Footwork Patterns in Dance: The Twist

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The Twist is a rock and roll dance named after the smash-hit song “The Twist” by Chubby Checker. Super popular in the 1960s, it was the first major rock and roll dance style in which the couples did not have to touch each other while dancing.

Faced with explaining how to do the dance to the youthful audience of the era, a member of Checker’s entourage came up with the following description:

“It’s like putting out a cigarette with both feet, and wiping your bottom with a towel, to the beat of the music.”

http://www.the60sofficialsite.com/Dance_Crazes_of_the_60s.html 

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Footwork Patterns in Dance: The Moonwalk

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The Moonwalk is a dance move that presents the illusion of the dancer being pulled backwards while attempting to walk forward. A popping move, it became popular around the world after Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk footwork during a performance of “Billie Jean” on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever on March 25, 1983. The Moonwalk became his signature move.

The Technique

A Moonwalk dancer creates the appearance of gliding backwards. Initially, his front foot is held flat on the ground, while his back foot is in a tiptoe position. His flat front foot remains on the ground but he slides it lightly and smoothly backward past his tip-toe back foot. He lowers what is now his front foot and raises his back foot into a tiptoe position.  He repeats these steps creating the illusion that he is being pulled backwards by an unseen force while still trying to move forward.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moonwalk_(dance)

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Footwork Patterns in Dance: The Foxtrot

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The Foxtrot is a smooth dance characterized by continuous, flowing movements across the dance floor, usually to the sounds of big band music. Similar in its look to the Waltz, (though the rhythm is in a 4/4 time not 3/4), the Foxtrot reached its height of popularity in the 1930s.

The basic elements of the Foxtrot are walking steps and side steps. The long walking movements also involve a rise & fall action, more subtly than the Waltz. The Foxtrot has a slow, slow, quick, quick rhythm. The slow steps use two beats of music and the quick steps use one. 

Instructions:

Partners stand upright with your feet together. Face each other, lady puts her right hand in man’s left. His right hand is on her left shoulder blade; her left hand is on his right arm. 

Basic Steps – Gentleman

  1. Step forward with your left foot (slow step)
  2. Step forward with your right foot (slow step)
  3. Sidestep to the left with your left foot (quick step)
  4. Move your right foot to your left foot (quick step)
  5. Step backward with your left foot (slow step)
  6. Step backward with your right foot (slow step)
  7. Sidestep to the left with your left foot (quick step)
  8. Move your right foot to your left foot (quick step) 

Basic Steps – Lady

  1. Step backward with your right foot (slow step)
  2. Step backward with your left foot (slow step)
  3. Sidestep to the right with your right foot (quick step)
  4. Move your left foot to your right foot (quick step)
  5. Step forward with your right foot (slow step)
  6. Step forward with your left foot (slow step)
  7. Sidestep to the right with your right foot (quick step)
  8. Move your left foot to your right foot (quick step)

 

http://www.dancing4beginners.com/foxtrot-dance-steps.htm

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Footwork Patterns in Dance: The Cha-Cha-Cha

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Originating in Cuba, the Cha-Cha-Cha is a lively and versatile Latin dance.  It is characterized by its captivating rhythm – one, two, cha, cha, cha or step, step, cha, cha, cha. The footwork is simple, focusing on shifting weight from one foot to another. 

You dance the Cha-Cha-Cha to music in 4/4 time. Your steps follow the music – two slow steps, then two quick steps, followed by one slow step. So the count would be: Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow… 

Instructions:

Partners face each other in a basic ballroom hold. Gentleman starts with left foot; lady starts with right foot.

Basic Steps for Men

  1.   Step forward with your left foot
  2.   Right foot in place, weight shifts to it
  3.   Sidestep to the left with your left foot
  4.   Move your right foot to your left foot
  5.   Sidestep to the left with your left foot
  6.   Step backward & left with your right foot
  7.   Left foot in place, weight shifts to it
  8.   Step forward & right with your right foot
  9.   Move your left foot to your right foot
  10.   Sidestep to the right with your right foot

Basic Steps for Women

  1.   Step back with your right foot
  2.   Left foot in place, weight shifts to it
  3.   Sidestep to the right with your right foot
  4.   Move your left foot to your right foot
  5.   Sidestep to the right with your right foot
  6.   Step forward & right with your left foot
  7.   Right foot in place, weight shifts to it
  8.   Step backward & left with your left foot
  9.   Move your right foot to your left foot
  10.   Sidestep to the left with your left foot

 

http://www.dancing4beginners.com/cha-cha-steps.htm 

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Alert Eye Picks Next Foothold

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“There’s all sorts of walking –

                                                from heading out across the desert in a straight line

      to a sinuous weaving through undergrowth.

          Descending

               rocky

                   ridges and talus slopes is a specialty in itself. 

It is an irregular dancing – always shifting – step of walk on slabs and scree. 

           The breath and eye are always following this uneven rhythm. 

                  It is never paced or clocklike, but flexing –

                              little jumps –         sidesteps –

    going for the well-seen place to put a foot on a rock, hit flat, move on –

                            zigzagging along and all deliberate.

 The alert eye looking ahead, picking footholds to come, while never missing the step of the moment. 

      The body-mind is so at one with this rough world

              that it makes these moves effortlessly once it has had a bit of practice. 

    The mountain keeps up with the mountain. 

 

Quote by: Gary Snyder “Blue Mountains Constantly Walking”

Quoted in:  Rebecca Solnit’s “Wanderlust” http://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/1419449-wanderlust-a-history-of-walking

Picture source: http://www.123rf.com/photo_1498523_trekkers-walking-along-a-mountain-path-mont-blanc-valley-west-alps-italy.html