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Paso Doble: Continued

by Ron & Mary Noble

As we continue our voyage into Paso Doble (see The Beginning by Finch), we discover a group of figures that have a common beginning with different, but similar, endings. These figures could be grouped in increasing levels of difficulty as the Promenade, Sixteen, La Passe, and Chasse Cape.

We also encounter figures that are quite different from our beginning Paso Doble figures, as well as those listed above. These would include the Coup De Pique, Banderillas, and Fallaway Reverse.

The Promenade: In its very basic description, the Promenade could be described as a Natural Turn a Half followed by a Back Side Close to face COH. The eight-count figure begins for the man with an Appel R, forward LOD, forward turning right-face, and back to face RLOD. The figure ends with two back steps, a side step turning to face COH, and a closing step. The woman does an Appel L, five steps toward LOD, followed by a side step to face the wall, and a closing step.

The Sixteen: The Sixteen (named for the sixteen steps of the figure) follows the Promenade figure with The Huit, which results in sixteen steps. The man begins like a Promenade to face COH and adds Sur Place in eight. During the last eight steps, he will shape his body to accommodate the woman’s cape action. The woman begins with six steps of the Promenade followed by ten step of the Huit’s cape action.

The La Passe: The La Passe is similar to the Sixteen. In fact, the woman dances the Sixteen for the La Passe. The man, however, does not do the Sur Place in eight. He steps forward to the COH on beats 7, 10, 13, closing on 16, while shaping his body accommodating the woman’s cape action.

The Chasse Cape: The Chasse Cape is eight measures long, with syncopation and some repetition. The first four steps (1st measure) are the same as the Promenade, Sixteen, and La Passe. The man’s second measure turns to face the wall (1,2,3,4&1). The man’s third measure has a “slip” and turn to face COH (1,2,3,4&1), the fourth measure has a “ slip” and turn to face the wall (1,2,3,4&1), and the fifth measure has a “slip” and turn to face DLC in four without syncopation. The sixth measure begins with a press line and holds for three beats (1,-,-,-). The Chasse Cape continues with a recover and Sur Place, followed by a chasse to the right in six. A number of choreographed dances with a Chasse Cape end with the press line.

Banderillas: The Banderillas is a three-measure figure that depicts the use of the Banderillas instrument in fighting the bull. The figure begins with the man’s left hip outside the woman’s left hip and a Sur Place in four, an Appel with a large side step to place the man in front of the woman, and ends with a step outside the woman in contra body, followed by a Sur Place in three. The woman does a Sur Place in four, an Appel and Sur Place three, a step backward in contra body, followed by a Sur Place in three.

Coup de Pique: The Coup De Pique is a two-measure, syncopated figure that doesn’t actually relate to any other Paso Doble figure. The man swivels left-face and points his right foot thru in SCP, swivels right-face and closes his right. He follows by swiveling left-face and stepping back on his left, swivels right-face and closes his right. He again swivels left-face and steps back on his left, swivels right-face and steps on his right, followed by a syncopated close left, side right, and close left. The woman’s footwork is identical to the man’s footwork, but uses opposite feet. The timing for the figure is 1,2,3,4, 5,6&,7,8

Fallaway Reverse: The Fallaway Reverse is similar to the Reverse Fallaway in other rhythms followed by a slipping action turning to CP LOD. It also introduces the SLIP APPEL as the first step. The man does a Slip Appel turning slightly left-face, forward, side to RSCP, & back in RSCP. He completes the figure by slipping his right slightly back turning right-face, forward left toward the wall, turning left-face side right, and closing his left to face LOD. The woman is similar with a Slip Appel turning slightly left-face, back, side to RSCP, and back in RSCP. She turns left-face and slips her left forward, continues the turn stepping back, continues the turn stepping side, and closes her right.

Note: Some Phase V & VI Paso Doble Choreography are:

Spanish Banderillo, Schmidt (2011)
The Matador, Worlock, (2011)
Toreando, Shibata, (2011)
Vamos Amigos, Shibata (2010)
Fiesta Madrilena, Hurd, (2009)
Carmen, Imamura, (2007)
Amparita Roca, Schmidt (2006)
El Pico, Worlock, (2004)
Viva Espana, Rumble, (2003)
El Conquistador, Goss, (2002)
Prime Point, Shibata, 1996)
Paso Cadiz, Goss, (1995)


From clinic notes prepared for the ROUNDALAB Convention, June 2012 and reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, October 2013.



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