In Focus

Change the way you think...

Miguel de Sousa


Ever ask yourself why we have triples in WCS? Most people haven't. I always like to ask the question "Why?" because I want to know why we're being asked to do what we're being taught. This applies to everything in the dance, really. So, why triples? Most answer that it's part of the rhythm of the dance. Others answer that it's part of musicality. But what if the triple is there to smooth out the movement? More specifically, the transition of directional changes.

Let's do a little experiment:

How was that? I bet it was pretty choppy and definitely not smooth. Now try this one:

And how did that feel? I bet it was a whole lot smoother. That's how we normally change directions. Feet come together and we walk the other way. That's a triple step, isn't it? Back-together-forward...forward-together-back. It's a sugar push, it's a 3&4 of a whip, it's a bounce lead into a spin. Let's break down to why it works. Why does it work when we're just walking? Shouldn't it work just the same in our dancing IF we're thinking about the physics of the movement instead of dancing a pattern? The answer is YES!! But we don't dance like we walk...but why don't we dance like we walk, if we walk smoothly? Is it because there's no music playing? Shouldn't dancing just be walking to a rhythm?

By changing weight with your feet together, you're making sure that the weight change happens underneath the center. This is true not only for redirections but also for changes in orientation while keeping the same direction (side-pass for the follower). The transition from forward to backward movement happens in the triple (3&4). To be smooth, this transition also needs to happen underneath the center. Be careful with notion of "crossing in front". Make sure it's not crossing in front(to the right, which means both your knees are bent because the left foot is past the center. For the leader, this concept of smooth transitions should be easier since leaders don't move much from that central position in the slot. As my coach always told me, there's no excuse for the leader's footwork to not be perfect.

This idea of doing the triple step weight transfers underneath the center is a very general concept (a beginning concept) and is good practice with which to start. Have a good practice and HAPPY DANCING! Feel free to use the comments area below to discuss this topic.

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