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Figures Without Phase Ratings V

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
August, 1991

BOUNCE FALLAWAY REVERSE: The "bounce" in this figure is a down and up action coupled with a timing change from the generic foxtrot version. Starting in CP, usually facing DLC, the man uses the normal CBM (shaping LF) and goes from heel to toe with a quick rise as the lady steps back on her R toe with quick body rise. Step 2 is to the side on the man's R and lady's L on the "&" count while continuing the LF turn where both partners lower to the heel while bringing the body down to a flexed knee position and moving to fallaway. At this point, the man should leave his L foot pointed toward DRC while the lady's R is pointing RLOD. Both must position their feet on step 3 along with a quick body rise. As the man steps back on his L with a swiveling action, the lady crosses R in back of L. This figure calls for a fourth step on the "&" count where the man brings his R back in a curving action (T/H) with body rise ready for the next figure. At this point, he keeps the R toe in contact with the floor as he does a little quicker than normal Slip Pivot. The lady has two actions as in any Slip Pivot and ends blending back to CP on her L between the man's feet. The placement and swiveling action emulates the movements of a ballet dancer. There is a bit of lilting action on the first 3 steps, however, this along with the lady's Slip Pivot, must be a continuous action to preserve the smooth feel of the foxtrot.

Timing is S&S& where the "&" is taken from the preceding slow count. Not counting for the CBM at the start, we normally turn 1/8 LF between counts 2 & 3, 1/4 LF between 3 & 4, and an additional 1/4 LF on 4. The total amount of turn is up to 7/8 LF (used when starting facing LOD), but the normal is 3/4 LF as used with the starting position given above.

TRIPLE REVERSE WAVE: Before describing this figure, we would like to quote the late Alex Moore with reference to its performance. "This is a figure danced badly by intermediate-level dancers but with obvious enjoyment." We should point out that our equivalent in round dancing would be at the advanced level and would be applicable to several other figures, such as the Left Eros and the Split Ronde.

The preparation for the Triple Reverse Wave is the same as for the Reverse Wave except that it is advantageous to underturn the Reverse Turn (3 stps) so that the man is backing between wall and DLW. Counting the first step of the wave as 4, the man commences with a heel pull on his L as he steps back on his R for step 4, still holding the between wall and DLW alignment. The strength for the heel pull (step 5) comes from the thigh and calf muscles, and the L ball does not come into contact with the floor until passed by the R. His left shoulder is brought back a little to create the LF curve starting on 5. Step 6 is a continuation of the curving action as the man steps back on his R, now backing LOD on the toe for a lowering to the heel at the end. Ladies have the man's part in his Three Step, where they lead strongly on the L heel, then go heel/toe, toe with strong forward body motion coupled with body and foot rise. The man's pull step enables her to make her connection for the CP in full body flight.

On step 7, the man again steps backward LOD on his L while commencing a heel pull on his R (not quite so vigorous as step 5) and blending to contra body with a right shoulder lead in order to bring the lady to his right side. After lowering to the heel of the R he steps backward on the L moving a little toward DLW while starting to lose some of the left sway created by the right shoulder lead. Ladies step forward in CBMP on 7 going from heel to toe as they start outside the man's right side with a driving step. Step 8 is outside the man on her L toe as she steps forward LOD with a L shoulder lead. On 9 she steps forward on the R toe, then lowers to the heel as she remains in partial contra body (slight RF curve).

Note: We are describing steps 7-9 as a modified Back Feather which is the up-to-date version performed by most dancers. The classic version which is favored by the "keen" dancers brings the lady back in line on step 9 after only a diminished CBMP on 8. The more accomplished dancers also develop a little hovering action between the first and second wave but do not stop any motion in the process.

Steps 10-12 are the same as 4-6 except that a maximum of 1/8 LF curve is taken after the man's heel pull on his L. The usual follows is the Open Impetus Turn, however, a backward curving figure is often used. Because of the long sequence, we will recap the footwork and sways:

Man: H/T, T, T/H; T/H, T, T/H; T/H, T, T/H; T/H, T, T/H; (all SQQ)
Lady: T/H, H/T, T; H, H/T, T; H/T, T, H/T; H, H/T, T; (all SQQ)

Man: S,L,L; S,R,R; S,L,*l; S,R,R;
Lady: S,R,R; S,L,L; S,R,*R; S,L,L;
*On the classic version, blend back to straight. Note also that the classic version curves only slightly toward the wall on the second wave.

FOUR WAVES: Strangely enough, this has only three waves in it but has persisted with the same title for many years. The Four Waves have the same basic 12 steps as the Triple Reverse Wave (all SQQ) but keeps the lady in line throughout. There is still a right-shoulder lead on step 8 where the lady can use either a heel or ball of her L, depending upon the amount of body height retained. The lady can also turn to a closed head on 8 & 9 as well as 11 & 12. This is also a Reverse Wave, Back Feather, Reverse Wave sequence but minimizes the amount of curve on the waves with little or very little curve on the second wave.

We have completed our descriptions for the waltz and foxtrot sections and will continue with those quickstep figures not previously covered in conjunction with the above.

Next Time: Flicker

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, May 2013.


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