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Thread: Leans

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    Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by MartinHarper
    Does this lot {PP Drops Ettiquette notes} apply to "leans" too?
    Not *strictly* nescissary on 'leans'; it's much easier for the lady to avoid them. (I think)

    A few tips on doing leans...

    - Always ensure that the outside of your foot is blocking against the outside of your partners. Slide it out if nescissary. If it's further away, the lady's foot can slip. It also means that the weight is concentrated higher and therefore easier to topple. If your feet meet, it ensures better ballance because you know that the lady's weight is not going to be slightly infront or behind you.

    - Make sure that the hips are touching. Take a beat's preperation to pull the lady close. This beat can be used by the lady to say "no", step over the blocking foot, move out of line with the man's hip line or otherwise escape. The hip point is where most of the weight will be taken and ensures a solid 'grounding' point for the lady.

    - When 'lunging' to the side, ensure that it is to the side - placing your foot infront or behind will pull the lady off balance and put extra 'twisting' preasure on your knee joint. Try not to turn your foot; if you do a proper "fencing" lunge, your hips will/should turn and put the lady off balance (If your hips don't turn, your knee has to take this extra twist - ouch.)
    I have found that the best results are from sliding to the side while leaving your blocking foot in place, then bending the knee slightly to continue the descent. This bent knee is used to 'push' up from.

    - Don't try to go down too far: the 'slide' part is where the majority of the lean comes from, not the bending of the knee. When you bend the knee, your heel rises off the floor and your weight goes to the ball of your foot; this is a lot less stable than having the whole 'flat' of your foot on the floor, so any wobbles or balance issues will happen here.
    The further you bend your knee, the harder it is to get back up again - you only need a little 'push' to return you. If you go deep on the dip, there is a huge temptation to stick the bum out for balance, which will draw your shoulder and 'holding arm' forward to throw the lady on the floor.

    (- on a style point, your body and trailing leg should be in a straight line all through the move)

    - On the recovery, don't try to lift both of you at the same time to return to the previous position (ie slowly) unless you are powerfully muscled. Since you are hip to hip, the push from the knee should actually push the lady off your hip (don't keep hold) so you can recover in your own time and just reverse the slide. Do it with the lady and it looks like you are pushing your partner up.

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    - When 'lunging' to the side, ensure that it is to the side - placing your foot infront or behind will pull the lady off balance and put extra 'twisting' preasure on your knee joint. Try not to turn your foot; if you do a proper "fencing" lunge, your hips will/should turn and put the lady off balance (If your hips don't turn, your knee has to take this extra twist - ouch.)
    This is wrong; do not try this!
    Your foot should be 30-45º angle: since the torso is leaning over, you would put a lot of pressure on the side of the knee by keeping the foot straight - almost as bad as trying to turn your foot 90º, except you don't throw the lady.

    { just thinking some more and practicing while waiting for the microwave to go 'ping'}

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    A few tips on doing leans...

    - Always ensure that the outside of your foot is blocking against the outside of your partners. Slide it out if nescissary. If it's further away, the lady's foot can slip. It also means that the weight is concentrated higher and therefore easier to topple. If your feet meet, it ensures better ballance because you know that the lady's weight is not going to be slightly infront or behind you.

    - Make sure that the hips are touching. Take a beat's preperation to pull the lady close. This beat can be used by the lady to say "no", step over the blocking foot, move out of line with the man's hip line or otherwise escape. The hip point is where most of the weight will be taken and ensures a solid 'grounding' point for the lady......



    - Don't try to go down too far: the 'slide' part is where the majority of the lean comes from, not the bending of the knee. When you bend the knee, your heel rises off the floor and your weight goes to the ball of your foot; this is a lot less stable than having the whole 'flat' of your foot on the floor, so any wobbles or balance issues will happen here.
    The further you bend your knee, the harder it is to get back up again - you only need a little 'push' to return you. If you go deep on the dip, there is a huge temptation to stick the bum out for balance, which will draw your shoulder and 'holding arm' forward to throw the lady on the floor.
    Thanks for the tips Gadget. I always find it very unnerving when I'm in a dip and get that precarious feeling, they're more scary than drops in some ways. What should the follower do to help?
    I didn't realise there was any opportunity to "escape" from these moves. I thought my role was total obedience! If I did escape as you describe, what would happen next? I think it would totally confuse an inexperienced leader.
    Love the creative spelling of "necessary", BTW.

