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Phase IV Figures Continued

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
August, 1989

WEAVE (from Promenade -- foxtrot): Although this figure is nearly identical in movement to the waltz (one more step, of course), we will describe it in some detail to prevent having to cross reference to last month's article. In this article, we referred to step 6, the last one in the waltz version, as blending to contra banjo. This should read "preparing to blend to contra banjo."

The seven-step Weave from Promenade in foxtrot starts with a tight V-SCP either facing LOD or DLC, the same as in the precedes to the waltz version. The man steps R on a slow step in a cross body action with a heel lead while turning his toe straight as the weight goes on it and rising to the ball of the foot. The upper body turns only slightly LF to give a strong contra body configuration but the leg does not cross over any more than necessary, so that the left leg is not impeded. Ladies step forward on the L heel in front of the man but keeping the same direction of movement as the man to prevent jamming up the next step, rising on the toe at the end of the slow count. On step 2 (Q) the man brings the lady in line (blends to CP) now facing approximately DLC. This is a shortened step because the lady is on the outside of the turn and must start backing up after a 3/8 LF turn. Both partners are up on the toes without body sway. Step 3 is side DLC on the toe (Q) with a sort of suspense action while maintaining the CP. The lady turns approximately 3/8 LF on the toe but her body underturns as she lifts her left side to develop the right sway (men use the left sway to match).

Step 4 is the critical one where men can lose contact with their partner if they overturn. Although there is a slight LF turn while stepping back on the L toe (Q) LOD, the lady has no body turn, hence a need to stay in the classic parallel shoulders position. This will be a contra body action as the left sway is held (ladies right sway). Most men will lower to the heel at the end of this step to allow the lady more freedom of movement for her next step (lady stays on toe). Step 5 is a continuation of the LF turn (Q) on the toe stepping backward DLC while bringing the lady back to CP (lady on the toe also with no body sway). Step 6 is really an open change where the LF turn is completed for the man. He steps side and slightly forward on his L toe (Q) DLW with feet well apart. The lady must turn a little less on her step as she lowers to the heel at the end and develops a left sway (man right). The Weave ends just like a Feather Finish with the man stepping outside partner (Q) in contra BJO on his R (no further turn). The lady has a little LF turn in order for her to step back in contra body on the toe while keeping her left sway. Both will lower to the heel for the next figure.

CHECK & WEAVE: This is the original weave figure and is referred to in ballroom as just "Weave." Although it appears in Phase V, it would seem appropriate to include it here. As with the Weave from Promenade, it is a slow and six quick figure covering two measures of music. We will describe it going down the side of the hall, but it can be turned more to go around a corner.

This figure usually starts after an underturned Reverse Turn, where the man transfers all his weight to the R while stepping back LOD on the toe and being careful not to drop to his heel in the checking motion (slow) while keeping his head to the right (lady's head still closed as she does a kind of heel/flat on her L). At this point, the man should have his weight placed so that the spine is over both feet as he touches his heel only lightly to the floor while making up to a 1/8 LF turn. The recover step forward on the L starts six quicks (from heel to toe on the first quick with no extra turn). Note: Modern professionals use a coiled spring action to get momentum rather than the drop into a static check. The lady will step back on her R after her forward check with body but no foot rise in CP. Step 3 is on the man's R as he steps to the side with very little turn and starts his left sway (lady R as she is now on toe of L). On step 4, the partners blend to contra BJO as the man steps back on his L without any turn or sway. There is a collection point here where the man almost brings his knees together before lowering for the next step. The "book" says to turn at this point, but it is better to think straight back to prevent an overturn -- the slight turn will happen anyhow. To complete the Weave on the last three quicks (man's R,L,R) repeat the action of steps 5,6,7 of the Weave from Promenade, in other words, a standard Feather Finish ending DLW. Check & Weave is strictly a foxtrot figure and has never been adapted to another rhythm.

OUTSIDE CHANGE: This is really a waltz figure but can be adapted to foxtrot by elimination of the Feather Finish. It starts in CP with the man having a L foot free and normally facing DRW. It could start facing RLOD but he would still step back with an under-body action going toward DLC, or at least starting the turn. In any event, the feeling should be to retain CP as the man goes from toe to heel (lady H/T). Step 2 is back on the R toe for the man as he starts a LF turn (lady also on the toe going forward with her L). On step 3, the man goes side and slightly forward on his L with his body facing approximately wall but his foot pointing DLW. Ladies step to the side and slightly back on their R toward DLW blending to contra BJO (see end note) while keeping the shoulders parallel to the man. Note: This is just like the last three steps of the Weave from Promenade in waltz. There is no sway in this figure, and it follows the regular pattern of starting to rise on 1, continues on 2, up on 3, and then lowering at the end. Keep in mind that the one who backs up has a body rise only on 1, hence a T/H action (ladies have a H/T), followed by toe for both on 2 and T/H for both on 3.

For the cue "Outside Change to Semi" the second and third steps are modified so that the man allows the lady to turn only slightly on step 2 and then leads her forward with a longer step on 3 to the compact V-SCP with forward poise. Otherwise, the man still has his 1/4 LF turn.

Note: This figure was designed to change the Natural Turn after the first three steps, hence the ending in contra banjo (again, see end note). It has only been fairly recently that it has been used as a modified ending to the Weave. The change requires the first step to remain in CP rather than in contra body.

Next month, we will return to the Weave with a description of the Natural Weave. Although this figure is placed in Phase V, it should be kept in a natural sequence.

End Note: Again, step 3 is preparing to blend to contra banjo -- the original figure has a fourth step which is in full contra BJO or feather position. We have described a 3-step figure to keep in line with R/D custom.

This 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 This article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)  Newsletter, November 2010.


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