Ballroom Dance > pivots

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by fascination, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like you are rotating only from the center of your body, instead of rotating the circumference.
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I can't visualize your issues...I can only tell you some of the things that helped me....first of all, it is very helpful to simply do a full line of pivots alone and let your pro watch them to assess what is happening....that being said, I have a tendency to do things well without my pro and poorly with thing that I needed to do was not think of pivots as rotational, so that I didn't over rotate my works much better to think of them as forward and backward...the other issue for me was to remember that it is the body that moves first, particularly on the forward motion, which meant allowing my knee to "fall to the pillow" on the ground before stepping to allow the body to go first...and, back to over-rotating; to remember not to take one side forward and one side back, but to take both sides forward...and to remember to turn my foot inward as it takes the weight moving from the backward to the forward
  3. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Larinda- If memory serves, I have heard pro say the same thing. I'm certain this is part of my problem. I think this happens because I still seem to get lost during fast rotation and have a hard time determining where I am at any given moment. Therefore, it is hard to think about turning my circumference rather than just upper body, because I'm still trying to figure out where on the floor I am. I'm sure that sounds silly. I don't get dizzy or anything like that, I just cant seem to recognize quickly enough which direction we're facing when doing more than one rotation where that rotation is fast (lod, diagonal center, etc.). I think I will have pro break this down better for me at my next lesson. Thanks for the reply.

    Fasc- Doing some pivots by myself is a good start. I will definitely have pro take a closer look. And I am anxious to see if I can apply the thought of forward-backward rather than around and around we go. I think this may prove to be very useful. And both sides forward, both sides forward, both sides forward. Thank you.
  4. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Your problem has a simple solution, but first please clarify: are you doing Natural or Reverse pivots?

  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Sounds like reverse.... but I had to ask myself that question too as we almost always assume it is natural.
  6. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Yes, of course. A natural pivot, or series of them. Sorry, that's just how little I know of pivots. You can reverse these things!?!? lol

    Sorry... maybe it is a reverse. That's how lost I am. How can I answer this easily for you guys?

    Maybe this will help. We are starting from promenade (and though not literally, but we rotate in the direction of me taking my right side back, which would have pro bringing his left side forward "around me" so to speak).
  7. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Are you turning to the left with your left foot forward, or to the right with your right foot forward?
  8. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    right foot forward, turning to the right. Sorry guys for the ambiguity. But that should emphasize just how lost I am.
  9. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    No worries! That's a natural pivot.

    My partner and I are currently struggling with it too. I tend to be muscle-y and pull with my arms instead of with the proper action going on downstairs, so it becomes really unstable and difficult to make it through even one set. It's again one of those intellectual I-can-express-it-in-words-but-not-yet-with-my-body sort of things.
  10. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Thanks dlliba! Verdict is in... We are talking about natural pivots. These pivots have me doubting my knowledge of even the simplest things... sigh.
  11. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    We used to do that too. Coach had little faith in us to be able to even do pivots remotely well within 3 weeks before MAC. They are actually working really really well now because we are staying on our foot longer and letting it pivot more.
  12. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    I'm currently writing an article on this--but here are the highlights as it refers to your question:

    When NPivots (as a series, or continuous Nat Pivots) are first learned, the natural tendency of beginners and intermediates is to under-turn---the result: the series usually travels in a curve---and therefore are best done around a corner (which a good pro will always do when teaching this to a beginning/intermediate dancer).

    Dancing the NPivots in a straight-line is possible, but only with knowledge of how to counter-act the distortion on the frame/hold that the foot position will impose on the structure.

    Wann, as I said, your problem is simple: it is caused by the LACK OF ACCURACY of where you plant your LEFT FOOT (the one going backwards, abbreviated here as L-LF (lady's left foot)) RELATIVE your partner's/GENT'S RIGHT FOOT (G-RF).

    (That's what's causing your partner to underturn--you haven't given him the space to go further).

    Let's say that the G-RF is pointing line of dance. Where you land your LF will dictate how well your partner will get around you.

    Imagine a clock-face on the floor, with your partner's foot (G-RF) pointing to 12 o'clock and heel pointing to 6 o'clock.

    You need to land L-LF at around 1 to 2:30 o'clock if you're going on a straight, and between 12 and 1 if you're going on a curve--ANYTHING BEFORE 12 relative to G-RF, and you're under-turning massively.

    HERE'S A TIP for travelling in a straight line with pivots: draw a line perpendicular to the ball of the G-RF (ie a line from center to wall, or from 10-2 on our imaginary clock-face). Make sure the L-LF's big toe is almost touching this perpendicular line at 1:30.

    Of course, the partner has to do the same when it's his turn.

    I hope this helps...

    Gorme, Wannabee and dlliba10 like this.
  13. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for this detailed write-up! I'll be sure to try to work this out in the studio tomorrow.
  14. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Thanks so much for your reply! This will definitely give me at least a place to start. I have no doubt my problem with pivots is multi-faceted, but this gives me a starting place. So step one, place left foot around 2 o'clock consistently. Pro will be sick of pivots after my lessons tonight! lol. I can be very determined once I set my mind on accomplishing something. And today, if nothing else, I will work hard at proper left foot placement.
  15. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    Sorry, this whole clock thing is confusing me, I 'm not sure where your relative 12 o'clock is. Are you basically saying if the forward moving partner has the RF alignment of LoD, the backward moving partner should have the LF alignment of backing DW?
  16. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    Well... almost.

    Per your example, L-LF should fall between LOD-SLIGHTLY-TO-WALL (ie NOT LOD but slightly towards the wall) and DW-SLIGHTLY-TO-WALL, relative to your partner's G-RF, AND depending on your individual leg structures together and what your intended direction is.

    If you plant L-LF directly on LOD, then you're already set-up to under-turn and creating forces which you will need to fight against, the symptom of which is inordinate tension, grasping, not enough space/momentum to turn and "muscle-ing" the figure.



    12 is pointing LOD, 6 IS pointing against LOD
  17. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    There is an advanced model/concept of doing continuous Nat pivots---it deals with the figure as a series of SIDE STEPs (instead of forward and back).

  18. Mengu

    Mengu Well-Known Member

    Thank you. It all sounds pretty similar to concepts (and problems) in the gentleman's left foot back step in Natural Spin Turn.
  19. Wannabee

    Wannabee Well-Known Member

    Thanks Max. I would love to read your article about pivots. And I did pick up on the part of your quote that said "advanced model/concept", so while out of my league with regards to dancing it, I would still enjoy reading this and your article if possible. Where will your article be published?

    I'm hoping my efforts will at least be good enough to eventually keep my pro from having to look like a one-legged kangaroo when doing pivots with me.
  20. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

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