Dance is one of the oldest art forms and has existed for ages. Its existence is evident in every culture around the globe. Dance and movement are powerful expressions of feeling. All present movements in dance have been done before, over and over again by somebody somewhere, If some present day "expert" has never seen the movement it is only natural, there are so many. And now in this present era we have "Partner" dancing.
That's Life: "Some days you are the pigeon. Some days you are the statue"
One of the oldest most basic movements in partner dancing is the under arm turn. It may have other names in other dances and in different cultures but in the US, it is still the under arm turn. Of course, there is not only one way. As it evolved, they found at least six ways of doing it and all while both partners are on their feet. There may be others when either one of the partners is off their feet but that is not in our kuleana.
"That Old Black Magic" by Frank Sinatra
The first is the outside underarm turn, in which the lead will lift the lady's right hand with his left and move it to his left. As he steps back, he will use gentle pressure with his right hand on her waist to lead her in turning to her right.
The second is the inside underarm turn in which the lead will lift the lady's right hand with his left and as he steps back, moves it between them to his right. He will also remove his right hand from her waist while she turns to her left. Let it be fun as you are learning, it is all very simple and all it requires is a few trials as you go along.
"I Can't Get Started With You" by Bunny Berigan
There are only about one hundred dances where these movements are available. Needless to say they may not be done in many of the International dances. It is a common movement in American Waltz, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Mambo and Bolero. Also common in at least 50 other Latin American Dances.
These two are the easiest to learn and most commonly used. But our readers are going to use the others too. There are four other basic under arm turns. What are they? Who knows? "Maybe the Shadow Knows?" Next year, I may cover it. -- Jason
Pub's Side Note: Dear Lord; I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self-indulgent. I have not whined, complained, cursed, or eaten any chocolate. I have charged nothing on my credit card. - - But I will be getting out of bed in a minute and I think I will really need your help then.