# Re: Theories of lead and follow

cs_posting@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:

No, not really throwing - that implies propelling an object by
seperating from it.

If we look at the heel lead step in the middle of a pendulum swing,
there's no real throwing there - the body is mostly drifting as a
result of the velocity achieved on the downswing. As it drifts it
pulls the free leg along with it, but the free leg takes quite a while
to even catch up to the standing leg (ideally after the body has passed
beyond the standing foot) and then even longer before it finally gets a

I submit that the motion you describe is sub-optimal
and is what a lot of dancers do.

No, extremely few dancers do this well.

I don't know how accurate you are with what you describe
and what you do, but I'm pretty sure it's different from what
I have in mind. You mention a velocity achieved on a
"downswing," which seems to mean you achieve kinetic
energy fairly early (and probably have much less moments
of potential energy).

I have in mind a "downslide" that achieves body
compression rather than a velocity, allowing an
acceleration coming "out of" the (forward angled) "fall,"
torso "rolls over" the hip/legs.

Perhaps few dancers do your way "well" because it's not
the right/easy way? That's not to say many people do
it my way either.

No way. It's practially effortless, because it utilizes the existing
momentum, needing hardly any input.

Ah, even you seem to describe the way you move
as a matter of maintaining momentum (m * v), so
velocity is preserved.

The way I describe has far variation between
moving and "resting," and consequently velocity
variation.

Consider this. When you swim in a pool, the two
primary methods of propulsion is via arm strokes
(with some leg kicking) and the leg kick-off against
the side of the pool.

The flaw in this analogy is at the heart of your misunderstanding. In
swimming you must constanly input energy to overcome very large losses.
In dancing, the goal is to do as much as you can with zero energy
input, and then input only what is necessary.

There is no flaw in the analogy, at least with your
point about energy loss. The viscosity of the media
(air verses water) is irrelevant to the issue at hand,
since what I'm pointing out is that a "push" provides
more acceleration if the object is moving/accelerating
_towards_ (or is at least still with respect to) the
point of push than away, simply because the (natural)
pushing/extension force can act on the object for a
longer time.

It's actually more easy on the body to go through
cycles of activity and rest, as in pedalling on the
cranks of a bicycle. Properly timed cycling
between kinetic energy and potential energy is
what makes activity easy and sustainable.

The swing motion has the same analogy. Many
dancers power to the moving leg prematurely,
defeating the power that comes naturally from
the standing leg.

Yes, but that's not what I advoctated. I advocated delaying the use of
the moving leg until the body is already past the standing leg.

bothers me because it conjures up in my mind the
notion that the top is "falling over." With proper
sway, part of the body is over the standing leg but
other parts (especially head) is not.

My sway comes as a result of the upswing wich commences from the
trailing free leg, and the early pickup of the arriving leg at the
official end of step 1. If you have sway before the swing, you are
faking it.

The definition of sway is positioning in reaction to
movement, inclined opposite to the direction of
movement (for counterbalance). As soon as you
have forward movement, you should have sway.
If you "bend" your body to achieve a sway _after_
you already have travel, then _you_ are indeed
faking it. Unfortunately, the texts are confused

A standing pencil has sway as soon as you move
its tip off the vertical.

The free leg has to catch up and get ahead before it can be there to
receive. Otherwise you'd have to swing it early, which I think you
argued against above? Also there is no slide - the foot goes directly
to its intended position, which is already known from the body
trajectory.

I agree with you about the no-slide in general. But
because of the standing-leg motion, it's very easy
to achieve extra slide if desired, much like in a hockey
stop executed while skiing or skating. A slide would
waste energy, as the kinetic energy is not cycled into
potential energy, but rather dissipated.

The sliding I often see (competitive) dancers do is
often poor because they are performed while
weighting into the moving leg without enough sway
(which causes "tipping").

Some people do them wrong, yes. BTW in the running finish the follower
is mostly moving forwards.

You missed my point. If you do your Running Finish
well, then you understand that you need a (hefty)
sway (forward to your center, against direction of
travel) to compensate for the legs (backwards of
your center, towards direction of travel). This is
the proper body position for easy travel.

Now, consider the (wrong) body position of most
(competitive) followers, where they have legs
towards direction of travel _but_ also have the top
in that direction. Very poor and unstable positioning.

In standard, we have movement with sway against it, and movement
without. The ones without are harder, but they are necessary - you
should not be leaning backwards in the initial stages of the forward
heel leads! Leaning - sway - is a result of swing, it's not something
you just do for the heck of it.

As I keep mentioning, sway is _automatic_ with
whatever movement is in progress, in swinging
movement. Many dancers create artificial sway
that breaks the (natural) body line.

Ballerinas often have huge amounts of difficulty learning actual
ballroom movement technique, because it goes against so much of what
they have been taught.

Not for the aspects I'm describing. Good upper
thigh muscles and strong ankles are handy
when dancing, regardless whether one is
doing ballet or ballroom.

Ballet dancers may have learned some instincts
which are against the grain of ballroom dancing,
but it's much easier for a ballet dancer to
unlearn/relearn than it is for a non-dancer to
build up the muscles/joints/instincts/etc..
It is only because a lot of ballet dancers are
trained by non-ballet trained ballroom instructors
(who don't understand the conversion methods)
that the ballet dancers end up confused and
in limbo. Why do you think the Arthur Murrays
prefer to pick its newbie instructors from the
pool of trained Ballet/Jazz/Tap dancers?

One can tell when a new ballroom dancer has
that grace and natural body line that only comes
from previous formal dance training.

.

## Relevant Pages

• Re: Theories of lead and follow
... of potential energy). ... and the leg kick-off against ... There must not be any sway during the heel ... sway is the integral of swing. ...
(rec.arts.dance)
• Re: Pushing off from the heels?
... The leg movement on the ... swing were used) caution against making a large leg movement. ... even two straight legs spans little ... Small-scale aspects don't store sufficient energy. ...
(rec.arts.dance)
• Re: Pushing off from the heels?
... The same effect occurs in complete dancing as well, ... preclude restraining the travel of the first step. ... not that the leg needs to be straight. ... you should not be attempting to analyze the energy conversion. ...
(rec.arts.dance)
• Re: Pushing off from the heels?
... leg division, then the lowest point will naturally occur when the body ... But if knee flex dominates the lowering, ... while the standing leg is straight. ... of kinetic energy to potential energy conversion ...
(rec.arts.dance)
• Re: Pushing off from the heels?
... the moving leg too early in the step action (instead of using the ... foot is placed. ... Many dancers just do a body "drop" (bad/no body ... dancing routines well, while stale and often out-of-touch to my ...
(rec.arts.dance)