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Thread: Pivot turns and penguin walks

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    Smile Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by David Franklin
    (The other exception I find in MJ is that involved in rapid 'paired turns' like pivot turns or penguin walks).
    Is there a difference between pivot turns and penguin walks? Or does the 'or' in the quote above denote different terms with the same meaning rather than two different moves?

    Not the most pressing of enquiries but I have been wondering for a while.

    And on this subject I also wanted to ask other leaders how they feel when leading this/these moves? Very often I feel that personally it hasn't seemed that comfortable but on enquiring of my partner how it felt for them they say it felt fine. It's the exception rather than the norm when I feel it really clicks into place for me - honourable mention to Lory (who was feeling under par at the time - and who'll be the first to quote that out of context??) where I felt the turns went so well I could barely stand up after coming out of them

    Robert

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by robd
    And on this subject I also wanted to ask other leaders how they feel when leading this/these moves?
    Generally: bad about just how poorly I just lead the move. I'm rubbish at these. The few times they've worked I think it is mostly to do with the follower covering for me.

    However maybe I can learn something from this thread .

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by robd
    I could barely stand up after coming
    I know a few blokes like that

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    Registered User El Salsero Gringo's Avatar
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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Sparkles is the expert on leading pivot turns; just ask ZW.

    However, as I see it: there are two prerequisites:

    Firstly you both need a good taut frame.

    Secondly the leader needs fully to get to grips with the follower's weight and to bring it in close. Your centre of mass is somewhere just behind your belly button - bringing your two centres of mass as close together as possible makes the move work, remembering that the contact between you is offset right-side to right-side: lower torso to upper hip. You should both be looking directly over your partner's right shoulder. You should both lean away with the upper body, but the hip-to-hip contact is a must.

    After that, remember that the two of you, with torso's locked by the frame in your arms and chest, together rotate about your common centre of mass - that will be, roughly, half way in between your two belly-buttons. Probably a bit closer to the man's, as he likely has greater mass.

    The rotation is propelled by the stepping of the feet, which walk, clockwise, around circles. The two outer feet (the left for both of you) travel around larger circles than the two inner feet. Therefore the left foot steps further than the right. Also note that the right feet (for both of you) is on the opposite side of the axis about which you pivot. The right foot for one of you therefore steps back (small) as the other's left foot steps forward (bigger).

    It's up to both of you to provide the energy for the move. Whoever is stepping forward (always with the left foot) is providing the propulsion for the both of you at that point.

    With the two of you locked together in frame, it should be comfortable to provide some sway also, in time with the stepping.

    Last point: don't look at your partner in the move. Turn your head out to the left. It makes the rotation easier.

    I hope that helps.
    Last edited by El Salsero Gringo; 30th-May-2006 at 05:08 PM.

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    Basically lazy robd's Avatar
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    Talking Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    Firstly you both need a good taught frame.
    Taught or taut or both? I know it seems nit-picky (and is) but I did read somewhere I think that both Sparkles and Lory have some ballroom background and this could be evident in their excelling at this move


    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    between your two belly-buttons. Probably a bit closer to the man's, as he likely has greater mass.
    I need bigger t-shirts if even you have noticed

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    Last point: don't look at your partner in the move. Turn your head out to the left. It makes the rotation easier.
    And helps you get damned on the eye contact thread when it makes its regular re-appearance


    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    I hope that helps.
    It did, thank you.

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    Registered User El Salsero Gringo's Avatar
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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by robd
    Taught or taut or both?
    Taut - thank you; just in time to edit. (I thaut it looked wrong).

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks



    to ESG's post.

    One of the reasons why the pivot turns work so well when I do them with ZW is that we both have strong thighs (oo er ). The most important points of contact IMO are the hand on the lady's back (shoulder blade), your lower abdomens (tummies) and the insides of your right thighs which should be pressed together.

    I find travelling pivot turns much harder to control than stationary ones, so I aim to keep them as much on the spot as possible. This can be done by rocking between your back and front feet and never entirely lifting your front foot off the floor, so that you can keep your centre.

    Also important is to never do this with your legs straight. It's important to keep them flexed to keep your centre of gravity low which means you have more control over your turns.
    And especailly, as ESG says, keep your head fixed either looking directly at your partner or to the left - your head is very heavy and can easily throw your turns off-balance if you're looking around the room.

    S. x

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkles.
    One of the reasons why the pivot turns work so well when I do them with ZW is that we both have strong thighs (oo er )
    As demonstrated below with ZWs clip on bear technique. It's almost impossible to remove her against her will.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Smile Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    I told ZW she wasn't allowed to 'clamp' me at the T-Jive since parking restrictions don't apply on Sundays.

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    Secondly the leader needs fully to get to grips with the follower's weight and to bring it in close. Your centre of mass is somewhere just behind your belly button - bringing your two centres of mass as close together as possible makes the move work, remembering that the contact between you is offset right-side to right-side: lower torso to upper hip. You should both be looking directly over your partner's right shoulder. You should both lean away with the upper body, but the hip-to-hip contact is a must.

    After that, remember that the two of you, with torso's locked by the frame in your arms and chest, together rotate about your common centre of mass - that will be, roughly, half way in between your two belly-buttons. Probably a bit closer to the man's, as he likely has greater mass.
    Considering that the pivot probably has been assimilated from Ballroom, or Waltz and Quickstep to be more specific, your description is not completely correct. Yes, the two dancers need to be close but only at the hips/pelvis. Like Waltz/Quickstep in general you basically have to make sure that a sheet of paper you place between the hips of the two dancers stays in place. The torso, on the other hand, can, and for looks should, lean slightly back. It makes the pivot nicer and more stable ... and more dangerous as one or both may feel the rush and desire to lean back even more collecting other couples in the vicinity. You can essentially dance a pivot with your hands around the lady's waist and her bending back. The importance in execution of a pivot should be hips down, this is what stays connected.

