Angela’s point about managing your weight is really important.
I hate the term “give weight”!
I really don’t want your weight, in swings or allemandes or anything else.
I am happy, though, to counterbalance your mass in order to stop centrifugal force pulling
us apart. It is dancing, not wrestling!
Good connection is all you need.
Leaning backwards or sideways actually slows you down (check your physics) – all it does
is tire your partner out as they try to stop you falling over.
Strength and lack of weight control can also mess up flourishes.
A strong lead is about clarity, not strength. I often demonstrate by getting someone to
blow on my hand – as their breath hits my hand I spin – I don’t need their help to spin –
I just need to know that they want me to spin. (Though, with two good dancers and good
technique, a little help can generate multiple spins.)
Another good rule is: whenever your hand gets up to eye-level relax all your arm muscles –
tension in moves like that slows the move down or even prevents it working.
John Sweeney, Dancer, England john(a)modernjive.com 01233 625 362 & 07802 940 574
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