rising on the 1st step of the reverse turn in foxtrot

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by ballroomdancertoo, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. ballroomdancertoo

    ballroomdancertoo Active Member

    Can anyone break down the rising step for the man in the reverse turn of the foxtrot. I know that the rise is needed to cause the lady to heel turn however, sometimes the lady does not heel turn and appears to go into a fallo way step. I am wondering if there is any sway in the initial rise to increase the effect of producing the lady heel turn.
    thanks in advance.
  2. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    More than rising, it is arriving over an almost straight leg that differentiates her heel turn from a waltz type turn or fallaway where she bends more into the arriving knee. Provided that she isnt running awa y from him as he commences the step, the man can prompt one type of turn or the other basically by just using his own arriving knee the way he wants her to use hers.

    The possibility of doing a sort of steppy kind of heel turn on more bent legs in tango does exist, and might call this explanation into question, but I think you will find its extremely practical for the swing dances, and that the tango issue will work itself out somehow at the appropriate time.
  3. Our coach describes the rise as "climbing up a wall" as though you were stepping towards a wall and then rising, with the effect of "stopping your forward progression" which is supposed to signal the follow to transfer weight to the heel for the heel turn.
  4. jwlinson

    jwlinson Member

    It's been described to me as a step straight and rotate. Stepping straight onto the leg prevents her from stepping back. The turn brings her feet together.

    My problem was adding too much rise and forward progression, which was causing her to take a step back.

    I like the "climbing a wall" idea mentioned above.
  5. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Interesting that your problem was too much rise, I assume in the first step--the feet do come together as the turn develops, but the turn itself doesn't cause the feet to come together. Maybe you were not setting up the turn properly by not using rotation/cbm in your right leg before taking that step, thus causing you to dance into her instead of sending her to the inside of the turn. Oh well, if it's working now, so be it! :)
  6. jwlinson

    jwlinson Member

    I was wanting to lower, step forward, then rise. And yes, I was dancing into her. Had a similar problem with the tele.
  7. ballroomdancertoo

    ballroomdancertoo Active Member

    Thanks for all the comments. However, I found out that rushing the rise and not finishing it completely gave the lady an ambiguous lead. Therefore, with the intent of rising to completion I gave the lady a chance to make to heel turn. I think it was a timing thing.....anyway I will see if my theory works.
  8. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    If she is falling away I can think of a couple more things you might want to check:
    1. Is the lady back weighted? Is she extended her leg before she steps back? It could be that her upper body getting past the "point of no return" too quickly.
    2. When you are on your right leg, is it possible you are not rolling through the foot and indicating the beginning of the turn? A common issue would be that your weight is getting forward too quickly, making the lady "fall away" too quickly for her to prepare the heel turn.
  9. Angel HI

    Angel HI Active Member

    I hate opening this can of worms... we've done it before. However, this concept of rising to cause teh lady to dance a heel turn is so incredibly ludicrous to me that I still just can't get past it. I know that it has become the accepted MO, but I swear, this is only because of blind following of a prescribed teaching method. "It simply does not work!"

    OK. Gloves are off; don't come at me swinging, but I am interested to try this discussion, again.
  10. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    Sorry Angel, I don't remember your suggested method for doing so--can you re-fresh my/our memory? No gloves off here! :)
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    As limiting the bend of her arriving knee is a key component of the action for swing dances, using his knee that way is a major part of the lead.

    Not flexing the knee as you come over the foot could be considered body rise.

    A key point though is that the rise aspect needs to quickly gain the character of an overhand or metronomic swing. A more typical underhand or pendulum swing would cause some incline of her body and encourage her feet to seperate to continue the pendulum swing through steps 2 and 3.
  12. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    While I agree in principle, I don't think the pendulum swing should affect her foot closure as long as the early rise accompanies it. For example, on the reverse turn portion of the reverse wave, I give a very 'underhanded' pendulum swing very much from underneath in order to turn her head strongly on the reverse turn as a setup for the wave.
  13. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The reverse wave modification really should be done as a second swing, taking over from the first.

    If you look back through the history of discussion, you will see that several ladies have pointed out how generic "early rise" doesn't do it for them - probably because pendulum rise is a separating rather than closing trajectory.
  14. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    I might add that a basically straight leg is mechanically speaking an inverted pendulum, so our arrival onto it will have the kind of overhand swing that dancers call "metronome swing" for its resemblance to the motion of a tick-tock wind up inverted pendulum metronome.

    To get the more usual underhand pendulum swing of waltz, etc rise out of our leg, we have to bend our knee as we initially arrive and then straighten it as we leave, to mimic the path of motion we would have if our center were suspended from above by a rope, ie. a normal pendulum.

    If we bend our knee like that to create pendulum swing, we aren't leading or doing a lady's heel turn.
  15. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I think it is all in how you look at it. There are pitfalls in the words we choose.