    In most cases problems with pivots can be sorted in two categories: 'getting dizzy' and 'losing connection'. There is little to do about the first one other than keep doing it. The second, however, is most likely an issue of the knees not locking. Try to lock your knees (right kne of both), which means thigh contact. Once you have got to grips with that pivots should be easy.


    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    The rotation is propelled by the stepping of the feet, which walk, clockwise, around circles. The two outer feet (the left for both of you) travel around larger circles than the two inner feet. Therefore the left foot steps further than the right. Also note that the right feet (for both of you) is on the opposite side of the axis about which you pivot. The right foot for one of you therefore steps back (small) as the other's left foot steps forward (bigger).
    As ESG said, you gain speed by changing weight between your feet. If you do a pivot 'correctly' then you will always rotate on while transferring your weight forwards. The back foot (left) should ideally always step straight back but in practice that is optimistic because it would require the two of you to proctice the move heaps.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    Last point: don't look at your partner in the move. Turn your head out to the left. It makes the rotation easier.
    And gets you dizzy in no time. I personally always look at my partner for the simple reason that she provides the only 'static' point of reference in this sometimes fast rotating move.

    Last edited by Andreas; 31st-May-2006 at 12:34 PM.

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkles
    I find travelling pivot turns much harder to control than stationary ones, so I aim to keep them as much on the spot as possible. This can be done by rocking between your back and front feet and never entirely lifting your front foot off the floor, so that you can keep your centre.
    They are indeed because when travelling your are stepping with 'the wrong' foot. Travelling pivots certainly require a bit of practice between the participating parties before they work and look well. Stationary are a lot easier in these regards.

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas
    ... your description is not completely correct. Yes, the two dancers need to be close but only at the hips/pelvis. Like Waltz/Quickstep in general you basically have to make sure that a sheet of paper you place between the hips of the two dancers stays in place. The torso, on the other hand, can, and for looks should, lean slightly back. It makes the pivot nicer and more stable ... and more dangerous as one or both may feel the rush and desire to lean back even more collecting other couples in the vicinity. You can essentially dance a pivot with your hands around the lady's waist and her bending back.
    I did say "You should both lean away with the upper body, but the hip-to-hip contact is a must"....

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    pivot turns are the fast ones, turning in 90 segments, yes?

    ...Thing is that I lead a sort of 'ballroom pivot turn'* arround the dance floor on occasion. And if we were that close to each other, we would turn sharper, but we wouldn't travel quite as far. I agree with sparkles that the primary contact and lead should be with the hand/arm on the back of the follower.

    * This relies on the follower being able to follow a first move and not insert tripple steps: The lead follows the follower round on the open out section as they pivot on the left and step back on the right. Continue your own momentum to now pivot the follower on their right foot to face you and bring the trailing foot in. Then lead another 'first move', pivoting on the left... etc.
    It relies on the lead being able to match the follower's momentum and get themselves in the right place at the right time, but every follower seems to like being whisked arround the dance floor. Not much hip contact though.

    (I'm sure that every lead dreads dancing near me because I have been known to circle a couple like this and I change the space I'm dancing in quite often )

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by El Salsero Gringo
    I did say "You should both lean away with the upper body, but the hip-to-hip contact is a must"....
    Must have missed that, sorry. But you CAN both lean away, although one will always lean further than the other; ladies first.

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    This is my favourite move, when it's done well. For me there are so many little features that are needed to make this move feel great.

    IMO the pressing contact between the inner right thighs is number one crucial, the pressure on the followers back from the lead's right arm also very important, then the closeness of the tummy buttons, and the strong frame leaning back slightly. I do my share of the pushing round with my left foot (my right foot seems to remain almost on the spot).

    Sparkles is just fantastic at this move , Kev F, SF, PaulF, Andreas and Franck are all very smooth too . ESG has an incredible variation where he can stop the rotation dead on a break, and then restart it! Love that .

    As it's my favourite move and I don't generally get dizzy with it, I am always happy to practise it with anyone wanting to get to grips with it.

    ZW

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Its one of my favourite moves too - and ESG I seem to remember a seminal moment at the jive bar talking you through just how close you had to get to make it work (it was a while ago I grant you, but etched on my memory)...

    Love it with latinlover, feel like we could go on an on and on and on..... and had a great moment with James (not a forumite) at ISH last night where the track dictated that we keep going for almost 10 revolutions and then stopped dead on a break, which we did, and it was magic !!

    There is a guy who come to ISH like to see if he can make you dizzy by going round as many times as he can (sometimes he even counts !!), and I usually respond by speeding him up with my part of the step so that he gives up first...

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by foxylady
    There is a guy who come to ISH like to see if he can make you dizzy by going round as many times as he can (sometimes he even counts !!), and I usually respond by speeding him up with my part of the step so that he gives up first...
    You wanna try that with me then Foxy??

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    Registered User El Salsero Gringo's Avatar
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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by foxylady
    Its one of my favourite moves too - and ESG I seem to remember a seminal moment
    One of many seminal moments! And many more to come one hopes...

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    My favourite move too! What is it that us girls love about being wooshed around in circles at high speed. Or is it that, combined with the fact that there is no choice but to have all that close contact.

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    Re: Pivot turns and penguin walks

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruella
    My favourite move too!
    I love it too!
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