This text will be very brief and aims to help the dancers to pay attention to one of the footsteps that is usually neglected by most of the forró dancers, mainly because in the beginning of the learning process we use the second step only to contemplate the rhythm of the music and for that we only raise our feet and return it to the same place where it came from. This way the only steps that return to the ground in a different place from where they left are the steps 1 and 3.
In forró universitário (in some countries called forró pé descalço ) the exchange of sides between the dancers is of extreme importance so that there is fluency in the dance and so that we can achieve greater lightness and efficiency when dancing faster and faster songs. Knowing how to use the second step properly, optimizes this process and makes the dance reach a much more advanced level.
All footsteps play a fundamental role in this process, but unfortunately many people don’t pay attention to the second footstep and, worst of all, many people are not properly oriented to use it. This is often due to the fact that the teachers themselves do not value this step.
The leader’s step two has a wide range of possibilities. In most of the footwork we have only 3 steps to complete our travelling. In 3 steps we have to leave a clear space for the follower to fill and already position ourselves in the best way to facilitate the displacement of the next 3 steps according to what we plan to do.
If we leave the Step 2 always in the same place we will actually only have the Steps 1 and 3 to do all this process of preparation and transition. The second sFollower\’s second step oriented to the space given by the leadertep should always leave its place in order to collaborate with the total displacement of the movement and also shorten the amplitude of the third step. There is, however, no standard movement for this step, each move will require the leader to choose the best place to position it.
Note: It is possible that the best place to step is exactly where the foot came from, but in this case this decision must be conscious and not the result of a bad vice.
For the followers it is easier to know where to go, which does not mean it is easier to do! The number two footstep must always go STRICTLY in the direction of the leader, or in the direction of the space indicated by the leader. By doing this we have 3 very important benefits for the sequence of movements and for the efficiency of the movement.
1 – PROXIMITY
When approaching the leader, the followerr allows a better use of the arms to draw the movements, because the closer the pair is a larger portion of the length of the arms can be used, mainly in movements in which both people rotate using the all arms above the head. The further we go from each other, the easier it will be to extend the back beyond a comfortable and even healthy limit. In addition to the discomfort, a curvature in the back at the time of the spin is very disturbing to the balance during the movement.
You can see step 2 very close to the leader.
Dancers: Luiz Henrique e Luana Kellen
2 – ORIENTATION
Most of the displacements in the university forró happen through the exchange of sides between the pair. The shortest and most efficient way for this to happen is in a straight line. In this way the pair should try to get as close to each other as possible for this to happen. When we position and step the second footprint in the direction of our pair, as if we were going to “cross it in the middle”, it already results in an inertia towards the best path contributing to the ease and smoothness of the turn.
Follower’s second step oriented to the space given by the leader
Dancers: Luiz Henrique e Débora Carvalho
3 – ENERGY DYNAMICS
When we step forward on two, we use our most powerful muscles (as if we were running) to generate a peak of energy. What are the benefits of this? Most of the movements have 3 steps and the third step is the last before we pause between the footworks. An ideal pause is a pause with little energy so that we can have stability. What usually happens is that the lack of energy in the first steps requires a peak of energy at the end of the movement for the displacement and rotation to happen. With a high energy at the end of the movement, the control and stability of the pause is compromised.
A pause without control and stability does not allow the follower to take a good reading of the next movement. Also, most of the movements reverse direction during the pause, how so? A move that goes from north to south is usually followed by one that goes very close from south to north. In other words, if we do not reduce the speed at the moment of pause, our inertia makes it difficult to generate energy in the opposite direction.
Both dancers making the step 2 well directed to the space offered. A clearly follower generating the peak energy to be used in the course of the movement
Dancers:Alice Rodrigues e Breno Baião
In conclusion, when we have the peak energy in our second step, we are able to take advantage of this energy to rotate without haste, reducing the speed gradually so that during the pause we no longer have the inertia leading us in the opposite direction of the next movement. We will have more facility to balance and observe with more time and calmness the indications of the next leadings and we can generate energy in the right direction without great efforts.
MOST COMMON BUT INEFFICIENT TECHNIQUE
It is very common to see the followers positioning the second step to the side because the dance has a circular characteristic. The problem with stepping sideways is that we lose these three benefits making it difficult to have a more fluid and complex sequence.
Look at the domino effect: We do not generate an adequate approximation, we place ourselves in a direction whose inertia does not favor a good exchange of sides and we leave our body twisted without taking advantage of our more powerful muscles to drive the movement. In this way we have to increase the effort during the rotation having time only to accelerate, this generates a greater difficulty to reduce the speed at the moment of pause. A pause full of energy hinders control and balance, not giving us time or stability to make a good reading of the next movement, and contribute to a greater effort to combat inertia at the end of the previous turn. In addition, the distance between the pair during the spin can cause discomfort in the spine and lack of balance during the spin.
I hope you have noticed that to dance in a fast way in forró universitário style, it is necessary much more coordination than physical power. We rarely reach our maximum speed during the movements but the constant change of direction between the movements requires a strategic management of the amount of energy during each movement. We need to accelerate and brake in order to use the best muscles to reduce effort and thus reduce fatigue so that we can dance until the end without loss of performance.
And if you need more information or tips do not hesitate to contact us! Here is also the invitation for you to visit me in one of my schools in Belo Horizonte, or some unit of the teaching network that makes me more accomplished each day, the pé Descalço (BH, São Paulo, Santo André, Niterói, Juiz de Fora, Contagem and London).
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