© by Susie & Gert-Jan
Picture figures seem to be quite
frightening at first to all of us -- after all, what is a picture but
something suspended in time, something to look at, and that means
that people could be looking at us!! A line is no more than stopping
your movement, and in a picture figure we also use "shaping,"
which is turning your body to fit your partner. If we learn proper
execution (and practice, of course), we can all learn to make
nice-looking picture or line figures.
One of the first things to realize
that if you feel uncomfortable, you are probably off balance
and look uncomfortable too. So don't exaggerate or extend any
lines past your own point of comfort, nor that of your
partner. A nicely executed, less exaggerated line is much more
pleasing to the eye than a sloppy, over-exaggerated one.
One thing to check before you
start into any picture or line figure is your position in relation to
your partner. You should be in a good closed position, and you both
must have your balance. If either of you haven't established good
balance first, then you will either be pushed or pulled into
the figure, or you will be pushing or pulling your partner into the
figure. Then the whole figure will be off balance, and that is not a
Be sure, especially in a picture
figure, not to try and "out-do" your partner, no matter how
much better you might think you are at executing this figure than he
or she is. It is important to realize that, while you are two people,
you are trying to look like one unit. At the completion of
this figure, each of you should be completely on balance, on his/her
own, and with your weight over one of your own feet. You should not
be crouching over nor hanging onto your partner.
When making a line, be sure that
hips and shoulders are parallel -- the shoulders are never turned
further than the hips -- and also check that your elbows are not
behind your body. Ladies, when making a line or picture figure, we
often use our heads more than the men do. Be sure, when you are
making one of these figures, not to start it with your head, but
extend your body, your head being the last part of that extension.
from ROUNDALAB Journal,
Winter 1994/95; this article was published in
the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, September 2011. For
a round world, Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid