Monday, May 25, 2009

Social Foxtrot - Opening Out

This step was mentioned to me by a friend this week, and though I am not certain of its specific name, it was such a good step that I couldn't help but include it here!

If you have ever watched the classic old dance movies, you will likely have seen this step or something similar. It is a lovely step that takes you out of hold and moves you along the dance floor.
Leaders'/Men's Footwork

On the second half of your Basic Movement, release closed hold on the Quick Quick and turn your body slightly away from your partner. You should still be holding on to her Left hand with your Right and it is through that arm that you lead her to open her body as well - by leading her Left side forward slightly.

Take a Slow step forward on your Left foot. Bring your Right foot and Right shoulder forward for a Quick step and take another quick step bringing your Left foot together with your Right. At this point you should have your Right arm in front of you and you and your partner should be making a "V" shape - with your backs pointing towards each other.

Take another Slow step, this time with your Right foot as you start to swing your Right side back to reverse the "V" and by the end of the next two quick steps you should either be face to face with your partner or in the reverse of the "V" you had before. (Whether you face her directly or not is a stylistic choice.) the first Quick is another step forward onto your Left foot and the second closes your Right foot to your left.

You can either repeat this sequence or go into the second half of your basic movement and return to hold.

Followers'/Lady's Footwork

You are doing the natural opposite of your partner throughout this step. As you are led into the second half of the basic movement, your partner will release hold and move slightly away from you, maintaining contact through his Right, your Left, hand. Swinging this arm forward slightly he will indicate that you should begin to open up along line of dance - similar to when you open into promenade. Take one slow step forward on your Right foot, allowing your Left shoulder to start moving forward. Next, take two Quick steps, first forward on the Left and then closing together with the Right, opening even further into a "V" shape with your Left arm at the point.

Reverse this movement over the next three steps by taking a Slow forward step on your Left Foot and bringing your left shoulder back, swinging your Right side forward. Take two more Quick steps, Forward on the Right and together with the Left, to either bring you face to face with your partner or into the reverse of the "V" you were in before.

This can then be repeated or closed hold can be re-established and the basic movement can be resumed from the second half (with you moving forward).

Notes for both the Leader and the Follower:

- The rhythm of this step is different from the basic and the rhythm we have been using for all the other Social Foxtrot steps so far. Instead of "Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick" it is simply "Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow, Quick, Quick"

- Although I have said to lead the body positioning through the connected arm, think of it being more of a body lead that the arm happens to be on the end of. Much like the latin dances, you should not be pulling or dragging your partner around. If you both maintain a connection and don't allow your arms to go floppy when you are out of hold, this step will be much easier for both of you.

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