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    Registered User ChrisA's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat
    creative
    Love the creative spelling of "random", Jivecat



    Chris

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat
    Thanks for the tips Gadget. I always find it very unnerving when I'm in a dip {?? lean?} and get that precarious feeling, they're more scary than drops in some ways. What should the follower do to help?
    What do Ladies do?: look beautifull.
    Same as the man in terms of placement; make sure your foot is against his and you are leaning on his hip. In terms of styling, I keep hearing that you should look over your far shoulder in a dissinterested manor. If you've got a hand free; an extension, a draw down the body, or anything in the same plane as the lean is fine, just don't put an arm (/leg) forward or backward because it will throw off the balance.
    I didn't realise there was any opportunity to "escape" from these moves. I thought my role was total obedience! If I did escape as you describe, what would happen next? I think it would totally confuse an inexperienced leader.
    There are definetly escapes, {same with dips and drops} - I think it was Gus who I first saw teach the escapes to a lean. {Actually I think that an escape would be a good alternative to teach from the stage for those who didn't want to get dragged into these moves.}

    What would happen? If it's a lean from a basket type hold and you stepped over the block, it would just go into a front-basket. Another alternative is to match the man's lunge behind/infront of him - the motion for the man is the same, and the lady almost follows the same lines as in a lean; she just has her own weight. Or walk/stalk infront of him while he's lunging - the connection should be light enough to allow you to break free. Or push away and lunge in the opposite direction... treat it as an opportunity to "hijack" the dance for a move.

    Inexperienced leaders shouldn't do the move. But they may just think that you have got the move wrong unless you say (while escaping) something like "I don't do leans"

    If you say "no" in that preperation, it can easily be turned into a walk by the lead.

    Love the creative spelling of "necessary", BTW.

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    Registered User Jon L's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    A safer alternative for less experienced dancers, is to instead of doing a full lunge (for the guy) to the side,take a step just a tad over shoulder width, and transfer the weight slightly on to the outside leg, resulting in the knee flexing.

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    Registered User Almost an Angel's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    Some more tips primarily aimed at ladies

    As echoed by Gadget look beautiful (easily done we're beautiful already) - move or use your arm to create an interesting shape (where appropriate and if possible - mirroring your partner is very effective way of managing this)

    Always ensure you are balanced, stable and your foot is braced before going into a lean, if you feel off balance at all there is no problem with stepping through (or lunging) with your outside foot across the leads. I would actively encourage it rather than overbalance both the lead and yourself

    Dependent upon the lean either look at your partner (especially during sexy slow stuff ) or away - some ladies however are uncomfortable with staring intently during close move so guys if we don't look at you it doesn't mean we're not enjoying the move.

    It helps if the ladies have a healthy self preservation instinct when it comes to other people taking their weight whether it's leans or drops/dips etc. The lady should always have her own weight or be able to escape (step across / lunge out)

    Peter Phillips Drops ettiqutte should be followed at all times, and I would really recommend learning drops /leans etc with a fixed partner in a specific class and building up your own knowledge before trying it in freestyle with an unfamilar partner. If you want to teach a new partner a move try to ensure its away from the dancefloor (in a hallway etcor at least at the side) where you can go through the move slowly and if possible have your regular partner demonstrate it.

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    Registered User Whitebeard's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget

    A few tips on doing leans...
    Despite this heading the terms "dip" and "lunge" come up in these tips, doing little to ease the confusion in my mind as to their meaning. Add "drops" and "seducers" to the mix and I begin to wonder where the one starts and the other ends.

