Alright, just so y’all know, the proper term for what I call “the bodily corkscrew” is “contra-body movement position”. As the name implies, contra-body movement involves twisting your body in opposition to another part. More specifically, the twisting of the upper body in contrast to the lower body. I’ve encountered contra-body movement in Tango mostly, but from my understanding, it also occurs in other dances, though I can’t think of any others at the moment. To me, it really is like a corkscrew. My upper body is twisted in a certain direction, while my lower half is “stuck” in a previous position. Nick explained that my weight on my legs must be split so that I can have a strong base. Eventually, when he leads me, my upper body will become aligned with his while my lower half snaps into the position.
Does this sound confusing? I’m sorry. How about this:
1) First, stand with your legs roughly shoulder length apart. Your feet need to be parallel.
2) Now, twist your upper body as far as it can to one side without moving your feet from their parallel position. Switch sides.
This is actually a great athletic stretch that I used often before I ran. It should give you an idea of what I’m trying to say. If you’re still having trouble, try reading the directions while doing it yourself, active learning. Actually, come to think of it, it’s probably contra-body movement that gives the Tango its sharp, staccato character. Until next time, ciao!
P.S.: I’m thinking about writing a post in tribute to opera, something I’ve come to love dearly. Singing is a very close second to dancing for me.