TPF001: Frame Basics

 

What is a frame? How do you use it? Why is it important for dancing?

In today’s video I talk all about the basics of how to have a frame, how to use it well, and therefore, how to be able to follow whatever moves the leader gives you.

Here is a quick summary:

1. What is a frame?

Your frame is the way that you hold your body, specifically your upper body, so that you can receive the signals your leader communicates to you. It comprises mostly your hands, arms, shoulders, and lats, so the signals can get from your hands to your body.

2. How do you make a frame?

Hold your arms out in front of you, like you might put your arms around a beach ball (but when dancing you will lower your hands). Now, go put your hands up against the wall. Lean into them, but do NOT let your arms move at all. Stay still. Notice how you have to activate some muscles in order to do so.

Grab hold of a (closed) doorknob. Lean back. Don’t change the shape of your arms. Notice that you need to engage muscles to do this, too.

When you do both of these exercises, try to lessen the amount of muscle tension you need to hold your arms in place. This is what you want to do with your partner (in my opinion) – lessen the amount of “tension” in your arms as much as possible.

3. How do you use a frame?

Now that you have a frame and know that you need to keep it in place, you can receive leads. You can be pulled, pushed, or rotated. In all cases you keep your frame right where it is, which enables you to walk forward, back, or rotate and keep your whole body in one straight line. And with these three different kinds of manipulations – your leader will be able to lead just about anything!

And that’s it!

But  its definitely not all. For more on your frame, the concepts of compression and extension, how to deal with unique arm positions, and frame MATH, check out the video 004: Advanced Frame Theory and tips.

Have any questions? Post ’em in the comments here or on youtube. 🙂

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  1. […] more on frame connectivity, see TPF001: Frame Basics and TPF004: Advanced Frame Theory and […]

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