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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 01-13-2005
Title : Volume and Space in Ballroom Dancing
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #208, Thursday, January 13, 2005

Today's Topic: Volume and Space in Ballroom Dancing

Now that the holiday blues are over, it's time to talk dancing tid-bits. Volume and Space in Ballroom Dancing sounds funny but really if you want to achieve a higher level of projection, these aspects of your silhouette must be given due consideration.

Why did I pick this topic today? I attended a session with Pierre Allaire on Tango Technique the other day at Dancesport Academy. The following words he used were very striking. He said that "The partnership Space is defined from Elbow to Elbow." This had such a pronounced effect on my brain that I suddenly woke up, moved to where he had Pam in dance position and really put my hands from his leftelbow to Pam's left elbow. It felt like I was holding a huge basket between my hands. Both of them are perhaps under weight but the Space and Volume they occupied was phenomenal. This of course does not preclude a good close contact at the center of their bodies. So I thought I would mention Volume and Space in my Tid-bits today.

What is meant here? For a keen dancer, there is nothing more dramatic to eyes than to see a good couple dancing a Waltz or Foxtrot or any other ballroom dance for that matter. It is how they present themselves to an onlooker. If their partnership takes "more volume and space" and they have a good posture, poise and balance, they have incorporated all the essential elements of ballroom dancing and they will look good.

Define what is meant by Volume and Space? Actually if you become very robotic and technical, Volume = Length multiplied by Width and Height. It is expressed as Cubic what ever feet or centimeter. For dancing purposes we will keep it simple. Let's say that a partnership will look good if they occupy "more space" as they hold each other. In other words their combined volume is the maximum they can assume keeping their Posture, Poise, Contact and Balance etc.

Make it simple? The Hold and the Frame of upper bodies will determine the silhouette of your partnership. That is where also comes the "Universal Right Arm" concept of the Man as presented by Stephen and Jennifer Hillier which I have described in my previous tidbits. So much for today. Where the Elbows should be in relationship to man's body plane? I am a little confused by the controversial information presented by different coaches and I will express that later in my tidbits without much hesitation. Hope you had a nice holiday season and best wishes for a very happy new year. Please always send me comments, Max at