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Re: Alemana
Posted by Waltz123
7/27/2013  7:02:00 PM
As for changing the names of the steps. Is there in the latest technique books a Switch Turn.

Absolutely, yes.

If you had taken the time the read my reply above in detail, you would have understood that the ISTD Latin technique book contains both the switch and the spot turn, with the switch being illustrated in chart form and the spot turn in a written paragraph.

About changing the names and giving pet names to the different figures If this is allowed to continue it will become out of control.

The only term we introduced into the mainstream was "walkaround". Actually, the term itself has been mainstream for many decades -- It's used by Arthur Murray schools to describe their version of the switch/spot turn. The only thing we're doing is applying a more specific meaning, in the context of Int'l Latin. But we didn't make that up, either. It's been floating around in the ether for years.

Giving names to various actions helps with identification. When something hasn't been "officially" identified, expect the masses to fill the void. Nature abhors a vacuum. Over time, the best nomenclature rises to the top, and everything else falls by the wayside. It is exactly as it should be.

There may be other names people use to identify the difference between the version of the spot turn taken on a straight line and one that travels around a circle or triangular path; If there are, I am not aware of them. At any rate, whether we say "walkaround" or find some other term, it is undoubtedly an improvement over saying, "You know, the spot turn where you dance on a circle, not the one where you dance on a straight line". Being concise with our communication is, after all, the very reason we give names to things.

You may prefer to stick to one single interpretation of the spot turn, both in execution and in naming. You should realize, however, that the majority of the dance teaching community has moved on and accepts multiple interpretations, including the switch turn, as well as both versions the spot turn: The one danced on a straight line, and the circular/triangular one. And they're all officially sanctioned by the ISTD, and have been for well over a decade.

Re: Alemana
Posted by O.K.
7/31/2013  4:44:00 PM
Never the less. A Spot Turn is a Spot Turn . A Switch Turn is a Switch Turn. An Alemana Turn has a Delayed Forward Walk for the lady on the Right Foot which the others have not. The position of the hand and arm and the use of them is also different. Also the mans step are different. The Alemana may be more difficult but don't try to replace such a beautiful step with a substitute.
Re: Alemana
Posted by Waltz123
8/6/2013  12:12:00 AM
An Alemana Turn has a Delayed Forward Walk for the lady on the Right Foot which the others have not. The position of the hand and arm and the use of them is also different.

These are all qualities you alone personally attach to the Alemana, but they are not in fact definitive of it. We all have specific ways we like to see things danced, whether in basic mechanics or artistic or musical interpretation. That's all well and good, but whether I prefer delayed walks or immediate weight transfers, the lady's left hand extended or contracted or even placed on the man's chest, lady spotting the man or looking in the direction she's going, etc, it all still falls under the umbrella of an Alemana. Dance it with any interpretation you like. What defines a movement is not the icing but the cake.

As you so often recommend to other participants of this forum, I suggest you look more closely at the latest revision of the technique book. It sets out very explicit parameters for both the Alemana and Switch Turns, and these are what define the figures. They tell you exactly what makes an Alemana an Alemana, both by inclusion and omission. They very specifically leave out certain information, such as exactly where the feet are placed for the Alemana ("3 forward walks under raised arm" -- leaves room for interpretation). The only mention of an extended walk is an option given as what they call a "development", which is basically a variation, not the fundamental version. Of course, there are many other variations given as well, including ones that begin or end closed or open facing, and even one that is lead with a RH-RH hold. All of these are listed under Alemana.

Bottom line is, the Alemana as defined by the ISTD as follows: An underarm turn to R where the lady takes 3 circling walks, typically (but not always) commenced in fan position. That's it. Anything else you add is your own. And if we all start creating our own definitions for things, well, to quote someone in an earlier post on this thread, "If this is allowed to continue it will become out of control."

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