Pivot on two feet: Choose a free leg, place its foot on the floor in a t-shape with toes facing the arch of the base leg’s foot. Then release your heels from the floor so you can pivot on the balls of your feet. Contract the oblique muscles above the back foot, turn toward the back foot, only about 90 degrees, and start over, continuing in the same direction. It’s more important to be controlled than to pivot far. Eventually you should be able to pivot 360 degrees. Practice on your own, and practice ending with your weight on the front foot and then, alternately, ending with your weight on the back foot. At the end of the pivot, you should be able to stay in this position and not fall to the next step.
Pivot on one foot: To pivot on one foot, you’ll need to learn to use the obliques to rotate your base leg. At first you will feel this is totally impossible, and your practice is about overcoming that belief. To avoid the temptation to create the impossible by jerking your shoulders, don’t even aim to turn 360 degrees. Try to turn 90 degrees, only using the base leg and your obliques. Once you realize you can do that, go for 180degrees, then 270, and finally, once you understand that it’s possible, turn 360 degrees with strength and control.
Make sure that you do not allow for any lateral shoulder-flexion. That means that as you open your free leg’s hip toward its foot, your shoulder should move with your hip. Do not introduce an arbitrary contra motion. This will hold the Revel in place rather than invite her around you! It’s best to make solo practice with your arms folded across your chest so you can’t cheat.
When practicing with a partner:
- Remember that for the Revel this is a lateral walk. All you have to do is maintain abduction in the arm who precedes the Revel in the direction you want her to go. (This is the marking arm.)
! Make sure that you do not allow for any lateral shoulder-flexion. That means that as you open your free leg’s hip toward its foot, your shoulder should move with your hip. Do not introduce an arbitrary contra motion. This will hold the Revel in place rather than invite her around you!
- Stabilize the trailing arm’s shoulder with strong external rotation and static shoulder flexion so that the Revel’s momentum can be transferred to assist in your turn.
- To stop the Revel’s walk, just release your oblique muscles and leading arm’s abduction.
- To reverse, contract the obliques on the other side of your body and switch which arm is abducting.
When practicing with a partner:
- Walk on default molinete pattern with steps of equal size and timing, unless the Mark accelerates you or changes the pattern.
! Do not cheat by doing a back cross instead of a complete back ocho. (Unless back cross is marked.)
! Do not automatically accelerate or shorten your side steps. (Unless marked.)
- Be sure to create the first projection and second projection in every step to create spacetime for improvisation.
- Make sure your back step lands on the perimeter of the circle, not outside.
! Lack of control in back steps can pull your Mark off balance. Be aware that your steps are not tangents to a circle, they are on the circle. If your side step is tangent to the circle, you will go outside the circle, and then have to make a huge pivot into your back step to get back onto the circle. If your side step is truly on the perimeter of your circle, you’ll have a much better chance of pivoting enough to place your back step where it belongs.
- Make sure that your hips fully face the mark in side step.
! Don’t take shortcuts like turning toward your front step too soon. If your side step is wonky and unpredictable, you abrogate the improvisational possibilities.
- Your trailing arm transfers momentum from your steps to the Mark’s pivot. To facilitate this, contract your shoulder external rotators and triceps and, do not allow your vertical shoulder flexion to change.