    Can anyone make sense of it all. Not that I'll be attempting anything like this outside the class just yet ..... even wiggles are a step too far at present until I'm sure they'll be welcomed.

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    What do Ladies do?: look beautifull.
    Twenty years ago I'd have ripped your head off for a remark like that. Funny how things change, innit? So much more peaceful now!

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    Re: Leans

    As I understand it...

    A "lean" is a move where the dancers are side by side, and the woman is led to lean sideways on the man as he steps (or lunges) to the side. Eg basket lean. I like them, but I've yet to lead one freestyle. I've followed a few.

    A "lunge" is a footwork thing, which is an exaggerated large step or slide of the foot, either forwards or to the side. The size of the step means that you are committing weight on to the moving foot, and also that you get lower on the dance floor. Lunges can supposedly be led and followed, but I'm not entirely clear how.

    It's sounding, from the posts here, that it's not bad etiquette to do leans without asking permission first, for various reasons. This contrasts to proper etiquette for drops, et al.

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by jivecat
    Twenty years ago I'd have ripped your head off for a remark like that.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by WhiteBeard
    Despite this heading the terms "dip" and "lunge" come up in these tips, doing little to ease the confusion in my mind as to their meaning. Add "drops" and "seducers" to the mix and I begin to wonder where the one starts and the other ends.
    "Lean" - as martin said; side to side, weight is on the hip as she comes with you in a gentle step to the side, keeping the trailing leg straight.

    "Lunge" - large step, normally to the side, leaving the trailing leg straight behind you. {tip: try to position the front foot so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor - more stable and less effort. The direction your foot is pointing should also line up with your thigh - less chance of injury}
    Leading a lunge can be done by dragging your partner's foot with your own, but it needs the lady's weight to be on the other foot. Doing it any other way relys on the lady's observation and experiance.

    "Dip" - very similar to a "seducer", but the lady maintains all of her own weight throught the move; normally with the back leg bent under her and front leg straight - the man is used more for balance than holding on to.

    "Seducer" - the man takes the lady's body weight and gently lowers her - this involves a good technique more than strength; braceing and using the whole body rather than just arms/back (although that's what it may look like to a spectator). Only done with a regular partner and practiced.

    "Layback" - the lady leans backwards, lowering herself while bending her knees and trusting the man to counter-balance. Can be very sensual but quite hard to lead properly; you need to get the lady into a r-r half nelson and use the left hand on her right shoulder to indicate the lean. You also need to be really close for it to work and the lady's knee is between your legs. Again, regualr partner and practice.

    "Lean" - generally to the side; feet are planted and both partners lean away from each other, balancing and hoping their grip does not slip. Taught in the cattapult, although seldom actually seen on the social dance floor.

    "Drop" - the man leads the lady into a 'freefall' and uses strength/technique to prevent the lady from hitting the deck. Strong hand-hold and only done with specific tuition and practice with a regular partner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Harper
    It's sounding, from the posts here, that it's not bad etiquette to do leans without asking permission first, for various reasons. This contrasts to proper etiquette for drops, et al.
    Leans are "easy" to escape from, they involve a good solid base and the weight is going down the man's leg rather than into his back/arms; the lady has to trust the man not to go too deep and to keep the same balance point all throught the move. If people actually use a preperation beat, then I see no reason not to lead leans without asking permission (assuming you judge the lady to be of a level to understand it); the preperation is fairly obvious and gives tha lady an opportuinity to decline.
    Personally I try to use the same preperation in dips and seducers; but if they say OK to one, I assume that it's an OK to any other variation in the same "class" and may smooth out the preperation in future ones in that dance {BTW - ask every dance; don't assume that because they have done the move with you in the past they want to do it again - situations change}


    Oh: another small tip for the ladies; don't flap your outside leg up - if it must lift off the floor, slide the foot up the other calf. (it looks poor and throws more weight into the man)

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    Oh: another small tip for the ladies; don't flap your outside leg up - if it must lift off the floor, slide the foot up the other calf. (it looks poor and throws more weight into the man)
    I don't do this (I do the sliding the foot up onto calf) but a related query... I know this is sort of off thread but can anyone offer any useful tips for stopping a foot lifting off the floor in seducers? It does it all by itself, I know it upsets the balance, looks bad etc and I don't get to practice them often enough to remedy it... actually I think I'm answering my own question here, get a guy I trust to start practicing them with me at home (accompanied by LL's DVD of course!)

