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Figures Without Phase Ratings IV

by Roy & Phyllis Stier
July, 1991

RUNAROUND: This is a layman's term for several figures that resemble a "running around" action as a continuation of a standard figure. We will describe the normal types as used in ballroom and some round dances. These can only be used in waltz rhythm because of the count sequence and musical adaptation.

CONTINUOUS WING: As the name indicates, the preparation is a Wing (from any of the three positions but nearly always from the one starting in SCP) where the man initiates a LF turning action. He gives the impetus from crossing behind on his L with a LF rotation, then maintains nearly a flat foot on his R for step 2 while using weight on the ball of the foot as he allows the heel to rotate. The man's L is used for a small paddling action to maintain the rotation as weight is transferred alternately to the ball of the foot. Ladies use what can be described as cross steps where the paddling action is on their R and the L is used to position the body. The count used is 1&2&3 . . . and the lady's crossing step is on the "and" as she makes her larger turning action. It is important to maintain a compact SCP throughout, where it may be necessary to blend to this configuration on the first step after the Wing.

More often than not, a 6-count is used (= 2 measures) because it is not too speedy and leads to a more easily controlled exit, however, a 9-count is not uncommon. A good rule to remember is that the foot nearest your partner is on the numerical count and the outside foot on the "and." Sometimes the man will finish with L behind R in a twist position by underturning and then will use a checking action for a right-turning figure to follow.

CONTINUOUS DOUBLE REVERSE: To lead this Runaround, the man completes two steps of the Double Reverse Spin, but when he closes for the toe pivot he turns his body to the left. This then follows the action of the Continuous Wing where the lady must feel like she is doing a series of side closes. Because of the starting position, this figure has a timing of 1,2&3&4& . . . and the lady will keep a closed head as she blends into compact SCP.

This figure has a normal count of 9 (= 3 measures) because of the entry speed. When using the 9 count, the partners must start to reposition themselves on counts 7 & 8. The lady can end either on the man's left or right side, or as in a normal Double Reverse Spin where the man must use a ronde action to bring L to R with no weight. In any event, the man must use a higher body line than in the Continuous Wing, and the lady has to develop more rotation power.

CLOCKWISE RUNAROUND: Somewhat of a coined name for a clockwise movement, it can be considered the generic term that is now accepted for this sort of action. Actually it can be danced from almost any position that permits the lady to step outside the man with a R-foot lead. A typical entry would be from a Left Whisk where the man simply untwists and uses his L to paddle while the R is kept nearly flat on the floor. Ladies have a 1,2&3& . . . count because of the untwisting action. The numerical count is on the outside foot, however, and the weight is on the lady's R for the "and" count as before.

Because of the possibility of mixing up the action on the RF turn for this figure, we will describe the initial action in more detail. It will be a follows for a starting position other than after a Left Whisk. On step 1, the man starts a RF turn on the ball of the R with nearly a flat foot and moves a little to the right to lead the lady outside on his right side. This will result in an approximate turn of 1/8 RF and should be accompanied by a little right sway (lady left). On step 2, the lady is outside the man as she maintains weight on the ball of the L while her R is to the side and slightly back. The man is now on a flat foot for his R and into a paddling sequence with his L as both lose the sway and continue as described above. An easy exit after, say, 9 counts, is to open to compact SCP and move forward in whatever facing position is desired.

STANDING SPIN: Another generic term that describes a compact turning action where the partners are staying up in a high body-rise position. The Continuous Double Reverse is only one of several choices and we do not imply that this is a limiting option. For instance, the LF-turning Runaround can start with a leg hook (man's L XIB of R) or from an Opposition Line, etc. The Left Whisk to a CW turn is a sort of leg hook lead but does not qualify as a Standing Spin -- ditto the Continuous Wing (the body line is basically down). On the other hand, the Fleckerl, as used in the Viennese Waltz, is not listed under the normal Standing Spin but certainly qualifies. We will cover this later on in the Viennese Waltz section to follow.

Next Time: Bounce Fallaway Reverse

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, March 2013.


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