by Kay & Joy Read
The term "feather" is
frequently used in conjunction with the foxtrot rhythm. In fact,
quite a few figures are called "feathers" of various types,
and even more figures have, as an integral part, a "feather".
Understanding the term feather as it applies to foxtrot will greatly
simplify foxtrot at all phases from III through VI. Even some of the
most complicated and difficult foxtrot figures are actually only
combinations or modifications of "feathers".
To understand and apply the feather
concept, one must understand the meaning of the phase "foxtrot
feather". Although several figures are named feathers, the term
in foxtrot does not come from the noun Feather, but from the
verb To Feather. The phrase "foxtrot feather"
actually refers to the action, to feather, rather than the object, a
feather. This action results in moving to a feathered position. Here,
the term "feathered" is an adjective describing the type of
ending position obtained after performing the action of "feathering".
Therefore, a figure named a feather is a figure in which the action
of feathering results in a feathered position. This concept (action)
is an integral part of many, if not most, foxtrot figures. Think of
the Feather (of course) but also Weaves, Natural Hover Crosses, and
even the Tumble Turn.
Only four possible feather positions
exist, and all feather actions end in one of these four positions.
They are as follows:
Man forward R outside partner's
right side (Lady back L) = Banjo
Man forward L outside partner's
left side (Lady back R) = Sidecar
Man back L partner outside his
right side (Lady forward R) = Banjo
Man back R partner outside his
left side (Lady forward L) = Sidecar
clinic notes prepared for the Bennington College 15th Annual Round
Dance Festival, January 2004. Published in the Dixie
Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, July/August 2012.