    But if anyone has any other tips or can point me to a relevant thread that would be good. Did any other women do this when they were learning and how did you stop?! Or am I peculiar in this respect? (Or just peculiar )

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    Registered User David Franklin's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    "Drop" - the man leads the lady into a 'freefall' and uses strength/technique to prevent the lady from hitting the deck. Strong hand-hold and only done with specific tuition and practice with a regular partner.
    This isn't the way I'd use the term - for me, the usual distinction between drop and seducer is whether it uses a hand-to-hand (or shoulder) hold as opposed to a hand-to-body hold. The bit I'd really object to is "freefall"; if you do a drop as freefall and get it wrong, you basically have no chance of saving it. If you do a drop under control, you have a much better chance of salvaging the situation. There may be times (competition and performance in particular) when you decide to do a much snappier drop, but that shouldn't be the 'default implementation', so to speak.

    Dave

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin
    The bit I'd really object to is "freefall"; if you do a drop as freefall and get it wrong, you basically have no chance of saving it. If you do a drop under control, you have a much better chance of salvaging the situation.
    Perhaps wrong wording; you don't need to release the hold/grip or have any lack of control -(in fact you can't do it if you don't have a solid grip in the first place and know exactly where/when/how the lady is falling)

    It must also be said that I have no interest in doing these moves - they require lots of dedication and practice (on a soft floor) with a regular partner to get right, and they are not worth getting wrong.

    (I have seldom seen drops led from body leads - sounds even more dangerous )

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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Almost an Angel
    Peter Phillips Drops ettiqutte should be followed at all times, and I would really recommend learning drops /leans etc with a fixed partner in a specific class and building up your own knowledge before trying it in freestyle with an unfamilar partner. If you want to teach a new partner a move try to ensure its away from the dancefloor (in a hallway etcor at least at the side) where you can go through the move slowly and if possible have your regular partner demonstrate it.
    I like your tips (and everyone elses!) and agree with you about reading Peter Phillips rules - or better still go to one of his classes! I also agree about trying to practice drops/dips out the way of other dancers. Not all of us have a regular partner though - well I do have a husband, but he's not much use in the dancing department as he is completely phobic of it!
    Last edited by Trish; 20th-October-2004 at 04:00 PM.

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    Registered User David Franklin's Avatar
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    Re: Leans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gadget
    (I have seldom seen drops led from body leads - sounds even more dangerous )
    Possibly I was unclear - I wasn't talking about body leads (and I meant to change hand-to-body to arm-to-body but forgot). Let me try again:

    In a seducer, you are essentially using your arm to hold the lady's torso (using your torso as well). The main contact is "man's arm"-to-"lady's body". You don't need your hands for anything other than control, and your whole body is involved in taking the weight. Because the lady's weight is so close to the man's body, very little strength is requried.

    In a typical drop, the man is very definitely using his hands, and he doesn't hold the woman close to his body; both of which mean the leverage situation is less favourable. The hold is usually hand-to-hand, hand-to-shoulder/armpit or hand-to-neck (though I don't do hand to neck drops); I guess I'd still call a hand-to-body connection a drop, but there aren't a lot of ways to safely hold a lady's body up using only a hand.

    I don't know if anyone has a classification which includes the 'oddities' such as the salsa neck drops, where the man supports the ladies neck/shoulders with everything from hand, arm, torso, hip, foot and even nothing!

    While on naming stuff, I don't know that a R-R nelson is always used for a layback. My wife and I would use a double hand-to-hand hold for a really deep layback or my R hand behind her back for a normal, spun or aerial layback (performance only).

    Dave

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