During our last dance class the instructor reintroduced the fox trot to us. After doing the tango and waltz for some time, the fox trot was quite easy to pick up. The basic pattern was slow-slow-quick-quick.
After getting down the basic pattern with tempo, we were introduced to the fox trot grapevine. This is a common step found in other fitness related activities, but the gist is basically moving sideways, while alternating stepping behind and in front of the supporting leg.
We were then given the task of nearly traversing the whole length of the room using the grapevine fox trot. This was much more difficult than it sounded as one of the requirements is to keep out shoulders square facing each other while our legs pointed the direction of movement. This really works on isolation of the hips and shoulders in movement (quite the opposite from taiji).
He then gave us a hint to think about the concept of ‘push and pull’ within dancing. After watching him demonstrate it again, I noticed that during the setup, there was a strong turning of the hips to the direction of motion. This results in having the ability to ‘step through’ with the leg instead of step around. Additionally, there was quite a bit of ‘pushing’ with the foundation leg in the movement. In order to truly push with good power, the hips have to really be squared up so that one can ‘push through’. Can we clearly differentiate between pushing and pulling in our movement?
Also, he emphasized in dancing the importance of weight changes on the foot. You have to really be clear of which foot is weighted and which foot is not. Always move with the un-weighted foot. Are we able to clearly define the weighted foot? Are we able to clearly define the transfer of weight within the foot (from heel to toe)?
With these points in mind, we attempted it again. While the result was better, we were still unable to hit our mark. We only made it about 90% of the way down the room, but this gives up something to work on.