Written by Kaye Anderson
Describes and diagrams the basic figures which are used in the two-step rhythm. Numerous variations of the basic figures are also included (328 figures and variations are defined and there are 145 diagrams).
In learning to Round Dance, people generally by learning the “basics” for the two-step rhythm or the waltz rhythm. The basics include actions and movements which pertain to all rhythms, basic conventions used in round dancing, positions, and some general terminology. Additionally basics include a number of figures which pertain to the rhythm the new dancers are learning.
Actions are motions made with the free foot but no weight is transferred to it. The opposite foot retains the weight of the body. Therefore an action leaves the same foot free or ready to take the next step because it does not carry the weight of the body (some people call these touch steps). Actions are also motions of other body parts which do not exchange the weight of the body to another foot.
Movements are motions where a step is taken — usually with the free foot — and the weight of the body is transferred to this foot. Therefore, a movement leaves the opposite foot free or ready to take the next step because it does not carry the weight of the body (some people call these “close” [CLOZ] steps).
Figures are established combinations of actions and movements which as a group have been given a name so that it is easier to remember and respond to them when cued. Figures can be analyzed and “defined” beat by beat by stating the movements and actions which comprise them.
Roundalab, the organization of round dance teachers, has groups the actions, movements, and figures into phases or levels of difficulty. Generally, those elements in phase I are learned prior to those in phase II, which are learned prior to those in phase III, although many dancers have successfully learned to master these elements regardless of the order in which they were taught.
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