While following the thread about the "whole leg", which included discussion
of the "whole body", my mind ranged about and remembered the video "Step We
Ceilidh" that I recently viewed. The video is quite well done, and the
dancers do a nice job of demonstrating the dances.
But something struck me slightly odd in the St. Bernard's Waltz when the
dancers did the Waltz turns. Now I know what was odd about it! The dancers
danced the Waltz like they would a Scottish Country Dance. Ramrod straight
verticle posture, looking at each other smiling and as far apart as their
"ballroom" hold would permit. Quite different from the picture of
experienced ballroom dancers doing a waltz turn.
Some of you know Vanessa and I do a lot of ballroom dancing. A big
difference between SCD and ballroom is that the latter makes use of body
sway--stretching one side of the body to achieve a curved effect, and
contra-body action--turning the upper body so that it appears that you
stepped across your body line. (There is one place in SCD where we do
contra-body action--Strathspey circles).
So what appeared to me as a slightly stilted Waltz turn was a Waltz turn
danced without body sway! When ballroom dancers do a Waltz turn, there will
be a slight body sway toward the side of the stepping foot. The sway
changes with every bar, so there is a kind of rolling action. So if you
want to add a bit of style to your Waltz, try a little bit of body
sway--but remember, sway is achieved by _stretching_ one side, not by
collapsing the other side. The use of sway is functional, not just cosmetic
or an affectation--it makes for a more natural, more pleasing movement.
Trans Vector Technologies, Inc, 184 Estaban Drive, Camarillo, CA 93010-1611
Phone: (805)484-2775, FAX: (805)484-2718, EMail: firstname.lastname@example.org