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24. Back Twinkle
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Back Twinkle
Dance / Level:Beginning Silver American Style Waltz
Aliases:Brush Twinkle, Silver Back Twinkle, Passing Back Twinkle, Continuity Back Twinkle
Suggested
Prerequisites:
Twinkle, Bronze Back Twinkle, Brush Twinkle

The Back Twinkle in Silver level Waltz is the continuity or foot passing version of the Bronze Back Twinkle. It can also be thought of as a variation of the Brush Twinkle that begins with the leader stepping back. In short, it's a "Back Brush Twinkle".

Most of the execution is nearly identical to the Bronze Back Twinkle, but rather than closing the feet and changing weight on step 3, the free foot "brushes" or closes toward the supporting foot without taking weight on step 2, then steps apart on step 3. By default the foot position on the last step is "side & slightly forward" in promenade position.

The figure begins in a similar alignment to the Forward Twinkle -- man facing diagonally to wall -- although because he is moving backward, it is now referred to as "backing diagonal center against line of dance". It also ends like the Twinkle, with leader having no turn of the feet (but with slight upper body turn to right), follower turning 1/4 to right. A common variation of the amount of turn is 1/8 to left for leader and 1/8 to right for follower.

The Back Twinkle may also be ended in any alignment that causes the next figure to move in the general direction of line of dance (i.e. diagonal center, line of dance, or diagonal wall), so when combined with the two possible variations of amounts of turn, the Back Twinkle can actually begin on any of the following man's alignments:

  • Backing against line of dance
  • Backing diagonal center against line of dance
  • Backing center
  • Backing diagonal center

The Silver level has fewer options than Bronze for preceding the Back Twinkle in its default configuration and alignment, owing to the continuity and general forward momentum of the syllabus figures. The Hover Corte (either from closed or promenade position) is the most common precede, and is very handy as a method of maneuvering to avoid collisions. The combination of Twinkle, Hover Corte, Back Twinkle and Continuity Ending (often called a "Triple Twinkle") is very popular as a teaching tool for just this type of situation. Short of Hover Corte, the best precedes for the Back Twinkle are Bronze endings to figures such as 4-6 Left Box Turn or 4-6 Twinkle (closing the feet on step 3).

24b. Natural Twinkle

The Natural Twinkle is a right-turning variation of the Back Twinkle. This figure itself is often simply called a Back Twinkle, but a more accurate name is Natural Twinkle, to help distinguish it from the more basic version. International style dancers will know it better as an Open Impetus.

Aside from the amount of turn, what sets the Natural Twinkle apart from the more basic Back Twinkle is its function and alignment. The Back Twinkle begins moving generally against line of dance, and is used primarily to change directions and move toward line of dance. The Natural Twinkle, on the other hand, begins moving along line of dance with the leader beginning backward, and has a pronounced rotation that allows the dancers to continue moving generally down line of dance (specifically, toward diagonal center).

The most common application is to dance the Natural Twinkle following an Open Natural Turn. One of the most popular combinations to learn as an introduction to Silver level Waltz is the "Triple Twinkle", as follows:

Step # Figure Notes
Begin   Leader facing diagonal wall.
Follower backing diagonal wall.
1-3 Brush Twinkle End in promenade position, moving down line of dance.
4-6 Open Natural Turn from Promenade End in closed position, leader backing line of dance, follower facing line of dance.
7-9 Natural Twinkle End in promenade position, moving toward diagonal center.
10-12 Continuity Finish fro Promenade End in closed position, leader facing diagonal center, follower backing diagonal center.

The Heel Turn

The most distinguishing characteristic of the Natural Twinkle from the leader's perspective is the action known as a Heel Turn. Heel turns are quite common in International style, being introduced at the very beginning of the Bronze syllabus. But for the American style dancer, the Silver level Natural Twinkle is typically the introduction.

In the Natural Twinkle, the leader's heel turn takes place over the first two steps. After stepping back on his left foot on step 1, he then closes his right foot to his left, turning briefly on his left heel before transferring weight to the right foot and beginning to rise to toes.

Although the heel turn is a preferred method in most schools, especially for competitive dancing, an acceptable alternative is for the leader to rise slightly earlier and take a very small side step on step 2. However, even with the alternative foot position, it is important that the leader take a very small side step in order to allow the follower to successfully turn around him. In spite of the slightly earlier rise, the knees should nonetheless remain partially flexed as the step is taken, with most of the body and foot rise being taken after the transfer of weight to the foot.

In-Line Start

Because most Silver level figures preceding the Natral Twinkle leave the follower preparing to step outside partner, step 1 of the Natural is by default an outside partner step. However, there are some instances in which an in-line entry is possible. For example, steps 1-3 of a Bronze Natural Turn leave the leader backing line of dance, and can be followed by a Natural Twinkle with the first step taken in line. The foot positions are mostly the same either way, with the exception that step 1 is not taken in CBMP.

24c. Reverse Twinkle

The Back Twinkle can also be turned to the left, resulting in a figure called the Reverse Twinkle. International style dancers know it as an Outside Change ended in Promenade Position.

Like the Natural Twinkle, the purpose of the Reverse Twinkle is to continue moving in the general direction of the line of dance. It begins with the leader backing diagonal center. He turns 1/4 to left over steps 1-2, to end in promenade position moving down line of dance. The follower has 3 forward steps, beginning outside partner and ending in promenade position.

The leader can turn as much as 3/8 to left between 1-2, and the figure can be begun with the leader backing diagonal center or backing the line of dance. This leaves open the possibility of beginning the following promenade figure moving toward diagonal wall, line of dance, or diagonal center.

 

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