Ballroom Dance > Underturning in Viennese Waltz

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Tenehill, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Tenehill

    Tenehill New Member

    My female partners often turn less than 1/2 turn during the turns of Viennese Waltz. And I cannot always compensate by overturning during my forward moves.

    What shall I do? Can I help them to do a 1/2 turn, not less?

  2. Kortgawain

    Kortgawain New Member

    The most obvious assistance is to be sure that your steps during her travel turn steps are very small so that she can easily make her travel steps easier. Even with that, many times the follow will not make a long side step so when she does her cross step (e.g. in a reverse turn) you will be beside her in the LOD instead of in front of her in the LOD. The follow can also make it easier for you if her steps during your turning steps are also small.
  3. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    I have this very problem, too, with certain partners; it is very frustrating. These partners give me the same problem in Fallaway Slip Pivot and Viennese Cross in Tango. If I force them to make proper amount of turn, they complain. I know that it is not my fault because I don't have this problem with cetain partners, especially female pros. I hope to hear some serious discussion.
  4. reb

    reb Active Member

    The fact that one doesn't experience it with female pros does not logically produce the conclusion that one is not part of the problem . . . it may be that their presence ensures there is no problem. But when left to a lead's own devices . . . .

    I also welcome some insight into this from experienced teachers!:D
  5. ChenLing

    ChenLing Member

    I'm assuming you are doing the reverse turn in VW, with the lady going forward.
    1) Are you letting her through? Ie, are you going back and slightly right (vs straight back) so she can go in a straight line? If you go straight back, she has to go around you, which doesn't let her complete her turn.
    2) Are you letting her past you during the second step? You can only take as large of a second step as she takes minus a small amount.
    3) Are you helping her on her second step? As the person going backwards, you have to help her take a larger step than she normally can. This doesn't mean pulling her off balance, but does mean using your momentum to increase hers.
    4) Is she driving? The lady should be feeding in as much energy (actually more energy) than the guy, going forward or backward. The perfect lady is not a "follower", she is an active component to the movement of the partnership. Regardless of how much the lady is driving however, you can always make a lady complete the "turn" properly (assuming she isn't actively fighting you). You're probably trying to make her turn, whereas you should be trying to make her take a large 2nd step forward past you. I always tell my students that 100% of the lady's energy is directed towards the movement of the partnership, and maybe ~50% of the guys energy is for that, with the remaining 50% for changing direction, timing, floorcraft, keeping his hair on straight, etc. :)

    I'm sorry, but that statement really rubs me the wrong way. I'm sure when they're dancing with male pros, they don't have that problem either and can do a complete turn. If they are complaining when you "force them to make proper amount of turn", then you are pulling them off balance, vs helping them step forward.

    Remember: in VW, there is no turn!! For the reverse turn, the person going forward take two forward steps, then pivots 1/2 on their right foot. The body turns 1/4 on the 2nd step and 1/4 on the third step. The second step is a forward step, not a side step. The person going backwards takes a step back and slightly right, and then another back step continuing along the same line, then closing their feet and pivoting on the left foot 1/2. The body again turns 1/4 each on the 2nd and 3rd steps. If she's complaining, then you're pulling her in a rotational fashion. You can only pull her in a linear fashion to make her go forward.
  6. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Agreed. My husband can dance his half. But he can't dance much MORE than his half. So if he dances with a woman that's used to a pro dragging her around and doing a lot of HER half of the work, it doesn't work. And she'll blame him, when he's doing his part, she's not doing hers. She could say, "I can do it with a pro, so I know it's not me." But it wouldn't be true.
    My husband told me his secret to dancing with women that can't make it around is to only do half the turn, then a half box (or a few half boxes progressing down the floor), then another half turn (or whole turn if it's a corner and use the only getting 3/4 around as the route around the corner. Lather rinse repeat.
  7. Tzah

    Tzah New Member

    For the longest time, every single lead but my coach and my regular partner could NOT properly perform one particular element.

    When I learned to dance the element correctly myself, they all consequently followed suit and became better dancers.
  8. ChenLing

    ChenLing Member

    Hehe :) That reminds me of something Glenn Weiss said (heavily paraphrasing): "Once I started to let my right elbow out, my partner stopped being heavy and improved overnight! And to think she was holding back all this time!" :)
  9. pruthe

    pruthe Member

    Not trying to start a controversy, but my reading of current ISTD VW book for Rev Turn has man starting; step 1 is forward facing LOD, 1/8 turn L between preceding step and 1; step 2 is RF to side and slightly back with 1/4 turn L between steps 1 and 2, ending backing wall; step 3 has LF crossing in front of RF with 1/8 turn L between steps 2 and 3, ending backing DW. Woman is similar when moving forward.
  10. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    I am more interested in finding what females don't do right to cause the underturning. I do everything you indicated. Before I take the first reverse turn step I even torque my knee, thigh, and hip, then I go forward (L) forward (R). I take big steps when I am outside and small steps when I am inside. I have been trying to solve the underturning problem in VW with certain female partners for several yrs. I pull them because they refuse to make a full turn in 2 bars (6 steps). It's my firm belief that pulling them to make correct amount of turn is still better than underturning. If we understurn from the start and continue to do it in every bar, the whole VW dance is totally messed up. I've hired several world-class female pros to correct this problem, and they tell me that I am doing everyhting correctly. I do very well in pro-am competitions. I know that I sound like a egomaniac, but the blame squarely lies on certain female partners, and there are many of them. I'm very interested in correcting this problem.
  11. Josh

    Josh Active Member

    ChenLing, you had some very good suggestions in your post, and I think if someone is having a problem, they will probably benefit greatly by following what you said, especially in 1) and 2). Here are some thoughts on the rest of what you posted.

