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One Figure 

A Step is a movement of the foot from here to there. A Figure is a specific sequence of steps forming a set that is complete, is often standardized, and is widely accepted and used as one component of a dance routine.

Paso Doble Fregolina & Farol

by Harold & Meredith Sears

We know the heading says "one figure," but, as you'll see, the Fregolina and the Farol really are just one figure. Usually, we begin in closed position facing the wall. The man appels R (woman L), steps side L to semi-closed position, thru R turning right-face, back L (W fwd R here) to closed position facing reverse. 

In the second measure, he steps back R (W fwd L), bk L turning right-face to banjo position, closes R turning (W side L turning to face reverse), and steps L (W bk R) to a double handhold position, trail hands high, man facing center and woman facing reverse. We will keep lead hands and trail hands joined into the sixth measure. Also into the sixth measure, the man simply stands with no weight changes, shaping toward the woman (his cape), as he passes that cape in front of him, around behind, and then in front of him again. 

In the third measure, the man stands in his proud pose and gradually rotates to the left as the woman steps fwd L passing in front of him toward his left side, fwd R, fwd L, fwd R. On this last step, the man moves his raised right hand over her head and lowers his left hand to lead the woman to spiral sharply left-face to face the wall at the man's left side. The man still faces center. 

In the fourth measure, the man holds and passes his right hand over his head while the woman steps fwd L and fwd R turning a little to the right. He lowers trail hands and she continues the turn and steps side and a little back L, and then back R to face reverse and wall. Here the man can shape to his right, and we look at each other with whatever emotion seems appropriate—perhaps it depends on where the bull is at that moment. During the fifth measure, the man continues to hold and the woman steps fwd L beginning to turn left, continues to turn and steps side and back R, back L, and back R to face line and wall. Again, the man can shape left and connect with partner. These passes by the woman might have a Turkish-Towel feel but they really constitute fancy cape-work. 

During measures 4 & 5, Roundalab calls for a more straightforward walking pass. She steps fwd L behind the man, fwd R, fwd L, fwd R to the man's right side, hands at about waist level and both facing center. At this point, lead hands will be behind the man's back, and trail hands will be extended toward COH. In the fifth measure, the woman steps back L moving behind the man, bk R, bk L, bk R to end at his left side again, facing line. Now trail hands are behind his back. However we do this "behind the back" sequence, these two measures are omitted in a Farol. 

In the sixth measure of a Fregolina, the man holds and releases lead hands to indicate that this pass behind his back will be different. The woman steps fwd L behind the man, fwd R beginning to turn left, fwd L to the man's right side turning to face reverse, and finally presses her R foot fwd to face diagonal reverse and wall, now in front of the man, and placing her right palm to his left palm in a press line. She has done something like a lariat behind the man and around to face. In a small refinement, the man might step back L on beat 3 of this measure, to make it a little easier for the woman to get around. Don't step back any sooner or you'll run into her. 

In the last measure, he shifts weight from both feet to his left (if he hasn't taken the back step in measure 6) and releases hands. The woman takes weight on her R and spins 7/8 right-face to face partner. He holds beat 2 (W touches L), both step side toward line, and both close lead feet to end in closed position facing center with trail feet free. 

Note that the woman takes a step on almost every beat (there is one press and one touch, and alternative styling calls for her to take weight at both of these points, too). The man mostly postures and waves his "cape" in front of and behind himself. Again, you can think of the Farol as a short Fregolina. Instead of passing in back of the man three times, the woman does so only once. The Farol is measures 1, 2, 3, 6, & 7 of the Fregolina.

More Paso figures here, or go to index.

this article was published in the
Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, January, 2010

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