Rules of Dance – WCS

I.        Reason for doing it

  1. Your beauty
    1. Technical prowess
    2. Aesthetic body lines
    3. Aesthetic flight/function/flow
  2. Your sense of fun
    1. An escape from reality
    2. Metaphor for reality
    3. Surprise, sadness, emotion
  3. The story you tell
    1. The body parts telling it
    2. The rhythm that tells it
  4. Your purpose for being on the floor
    1. Show off!
    2. Got to move to music
  5. What attracted you to dancing
    1. Envy
    2. Narcissism
    3. Sense of belonging, part of a bigger thing
    4. Part of community

II.      Leader Manifesto

  1. Maintain safety
    1. Abandon anything that will harm you
    2. Preserve all joints, body parts by either locking joints or relaxing
    3. Assist partner’s safety; cause no harm to partner
  2. Maintain balance
    1. Place your foot/feet under you
    2. Hold your body with posture and tone to keep stable
    3. Ask for support only when she has stabilized
  3. Maintain inertia
    1.  The ability to move yourself
    2.  The ability to stop yourself
    3.  Follow an arc of intertia
    4.  Drive from foot to foot, rather than land on a foot
  4. Maintain leader relationship
    1.  You’re cause, she’s effect
    2.  You’re ahead of her in time
    3.  Indicate an ending to one arc of motion before proceeding to the next lead
  5. Create grip, connection, frame
    1.  Take her offered hand from a Number 1 (pistol grip) position
    2.  Create the grip shape appropriate to the next move
    3.  Move the follower’s connection only after your connecting arm has stretched/compressed
    4. Indicate outside turns from a lifted Number 2 position, inside turns from a lifted Number 1 or lowered Number 3
    5. Align your forearm and adjust your wrist shape to accommodate the path you project for her
    6. Create “walls” in your connection indicating to where she should move
    7. Move her hand in the simplest geometry
      1. Longitudinal with no lifting for longitudinal motion
      2. Lateral with or without lift in combination with longitudinal to indicate turn
      3. Altitudinal to indicate arm placement and head-clearing positions
    8. Lead her bilaterally asymmetrically (but complementarily): one hand should dominate if two hands are being used in a lead
  6. Indicate direction of pattern with body flight preceding her motion in the direction she must travel (roll/glide by sending your mass via your legs/feet)
  7. Adjust slot
    1.  Blocking patterns (sugarpush) should keep connection tool/center in her path
    2.  Move slightly off her track for passes, maintaining your arm position to track her slot
    3. Align head/heel with each of your slots
    4. Move the slot laterally only when necessary
  8. Maintain rhythm
    1. Two walks, a triple step, (two walks), a triple step
    2. Alter rhythm based upon three variations: exchange, replace, syncopate; keep basic weight transfer in mind
  9. Gauge her responses and adjust all subsequent movements once receiving feedback from her (motion, balance, control, connection)
  10. Begin from the simplest axis of communication (longitudinal) and increase the complexity through two dimensions of indication and eventually three (up to six are possible).

III.   Follower Manifesto

  1. Maintain safety
    1. Abandon anything that will harm you
    2. Preserve all joints, body parts by either locking joints or relaxing
    3. Assist partner’s safety; cause no harm to partner
  2. Maintain balance
    1. Place your foot/feet under you
    2. Hold your body with posture and tone to keep stable
    3. Ask for support only when he can help
  3. Maintain inertia
    1. The ability to move yourself
    2. The ability to stop yourself
    3. Follow an arc of inertia
    4. Give the illusion of mass/inertia without requiring him to support/stop you
    5. Drive from foot to foot, rather than land on a foot
  4. Maintain follower relationship
    1. He’s cause, you’re effect
    2. You’re behind him in time
    3. Complete a balance/steadying/inertial/connection task before moving with the leader
    4. This is an illusion
  5. Maintain grip, connection, frame
    1. Offer hand, do not take
    2. Maintain grip, do not create
    3. Maintain hand position (connection point) neutral to the leader; do not move the leader’s connection
    4. Lock joint(s) on attached limb/point, when safe
      1. Shoulder/posture; hip, knee, frame
      2. “Torqued” to sustain lock
    5. Move to the “walls” in his connection
    6. Allow your arm to move (within frame arc) following a turn lead
      1. Outside turns: allow arm to open (elbow away from sternum) from shoulder
      2. Inside turns: allow arm to close (elbow in front of shoulder, forearm rotated toward opposite side of face)
  6. Maintain slot
    1. Generally a straight line
    2. Generally aligned with the room
    3. Align head/heel with slot
    4. Aim torso, toes, nose, pelvis to path
    5. He can move the slot, you cannot
    6. Some patterns have more complex paths; keep alignment when shifting slot(s)
  7. Maintain rhythm
    1. Two walks, a triple step, (two walks), a triple step
    2. Alter rhythm based upon three variations: exchange, replace, syncopate; keep basic weight transfer in mind