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          (05/29/2013 05:49 wh)

Stationary, or "spot" dance turns: .. Watch that shoulder!

Dance Tip of the week:

Stationary, or "spot" dance turns: .. Watch that shoulder!

How much movement can you get out of your shoulder?  Unless you have a stretchable collarbone... not much.

Why are we concerned about this? Bring your left hand up in front of you, to touch your left shoulder then out again. In doing so we can extend our hand from zero to a couple of feet. Unfortunately when two bodies are connected at the hands and one or both partners are turning, the maximum hand extension is not enough. This happens mostly when the partners are too far apart. Rotating bodies, connected at the hand and turning out of reach either pulls one - or both - off center, or in the best case they loose connection. If neither happens then the rotation stops. Often painfully.

When faced with this problem the obvious solution is to move your shoulder closer to your partner. If you are the one doing the turn you cannot. In fact at one point in the turn your shoulder will be moving away from your partner.

If you are the stationary partner you can move your shoulder closer in several ways. The first way, some dancers try, is bending at the waist. I call it leading with your jaw - and the result looks funny and can be painful.

Another method is to move closer. Often you have no reaction time to move closer; your footwork gets off, and your body is then in the way.

The best way is to rotate away from your partner, moving your shoulder and arm closer to your partner. This is a simple technique and practiced by few. To get an example of how much more arm extension you get stand parallel to and facing a wall. Move your left arm out in front of you, and walk back until the arm is extended and just the fingers are touching the wall. Then rotate to the right. While most of your body moves away from the wall your hand and arm now has much more extension.

When the man is turning the ladies need to keep this technique in mind as well.

Hopefully this will make those Cha-Cha or Salsa pivot turns a little easier.

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(www.twosteptidewater.com The Best smoke free Country & Western two step (2-step, Texas two-step), Ballroom, Latin, Disco (Hustle), West Coast Swing (WCS), Night Club two-step, Swing Dancing for all of South East Virginia (VA) or North East North Carolina beaches areas  (Norfolk VA, Virginia Beach VA, Chesapeake VA, Suffolk VA, Portsmouth VA, Newport News VA, Hampton va, Hampton Roads VA, Yorktown VA, Gloucester VA, Jamestown VA, Williamsburg VA, Hickory NC, and the beaches and outer banks of North Carolina (NC)