Step is a movement of the foot from here to there. A Figure is a
specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete, is often
standardized, and is widely accepted and used as one component of a
Slow Two Step, Fallaway Ronde
by Harold & Meredith Sears
The Fallaway Ronde is not a complete
figure. It is a step and an action, and subsequent steps will need to
be cued, but this figure is an interesting study in lead and follow.
Let's suppose we are in closed position, facing the wall, with trail
feet free. In one slow count, we step side right (lady side left)
turning to semi-closed position both facing line of dance (LOD). At
the same time, ronde the left foot counter-clockwise (lady ronde R
CW) beginning to cross the lead foot tightly behind the trail foot.
The next step will be back, and this will put us in the actual
fallaway position. Again, the rest of the measure has to be cued. For
instance, we might start with the lead feet free, do a side basic
toward LOD (SQQ); and then a fallaway ronde, behind, side (SQQ);
moving toward RLOD.
The man's lead for the Fallaway Ronde
turns out to be quite busy. His actions all happen at about the same
time, but if there is a sequence, it might be the left sway that
comes first. This opens the lady's head and causes her to think about
opening out or turning a little right-face. At the same time, he
begins to turn his hips to the left and bumps her with his right hip.
Now, this sounds a little crude. In dancing, we don't push, shove, or
bump our partners -- we "lead" them -- but still . . . As
I step side, I turn my hips to the left to begin my ronde, and it
feels like I'm bumping Meredith with my right hip as I do that, and
she tells me that she feels a bump. She has just taken her side step,
so her weight is on her left foot. The part of her body that is free
is her right side, so the "bump" causes her right hip and
right leg to swing out turning right-face. I am turning my hips left
and rondeing my left leg left-face, so we ronde together.
It's interesting to compare a simple
Chasse -- side R, close L, side R (SQQ) -- to a Fallaway Ronde,
behind, side (SQQ). During the "side close side," there is
no sway change and no hip bump. Do them both for yourself, and you
can clearly feel these two leads for the Fallaway Ronde.
Third, the man can use a little
pressure with his right hand on her back to reinforce her ronde.
Tighten up a little on the left side of her back, and that will leave
the right side freer, by comparison, to do its ronde and behind step.
And fourth, the man uses right-face
upper-body rotation to continue to propel her ronde. Don't push with
your left hand, but rotate the whole upper-body frame to lead her
right leg around in its arc. You will notice that you are turning
your upper body to the right but your lower body to the left, in its
ronde, producing quite a twist. This is your job, gentlemen, and your
pleasure -- to get some of your body to dance your own part of the
figure and to get the rest of your body to dance the lead for your
Published in Dixie Round Dance Association (DRDC) Newsletter, April 2013.