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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 04-15-2004
Title : ISTD Test (contd. Part 3) The Waltz
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #178, Thursday, April 15, 2004.

Today's Topic: ISTD Test (contd. Part 3) The Waltz

This is continuation of the series, "So, You want to be a Teacher". Again this a recall of a personal experience of an ISTD Associate test and should not be taken as official word from an individual examiner or ISTD itself.

So, now after all the dance demonstrations and informal introductory discussions came the individual dances. Remember the days when you would come out after and oral examination and each one of your colleague will gather around you and say..."hey what did he ask?.This was a big thing throughout my medical career and it was exciting. So I will recall my dance test stories. Waltz will do for today.

1. How many types of Rise and Fall do you know in Waltz?

This is almost certain that you will be asked about it anywhere you go. Actually if you continue to use common sense in everyday dancing and keep analyzing it, there should be no difficulty and you should know and "understand" the basic which is

"Commence to rise at the end of 1, continue to rise on 2 and 3 and lower at the end of 3." (feet are closing on 3).

If you use correct waltz technique and swing a little this will become very natural for you to understand what it means. If your body cannot appreciate this, you have a problem, sorry. So I had it on my finger tips and therefore we moved on quickly to some variations at bronze level rise and fall. The Impetus and Reverse Corte is different. Actually it will be too much to go into the details here so I want to leave this for your homework. Suffice it to say that in Closed Impetus Man is making a heel turn and usually there is a late rise whenever and whosoever makes a heel turn. So the rise in Impetus is that both the Man and Lady rise at the end of 2. Then both are UP on 3 and lower end of 3. Notice that rise is more abrupt unlike "commence to rise".When it comes to Reverse Corte the Man rises 'on 2' (not end of 2) but lady has normal waltz rise and fall, if you know what I mean. Actually I had known that quite well but Mr. Billet was interested in something more simplistic. He said that it is more important to harmonize you dancing and togetherness rather than be so technical. This is a difficult subject but not that difficult if you analyze, "what-when and why?" The best reference that I can give you is Howard Guy's description. This took about 10 to 15 minutes but right here either you have passed or failed. It is not that difficult for him/her to tell where you stand with this much discussion.

Important: The Rise and Fall will mean that either you will rise in examiners's eyes or really fall, so study this subject carefully. Start with ordinary R&F of Natural and Reverse Turns and then study the Chasse from PP and Natural Spin Turn at the minimum. On the back steps, do not forget NFR.

2. Lowering at the end of 3: I was being a little robotic. Actually as you are lowering you are already beginning to move the other foot. In other words "lower gently and move but do not collapse." I hope I am saying it right.

3. On the back of the turn, use toe in on the first step. I think it is because your CBM is being reflected in your foot. This is not mentioned in the Technique but seems logical. Of course when there is a pivoting action then it will be pronounced and the alignment will be changed to "down the line of dance" (step 4 for man in natural spin turn) rather than backing as in step 4 of a regular natural turn. Similarly in a forward step turning, I think foot is slightly turned out (hmmm).

4. Now came the hardest question: Give the lady's amount of turn and alignment in a Double Reverse spin making a complete turn. I have forgotten all that (not really). Too much mental gymnastics. There are no tricks or gimmicks. Just do it and practice and discuss with your colleague again and again. You can easily spend a month before it settles down logically in your memory (more important understanding) bank.

So, go ahead; study, look at the videos and practice but more important dance/dance/dance and have fun. With best Wishes, Max