Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Ballroom Dance

J M (Mike) Nelson
Phone: 612-810-0157

Stick to a Good Frame

Some dancers have difficulty in maintaining the position of the dance frame. Leaders sometimes have "drifting" hands, and the follower's extended hand will occasionally drift back so that the leader must reach several inches behind her shoulder. This distortion of their relative position not only affects the aesthetics, it inhibits execution. There are two, easy and inexpensive methods for identifying "drifting" hands.

String. Procure about 5 feet of heavy string, such as macramé cord, tie one end to the leader's elbow and wrap the other end around the leader's extended hand so that the string is slightly taut when in closed dance position. As you dance, the string should remain midway between the torsos. If the hands drift, the string will signal, and if the hand drifts back too much, the offender will get "clotheslined."

Stick. Procure about 40 inches of 1/2 inch PVC tubing, or similar stick, and hold it between the palms of the extended hands with the other end resting on the leader's elbow and lightly held in place by the follower's arm. The stick will be even more effective than the string in closed position, and it will signal the orientation of the interim plane when moving from closed to promenade position. The stick is also useful for helping measure rotation for outside partner steps.

Two-Bit Learning Tool. Take two quarters, or similar objects. Place one between the palms of your extended hands, and place one other under the man's right hand. Dance in closed position, do not grip your partner, and do not drop the quarters.

Stick to a good frame, and you will be a more desirable dance partner. Dance Home Page Dance Curriculum Dance Articles

Copyright (c) 2006, J. M. Nelson. All rights reserved. Reproduction of contents prohibited without prior permission from the author.