|The Kilian Position|
Today my coach introduced me to the first of three preliminary pattern dances, the venerable Dutch Waltz. She also introduced me to the most basic of dance holds, the Kilian Position. For the benefit of the over flow viewers from my other blog, the Kilian Position is as follows: the two partners face the same direction with the lady to the right of the man and slightly ahead of him. The man holds the lady's left hand in his left hand and places his right hand on the right side of her waist. The lady places her right hand on top of the man's and forms a triangle with her arm by bending the elbow.
After adopting this position we pushed off and skated in a drunken stagger down the long axis of the rink. I was simultaneously attempting to remember and then skate the basic pattern which she had only moments before outlined: a left progressive followed by a right and then left swing roll and another progressive, this time to the right. The dance continues with a LFO edge, a RFI edge, another left progressive into a RFO swing roll finishing with another pair of LFO/RFI edges. At this point the dance pattern repeats down the other side of the ice. The test involves three repeats of the pattern or basically one and a half laps of the rink:
I say a drunken stagger because this very unschooled dancer was constantly out of step with his partner and consequently we were alternatively tugging each other or bumping shoulders. Can you say synchronicity--that lilting, graceful flow of two skaters skating as one? Easy enough to say, very much harder to do!
Here's a youtube video of well known ice dancers Terri Levine and Mike Ricigliano showing proper form for the Dutch Waltz:
The coach spent our remaining time demonstrating back swing rolls, which she said I'll soon need. These I was able to mimic in a crude way which, like the Dutch Waltz, will take much refinement. At this point our thirty minutes was up. No blood was drawn and I used the remainder of the session to practice those back swing rolls.