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7.19 On Ducks And Neck Wraps

There are three kinds of Ducks – shoulder, armpit, waist. The level of the man’s hand on the woman’s body is the level of the duck for the woman. Ladies – wait until the last possible instant to do the duck, then snap your head back up quickly. Men – stop her rotation in CCW shoulder ducks using your fingers – let her shoulder rotate right into your hooked fingers.

A shoulder roll should be a TOTALLY leadable step (the guys hand is all the way across her back and his fingers are in her armpit) However, I will admit that for safety’s sake, the leader should always call the NUMBER of rolls we’re going to do. It’s not the entry that has a bad lead, it’s the exit. The woman coming up with the man trying to lead one more can be disastrous, as can the man trying to catch the woman to stop her while her head’s still down. Also, “One”, “Two”, “Three” and “Four” are much more easily understood in a noisy club than “Shoulder rolls!”

The following series of steps is presented here because it incorporates a number of advanced lead/follow/turning techniques.

An “illusion” is common accent for WCS, done when spinning the lady into a wrap. For a neck wrap, instead of stopping the lady when she reaches the wrap, the spin is continued for one more revolution. The lady ducks her head, goes under the arms one more time, and then returns her head to ‘normal.’ Done in a spin, it has a very nice effect – turning doubles into triples. The ‘illusion’ is that the lady has spun one too many times. If she ducks under quickly enough it is difficult for the casual observer to tell how she accomplished the extra spin, as opposed to being ‘all wrapped up.’ It is essentially a duck out of a neck wrap except that the duck is done on a continuation of the turn that got her into the neck wrap in the first place. The whole idea of the duck after the neck wrap is to keep hold of her right hand that is neckwrapped while she does the extra turn. A word of caution, this duck isn’t 100% leadable, you can help by raising your hand slightly, but if she doesn’t duck it can look pretty weird and could possibly hurt (she ends up with her face in the crook her elbow, so it most likely will just look weird, but it’s so weird you’ll never convince anybody you meant to do it). While the move is leadable – I’ve never had anyone follow it correctly on the first try. Most ladies try to keep their heads up, or they try to force their hands up and over their head (why?). Generally after a little instruction about what I am expecting, and showing them what the lead feels like they will begin to follow this move without any problems. I generally don’t raise my hand or arm. Instead I keep them at the level of the ladies shoulders, with my forearm parallel to the floor. I find that if my arm suddenly goes up as their head goes down it tends to knock the lady off balance in her spin.

You can also do an illusion in a different way. Make sure that you quite emphatically put her hand wherever you want it to be in the end, and then let her hand slip out of yours, and catch it again after the extra turn. (The better followers understand this, and don’t retract the hand after you let go.) I do this quite regularly, leading women into a tuck with a double spin to hammerlock. Here you keep hold of the ladies’ right hand, allow her to do an extra turn by letting go of her left, and then pick up her left hand to go into the hammerlock the 2nd time around. (After a few tries I once had a rather petite woman (who spins like crazy) do, instead of a single/double (Mario’s term, I think: full left turn to tuck, one-and-a-half right turn out) a double/triple (so to speak) using such slip-through turns. And all in six counts …) The ordinary single/double starts from an open two-hand hold, then into a single lady’s left turn into a wrap and then a double right turn into a hammerlock. The wrap stops her turn, and from there it’s not too difficult to change directions.

The accent can be done as a ‘body illusion’ if the lady is spinning into a ‘sweetheart’ or ‘waist’ wrap. The wrap is placed higher than normal – the joined hands are up at the ladies arm pit instead of being at her waist level. When the lady would normally wrap into the ‘waist’, the lead causes her to duck under, bending her head and shoulders down. The lady then does an extra spin as in the ‘neck illusion.’

Mario Robau demonstrated this while suggesting that we experiment with tuck-turns; you can bring your partner into a hammerlock by keeping hold of her left hand out of a tuck-turn. It’s real simple and looks real good. I’ve seen Mario do this tuck to hammerlock – followed by a ‘single/double’ down the slot to the lady’s neck. Then it was a 6 count basket out of this wrap. Pretty impressive! 🙂

– You begin with the lady facing you in a hammerlock, mans right hand to lady’s left in a hammerlock behind her back, and lady’s right hand in mans left, you are facing each other.

– On 1,2 get out of the slot to your right, leading the lady forward.

– On 3&4, lead the lady into a single inside (left) turn, do not take either hand over her head. Take your footwork beside the lady as a side, cross (or close), side. Lead the turn with your right forearm across her tummy, *let go* of this hand – this is the key to the pattern. Your left hand will go to the front of the lady’s right shoulder, as she is turning. Your left arm will end up diagonally across her upper back, palm out, hand over her right shoulder, still holding her right hand. The turn is stopped with pressure from your left forearm on her back. It is important that your left hand is on top of her right shoulder – this makes the next lead easier.

– On 5&6 the turn is reversed (right hand turn). The lead comes from your left forearm across her back. Do not take the hand over the lady’s head. Your left hand will stay near her neck. She will unwrap, then wrap into her neck. Your should *pick up* her left hand with your right after she is facing you. The lady does 1.5 turns. Take your footwork back into the slot. You should be in front of the lady, with your left hand around her neck, and having picked up her left hand in your right hand. I will usually trail the back of my right hand at the ladies waist as she does the ‘double’ on 5&6. It helps regulate how far she will travel down the slot during the spin. That is also my indication to her that I want to pick up her hand when that spin is finished.

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