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

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