Sunday, 8 April 2012

Foxtrot - The Feather Step

I thought I'd share the following with you.  It was a question that I responded to on a Ballroom and Latin dance forum:

I noticed in an old Alex Moore book that used  feet diagrams that the foot alignment on steps 2 and 3 of the feather is turned to the R by approx 1/16 turn compared to step 1. I say approx as I got this from the diagram and I didn't get my protractor out. The change in alignment makes sense in a way because the rotation of the pelvis to generate CBM on 1 will obviously carry the foot foot without weight with it. 

Now the current technique (Guy Howard etc.) has all three steps on the same alignment.

So does that mean the technique has been revised or is it just the the change in alignment is so small as to be considered unaltered. And the big question then becomes: is the feather always curved.

Here was my response:

Let me see if I can explain it as I see it!

I think the Guy Howard book gives a much better explanation of the technique but the diagrams in the Alex Moore book help to visualise the steps.
Using the Guy Howard breakdown:

STEP 1 - RF Fwd (CBM)
   CBM means the left side of the body rotates towards the right foot and the right foot will also start to turn out (to the right).

STEP 2 – LF FWD L shoulder leading preparing to step OP
   The second step is taken forward in a slightly more open position – in other words slightly left.  The left shoulder leading indicates body rotation to the right.

STEP 3 – RF fwd in CBMP OP
   The right foot is placed forward onto the line of the left foot giving the appearance of CBM having been used but without any further turn of the body.

The foot alignments come as a result of primary factors such CBM and left shoulder leading and are therefore secondary. The second paragraph of the Guy Howard book explaining “alignment” states “The given alignment should indicate the direction in which the Fig is to travel” which in this case is Facing DC as the standard alignment.

I feel that the 4th step in the Alex Moore book is misleading.  If you were to take step 4 as the first step of a Reverse Turn (i.e. LF fwd (CBM) ) then the placement of the left foot would be quite different to that indicated in the diagram.

Because of the CBM and left shoulder lead, the Curved Feather (which isn’t included in my copy of the Alex Moore book) is a very comfortable development.  Incidentally, step 3 of the Curved Feather is the only step where you get CBM, CBMP and Sway at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting, a long time ago now, but I have a feeling it was me that posted that question on that forum. A belated thanks for the response - though I'm still not that I understand these things.