    I know what you're getting at in 3) and 4) here. But I think what you really mean is to continue turning your body and frame to allow her to finish her turn. You can't make her take a large step anytime, ever. She must do that 100% by herself, but again, you must allow it by continuing your own movement and not hindering hers.

    Sorry, I'm scratching my head at the 1st sentence... ? I also get what you mean by two forward steps. Your reason for saying it that way is to get people to progress by taking their body forward in a linear direction rather than by turning it in place as some do. BUT, while the body may dance forward on the 2nd step, it truly is a side step from the moment in lands, and there is no pivot turn on the R foot.

    While all this may be debatable in the way it's danced, I think what you say about the person going back is not at all. The person going back does not take two back steps and then pivot! This is a standard inside of turn situation, and the 2nd step must be pointing from the start, not landing back and then flipping around to where it should have landed in the first place (this is a 3/8 turn on this step).

    If you use what you say to get the results you desire, then it's all good! :) But, I think as a general description it might confuse some people as it's not standard technique.
  12. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    The dynamics of rotation in a given situation are difficult to evaluate thru the written word. So much can go wrong ( with either of the partners ) .

    Your input has a certain bias-- right or wrong -- but to visualise first hand the dilemma you appear to have, might give a different light and perspective to the problem at hand .

    You also keep refering to the Prof. etc.-- not a fair analogy-- I would sincerely hope, that the outcome would better in most everything that you dance with a Prof.
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sadly...I cannot this bull in the china shop overturns is our best marked dance however in both standard and smooth...In my view lady must push well from the standing leg while coming forward and rotate the heck out of both sides of her back to get around...easy formula is push and stay in the dude's elbow....if your goal is staying there and you push hard and he makes it around, should be there is a bold step and I think it requires a confidence to take one's center with ...and therefore...often one doesn't....
  14. Ithink

    Ithink Active Member

    Contracheck: are you Mirko by any chance? Or, at the least, Timothy Howson? I mean, you have to be if world-class pros are telling you you are doing *everything* correctly! That's pretty amazing and I am in awe of you... Those ladies you dance with should consider themselves lucky to be in your presence much less to get the chance to be pulled around the floor by you! Wow, I am jealous of them!
  15. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I'm about to say a bunch of stuff that may not be right, so someone feel freee to correct me, but here goes anyway...

    As I understand it, in the VW left turn, the part is the same for whoever is going forwards at the moment, whether it's the lead or the follow. It is forward, forward (not side, as ChenLing pointed out above; my instructor beats on me about that too), and cross. I've observed (because I've made this mistake too) that some VW dancers try to make the cross step travel down the LOD. They don't get that diagonal back-right drive off of the right leg to swing back into closed position as the execute the cross; rather, they just let that right foot pivot and they wind up executing a sort of a spiral turn. Instead of closing back up, they wind up in a right-side position relative to partner, and that forces partner to underturn (or even twist back to the right) to get closed for the next step. I can't say for sure that women do this more often than men; I haven't watched enough.

    I do know of two things that the partner going backwards can do to screw up the partner going forwards. One, which I think everybody knows, is to step too large while you're on the inside of the turn. But the other, more subtle thing, has to do with how that partner ended their cross when they were going forwards. I've realized that it's important to end the cross in the proper closed position. If the cross is over-rotated, such that it kind of winds up in a promenade position, then the partner going backwards won't be able to "get out of the slot" (to use a WCS term) in time when the other partner starts forwards. This forces the partner going forwards to use their first step to step around the other partner, and once that has happened, an under-turned cross is inevitable.

    Actually, thinking this through has given me some ideas for things to practice on...
  16. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    No, those ladies avoid me like plague because I pull them, and even lift them at times, against their will to orient them to the correct direction. No, I am Marcus Hilton in my dream even though it is a lofty dream. If I want to dream, I will dream the biggest possible dream I can dream. I know it's a hard way living.
  17. contracheck

    contracheck New Member

    In my observation, this undertruning in VW is rather wide-spread problem. I'd like get to the bottom of this problem even if I get humiliated and ridiculed. I was so happy about that someone started this thread.
  18. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    The issue with the "side step vs fwd step" is this.

    Yes the book says side and slightly back. BUt MOST people when taking the side and back step pull their bodies AWAY from the partner and head outside the turn, pulling towards the WALL instead of DLOD. The BACK portion of the step pulls them AWAY.

    The trick is to keep the momentum and movement going FWD TOWARDS the partner and LOD. Often this is felt and described as a FWD STEP (I teach it that way too) with the foot until it lands, then letting it turn into a side and ultimately back action as you land over it. But to swing the LEG fwd out of the HIP SOCKET to start the second step is an important action (not in the book), that when replaced by a backward pull of the foot and hip destroys the progression of the dance.

    Contracheck, yes you can dance it with your teacher. My students are are Luca-like when they dance with me too. They are however far from Luca-like when dancing with other students. And it is clearly BOTH of their faults.

    I would NEVER dance with someone who "pulled" me to an alignment they wanted but 1)did not clearly lead to begin with or 2) move their body in a way that prevented me from getting there... and only resorts to yanking or pulling in the end to finish the pattern . Especially VW.

    And I am sure that Luca, Mirko, Timothy, and even Andrew would be able to lead these horrible women even though it is "all their fault".
  19. skwiggy

    skwiggy Well-Known Member

  20. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well, I certainly didn't humiliate or ridicule you so I have no clue as to why you are addressing me...get to the bottom of the problem to your heart's content...

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