Ballroom Dance > Rise and Fall - Body Contact

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Janson, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    Mainly regarding Waltz, but could apply to the other swing dances too.

    I understand the position with softened knees and hip connection in basic frame to make sure the partners are at a suitable height and can move together - but when rising to a peak (in a natural turn for example), should the man only rise as far as the lady is able to follow or should he rise as far as he would if he was with a taller partner and then come back into body contact on the fall?

    Any insight is appreciated :)
  2. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I am sure there are technical experts here who have more to contribute than myself, but for competitive venues I would think that a primary consideration would be that you can't go any further than is possible to maintain a decent frame
  3. LordBallroom

    LordBallroom Member

    I'm a long way from a technical expert but I'll take a stab just for the fun of it. I'm sure some of the pros can correct me if I'm wrong. My guess is that just dancing with someone who is too short for you involves breaking "correct" dancing rules. Besides getting your knees in the way of your partner, if you already have to bend to connect at the hip I don't see how you'll be able to generate a natural swing when it comes time to dance as you've killed much of your potential energy. Since your breaking the rules anyway you might as well, for the sake of your partner's comfort, stay at a height that doesn't take her off her feet. I don't see why a high rise would be an issue anyways as you're not going to be able to generate much power if starting from a bent position. As far as separating from your partner, I would think that if the two centers are rising and lowering at different levels then the connection is being broken.
  4. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I am certainly no pro, but my pro always tells me (since he is tall and I am...not) that both partners must dance at their own height. If the shorter partner dances "up" or the taller partner dances "down", one (or both) of you end up breaking frame, which is far worse.
    Bailamosdance likes this.
  5. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    There is more to this than meets the eye, of course, and it's all in the name of maintaining the illusion of the perfect hold---it's all about the SILHOUETTE.

    Aesthetic quietness in a frame implies its opposite in reality: that the frame will be very dynamic as it travels through three dimensional space---making micro-adjustments as it goes, within the torso, the shoulder and elbow angles, and the wrist---and generally with both dancers conforming to the correct silhouette/shape so that you can maintain the "look" of something that is fairly stable.

    If you're an advanced dancer, then you already understand that you can---at certain points---break your connection and frame to 1) maintain an illusion, and 2) portray a certain depth of movement that can be considered an extension (or exaggeration) of the norm. (e.g. when you're rising to a pose figure (say a hover corte), you can rise higher, and your partner bend a little bit back to create the illusion of size and depth, thus the frame of the advanced dancer will always be different in how it functions compared to a beginner's).

    If you're a beginning or intermediate dancer, then you would serve your dancing well by learning how to maintain the look of a good frame first through knee flex and other mechanical means, when the height ratio between the partners are less than ideal---both during traversal of a line, or during rise and fall.

    That means you'll need to keep your body contact point in sync for awhile, before starting to learn how to use your height disparity to your advantage.

    This means then that you can only rise to the maximum of your partner's rise, otherwise you're going to "pop" conspicuously (advice which should also be borne in mind when traversing a line).

    3 things I'd advice you to remember with regards to your query:
    • The height of the rise is an illusion generated by how LOW you both get prior to that rise (which is more difficult for the taller partner, obviously),
    • Swing is mainly a function of your torso accompanied by the judicious use of leg speed, thus generating momentum depends on the synchronization of both partners into pendular or metronomic movement, and the accuracy of their foot placement (in your case, it will be a compromise between leg-extension for her, and quad strength for you), and
    • Realize that keeping the head positions constant, relative to each other, creates the illusion of quiet movement as you traverse & rise and fall---and ultimately the correct SILHOUETTE you're after.

  6. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    And remember... HER height is already occupied with the heels she is wearing... 2-3 inches. SO while the man, from heel to toe, may rise 4 or 5 inches the woman is only capable of an additional 2 or so!
    Miss Silly, GGinrhinestones and vit like this.
  7. Janson

    Janson Active Member

    Wow, thank you all. Really helpful answers there, especially madmaximus. After thinking about it I agree that maintaining the frame and contact (being synchronised with your partner) would be more important that simply getting as high as possible. As you say the rise and fall is partly about how low you get before the rise, which you helps towards the drive and movement too. Excellent, love this forum!
    chomsky likes this.

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