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Figures Without Phase Ratings II

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
May, 1991

DOUBLE AERIAL RONDE: Although this is a challenge figure, it can be danced by any advanced-level dancer with some practice, particularly with balance in the ronde. The "double" refers to both partners doing the aerial, not to a repetitive action. It starts normally from a modified closed position with weight on the man's R and the lady's L and knees flexed. The man has his free foot to the side using only toe pressure with the lady's R toe lightly touching the floor. It can start in any facing position, but we will describe it with the man facing the wall and using a shape to the right as the lady's match it with left shaping.

The action starts with a slight rise on the man's R and the lady's L while starting a little RF turn and eliminating the sway. Ladies take a small step on their R to start blending to tight contra banjo. As she places her weight on the R toe, the man will continue to rise to his R toe and force the lady into an Aerial Ronde as he follows quickly with his own Aerial Ronde on his L with a continuation of the RF turn, now facing approximately DRC. He must be careful to keep his left side to the lady. Both partners have their shoulders well back with the man looking left and the lady's head changing from well left to looking over her right shoulder.

On step 2, the man goes into his R knee while continuing to turn RF and shapes to the right with his L toe now touching the floor. The lady will take a small step to the side and toward the man after lowering on her L and slipping her R backward with the toe pointing downward and her head still to the left. This step requires a continuation of the rotation as the body is lowered with the man ending to face approximately COH.

On step 3, the man transfers his weight to his L while lowering to the heel and increasing the right sway. As he rises to the ball of the foot, he will develop momentum to a RF swiveling action to force the lady to step diagonally forward on her R to end next to her L with the head well to the left. The man continues to look at the lady and will end up in CP with his L slightly ahead of his R, now facing LOD.

On step 4, the man continues his RF turn while taking a small step to the side and slightly back on the R while rising from the heel to the ball of the foot and opening his head and losing sway. Ladies step around the man RF on the ball of her L and then continue to turn and place the R to the side and slightly forward (no weight) to compact SCP. The total amount of turn is 1 1/4 RF with the ladies turning a little more. The man will end in compact SCP facing DRW ready for a Hover Fallaway or other figure that will bring the partnership back to something progressive.

Note: The Aerial Ronde should be done with the lower leg parallel to the floor and the toe pointed slightly downward. The shoulders, being well away from the partner, will act as a counterbalance to the partnership as contact is kept at waist level. This is typically a waltz figure (12&3) but can be done in foxtrot using SQQ&.

OPPOSITION LINE: Although a "line" is a position that does not incorporate a figure, we will describe the normal Opposition Line in it's regular entry and suggested exit, hence make a figure out of it.

Starting in compact SCP with the man's L and lady's R feet free, the man steps directly to the side on the ball of the L with full body rise and into a left sway. Ladies step side on their R and develop a right sway with strong rise also and her head will to the right (man left). On step 2, the man starts to flex his L knee and lose his sway while closing R toward L. As the weight is changed to the ball of the R, the body lowering is focused on the R knee with a right-shaping action as the L is extended well to the side. The man should now be looking at the lady as she leans well back in the man's right arm and extends her left well to the side. All her weight is on the ball of the R foot with the R knee strongly flexed and the head well to the left. She should feel that it is very much like an X-Line configuration.

Note: To preserve the idea of opposition, the best exit is a Same Foot Lunge but using a little different appearance from what we described in a previous column. This would be a true "line" because the normal preparation is not used as the man can lead the lady by rising on his R and losing sway to bring his L in closer. As the lady closes L to R, he will turn a little RF and shape to the left. Ladies turn a full 1/4 RF and have all their weight on the flat of the R as the L is extended forward so that the outside edge of the toe is touching the floor so that the extended leg forms a straight line with the upper body. The ladies look over their R shoulder as the man looks straight ahead (now using a left sway). This differs from the normal Same Foot Lunge in that there is a maximum separation at the shoulder line to give the look of the opposition line.

Another Note: Some of these figures have been phase-rated since this series was written.

Next Time: Aerial Telespin

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, February 2013.


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