Rondes, or leg sweeps, are great ways to add style to your dance. Because they are delayed single rhythms, they can replace your stationary triples (like anchors) very easily.
In this post, we’ll practice making your leg lines for rondes cleaner.
For now, stand by yourself and put your weight entirely over one leg. This is your supporting leg; the other leg is your sweeping leg.
The basic ronde motion is some portion of a circle, with your sweeping leg as the radius and your supporting leg as the center. Put your sweeping leg straight behind you, with the side of the big toe touching the floor, and sweep the leg in a circle around you. If you are sweeping your left leg, sweep clockwise; if you are sweeping your right leg, go counter-clockwise.
For now, sweep from straight back to straight forward, and then go the other way. Keep the side of your big toe on the ground. You’ll notice that when your leg is at a forward diagonal (about 45° off from straight forward) that your leg or foot needs to twist has to twist slightly if you keep your big toe on the floor. Go back and forth, finding where the angle is for your body.
That twist makes it look like your foot is sickled in, which is not a pretty line. (See the standard WCS foot positions here) So, to make your rondes look strong, you need to change your foot positioning slightly. When your foot is behind that diagonal, the side of your big toe should be against the ground. But, as you transition past that front diagonal, you should move your point of contact to the outside edge of your foot (that is, the side of your smallest toe). That switch allows you to keep a straight leg and maintain the turned-out foot position.
Practice this transition with both legs. When the sweeping leg is in that roughly 45° between forward and forward-diagonal, the outside of the foot is on the ground. When the leg sweeps behind that line, the inside edge of the foot stays in contact with the ground. Keep sweeping the leg from front to back and vice versa until that transition becomes instinctive.
Other resources you might like:
- 3 Spins to know for West Coast Swing
- Mastering the triple step in WCS
- Musicality – How to find the beat!
- Ladies Styling Checklist for WCS