7.9 On Leading Turns About Her Axis
Turns should be led throughout, and there is always a connection that should be maintained. This is not to imply that it is easy to do any of this correctly. Leaders must stand close to the turning followers, and not be afraid that they are going to get hit by an errant arm or stepped on by an off balance follower. Followers must not travel into, during, or out of turns, (unless they are supposed to be traveling turns). Followers must be balanced while turning, and not rely on their partner to balance them through their raised arm. Leaders must lower the follower’s arm to normal dance position to signal the end of a turn.
On one of Mario’s tapes he spoke for awhile about taking the follower into a spin. To summarize:
- The leader does NOT need to ‘STIR’ the follower during the spin. ‘STIRRING’ destabilizes the spinners rotational axis. The linking hands should be centered above the followers head in a comfortable position for both the leader and follower.
- The momentum to spin (if needed) is transferred to the follower at the beginning of the spin; usually with the RIGHT hand and always from a position between the shoulders and waist.
- If you want the spinner to spin at a point on the floor, do NOT throw the spinner down what would be a “traveling line of dance”.
I recall feeling a marked difference in how leaders led turns after Mario Robau (Jr.) got them to realize followers need a stable AXIS. In moves with a two-handed hold Mario tells leaders to lead with the hand that’s closest to the followers’ center point of balance. Prime example: the single-double (left pass, with 1 left turn on the first triple, 3/2 right turn on second triple). This can be led completely with the right hand (if you start from regular two-handed hold), while the left hand keeps still, keeping the follower balanced by providing an axis.