Phase V Figures
by Roy &
DOUBLE REVERSE SPIN: As
round dancers, we have taken this figure directly from the ballroom
literature. Three starting alignments are possible, but the one
facing DLW is seldom used -- we will describe from starting position
of CP facing LOD. This figure is characterized by an early rise and
creation of controlled momentum. We will include a few notes that are
not in the charts but which are needed for correct interpretation.
The lady has four changes of weight and the man three actions with
two changes of weight. The timing in waltz that best describes this
figure is 12&3, as described below.
The man's first step is
forward on the L starting to turn LF (CBM) going from heel to toe.
Ladies step back on their R toward LOD also shaping to the left and
going from toe to heel, therefore, only body rise. Step 2 is the
critical one for the man because he must commit himself to one spot
as he takes a fairly wide step sideward on the R going slightly
across his dance alignment with both feet pointed toward DRC and at
full body height. It is the momentum that he has developed that will
take him through the toe pivot to follow. Ladies close L to R for a
LF heel turn as they continue to rise on the L toe for nearly a 1/2
turn. On the "and" count, the man uses his momentum to
pivot on the R toe LF while holding full body height. He must not
accelerate any more than the lady's ability to keep in CP contact.
The lady's step on the "and" count is her critical one
because she must complete her heel turn (approx. 1/4 LF) stepping
side and slightly back moving directly down LOD with the right hip
leading (not a sway). If she is too close to the man at this point he
will be pushed off balance -- if too far away, he will be pulled off
of his pivot. The man must slow down his pivot progressively with his
L toe in contact with the floor and close to his R, now facing DLW.
The ladies complete their turn on step 4 and allow the L to cross in
front of the R in a natural follow through action, now facing DRC
still on the toe. Both partners lower to the heel at the end of the
When the Double Reverse Spin
is started with the man facing DLC, it should still end facing DLW,
the 3/4 LF turn divided with most of the turn being made between
steps 1 & 2. When started facing DLW, a full turn is made in most
instances, however, some choreographers specify the normal 7/8 and
end facing the wall. In any event the lady always makes a 1/8 LF turn
on her fourth or crossing step.
Additional Notes: Advanced
dancers use steps 1 & 2 with more flow, so that their timing
would be 123&. Ladies will find that, as they develop more power
in their dancing, the heels are not together but only close, as they
do their heel turns. When used in quickstep, the timing is SSQQ.
EROS LINE: We will consider
the Right Eros only as the Left Eros is much too difficult for round
dancers not in the challenge class. The lead into the Eros usually
comes from a right turning pivot like the Rudolph but the man steps
side R with full weight on the foot to turn the lady into a
right-side position, and he does not lower or "sink" but
only has a moderate flexing. As soon as he places the R foot, the man
will start to straighten it. The action of the man's right hip toward
the lady and the right leg movement will create the clockwise opening
that is the Eros Line. Previously, she has stepped to the side on her
left before she flares out her R leg where the heel is kept below the
level of the knee while feeling a stretch in the instep. [Note:
Professional dancers often lift the leg a little higher, so that the
lady's foot is farther from the floor than her knee.] She will rise
to the ball of her L in order to facilitate the freedom of movement
necessary for a good-looking leg line. For the man's part, he will
continue rotating to the right with his upper body to accommodate the
lady's turn but must keep his shoulder and head shaped to the left.
If the lady keeps her upper body to the right, it will form a good
X-Line, with the head and shoulders much farther apart than in the
The Eros Line is not a pose
figure -- that is, you immediately think about dancing out of it. The
man will again have a strong left leg line. It is not essential that
the Eros Line comes from a pivot (hence the word "line")
for it could be taken at the end of a chasse, for instance. Since it
is a slow count single movement, it can be used in any rhythm except
FALLAWAY WHISK: This figure
always starts with a backward step on the man's L while starting a RF
turn, usually backing LOD or wall. He goes from toe to heel starting
to rise at the end of the step (body rise only). Ladies step forward
on the R (HT) starting to turn RF, also rising at the end of the
step. Step 2 for the man is side and somewhat backward on his R (TH)
to lead the lady into fallaway position = compact SCP. This will turn
up to 3/8 RF, but the body is held more to the left. Ladies step to
the side on their L going from toe to heel, now normally backing
toward DLC with continued body rise. Step 3 is a crossing loosely
behind on the man's L and the lady's R (TH) to the whisk position. As
the man lowers to the heel, he straightens his R knee (ladies L) to
develop a right sway as ladies sway left. The man's head is turned to
the right as the ladies look well to the left. Both have the
flat-footed whisk position as contrasted to the Back Whisk, which is
a rising one where a gradual turn to SCP is used.
We will continue to describe
the figures in Phase V using the waltz directions and note other
rhythms when needed. Later on, the figures unique to foxtrot,
quickstep, and tango will be included.
Next Time: Natural Hover
column comes from a series published in Cue Sheet Magazine between
1987 and 1992, and is reprinted with permission. The full series is
collected in an 86-pg booklet, available for $30.00 plus postage.
E-mail Fran Kropf at firstname.lastname@example.org. This
article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, May 2011.
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