Unclassified Quickstep Figures I
by Roy &
For this issue, we will
feature the steps which constitute what may be called partial figures
FLICKER: Basically, this is
a turning of the feet out and in while leaving the feet in place. The
normal entry is outside on the lady's right side placing the R in
front of the L in CBMP. Using the ball of the foot with matching
toes, the quick movements are usually between basic figures and are
often taken after a Change of Direction or a slide and stop. If used
as a figure, the timing is normally Q&QQQ or QQQQ where the
partners end with the weight on whichever foot is desired, ladies
opposite, of course.
TIPSY: This short figure is
used to stop an action or go to another direction. The technique is
to stay on the toes and keep the weight over the knees while making
short steps in either direction usually starting on the man's R and
the lady's L. The actual movement can best be characterized as side
step, half step, side step, using the timing Q&Q. A sway can be
used and it could be to either side, sometimes toward the dance
direction, hence "tipsy." If a Double Tipsy is used, the
timing is Q&Q&S where the last step stops the action. Very
often , the Tipsy is turned where the rule is to turn right on the L
foot and left on the R foot (lady opposite). A good way to develop
the Tipsy is to lead with a side, close.
STUTTER: The Stutter is
really a flat Tipsy where it can replace the Six Quick Twinkle. The
best entry is from a slide and stop using a hesitation before
starting the movement. The weight is kept on the balls of the feet,
actually using the inside edge where the appearance is that you are
using a flat foot. The side movement is a typical Chasse, then side
and nearly close. Timing is always Q&QQQ.
POLKA RUNS: Using a soft
knee action, the dancers must get a bounce feeling while using a very
positive forward action. All steps are on the toes where the typical
lightness of the quickstep is most important. Quite often it follows
counts 2 to 5 of the V-6 where 6 to 10 would be the actual runs. This
particular amalgamation has its own name -- the Ten Quick Run. Timing
is all quicks (4) as the couple remains in SCP.
SCOOP: Nearly always, this
movement is to the man's left because of the free arm and is a
sideward step for both. The action is a bent knee of the lead foot
using the inside edge of the foot on the sideward and rising
movement. Momentum must be created first and quite often comes from a
pivot (timing SSQQ). Also a modification of the Chasse will give us
the scooping action on the lead foot (S&S&S . . . ). A
different sort of scooping action is the Scoop Lock where the man
leads with a backward and downward/sideward step on his R where the L
is drawn backward in a locking action -- ladies opposite, of course.
CHARLESTON CROSS: The entry
is normally from a lock and typically is a reverse action danced LOD
or DLW. From a compact SCP, the inside foot is placed forward (man's
R and lady's L) and then the L and R respectively are crossed in
front using a swiveling action as in the primary Charleston. The
movement is out with the R, in with the L, . . . where the cross is
not created with both feet. As the man crosses in front (L) the lady
crosses in back (R) so that as the man turns in the lady turns out.
Some dancers elect to subdue the swiveling action and get more
movement -- it then becomes a Charleston Chasse. The Charleston Cross
can be taken after a Natural Telemark, but the classic entry is to
follow a figure called Change of Sway which we will describe below.
CHANGE OF SWAY: This
developed as a true figure from a series of steps designed to make
fairly rapid changes of sways. We will describe this figure from CP
man facing LOD. The first step for the man is forward R in line with
his L (CBMP) while starting a RF turn, then backward on the L while
pointing the R between the lady's feet and developing a left sway
(ladies forward L continuing the RF turn and using a right sway).
Step 3 is side R for the man, now having turned enough so that this
step is nearly LOD (ladies opposite as she now sways to the left to
match the man's sway to the right). Step 4 is a crossing of the L
over R for the man, now facing nearly DLC as the lady crosses R
behind L as he changes sway once more to the left and she to the
right. This leaves the couple in the correct position to start the
Charleston Cross with only very limited options to do another type of
figure. Timing on the Change of Sway is SQQS.
Note: Some of these figures
have been standardized since this article was written.
Next Time: Back Fishtail
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, June 2013.