Saturday, October 22, 2005

Cross Step Left Turn Pivots

At Friday Night Waltz last night, I was doing some cross step waltz and started thinking about the left turn pivot move. Richard had some tango-y name for it, I think, which I can no longer remember. It's the one where you cross into the middle of the room, then do three left turn pivots, then start a follow-cross-behind grapevine on 5, finishing up with more grapevine steps and an underarm turn. Anyway, it's a fun one, especially once you get the hang of keeping the turns tight enough to actually be able to lead that first cross-behind step.

But what I was noticing last night was that this move starts with a fantastic flurry of energy, which can be great for matching something dramatic in the music. The reverse direction and the acceleration and the zippy little pivots are really fun for that. But after that the momentum kind of dies with the grapevine, because all of a sudden you're not turning anymore, and you've got several steps to kill before the underarm turn. So it's not necessarily the best followup if the music isn't also winding down there.

Eric was kind enough to help me experiment with this a bit during a break, and I found that one simple thing to do is to just add two more pivots after the first three. It keeps the spinning going longer and it isn't actually too hard to then open up and go back to the right turning basic step afterwards. So not fancy, but it works.

An idea that didn't work was to add the 5-6 right turn pivot move at the end (going into an underarm turn on 1). It seemed good in theory (and on my own in the hallway) since I liked the idea of the direction changing pivots. But with an actual partner it turns out that your feet are align entirely wrong. You've got left feet in the middle for the left pivots, and there's no way to get right feet in the middle in time for the right pivots. Bummer.

Eric also came up with the cool idea of going into the first two grapevine steps only, then the underarm turn on 1, snagging the extra hands on the way to get into matador position. That was really slick, and probably the best idea we ended up with. I need more practice doing things from matador position, though, so I could do that and still have a good followup.

Anyone else have any good ideas for what to do after left turn pivots?


GazanKhan said...

Right turn pivot could be a good idea. We don't have to fallow just any rules my friend,I for instance, most of time do things of my own invention and people sometimes actually like them! at least they pretend to; but the important thing is that I myself like them.

Tandava said...

Oh, I'm all for following your own invention. But some "rules" are about what's actually possible, rather than just what's proper. To get the right turn pivot in there, I would first have to do some serious trickery to get the feet in the right place for it, so I'm afraid it seems to be one of the former types of rules. Unless someone has a brilliant idea for getting around *that*. :-)

GazanKhan said...

You are right my friend; I guess I had taken it too easy! tried and tried and could't and couldn't. Acutualy I'm not that good, just have ,maybe, too much confidence. Be happy.

Anonymous said...


Donald Harvey said...

Here in Portland we call that the reverse moulinette after Seattle's custom, and usually follow up by turning it into what the tango-ers call medea luna around the 2nd or 3rd pivot--so that the net effect is that by count 4-5-6, you are turning it into a modern twinkle, back into the start of the traveling cross-step. If feels pretty good, and gives you lots of whippy direction changes. Follows almost universally report to be a pretty cool ride.