I would like to share some thoughts about what I call the "weak phases" of dance actions, and various ways in which we deal with them. First let me explain what I mean by a "weak phase" by way of example. If your body is located directly over a standing foot which is flat on the floor, you are in a strong phase - it's a stable position, being there is no great challenge and you can support yourself mostly using the large muscles of the legs. But as you start to take a step and move your body off of your standing foot, you enter a weak phase of the action. Supporting yourself on a standing foot that is no longer directly under you requires that you drive off it faster than you are falling over, and if you are going forward some of your support needs to come from the toes of your standing foot, where the muscles are a lot smaller and weaker than in your legs. If you subscribe to the idea of a midstride position with weight divided, you would be in a moderately strong position there, but as you start to arrive on the new foot you are again in a weak phase. Many of use initially deal with weak phases by trying to apply our large, strong leg muscles to a problem that they can't solve. Because these muscles can't act during the weak phase itself, we tend to throw our body through the weak phase at the start of an action, and passively let it crash through the weak phase at the end. In other words, we lurch. But top dancers never show us the appearance of being in a weak phase - their movement is smoothly even, their bodies do not lurch, and they do not appear troubled by these difficulties. I think there are three ways in which they do this... two quite sound, and one that merits caution. The method that is both most challenging and most rewarding is to strengthen the underdeveloped muscles that actually are in a position to act during a weak phase of action. For example, building the strength of the forefoot allows you to project the body weight more smoothly through the weak phase at the start of an action, and draw out the end of an action into a smoother "landing" that blends perfectly into the following one. It also allows the lady to do things like continue the travel during a heel turn, bringing her knees foward under the man at the conclusion so that she exits filling the space as he creates it rather than leaving a gap. Dancing extended reverse waves to undertempo music while never letting the bodies actually stop can be another great challenge of this. Another very sound method is to discover interpretations of steps that allow you to avoid weak phases, without compromising any basic goals. One of the primary weak phases is when a partner steps forward inline with the right leg while commencing turn in the natural direction - because they are stepping directly at their partner, the degree to which the leg can precede the body is limited. But a lot of other situations don't show this problem, and the leg can be prepared more in advance. For example, in the three step the man can safely put his left leg behind the lady almost in CBMP as in tango, then take his right a little more across the lady (so-called right side lead with knees tending in) rather than squarely at her - again having more room without compromising the hold. A third and more controversial method of dealing with weak phases is to lengthen the long phases by adjusting the posture or hold spacing to make more room for the moving leg. If your entire body is 8 inches from your partner, you will have a lot of room for the moving leg to reach out in advance - something that can be useful for a while when just starting out. More advanced dancers don't want to show that much space, so a common habit is to arch the back to maintain contact in the belly while keeping the hips back to give the legs more room. The wisdom of this is a subject of ongoing debate - for those who use it succesfully it seems no great compromise, for others it can be either painful or more simply violate personal standards of appearance or body usage. But whatever method(s) are chosen to deal with them, I think that finding a solution to the "weak phases" is a major part of what helps a dancer grow from looking tentative and awkward to looking confident and masterful.