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Round Dance Tips by Tim Eum

Tim originally prepared these Tips for the Washington Area (D.C.) Square Dancers Cooperative Association (WASCA), for festivals, and for his local dance club. They are now being reprinted by the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC).

A Few Bolero Figures — Right Pass, Opening Out, Riff Turns.

A Few Phase VI Smooth Figures — Big Top, Split Ronde, Traveling Contra Check, Tumble, and Tumble Turn.

A Few Tango Figures — The Criss Cross, Doble Cruz, Closed Promenade, and Open Promenade.

A Few Turns — Waltz Right Turns, foxtrot Feather, and the Double Reverse.

A Few Waltz Figures — From phase 1-6.

A Waltz Clinic — History of the rhythm, general characteristics, and lots of figures.

Actions — Tips on the Swivel, Fan, Flare, and Ronde.

Armwork In the Fence Line and Others—Tips on smooth arm styling.

Bolero — Tips on the Turning Basic and some lunges and passes.

Bolero Figures — Some more figure descriptions.

Cha Cha Basic — Cha Cha is an offshoot of Mambo and both had their roots in Cuba.

Cha Cha and the Chase — Cha Cha is a fun rhythm, and the Chase is a characteristic figure.

Eggbeater Turn — A bolero figure introduced in 2015 by Curt & Tammy Worlock.

Feathers — Curt & Tammy Worlock did a clinic on "Feathers." It was the best clinic I've ever attended on feathers.

Feathers II — Three more feather-like figures.

Follow My Lead — The value of using lead and follow.

Foxtrot, Intro — Some history, terms, and figures.

FoxtrotThe Foxtrot is a “smooth” rhythm characterized by figures that blend smoothly and glide across the floor.

Hip Twists — The Open, Closed, Advanced, and Continuous Hip Twists in rumba.

Jitterbug Kicks — An unphased jive figure introduced by Tonks in Sunflower.

Jive — Tips on how to dance some Jive figures better.

Jive II — Some history and more figures.

Jive III — Some fun jive figures, from phase III to VI.

Jive IV — An introduction to the rhythm and some basic figures.

Latin Motion and Technique — Latin dances such as rumba, cha, mambo, and salsa are characterized by a sensual, undulating motion that occurs mostly in the lower body (i.e. hips) and legs.

Left-Turning Figures — A discussion of the reverse wave, reverse fallaway, and three fallaways.

Look Up — Don't look at your feet.

Make Your Crossing Steps More ComfortableAny time you do a crossing step, twist your lower body to make the cross easier.

Neck Is Part Of Posture — Keep your whole spine aligned; don't let your head drop forward.

Position Problems — Tips on how better to dance semi-closed, reverse semi-closed, and sidecar positions.

Paso Doble — Tips on the hold, the Appel, and the Cape.

Picture Figures — Tips on the right lunge, same foot lunge, and stork line.

Programming a State Beginner's Dance

Quickstep — An introduction to the rhythm.

Reverse Fallaway Figures — These turn left and move back in semi-closed (promenade) position.

Rumba — Tips on styling and several figures.

Samba — Tips on the hold, Basic, Walks, Left Turn, and Volta.

Shoes — If you round dance regularly, you need to get a pair of shoes that you only use for round dancing.

Standard Figures from I to VI — Helps for the Box through the Telespin.

Stretching — Before you dance, stretch your muscles to loosen them.

Slow Two Step — Tips on how to dance the Basic, Left Turn With Inside Roll, Cross Chasse, and Triple Traveler.

Split Ronde — Tricky, phase VI.

Sway — Sway is inclination of the body. It adds to the good feelings of many dance figures.

Tango"The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on."

Tango Figures — Criss Cross, Doble Cruz, Closed Promenade, Open Promenade

Telefeather —  The Telefeather, a phase 6 foxtrot figure, can be described as a Telespin to SCP with an extra step turning to BJO.

Three Advanced Rumba Figures — The Advanced Alemana, Advanced Sliding Door, and Three Threes.

Timing — Dance timing: slows & quicks, and 1234.

Turning Away From Partner and Coming Back — Sometimes it is as if we playfully leave only to miss him/her and come back again.

Two Advanced Foxtrot Figures — The Top Spin and Tumble Turn both incorporate a Feather Finish.

Two Picture Figures — The Promenade Oversway and Right Lunge.

Two Latin Actions — Tips on how to dance the Dishrag and Snake.

Two Step — Tips on styling, the Breakaway and the Stair.

Upper Body Dance Frame — The secret to dancing "as one" begins with having a good upper body dance frame.

Video Web Sites — They are a tremendous resource for round dancers and teachers.

Waltz — Tips on dancing some waltz figures.


If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.

If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors triquarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.

Aditional articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Richard Lamberty
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)

Go beyond this site. Good instructional books and videos, both new and used, are available at low prices from Amazon. Find other references on our Sources and Links pages.

Alphabetical Index to
and Technique
Glossary of Terms
and Abbreviations
Fred Astaire
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Sources Harold Sears
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