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To Collect or Not To Collect

by Richard Lamberty

Collect and brush are similar. Both are bringing the free foot to the standing foot without a weight change (and not a touch (toe action) or stamp (flat foot action)).  In the ballroom language collect is "Close without weight".  Brush is just brush.

Brush only happens when you have RISE and only followers brush. There are ZERO places in the International Standard where the leader does a brush.
There are a few places in the American Smooth where the leader does a brush, none while in closed position.

Collect is bring the free foot to the standing foot without weight and without rise.  It is done mostly in American Foxtrot.

The MAGIC STEP (or Foxtrot Basic)
1) Forward L (slow), collect R to L, no rise
2) Forward R (slow), collect L to R, no rise
3) Side L (quick), rise at end of 2, lower at end of 3 (a strange Up / Down action)
4) Close R to L (quick)

The American Foxtrot Box
1) Forward L (slow), collect R to L, no rise
2) Side R (quick), rise at end of 1, lower at end of 2 (that strange Up / Down action)
3) Close L to R
4) Back R (slow), collect L to R, no rise
5) Side L (quick), rise at end of 1, lower at end of 2 (that strange Up / Down action)
6) Close R to L

The action of collecting is to help the follower balance on the flat footed step and be free to either move backward again, or to the side.  The Up / Down rise is to indicate that the step is a quick to the SIDE and not another walk. The Collect and strange Rise all have to do with leading in a loose Closed Position frame where the follower can't feel as much of what the leader is doing thru the bodies. All of that disappears when you have a close Closed Position.

In Round Dancing, the best example of a Collect is in the Two Step figures.

Forward L, Close R, Forward L, (collect);  Forward R, Close L, Forward R, (collect);

That action of collecting in the basic two step figures comes from the same thing as the American Smooth action.  Danced in the loose frame, collecting helps the follower feel the movement and direction.  Bear in mind, Round Dancing, while always choreographed, was not always cued. In the early days, the lead / follower aspects were quite important, and the figures were designed to be lead-able / follow-able.  Once you start adding RISE, the collection action becomes unnecessary.


dingbat




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