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SKIPPY'S BLOG

     "Single Tracking" 

  Simply walking forward on a Straight Line, in time with the Music.                                           Skippy Blair - 3/99 - Updated 12-10-02

#1. Single Tracking:  Start with picturing one single line on the floor in front of you. Your body - (actually, your Center Point of Balance) - wants to glide down that straight line.  The Sending Foot propels the body forward, along that straight line.  In order for the center to travel in a straight line, the shoulders move slightly back, alternating left and right, in order to accommodate the forward movement of the center. (Contra-Body)

#2. Sending Foot: The Power Point In your foot & the "3-Toe Base" will press down and back, in order to propel the body (CPB) forward.  Spreading the toes as you press down and back, produces a firmer connection between the Sending Foot and the Center Point of Balance ( CPB or Solar Plexus)

#3. 4th Foot Position:  As your CPB moves forward - place the center of      the front of the heel of the "Receiving Foot" on the straight line.  Now roll through the Standing Base - ready to spread the toes and have that foot prepare to become the next Sending foot.  The center of the big toe is the     guideline - pointing forward in the direction of travel - (following the same line.)   This allows the rest of the toes of the "Receiving Foot" to be placed on the outer side of the same direct line.

#4. Ball of the Foot: (Try to replace this term) The ball of the foot usually refers to stepping on the base of the big toe joint  (which can produce serious Bunions.)  Through time and misuse, many dancers have come to think of the Ball of the Foot  as stepping precisely on what can be thought of, as the "Top of the Mountain."    We should always "roll through" that area, never supporting the entire weight precisely on that area.  Bunions and aching feet are the result of putting too much weight on the "top of the mountain" 

#5. Power Point, extends into the backside of the mountain as an aid to "rolling" through that area of the foot - but not allowing the weight to fully rest on the ridge (top) of the mountain.

#6. "3-Toe Base"  allows the toes to spread apart - concentrating on the pressure of the big toe, and the two adjoining toes. It's as if you were trying 
to feel the area where the toes meet the foot - pressing down on the forward side of the mountain. This helps maintain better balance & control.     For better control of weight distribution, replace the phrase "Ball of the Foot" with "Power Point" and/or "3-Toe Base",  according to which technique is
appropriate for the dance being done.

#7. Contra-Body can be slight - to very strong.  Very slight is the preferred effect.   The Left shoulder will pull back on the "&a" before "1" - as the center of the body moves forward to land on the Left foot  precisely on count "1".  The Right shoulder will pull back on the "&a" before "2" - as the center of the body moves forward to land on the Right foot precisely on count "2".  This would continue as you walk forward, alternating feet.

Proper use of "Contra-Body" Movement  
greatly improves the development of "Single Tracking".  
Check out articles on Contra-Body Movement and "3 Toe Base"