Ballroom Dance > pivots

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

  1. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    See if I'm interpreting what you said properly... The momentum that keeps the rotation going comes from the forward movement of the forward-moving partner. If you are the backward-moving partner, one of your responsibilities is to not block the path of the forward-moving partner. If you do, the forward-moving partner can't get any drive and the rotation will lose momentum.

    I've also observed that a whole lot of people who do pivots just will not step into the partner, for some reason. You've got to get those legs intertwined; otherwise you don't have a common axis of rotation and the whole thing deadlocks.
  2. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    because the step back for the man in a spin turn is a pivot!
  3. vit

    vit Active Member

    Funny thing is ... most teachers were trying to teach me to do that step (4th step of nat. spin) back, exactly down the LOD, then rotate 180 degree on that foot. It's even shown that way (solo) in some ballroom teaching videos. However, nobody of those teachers was ever able to demonstrate it that way in a couple

    Why ?
  4. londongal

    londongal New Member

    My partner and I have struggled with pivots for AGES.

    When I read Max's explanation my mind hissed YESSSSSSS, THAT'S IT! If I am reading him correctly (not sure I did), this was exactly the thing we were arguing about during one particularly frustrating practice session.

    Basically we start with me (lady) forward on Right Foot. I pivot and turn Right to go around him. As soon as I am there, in front of him, backing line of dance, partner goes: 'Your left foot is NOT LEFT ENOUGH and you are blocking me.'
    I denied this and argued he was being too technical *then we threw up our hands*

    In retrospect he was right. I needed to be 'more left' in general when pivoting, as I tend to drift toward the center and block the action.

    I don't know if this is the same as what Max was saying but I find it helps to think 'more left'.

    We also found that thinking 'you go, I go, you go, I go' is helpful and reduces the problem of over rotating.
  5. jjs914

    jjs914 Active Member

    This may or may not help but, if I'm reading what others are saying, goes along with what's already been said. It's helped me to think about how much I allow my right foot to pivot on the floor, in order to get the left foot far enough around where it needs to be.

    I've found in my own dance, in general and not specific only to pivots, I tend to let my feet get stuck where I place them, and that cuts the movement off. I found the same thing in pivots. That I was getting in my own way by not allowing the right foot to rotate.
  6. ACtenDance

    ACtenDance Active Member

    It might also help to pay attention to where your body is. Check to make sure you maintain the proper relationship to each other. If your partner is creating the correct amount of rotation, then you will slide toward the inside of the partnership. OR, one or both of you might have the incorrect relationship between your feet and body. Don't forget that having the correct foot position only makes things possible; there are a lot of other body parts above that base that can mess things up too!
  7. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Momentum comes from both dancer's backward and forward movements together.

    I should note that nothing about momentum should be inferred from my earlier explanation (to Wannabee), except perhaps what Cornutt above noted (regarding blocking the forward progress of your partner).

    Momentum, in pivots, is best discussed separately from footwork.

  8. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Yes, that is what the post implies.

  9. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The Left foot straight back LOD ,was amended some time ago, maybe thats what they were taught, and later on, corrected the "direction" .

    And, the Spin Turn terminology, is a little confusing, as its preceeded ( as Larinda stated ) by a Pivot, BEFORE the actual spin action takes place .
    By the way,if amount of turn is a little difficult for you as a beginner ( Man ) dance it at a corner, where less overall turn is needed .
  10. vit

    vit Active Member

    Yes, I also presume that's the reason. For instance, in Alex Moore's book, that step is shown on the drawing as step (almost) down the LOD (actually it is drawn 3-4 degrees from LOD to the W).

    My point was that those teachers were not aware that they can't dance that step (in a couple) the way they try are trying to teach it, that's the problem. And it happen even in the videos, where they can check what they danced from the recording
  11. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    I will throw in our problem here since it is related to pivots. Our waltz routine goes like this: Natural turn, spin turn, two continuous pivot turns and another spin turn into open natural.

    First I cannot keep my right side forward long enough at the end of the first spin turn until my partner gets around and initiates the continuous pivots. More precisely, my body drifts away while I am facing the back of LOD. I wonder if it happens because I am too eager instead of trusting my partner to take care of completing the turn.

    Second after we finish the continuous pivots, I cannot slow down to do the second spin turn. I just go at the same speed that we did the continuous pivots, which results in an underturn at the end of spin turn. And then the open natural is not pretty.

    Any advice?
  12. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    I need coffee before DF...

    Could you talk about your alignments?

    Are you taking this along a straight or around a corner?

  13. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    Straight, but after the open natural we start a new line of dance.
  14. stash

    stash Well-Known Member

    I know the problem I was having with my pivots was one of two things. 1) my frame had gotten all wonky from too many peoples input and not enough clarity (that has been resolved thankfully) and 2) I was not using my ankles enough to articulate the turn so that my partner felt like he had to force me to turn more with his upper body. So basically rotating my ankle, so that my foot pointed in the direction that I wanted to go in, in order to get fully around my partner. It makes so much sense now, but until it was pointed out to us by our coach we couldn't figure out what was going on.

    Not to mention I have a huge mental thing against pivots.
  15. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member


    That's quite an amalgamation--and on a straight no less...

    The first step of the continuous natural pivots (whether by the gent or lady) needs to be a strong forward step.

    Personally, I wouldn't follow a spin turn with continuous pivots---because NST ends "high" with a small step whereas the follow needs to start with a LONG "LOW" step.

    You can, of course, "kluge" the NST to run flat (ie without a rise), but that's a different discussion.

    So onwards...
    This presumes, of course, that the start of the Cont Pivots (step 1) is the 6th of the NST--and that you don't have any intermediate figures in-between the two.

    Your first issue: On the NST you're not taking a long enough step or you're planting too soon (probably because of the rise on 6) which is difficult to do in the first place if you're taking that long step, which in turn muffles the first of your Cont Pivots, forcing you to turn early--hence the loss of your right side forward poise.

    The second issue doesn't make sense to me YET.

    If you take the Cont Pivot momentum, I THINK you should be OVER-TURNING the NST and not underturning.

    But here's a tip: the crucial point here is to take the 1st of the NST STRAIGHT down LOD with a slight offset from your partner's RF---if you plant a little TOO LEFT (like you would in the Cont Pivots), then you're in trouble.

    I hope this helps some.

  16. Dancebug

    Dancebug Well-Known Member

    You are right. I overturn, but my partner fights trying to stop me from overturning. That is why we end up with underturn.

    Do you have any suggestion of figures between NST and continuous pivot turns?

    Thank you.
  17. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    What level do you dance?

  18. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Odds are (10 to 1) you're overturning the 2nd NST because your partner is not leading it correctly.

    Have him keep his right side forward a fraction longer AFTER PLANTING the 2nd step while HIS RF travels towards the LF in the NST---the reason you're over-turning is he's over-rotating from his momentum.

  19. When I practise several natural pivots continuously in Waltz, I can not move in straight line but always in a curl line to the left. It is normal or error?
  20. ajiboyet

    ajiboyet Well-Known Member

    That's not exactly a bad thing, is it?

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