Anchors Ending in a Cross

Our last variation introduced anchors that ended to the side. Another common ending position is the cross, in which the anchor foot is crossed in front of the other leg. This ending position occurs in a lot of more complicated anchor variations, such as the side-and-cross; for this drill, we’ll focus on a simpler version with a third-and-cross.

The Drill: Begin your anchor in third foot position and take your & step as normal. On the upbeat, instead of returning to third, land on your anchor foot (leader’s right/follower’s left) crossed in front of your supporting leg.

Just like the cross-and-third variation, this variation is tricky for two reasons. First, it is very easy to get your feet turned in. Make sure that the left toes are still pointing slightly to the left and the right toes are still pointing to the right. Second, it requires a lot of body control to keep your weight back during the cross. Again, practice with a sink or door frame in order to make sure that you are staying back.

Followers: this variation adds a twist to your next pattern. Since you are crossed in front of your right leg, you can’t just move your right straight into your walking step. You will need to practice going into your walks. As you settle your anchor and roll through your left foot, your right foot should un-hook itself by going around your left foot and back to neutral so you can come forward on 1. Keep this motion small unless you are trying to create a sweep; this should be a subtle, calm motion rather than something that draws attention. Think of releasing the right foot and returning to neutral.

Bonus Variations: This anchor sets up either partner to do a kick-ball change on the first two beats of the next pattern. Do this variation in a tight cross. As you settle into your anchor foot on the upbeat of the anchor, let your thigh connect to the thigh of the free leg and then push the free leg back into a kick. That’s 1. Now put that kicking foot down on & and move to your normal 2.

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