Traveling Side by Side Basic Step

When the leader is stepping
right, the follower is step-
ping left -- the same as in
standard closed position

DT: There is no hop in this video. If the leader does the hop, what difference does it make?

Morley: It’s more fun.

DT: ....but should both be either hopping or not hopping together, each doing what the other is doing?

Morley: No, it is not necessary for both to be doing the same thing, hop or no hop.

Monique: We dance at the beginning usually without the hop to get warmed up before we get carried away by the music.

Morley: She hops more than I do. Another thing is that if the music is slow, it is hard to hop.

DT: Monique, you are walking forward in this one. Is it less tiring? Do you need a break sometimes from walking backwards?

Monique: If I were only doing that one step I would be tired of it...

DT: I mean physically tired.

Monique: No. It’s more a matter to me of a variety of things to do. You wouldn’t want to do the same figure over and over. It’s nice to do a lot of things forward, backward, side to side. It keeps it interesting.

DT: So fatigue at this point is not an issue to you?

Monique: No.

Morley: Many dancers only know two, maybe three moves.

DT: And I bet they have fun!

Morley: Of course.

DT: Morley, I see that your right hand almost reaches to Monique’s hip. Is that the ideal hold in side by side open position?

Morley: A leader should change the handhold all the time depending on what he wants to do. In the video I am just traveling side by side and that long of a reach is fine. If you wanted to do something out of side by side, you might need to put your right hand on the follower’s shoulder blade where you have more control.

Monique: Different dancers put their hands in different places from the hip to the shoulder blade and everything in-between. The important thing is that the lead is clear.

DT: That fits in with the DanceTutor theme -- if it works, do it! (laughs) And quite often more than one thing works. That comment also underscores that leaders dance the figures they know over and over, the same way, and that followers enjoy more variety because different leaders know different figures. Morley, is it a followers’ world?

Morley: Well, it helps to know your partner. I know how much I can get away with with Monique.

DT: Do you mean that the leads are different with a familiar partner?

Morley: More automatic I would say. More sure.

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