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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 09-02-2004
Title : Fish Tail" Men! Read This!
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #197, Thursday, September 2, 2004.

Today's Topic: "Fish Tail" Men! Read This!

Sometimes a little detail makes all the difference in the world specially if you are the "Leader". In my earlier days I thought Quickstep was the most fascinating dance and only an accomplished dancer could do a Natural Spin Turn in QS and I used to dream of a day when I would be able to do it. That did not take too long and soon I also understood the difference between an underturned and an overturned spin turn.

Then came the Fish Tail which I prepared for a Showcase and I found this figure to be very fascinating and I got quite an applause doing it; thanks to my teacher Tanya who did it and I followed. But since then, I have been analyzing all the little details and I really think there are some intricacies that every man must know. It is not a difficult figure at all and let me share some thoughts.

What is Fish Tail? It is named because it resembles the movement of a "flip" of a fish tail hence the name "Fish Tail". Men!.. Let's assume you are facing DC, weight on LF

1. RF forward in CBMP in right outside position with a 'check' feeling (S)

2. Move LF slightly forward,crossing behind the RF (Q) and start to Turn R

3. Step 3 is the key to success. Move RF "forward and slightly to right" (Q) in "Right Outside Position" and finish 1/4 of turn to right, end facing diag. wall and now simply do a forward lock step as follows....

4. LF diag forward (Q)

5. Cross RF behind LF, (Q)

6. LF diagforward (S)

7. RF forward in right outside position (S), end with any Natural Figure.

The only reason that I am writing this tidbit is that when I was doing it with Mirrelieux the other day, I did not step outside partner on step 3 and I ended up tangling with her right foot and it felt clumsy. Then I recalled my earlier research and I assured her it will not happen again and this time I did it with attention to details of step 3 as written below and she said "VOILA" which I like.

1. The step RF, is forward and "slightly" to side

2. The step is "small"

3. The step is "just" outside partner's RF (not LF).

4. It is a step just outside partner's RF so it tends not to be in CBMP.

5. All this because the timing is "Q" as opposed to "S" in normal forward lock

6. You are UP and footwork is T

MY Confusion: If you read the recent edition (July '94) of Ballroom Technique from ISTD on page 87, it says "step 3 is just outside partner's LF and this I find difficult to understand, I mean the partners LF business. So I went to Alex Moores "Ballroom dancing" and he did mention "outside partner" but did not say any thing about partners LF. Guy Howard did not even mention the outside partner on step 3 and I think it is an omission by error. So I sought some guidance from a well respected coach, Miriam Ellis, Examiner and Fellow ISTD and it is her opinion also that the footnote should be RF and not LF which is possibly an errata. Actually it is nothing that unusual; we always do step RF forward outside partner when we ( Men) do a forward lock step, so what's the big deal?

I wish some ISTD gurus will comment on this tidbit and send their critique at . No Tid-bits for next 2 weeks, With Best wishes, Max