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Phase VI Figures continued

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
March, 1991

TRAVELING CONTRA CHECK: This is a modification of the Contra Check where a somewhat diagonal movement is desired in order to follow with something other than a recovery figure. Starting in closed position (CP) and facing any direction (normally DLW) the best preparation is to think of a normal Contra Check with the lowering onto the man's R leg. He leads with the center of the body on the L heel while moving toward a contra-body position using a right shoulder lead and slightly cross body. The R foot must swivel a little toward the L to match the direction of movement and the placement of the L. Almost all of the weight is now on the L as contrasted to the 60% of the Contra Check but using the attendant right sway. Ladies step backward on their R toe in line with the L with most of their weight on this foot, being careful not to lock behind the L. She must lift her left side and start to lower immediately to the R heel while keeping her head to the left. Step 2 is a closing one on the man's R as he brings the foot up close to the L and slightly ahead (up to 2" beyond). He must not drop his right shoulder too far and create a torque momentum. As the legs straighten and weight is taken slowly on the R, the feeling should be like the link whereby the lady is going from a contra body to SCP. Ladies bring their L toe back a little to the left and slightly back of their R with body rise while slowly taking weight and keeping her head to the left. Step 3 is like a follow-through where the man steps L diagonally to the side and brings the lady to compact SCP using a left shoulder lead and forward poise. He should bring his head a little to the right before opening to the left to look over the lady's right shoulder. Ladies bring their right hip back and turn RF to place their R (heel to toe) diagonally away from the man's placement. They can be described as using the opening of the head like a flower in time lapse photography.

In waltz, the Traveling Contra Check is normally done with a long 2-count, as in 12ah3. In foxtrot, it would be SQQ. If used in quickstep, the timing would be SSS.

RIGHT DOUBLE RONDE: We have previously described the Ronde action; however, there are several named figures that incorporate this action, as in the Right Double. It has no phase rating but could well be in VI. Requiring two steps, this figure starts from CP and will be described with the man facing RLOD with a precedes of a Natural Pivot. Although it could start facing from any position, it requires a momentum generated by a RF rotation, such as in the pivot. The man softens his right knee as he steps between the lady's feet to continue the RF rotation while shaping to the left. As soon as the weight is placed on the ball of the R, the L leg starts the ronde action by an extension to the side, which is about 1/4 RF from the starting position (now facing approximately COH). Ladies continue to turn RF on the ball of the L and going to a flat foot while allowing the R to extend to the side. At this point, there is no weight on the extended feet, and both keep their shoulders well away from partners with an upper body compensation toward the ronde foot in order to keep the shoulders parallel to the floor.

Note: The ronde is CCW for the man and CW for the lady; however, the additional 1/4 RF turn gives the impression of a side placement.

Step 2 is a stopping of the rotation by pressure on the man's R heel where he allows the body to continue the RF turn somewhat. His placement of the L is on the ball of the foot to the side and slightly back. At the end of this step, he maintains a fairly high body as the R leg is straightened and the body turns back to the left up to 1/8 with an attendant change of upper body line. Ladies step side and slightly forward on their R going from the ball of the foot to a flat foot but maintaining a high body line.

The above description is the generic one, which leads to a left-turning follows such as a Hinge. If the figure to follow is one going to the right, there is only a small compensatory turn LF at the end in order to change the slight sway where the man will start a RF turn and shape to the right = continuation of the RF turn by bringing in the L foot more strongly and going into a Twist Turn.

LEFT DOUBLE RONDE: Here is a case where the figure is a mirror image of the Right Double. We will not describe the action because of this but note that the normal entry is from a Reverse Pivot and can follow with something going to the right, such as the Rudolph or X-Line. If the option of changing the direction to the left as a follows is used (compensatory RF turn shortened and R foot for the man brought inward farther), a figure such as a Contra Check can be used.

In waltz, the count would be in one measure with the counter action on the second beat but shortened rather than lengthened as in so many figures. In foxtrot, most dancers prefer a S&S rhythm where the "&" is the compensatory action..

Next Time: More Unphased Figures

This column comes from a series published in Cue Sheet Magazine between 1987 and 1992, and is reprinted with permission. The full series is collected in an 86-pg booklet, available for $30.00 plus postage. E-mail Fran Kropf at This article was published in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)  Newsletter, February 2012.


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