Phase V Figures continued
by Roy &
HAIRPIN: Normally a
quickstep figure, it is used more and more in waltz (the counterpart
in foxtrot is the Curved Feather to a check). We will describe the
quickstep figure and note the waltz adaptation.
Starting with a LOD
alignment, the couple should have a precedes, which anticipates the
man going outside partner, namely CBMP or man's R in line with his L
(lady preparing to step backward on her L in line with her R). Step 1
is a heel lead for the man starting a RF turn and rising to the toe
with some body rise. Ladies step back on their L (T/H) with matching
body rise. The RF curve is continued on steps 2 and 3 on the toes for
both partners with full body height attained on 3. The amount of turn
is usually 3/8 RF to end with the man in contra body (banjo) facing
DRW to check forward motion and lowering to the heel for the next
figure. Timing is QQS with an increasing right sway on 2 and 3
In waltz, the Hairpin is
basically a four-step figure that usually starts from DLW (ditto
foxtrot) with a L-foot lead for the man. Step 1 is a heel lead while
shaping RF, then followed by the steps listed above with a
continuation of the curve on step 4 to end approximately man facing
DRC, or can be underturned to face RLOD, ending always in strong
contra body. Timing is 12&3. The three-step figure that uses the
configuration of the quickstep can also be called a Hairpin (man's R,
L, R and lady's L, R, L). The second step is usually hurried a little
to give more time on the checking step. If the Hairpin starts in SCP,
it is more properly called an Outside Check, and the man will once
again blend to contra banjo on step 3. If taken in four steps from
SCP, it becomes a Hairpin variation.
When used in foxtrot, the
count becomes quite often an extended version of five steps with
1&2&34, where count 1 is held longer, but a continuation of
the RF turn is made. If using the four-step figure, the count would
be SQ&Q (= Curved Feather Check variation).
TIPPLE CHASSE: This is a
quickstep figure in four steps that suggests a sway in the process.
It can start in either CP or in contra body but must move backward
for the man and incorporate a RF turn, either maintaining the CP or
ending in CP. If taken from CP with the man facing RLOD, he starts
with a left toe lead and lowers to the heel while starting the RF
turn. Ladies have a heel lead on their R and go to toe at the end of
the step while matching the man's slight body rise. Step 2 for the
man is to the side on the R toe as he continues body rise to face
approximately COH. Ladies also step to the side on their L toe. Since
this is the first step of the chasse portion, it is optional whether
a sway toward the direction of travel is started. If so, it is
normally subtle at first and increases to step 4. Step 3 for the man
is a closing one on his L toe as the RF turn and body rise continue.
Ladies close R to L also on the toe and continue their body rise.
Step 4 is to the side and slightly forward on the man's R toe as he
is now facing DLC, the ladies stepping side and slightly back on
their L toe. Timing is always SQQS.
When the Tipple Chasse
starts in contra body, it is usually taken back toward DLW. The man
will once again start a RF turn on step 1 and start to blend to CP.
As he takes his side step on the R toe, he overturns the foot
position toward LOD but keeps his body facing DLC. Ladies are now
facing DRW as they take their side step on the L toe. On step 3, the
man turns an additional 1/8 RF so that both body and L toe face LOD.
As ladies make their closing step, they will retain the CP. Step 4 is
precisely like the above description where the man ends facing DLW.
Again, the sway is optional on the chasse portion, however, most
dancers feel more comfortable with perhaps only a slight one. If the
sway option is used, it is normally accompanied by a head turn in the
same direction. Also, the body mechanics of a tipple sway require a
more controlled body rise, meaning less overall.
DOUBLE LOCK: This is not a
listed phase figure but more of a variation from the established
lock, as used in quickstep. When first introduced in early quickstep
choreography, as in Let's Dance, no change of direction was
indicated and it was usually a forward motion. The extra step was
principally used to conform with timing needs. Later, the Double
Lock, as used in backward movements, became more popular -- we will
describe this version as a standard figure.
When taken backward, this
figure is more properly described as a back lock to a side lock.
Normal starting position is when the man is facing DRW with the R
foot free, say, after an Overturned Spin Turn. The man's first step
is backward on his R toe with the right shoulder leading so that his
toe is pointing diagonally away. Ladies are also on the toe as they
step forward on their L with a left shoulder lead. Both will commence
a body rise that continues through the next step with the man going
to a left sway and ladies to a right sway. Step 2 is L crossing in
front of R on the toe for the man as he backs toward DLC with both
feet pointing DRC. Ladies have just the opposite as they cross R
behind L. On step 3, the man first lowers to the L heel and starts a
slight curve RF on the R toe, lowering to the heel. Again, the ladies
have opposite footwork and body position as both partners start to
change sway. On step 4, the man crosses L in front of R, no further
turn on the toe, now using a full left sway. Ladies step side and
slightly forward on the L toe as they match the man's sway while both
heads revert to the closed position. This ends with a lowering to the
heel for both in readiness for the next figure. Timing is four quicks
in quickstep, rarely QQSS. For waltz, the normal timing is 123&
where a further RF turn can be made on the "&" to
position the couple for a right-turning figure.
Note: To avoid over-curving
the line of dance, this figure should be thought of as moving
diagonally back in a more or less straight line so that the man will
end facing between DRC and COH.
Next Time: Big Top
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 email@example.com. This
article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, November 2011.