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STEPS

A dance consists of a sequence of dance figures, but each figure consists of a sequence of individual steps, actions, and poses.

So, we walk forward or back. Here the man is stepping Forward and the woman Back on their lead feet. Someone once pointed out that Ginger did everything Fred did but backward and in high heels. But men dance backward too.

We step to the Side. We step Across, step Through. We Hop, Skip, and Jump. We Point a toe. We Drag and Hook. In the glossary, I have a long list of indivdual steps and actions.

Step, Man Forward, Woman Back
Here the man is stepping Forward and the woman Back on their trail feet. Step, Man Forward, Woman Back
Where a "step" involves changing our weight from one foot to the other, an "action" involves doing something with that foot but not putting weight on it. Pointing a foot is an action.

Here, the cue might have been "Apart, Point." They stepped apart on their trail feet and then simply pointed their lead feet toward each other without taking weight.

We can also say that they have "touched" with their lead feet (but not taken weight.)

Step, Man Forward, Woman Back
Here we have an example of a Point with the same foot. Both Point left. Step, Man Forward, Woman Back
Look at the rest of these photos. Do they seem to illustrate actual steps (where there is a weight change) or only actions or movements?

In an open position, both partners can step Forward, here on the lead foot. (Opposite footwork)

Sit

(click on any thumbnail for a larger view)

Forward on the left foot. (Same footwork; nothing touching) Sit
Forward on the right foot. Notice the lunging action. Sit
Lunge forward SitSit
Sometimes, we Walk; sometimes we Run, Strut, Hop, Skip, Jump. Sit
SitSitSitSit
SitSitSitSit
A Press involves moving a foot forward, touching the ball of the foot to the floor, and putting partial weight onto that foot. The "pressed" foot is still regarded to be "free." You are "pressing" into the floor but not standing on that foot. Your body will have forward poise. Sit
SitSitSit
Knee Sit
Kick Sit
SitSit
Flick Sit
SitSitSit
Point with the lead. Sit
Point with the trail. Sit
Cross in front and Point. Sit
She Points, he helps? Sit
SitSit
Cross in front Sit
SitSit
Step through Sit
SitSit
Rock to the side Sit
"Check" is a step taken in one direction and preparation to then move in the opposite direction. The cue to Check implies that you will take a step and change weight. Sit
"Checking" is the process of stopping your movement in one direction and preparing to move in the opposite direction. Checking does not itself involve taking a step or changing weight. Sit
Drag Sit
The cue Hook can refer to several different steps or moves. One might simply cross one leg in front or behind the other and then "Unwind," for instance. Sit
In other choreography, the woman will Hook one leg behind her partner's leg, to provide support for extension or for a Body Roll or Around the World. Sit
SitSitSit
Other times, a Hook just seems to provide a little extra drama. Sit
Bow Sit
Kiss SitSit

Photos © A. Curths; A. Gorczycki; A. Miller; A. Moore & E. Allen; D. Drury; E.Allen; F. Lepretre; J. Lee; P. Sosabowski; P. Suba; from Dancesport UK photo gallery.


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Page last revised 1/12/09