    If we have early rise, then how much and exactly when? If it is too much, too fast, then the lady will surely close her feet too abruptly and end up back weighted. To "rise early" would position the man over the ball of his foot faster, and likely contribute to the abrupt closing of the lady's feet.

    I would also be interested in what is going on in the man's right leg. Is he softening the knee so as to indicate turn? If not, the lady may be stepping straight back, and then he will not be able to get the correct amount of turn, nor have room to get around her and be positioned right for the closure of her feet.

    I do agree that the legs need to be straight as we do a heel turn, but trying somehow abruptly rise to create this may be missing the point.

    The idea of "turn" is tricky too (JH for one call's it a "four letter word"). Obviously, if the lady steps straight back, the man will not be able to reach proper alignment. But too much turn too early would put the lady in a position where she cannot easily close the left to the right. Therefore we need "indication" through the man's right leg, and the lady will be able to brilliantly position her right foot slightly off the track, yet still back where she can close the left to the right as the man commences to pass her. :)

    Then there is the matter of the lady extending her leg to step back on the right foot. With no extension, she will end up back weighted. It's very easy to move the foot with the body as you move backwards, but backward steps are different anatomically to forward steps. With no extenstion, there is no rolling through he foot, resulting in the weight getting over the heel too quickly. Combine this with "quick rise" from the man, and we have a recipe for disaster. :) This is why the softening of the man's right leg is so important too. But regardless of what the man does, the lady must be pretty brilliant in her own right of both extension and positioning for the the reverse turn, not to mention the heel turn itself!
  16. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    If the man does "early rise" in the usual sense, the lady tends to either pass her feet or end up picked up onto her toes... neither of which is the mechanism of a heel turn. Instead we need a kind of overhand rise that places the lady on the spot where she will rotate.

    To do this with the braced leg technique, one does not really aim the rise to achieve a straight leg, instead one just keeps the leg "braced" during the arrival and lets this create the appropriate path of rise.

    When ladies end up backweighted or trapped in an excessively arched position under the man during the turn, it is usually because they did not release the toe of their standing foot and drive their hip off the heel to move back for the first step into the turn, as is required for any sound and supported backwards action from a lowered position (with or without turn). Granted, this is difficult to learn to do in even good ballroom heels, so this problem is rather common (but most seem to readily learn it in practice shoes). The nice thing about such a body-driven action is that there's no need to worry about amount of extension or step size, it's just an automatic proportionate result of the amount of body movement.

    Turns in classic technique do not imply substantially stepping to the side or curving the position of the step. Because we are talking about the reverse turn, the appropriate application of CBM will be rather subtle - we do not want to rotate the shoulders obviously into one as we would for a natural turn. Some teachers would even say there is no CBM or no turn until step 2 - personally I prefer to teach that the CBM of reverse turns occurs primarily in the feet, legs, and hips, with the shoulders following only later. Specifically I generate this by slipping my right knee literally behind my left as I lower and prepare to drive forward or back into the step, while trying not to turn the shoulders yet (the lady may however want to allow her head to turn). It's a kind of novel "corkscrew" feeling.
  17. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    For me personally, I don't like to think of a reverse turn in foxtrot as being "body driven". Yes, my whole body is moving forward, but the softening of the knee plays too significant of a role to call it "body driven". The lady can release her front toe or "drive" the hip backwards, but I still believe the lady must be brilliant in her own right of both extension and positioning for the the reverse turn. And even a brilliant lady needs a good indication through the leg, or else there is no difference in a Fallaway and a Reverse (except in what the man does). Personally, I prefer having my brilliant lady. :)
  18. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    There is a huge difference between the reverse heel turn and the fallaway reverse.

    The first arrives onto a leg that barely bends, the second onto a leg that bends a lot.
  19. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    I was just watching the Divida bronze intl foxtrot video for reverse turn, and here Victor V. discusses using early rise in reverse turn to indicate to lady that heel turn is desired and to keep her from swinging past her weighted/heel turn leg. Heather S. also discusses the woman's technique for completing heel turn. I also noticed that OP asked about possibly of using sway during initial rise to enhance the lady's turn. I think I've done this before in some of my earlier practices, along with a delayed rise during and after the turn, but I'm thinking this sway should not be done because gray book states there is no sway during step one and early sway might cause problems for lady to complete heel turn properly.
  20. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    The problem is that while the characteristic arrival onto a braced knee ordinarily qualifies as early rise*, just saying "use early rise" is not likely to result in an effective lead.

    For something that is quite easy to describe procedurally, its amazing how much vague handwaving goes on. Just take a good ordinary step one turn commencing action for the appropriate direction, only don't bend into the arriving knee.

    *except of course for the natural twist turn, which allegedly has no rise, so the bracing of the leg doesn't always officially count as body rise...

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