7e. The Lapis (pencil) with a Stop

Embellishing just prior to the
first step of the grapevine:

The follower is taking the
long route to a forward step.
Instead of simply stepping
forward with her right,
she first circles back.
The leader starts "drawing" with
his right and will not put
weight onto it until the
stop (last photo)

The follower completes the first
forward step of the grapevine.
The leader continues to "draw"
with his right and pivot on
his left.

He is about to lead her
in the backstep of the
grapevine and he coils, still
on his left foot,...

to "draw" wide on her backstep

There's her forward right step,
the target for the stop.

The right-right stop!
His right to her right.

On the stop, the follower
has an option to raise
her knee. When seeing that
she has done this, the
leader should give her time
to slowly put it down.

This figure builds upon the embellishment demonstrated on the previous page.

THE LEADER: As the leader sets up the motion of the follower's grapevine, he can do the embellishment on the previous page or choose not to. As he pivots on his left foot in the center of her grapevine, he can create a circle on the floor with his free foot. This circle is known as a lapis, or literally in Spanish, pencil. In the above video, Steve begins the lapis while Jackie is taking the first side step of the grapevine.

Remember that pivots begin with the rotation of the chest and shoulders; the turning of the hips and feet follow from this chest rotation. Lead the grapevine by rotating your chest the whole way through your turn and keeping the follower in front of you as you turn. Do not forget about your partner and let her fall behind you as you concentrate on the lapis. Resist the impulse to push off of the follower in order to do your pivot.

In the above video, Steve's does a very large lapis. Start by doing a small lapis and work your way up to large ones. Practice doing them by yourself to develop your balance and then try them with a partner. In the above video, Steve ends his lapis by doing a stop as Jackie completes the front step of the grapevine. Once you feel comfortable and balanced with the lapis, try adding a stop to it.

THE FOLLOWER must have especially good balance to be successful with this grapevine. If a follower does not have good balance, she will lean on the leader. If she leans on her partner, even slightly, it will be extremely difficult for him to do a lapis, since he will be balanced on only one foot.

In the above video, Jackie adds an embellishment to the stop by bending her knee high in the air. She can then step over his leg (not shown above) into an ocho or another grapevine.

Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page
Home Page
Suggestion or Observation Email.
If referring to a particular video,
please indicate the number
4x's larger video

Copyright @ 2000 by
Dance Tutor, Ltd.