerful steps. The quick tempo of the music and the whole character of the dance seem to invite a care-free interpretation of its bright rhythm. Alex Moore, the late dance guru, has this to say of the quickstep - "The dancer who masters the fundamentals of the quickstep will have command of a dance that can never grow stale, a dance that is unquestionably the most attractive expression of rhythm the world has ever seen." The quickstep has many dance figures which have fanciful and amusing names. Among them are:-

V6 - This has nothing to do with the V6 car engine. As the name suggests, the steps are danced in the shape of the letter "V" and there are six steps each side of the "V". This figure is usually danced at the short side of the dance floor after steps 1-3 of a natural turn ended backing diagonally to centre. For the man, the V6 consists of a back lock moving diagonally centre, steps 2 & 3 of the outside change and a forward lock diagonal to wall. You'll need to fire on all cylinders to dance this figure well.

Fishtail - The fishtail is a nice figure to dance and to behold.The slight movements of the dancers bodies to the right and to the left resembles the undulating movements of a fish. The fishtail can be danced at any time the man has taken a step outside the lady with his RF. A good position to commence it is diagonally to the centre (after a tipple chasse to R). Finish facing diagonal to the wall and continue with any natural figure. When taken from a tipple chasse, the last step of the tipple chasse becomes the first step of the fishtail.

Tipple chasse to R - This looks like a dance figure mimicking the unsteady gait of a slightly inebriated tippler. There are eight steps in the tipple chasse, For the man it is 1 LF back, 2 RF to side, 3 LF closes to RF, 4 RF to side and slightly forward. The footwork is 1 TH; 2 T; 3 T; 4 T. Steps 5 to 8 is basically a forward lock. A slight flexing of the knees may be used on step 4, straightening as step 5 is taken. The R heel should not lower to the floor. A sway to the R (Lady to L) may be used.

Tipsy to R or L - Those who had perhaps one drink too many may find this dance figure familiar and easy to dance! For the Tipsy to R, the man places the RF to side (small step) and then moves LF halfway towards RF and then places RF again to side (small step) with a sharp downwards flexing of the knees. The timing is Q & Q and footwork is 1 T; 2 T; 3 IE of Toe and IE of Toe of LF.

The other ballroom and Latin American dances also have some very descriptive and sometimes hilarious names. Dancesport can be fun and entertaining at the same time. I'll talk about other interesting dance figures in future posts.

Warmest Regards,

Dance Aficionado