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Re: Feather Step International Style
Posted by anymouse
11/11/2012  8:56:00 AM
"And "we " all know ,what Scrivener said, about R and F on a Feather!"

Yes, the issue has long been recognized.

What the technique books describe is primarily the foot rise.

When you add in the effect of the legs closing and re-opening, there becomes another components of rise which is visually apparent, but one that is not addressed by the technique books.

As the legs close together, the height of the body increases, and as they divide again it decreases. This is not only the geometric reality, it contributes a lot to making the dance flow smoothly.

In the era when the technique books were written, movement was small enough that things like this were easy to overlook. But as movement has grown over the many decades since then, it becomes impossible to ignore the difference between the simple model of the text, and the far more involved and artistically pleasing reality of masterful execution.

To be blunt, someone who cannot see this trend of OVERALL rise and fall by watching a skillfully executed feather step from the side is someone who has not yet developed the visual perception necessary to have a meaningful conversation about dance technique. All you have to do is trace their path of their head with your finger - gently upwards until the feet pass at the end of two, gently downwards thereafter.

Dancing well requires not only understanding the aspects of dance discussed in the books, but also the many things which were considered too subtle to address there, but can no longer be ignored with today's scale of movement. This is why one must study with live teachers, and not simply sit at home with a book.
Re: Feather Step International Style
Posted by terence2
11/22/2012  3:57:00 AM

ANY Prof. who has earned his dance "stripes" thru many years of study, and training , with the best of the best, knows that the "book " was never anything more than a tool, for taking exams.

Theoretical exercises ,have been around much longer ,than the text books that now exist . I could quote several variations of Frame/Hold all used by world class champions.. which begs the question.. which one is correct ? .

And again , I quote Srivener.. " There is no such thing as absolute technique ".. the reasoning ?,,,, Circumstance, does change standardised theory, in some cases .

So Chris, your perception is just that.. " Your " perception .
Re: Feather Step International Style
Posted by O.Z.
11/20/2012  1:20:00 AM
Anonymous.As the legs close to togther, the height of the body increases and so on. Dont you think it is the use of the feet and ankles plus the knees are the reason we rise and fall. I believe the amount of loss of height over a step which is about as wide as an average door frame is minimal. Coming from a T. to a T.H. now thats a different story. But coming from both heels on the floor to a heel where the toe lowers imediately( Page 10 ). I cant see it.
When you say. All we have to do is trace the path of their head with your finger. Dont tell me all we have to do is walk to get the correct rise and fall.
I think you should be looking down to the knees a below. That is where the differences in height are taking place. The head just happens to be on top.
This discussion reminds me of the Samba to some extent. Where as the straightening of the feet and the bending of the knees keep the head at a constant height so it doesn't pop up and down.
Re: Feather Step International Style
Posted by maineb1111
11/21/2012  7:58:00 AM
Quickstep- "surely the teacher doesn't call out the open telemark as 3-4,1,2..."

Of course he/she does!

The simple fact is that it depends on what level student we are teaching. At the lowest beginner level, we avoid figures and timing which might confuse the uninitiated, but at a slightly higher level, introducing the notion that the "slow" is often danced on the 3-4 is a must. As you should be made aware, both the Natural turn and Change of Direction are danced with three slows and are often followed by a feather step. The technique book is correct on this point and it is obvious that the following feather is danced "slow" on 3-4, as soon as a student can handle that. As a practical matter, teachers often add an extra "slow" to the Natural Turn so that the beginner-beginner can continue on the same timing.

But it isn't just "3-slow" figures. When teaching a silver level student, the Natural Telemark is a key, and most useful, figure, -and it is danced S,Q,Q,Q,Q, which also results in the following figure's LF "slow" being on 3-4. After the "magic 30" is mastered by my Bronze Student, I would replace the Natural Turn/Impetus/Reverse Turn with a Natural Telemark followed by an Open Telemark and Feather Ending. This would then be followed with the three step,- and all of this would be danced with the "slow" on 3-4. Replacing the three step with a COD or following the three step with another Natural Turn or Natural Telemark returns the student to familiar territory.

You need to stop watching, (or at least trying to emulate), high level pros. They often break the "rules" to good effect. John Wood would often commence his Foxtrot with a Change of Direction started on 3-4 (DW) to give the competitors he was about to defeat a head start. Then he would dance a simple sequence on conventional time for maybe 5 bars- just to show he could do that. He would then dance an impetus turn and end with a feather finish danced with a slow as the (RF) last step and proceed to dance his next sequence QQS - 2,3,4-1 - yes - as in Rumba. Every judge knew it was "off-time" but he (and his all-time great partner Ann Lewis) made it beautiful, and the judges made him world champion.

*You* can't do that. And neither can I.

Get yourself a qualified ISTD teacher. And if your teacher ever tells you you can't dance a "slow" in Foxtrot on 3-4, GET ANOTHER TEACHER !!
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