[Callers] Giving weight in the swing

Camilla Streeter camilla_streeter at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 17 05:51:35 PST 2006

Seth Tepfer <labst at emory.edu> wrote:    At 05:26 PM 3/15/2006, Camilla Streeter wrote:
> Rick also has a nice way of explaining the weight distribution concept 
> so that the gents don't get sore right arms.

Would you share this as well?


  Now that I think about it more carefully, I take that back. I did learn about the weight distribution thing from Rick, but it was in a one-on-one as I was helping him demonstrate the swing. His eyes widened with concern and he said something to the effect that I needed to hold myself up more. When I pulled a bit more he indicated, yes, like that.
  Some time later there were lots of extra women at the Rehoboth Dance so I spent most of the evening dancing the gents’ role. The next day my arm was really feeling it! I started to notice that some women understood giving weight in the swing and some don’t.
  So if I’m dancing the gent’s role with someone who seems to present a teachable moment, I explain and show it like this:
  “The real fun of contra dancing is when it is smooth and effortless, and a nice push and pull with your partner keeps our arms from getting tired. If I stand with my arm out to the side and hold it up it will get tired, but if I press against a wall I can do that all day. 
  Press with your left hand on my right shoulder blade a bit, then I get to hold you up with my back. I press my right hand on your shoulder blade and we create a nice wall to lean back on. Press your right hand into my left juuuuuuuuust the right amount and feel how our little box just stands up by itself. If you have spaghetti arms, then I have to do all the work with one arm.”
  Again, this would occur when someone seems to be asking for help.

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