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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum—

The Split Ronde

The Split Ronde is a difficult phase 6 waltz figure. It requires balance on one foot while rotating, extra steps for the lady, lower-rise-and-lower must be done or it doesn’t work, you must retain upper body frame even while rotating, and the rotation is almost full around (normal is 7/8 but at least 3/4).

There are two weight-taking steps for the man and four for the lady, but the primary action – the ronde – does not take weight. Think of the timing for these steps as &1-&2-3. The man takes weight on beats 2 and 3. The lady takes weight in the first half of beat 1, twice on beat 2, and once on beat 3.

Begin a Split Ronde in Closed Position with lead foot free. The man will thrust his left foot forward & side (about 10 o’clock) and then swing it counterclockwise (CCW) in a wide arc behind him. As the man thrusts his left leg forward, he will lead the lady to take weight onto her right foot by rotating left-face and lowering so that the lady can also thrust her left leg forward and swing it around CCW. Both the man and the lady lower by relaxing their right knee but staying on the ball of their right foot to allow their entire body to swivel left-face as their left legs swing behind them. This first beat ronde/swivel rotation should turn nearly half way around (180 degrees). One common problem is to lean forward when lowering, especially when the ronde leg goes behind --- don’t do it, or you will lose balance and lose contact with partner – instead keep a good upright upper body frame as you rotate left-face.

After the ronde comes beat two. Both the man and lady take weight onto their left foot which is now behind them. Do not stop the rotation but continue turning left-face as you take weight. The lady will even take another small step side onto her right foot very quickly. You should be able to turn another quarter turn during beat two while still in Closed Position and still rotating left-face.

Finish the Split Ronde with a “Slip” step. The man will step back with his right foot rotating left-face about another 1/8 turn. The lady will step forward with her left foot following the man’s body to end in Closed Position with lead foot free.

Note that lowering in the first beat was necessary to enable extending the left legs out which helps generate the momentum during the ronde to rotate quickly left-face. Rising up on the second beat helps get up onto the left toe to help keep the rotation going. Lowering into the third-beat slipping movement helps complete the figure with good balance and stability.

Note that you start in Closed Position, rotate in Closed Position, and finish in Closed Position. Keep good upper body frame throughout. Keep heads left.

Ladies can think of their second, third, and fourth steps as a “syncopated circular vine”, i.e., behind/side, forward while rotating left-face.

 
Tim Eum has prepared many Round Dance Tips for Calls 'n' Cues, WASCA, for his weekly Rocket Rounds email reports, and for other publications. DRDC is grateful for permission to collect and reprint. A Tim Eum archive.

 

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