The Chase Step with Turns
DT: Here we have a figure where the hands are not joined, the no-hands position. Kana, we started this from a still position. When you are dancing in order to get to the no hands or free hands position, what happens?
In the next image,
the man's elbow will...
...flail out as he steps.
As when he does the underarm
turn, even though the man's
weight is shifted onto the
left foot, he does not bring
his body over that left foot.
The man wants to look at the
lady for as long as possible, so
his head trails his body
in turning - he doesn't
want to leave her...
...but when the turn forces
him to look away, he whips
his head ahead of his body
on the turn (shown) so he
may see her again as soon
The man's head is completely
around facing the lady while
his body is only 3/4 turned.
This principle is called
"spotting the turn." The "spot"
is the lady he is trying to
keep his eyes on, or, if the
the lady is turning, vice
Kana: Sometimes you could start dancing free hand, anytime he lets go of your hand, you just let go. Just leave hands around your waist comfortably.
DT: Helmut, is there a better or worse time to leave go of the lady's hands, or can it be done pretty much at any point?
Helmut: At any point.
DT: You are an avid jogger, a marathoner even, so you are the right person to ask if the arm action in the no-hands position is similar to the arms in jogging?
Helmut: Yes it is. You are always in opposition-- You walk in opposition, you run in opposition and you dance in opposition.
DT: And opposition is...
Helmut: ...the hand opposite the foot. When your right foot is going forward, your left hand is going forward.
Kana: Keep your elbow bent, think about jogging. When you are jogging, you are relaxed and easier with your body and start moving with your torso and body naturally.
DT: Helmut, in the video, Kana and yourself are doing right turns from no-hands position? Do you do turns in the other direction?
Helmut: Yes. You could do left turns or double turns in either direction. Since you are not joined at the hands, you could do anything the music suggests to you that you are capable of doing.
Kana: But we are still dancing in a forward and back basic, so when you go forward with your left foot, you have very natural momentum to turn to right. So it is easier to keep it to right turn. So you start turning, again you step forward with your left foot and then turn to right.
The Keys:The steps are the same but the hands are not joined. No hands means no frame means no lead, so the lady, for once, is free to determine herself what she will do. In the video, both are doing single turns, but either could get fancy in the chase. That's for a later chapter.
The lead into the no-hands position could not be simpler -- the man lets go of the lady's hand(s). The transition out of no-hands position is similarly straightforward -- the man takes the lady's hand(s).
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