Ladies-staying in the "basket"

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Stillharbor, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. Stillharbor

    Stillharbor New Member

    I'm working on more advanced technique but I feel like I'm having trouble in smooth. I'm not really sure how to explain my difficulties. Body contact is at the ladies right ribs, then into the guy's hand behind a ladies left shoulder. You want to stretch up while keeping your shoulders back to create the curve. My problem is that I seem to have trouble keeping my shoulders leaned back with my left elbow up, and the contact at the ribs. If I pull up my elbow, I loose the connection the leader has at my back. My teacher keeps trying to show me how to stay with the connection with using my right hand, but I'm finding it difficult. Anyone have any good tips or pointers? :confused:
  2. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Is your shoulder coming up out of your partner's hand, or is it coming forward out of your partner's hand?

    If it is coming forward out of your partner's hand, try this exercise. Stand up straight with your arms at your sides - in a position where you think your left shoulder blade would be in your partner's hand - then stretch your left arm straight out from the shoulder without moving your body. The arm should feel in line with your back, not your front. Now, without moving your body or upper arm, bend the arm at the elbow only, until the hand is in a position where it might rest on your partner's arm. The shoulder should still be where it started - where it would be in your partner's hand.

    If the issue is that the shoulder is coming up out of your partner's hand, soften the legs and lower until your shoulder is back in position.
  3. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    i would think more about keep the shoulders down rather than back...and keeping the head up and over them looking over your own left wrist most of the time...do focus on staying forward and not leaning back...keep a fixed position of a triangle between the tailbone and the elbows...if that helps
  4. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    My coach once told me to envision being a pole vaulter and think "up and over". See if that helps.
  5. 2totango

    2totango New Member

    I have been told (over and over and over) to use my pectoral muscles. That will keep my right arm where it should be, consequently creating the appropriate connection with my partner. When I can do this, I stay where I need to be, he doesn't need to "reign me in" and it seems to work better in the dance. Hope that helps.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    hmmmm...that's a new one on me...
  7. QPO

    QPO New Member

    I am having the same issues, maintaining my shape, I am not quite sure what it is I should be feeling, I am sure once I get it I will remember. I also dance too high and when I try to think about that I forget the shaping :-(. More practice required
  8. Stillharbor

    Stillharbor New Member

    If it is coming forward out of your partner's hand, try this exercise. Stand up straight with your arms at your sides - in a position where you think your left shoulder blade would be in your partner's hand - then stretch your left arm straight out from the shoulder without moving your body. The arm should feel in line with your back, not your front. Now, without moving your body or upper arm, bend the arm at the elbow only, until the hand is in a position where it might rest on your partner's arm. The shoulder should still be where it started - where it would be in your partner's hand.


    I'm thinking that I'm not staying back enough. I don't have a big problem locking my shoulder blades down, but apparantly I don't have the lean. He made the comment last night that even though I keep my shoulders down, I still need to stretch up and to the left. But when I stretch up the way he wants me to, my shoulders don't stay down. ...:headwall: He had me do an exercise where I stood with my left arm pointed up and back towards the corner. He placed his hand on my shoulder blade and without moving my shoulder, had me bend my elbow to place my hand on his arm. I don't see how the feeling is different than when I usually stand in frame.
    :headwall: :confused: :headwall:
  9. and123

    and123 Well-Known Member

    Just adding my 2 cents b/c I had/have issues with stretching/leaning leftwards. My coach has me concentrate on stretching "up and over" (the pole vaulter analogy) and then *rotating* my upper body to the right. Thinking "left" tends to disturb my blocks of body weight and adversely affect the dancing.

    No idea if that helps you, but hopefully it will at least give you another way of viewing it. Sometimes just wording it differently makes all the difference.
  10. Warren J. Dew

    Warren J. Dew Well-Known Member

    Well, you could try doing that while taking dance position. Then, ask him how that differs from how you normally take dance position.

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