Notes on private class, 6th December 2009

7th December 2009

We covered the following topics:

General notes


Pivots should always be powered by the lat muscles (on your sides), not by momentum or by swinging the shoulders around. Followers should be able to pivot at almost any speed, using the lat muscles to "unwind" the dissociation. If you're doing it right, you should feel an ache on the lats after a while - think of it as a workout :)

You can control the tempo of your pivot; for example, to slow it down for musical interpretation. "Drag to collect" actions can help do this - also, a slow collection avoids overbalancing which can be done if you rush to collect your feet.

Keep the feet together during pivots; collect, collect, collect. Brush through the thighs.


For both leaders and followers, always collect - for all steps. If you don't collect, you'll start doing weird diagonal steps (losing your balance) or you'll have your weight distributed over two feet (so your partner won't be able to tell which foot you're on).


Don't lift up your feet - keep them very close to the ground.


Some follower notes

  • Take your time over the steps - much better to be a bit behind than a bit ahead of your leader, and you shouldn't need momentum to carry you around.
  • Collect. Always collect.
  • Pivot fully before taking the backstep - think of the pivot as a separate step, which you need to do after the "collecting step" and before the "step step"

Some leader notes

  • Keep a smooth and continuous rotating movemennt; not stop-and-start.
  • Chest movement should be first, then the feet; so if you took a snapshot at any given point, you should see your chest facing ahead of where your feet are pointing.
  • Keep forward (on the balls of your feet) whilst rotating - helps provide a single rotation point for your partner to walk around.


Using the sequence as described previously.


  • Leader needs to position his feet correctly before leading the (last) back ocho
  • Don't look down!
  • Don't position the (leader's) sandwiching feet too "deep" alongside the follower's foot. Aiming for a nice V-shape


We followed the same movements as described a while back.


  • Leaders: bend the supporting leg to get more length in the extending leg. Also, stand with your weight directly over the supporting leg.
  • Both: dissociate with your upper body to produce the "untwist" effect.
  • It's a twist not a shove.

- David Bailey, 7th December 2009

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