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Phase V Figures continued

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
June, 1990

NATURAL HOVER TELEMARK: Not listed in the phase ratings, we will describe it under Phase V where it probably will eventually be placed. This figure is not used in waltz (we use a Hesitation Change instead) so we will describe the foxtrot footwork and timing. Normal starting position is CP DLW where we start with a heel lead and "shape" to the right (= CBM) while starting a RF turn and rising to the ball of the foot, then L to the side on the toe continuing the RF turn and lowering to the heel to get "into the floor" for what follows, R to the side with a heel pull to face DLC -- total turn about 3/4 RF. Note: The heel pull in this figure is unnatural and can only be accomplished by slipping the L and overturning for better alignment. The R is pulled back with a strong floor pressure and left sway turning approximately 1/2 RF to end in CP with the L as close to the R as is comfortable while lifting the right hip (left sway). The lady steps back L starting a RF turn on her toe but lowering to the heel to help her turning motion, close the R to L for a standard heel turn where she turns more than the man on his second step with only body rise, L to the side (still down but starting to rise to the ball of the foot) and using a right sway. Timing is SQQ; but we usually make the first quick a little longer than normal. The left sway (for the lady -- right) on step 3 does not occur in the Natural Telemark.

TELESPIN: We will incorporate the Telespin (Phase VI) with the Minni Telespin (Phase V) in one description because the latter is simply a truncated version of the former.

The Telespin is really a continuation of the Open Telemark as described earlier (listed under Phase III, a misplacement) where we use the overturned version. Actually, when you anticipate the Telespin, there is a momentum from the Telemark that the couple utilizes to start the continuation of the LF turn needed. The man must give a strong left-side lead on step 3 and then flex the L a little to give a sort of plie action while keeping the body turned LF (still on the L foot for count 4 of the Telespin). He dances a foot swivel, continuing the LF turn, then places the R backward down LOD while transferring weight to the ball of the R at the end of count 5, finally lowering deeply onto the R while continuing to turn LF and stepping side on the L toe for lowering to the heel as he gives a strong left-side lead to his partner. The last step is DRW, but the figure often ends with the man facing the wall. The lady starts after her Open Telemark in V-SCP facing nearly COH (= overturn). Her count on the second measure for waltz is &456 -- on the "and" count, she steps forward L LOD/then around the man LF. On count 5, she spins on her R toe and closes L to R (now facing between DLW and LOD). On count 6, (still turning LF), she places her L foot to the side and slightly back to face COH. Note: For more advanced dancers, the figure can end with the man facing DLW where a natural figure can follow. We are describing the normal round dance configuration as used in waltz.

Although the Telespin looks like an accelerated figure, it really follows a normal rhythm pattern. The important thing to remember for the man is the continuation of the LF turn with the body after count 3. This leads the lady into a spin very nicely, providing that she has taken a longer side step on her R for count 3. The man will use the momentum of the lady's spin to help him around on his LF turn. For most dancers, the exit is a L foot lead outside the lady (when taken full around), however, most round dances elect to use a Contra Check as described.

MINI TELESPIN: This figure is more often used in round dancing because it is easier to do. Sometimes it is jokingly referred to as the "senior citizens version." The man swivels on his L foot and closes R to L on count 6 after turning usually to face DRC or RLOD. This allows for an easy Contra Check to follow and a switch to face more RF. Ladies simply turn much less while using the same count and hold on count 6. The cue "Telespin" can be either a Mini or nearly a full Telespin, therefore, the cue sheet must be used to determine the degree of turn.

When used in foxtrot, the timing (after the overturned Open Telemark) is Q&QS. Again, the same implied acceleration is evident.

Note: Some dancers use the timing &QQS, which is quite acceptable. The "and" is really borrowed from the preceding measure while count 2 of the second measure is a foot swivel on the lady's L while using a brushing action of R to L, then a diagonal forward on her R.

HINGE: This is really a variation of the Left Whisk (see Phase IV) where the man takes two steps to the lady's three. The description given for the Left Whisk started in SCP, however, nothing changes if taken from CP where the man can lead a LF turn (bk R, LF on L) before taking the thru step on 1.

For the man, step 2 is sideways on his L going from the ball of the foot to the whole foot with a strong body rise -- only after all the weight is on the L foot does he start his LF turn. The lady's second step is side and a little forward on her R having turned LF to face the man. Step 3 is a strong LF body turn for the man where he must swivel his L foot a little to compensate for the turn. With a softened L knee, he leads the lady to cross L behind R while holding his body line up as he shapes to the right. The feeling here is not a downsweep but more nearly slightly upward as he looks just beyond the lady's nose (she keeps her head to the left). At this point, the lady extends her R foot toward RLOD on the inside edge of the ball with full weight on her L while keeping her left hip close to the man.

As an exit, the lady must take the first step -- then the man joins her on step 2. More often than not it will be a hover to SCP. If the hinge position is entered into by other means than described, it is called a Hinge Line.

Next Time: Quick Open Reverse

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, June 2011.


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