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OPEN DANCE POSITIONS

In the open positions, partners are apart from each other. They are scarcely in a dance "hold." They may not be touching at all.

In Open Position, the dancers are facing in the same direction, and his right and her left hands are joined. In the second photo, we can clearly see the usual opposite footwork; they are stepping forward on lead feet.

Below, you can see examples of same footwork, where both step with their right or both left.

Open Position

Open Position

Here is an open position with no hands joined and same footwork. They are lunging a bit to the right and pointing with the left foot. Open Position

(click on any thumbnail for a larger view)

Again, an open position, same footwork, and a little different handwork. Open Position
This couple is in open with opposite footwork, and he has turned her away by giving a little counter-clockwise turn to the trail hand. If this movement were done violently, it would be the aggressive action of twisting an opponent's arm behind his back, but in dance, it is of course done gently and lovingly. Open Position

Left Open

This is left open position. Again, both are facing the same way, but she is to his left, and his left and her right hands are joined. Same footwork.

Left Open Position
Left open position and opposite footwork. Lead feet forward. Left Open Position
Trail feet forward. Left Open Position

Half Open

As the name suggests, Half Open is not quite as open as Open. The dancers are closer to each other, and trail arms are on each other's backs. Usually, the bodies will be turned more toward each other—there is more partner "connection" in several ways.
Half Open Position
Half Open, and it looks like he is beginning open in and out runs. Half Open Position
Left Half Open Left Half Open Position

Escort

Escort Position is an open position in which the woman's arm is held in the crook of the man's. This is Left Escort.
Escort Position

Open Facing

To move from an open position to an open-facing position, simply maintain the one handhold, and turn to face. This is Left Open Facing.

Left Open Facing Position
A facing position with right-right hands joined (handshake). He points, she lunges. Facing Position, Handshake

Butterfly

Butterfly Position looks like an open facing position, but both hands are joined.
Butterfly Position

Back-to-Back

In a way, Back-to-Back Position is the opposite of Open Facing.

Back-To-Back Position
This is Left Back-to-Back. Left Back-To-Back Position
Can you name the positions in these photos? Butterfly Position
Left Open Position

Photos © A. Gorczycki; E. Allen; F. Lepretre; J. Lee; P. Sosabowski; P. Suba; R. Szabatin; from Dancesport UK photo gallery.


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Page last revised 1/12/09