Notes from Amanda’s 2015 Workshop

Following are John’s notes on Amanda’s 2015 workshop on American bronze waltz and cha, as well as silver rhythm.

Bronze Waltz

  • Remember the Tic Tac Toe board on feet – inner edge, middle, outer edge – also toe/ball, arch and heel
  • Exercise 1: Sit weight back into heels a bit, roll forward onto toes, rise up from ankles. You should all be able to do this on one foot. (Ladies – practice w/o shoes!). Aways bring leg under body with a flat foot. Shift weight to heels while lowering,  roll foot forward (leg slightly bent) – “Pull” weight from back foot to forward foot, collect back foot quickly. Going back –  Lower while moving weight to ball of foot, reach back, move weight, pull forward leg in, rise on ankles.
  • Exercise 2: on toes, release foot as you lower – do not lower first then move.
  • Exercise 3: stand on toes – push off from standing leg and reach as far as you can!
  • Rotation – rotate the thigh, foot “turns” as a result – in other words, foot is now in a new direction due to the new angle of hip
    • Followers – it is your responsibility to determine how close you are to your partner
    • Leaders – always bend knees prior to contact with ladies
    • Followers – inner edge of right thigh connects with the lead’s outer right leg, ribs connect with the lead’s body
    • No need to look at his/her feet – foot is straight down from shoulder
  • Posture Exercise:  Back up to wall, let butt and shoulders touch wall, head should touch wall as well. In other words, C1 and C2 where the head connects to the spine should align with the rest of the spine.
  • Frame: Leaders – palm of left hand connects to the follow’s left shoulder blade – give some compression and the follow will adjust head accordingly. Make sure the frame feels forward.
  • Closing feet – make sure feet always close cleanly


  • Exercise 1: Hips don’t go side to side – think forward and back. As knee bends, hip drops, As knee straightens hip moves forward  (upper body stays parallel). When bending the knee, make it cross the body (small child has to go to the bathroom look).
  • On cha cha action, think side switch and replace. Inside of feet should be sore when done correctly!
  • Exercise 2: do 2 sets of basics, then two sets of cross-overs, then two switch turns
  • For switch turn – think cross over with a check, then swivel on front toe
  • We should never have 2 bent legs anywhere!!!

East Coast Swing

  • Same leg stays bent, not alternating, unlike cha. Feet are lifted ever so slightly – if you drag, you tend to feel cha action rather than swing: Ball, Flat, Ball/Flat
  • Shoulders make an infinity symbol. Think up and over
  • Body must move in order for the feet to move
  • Think of the rock step as the pedaling of a bike. Hip stays forward until you make the weight switch

Silver Rhythm

  • Exercise 1: Swivels – step forward, use knee to swivel you then repeat with other leg. Weight must be fully over foot. (Used for first half of switch turn, cross over, and so forth).
  • Exercise 2: Inside swivel – turn on back toe only (switch turns). One other version as in toe swivel walks, when you step onto foot, back foot must also swivel
  • Rumba patterns
    • Leader: Forward box, on back half, lead cucaracha to the left for lady while stepping forward (Back, check left and forward right), back side side. To make it silver we add open break with inside turn and catch her, then hook step (think curving rock step) side
    • Follower: Back half of the box, then forward  to under arm pencil turn (Forward together back) to step back on right leg similar to fan position, turn back in, open break to be caught, led forward one step and then a side step
  • Cucaracha can be done in forward motion for cross over. (Still quick quick slow timing)
  • Swing
    • American Spin. – (cross hand hold). rock step,  Bring left shoulder forward as you triple forward, switching to right is what pushes her off. Aka leaders can and do lead this pattern (via body shape!)
      • Spinning –  use left side to wind you up
    • Continuous tuck turn – use single time timing. (Point step, point step, point step) Leaders just step – no pointing.
      • Be sharp on flips.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s