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BALLROOM DANCE LESSON
LEADING & FOLLOWING, PART 1: OPEN POSITION

Leading Oppositional Movement

WHAT IS OPPOSITIONAL MOVEMENT?

Oppositional movement occurs when two partners move in opposite directions, such as they do during a Rock Step in East Coast Swing or Jive.

(1) Establish weight connection first.

(2) Push away with arms (subtle)
(3) Move in opposite direction

The technique for leading of oppositional movement is slightly different than that of leading basic directional movement, where partners move in the same direction. In order to lead oppositional movement, the slight push from the arms is necessary. Otherwise, the follower would move in the same direction as the leader. Still, the pushing action of the arms is not a substitute for the weight connection altogether. The weight connection must still happen before the push.

USE OF ARMS

When used properly, the arms can aid in leading oppositional movement. But what exactly is "proper" use of arms? What makes the use of arms an aid, as opposed to a distraction? Here are a few hints:

  1. The weight connection must still be established, first.

  2. The push should be a subtle impulse, not a strong yank or shove.

  3. Instead of pushing the connection away from your body, push your body away from the connection.

Tip >

Instead of pushing the connection away from your body, push your body away from the connection.

Think of the connection as a fixed point in space. In order to step back, push your body away from the connection. Leaders -- this applies to you, too! You do not need to literally push your partner backwards. The follower will respond to the impulse resulting when you push your own weight backwards.

EXERCISE #1 >

 

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