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Ballroom Dance

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

Dance Mixers

Line-Of-Dance Mixer. If the followers are positioned such that they face along the line of dance, the Waterfall Mixer easily becomes a more efficient and more effective Line of Dance Mixer.

Waterfall Mixer. The most popular dance mixer is the "waterfall," wherein leaders and followers line up on opposite walls, move toward each other at one end of the dance floor, couples meet, and then dance to the other end of the room where they separate and rejoin their respective lines. This might work for inordinately long and narrow dance floors, but the Line of Dance Mixer, though similar to the "waterfall," is much more efficient on any shape dance floor and for most any size crowd.

Even in a well-organized "waterfall" mixer, dancers are constantly crossing the modified, nontraditional line of dance in order to get their respective places in line. Those who habitually follow the traditional line of dance create even more problems. Worse, the tradition seems to be that the leaders line up facing the line of dance. This adds to the congestion at each end of the "waterfall." Furthermore, the distance danced in a waterfall is rather small even on a moderately large dance floor.

For a detailed comparison of the Waterfall and the Line of Dance mixers, see Dance Mixer Comparison.

Update, Aug. 2007. Recent opportunity to compare the Line of Dance mixer with the lines juxtaposed resulted in a distinct preference for the followers being lined up on the outside as originally designed. Though it seemed gentlemanly to place the women on the inside line, it didn't work as smoothly that way.

It is better in the Line of Dance mixer that all honor the starting position. The mixer works either way, but if the dancers do not move their respective lines to a fixed starting position, the lines tend to "creep" along the periphery of the dance floor. It is not polite for either party to select a preferred partner on their way to the front of the line. Perhaps that is why the "waterfall" became popular; it keeps the couples separated until they reach the starting point. 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.