I love plaits and I cannot lie! Why? They make me feel incredibly sensual, and I just love the way they look. Plaits (also called inside swivels) can be quite challenging because they require lots of swivel action on the foot, and also hip action (through the usage of your back and center). Therefore, I’ve broken these plait swivels down into 4 exercises that you can practice separately. This step is danced in Rumba, Cha Cha, Samba & Jive… and who knows? Maybe Paso someday!
Note: Glasses and polka dots are optional. 😉
Dance Exercise #1: Brush the Floor
1. Plant your Hands on the back edge of a Chair.
2. Draw the free foot in, keeping the toes in contact with the floor.
3. Face your bellybutton towards the side of the leg you are standing on.
4. Keep your shoulders towards the chair.
Dance Exercise #2: Foot Swivel
1. Keep your weight on the ball of the foot.
2. Keep your heels off the floor.
3. Keep your ankles together.
4. Feel the rotation initiating from your center and back.
Dance Exercise #3: Foot Circle
1. Swivel on the ball of the standing leg (Keep the heel off the floor).
2. Draw a circle with the free foot
3. Keep the free foot turned out.
4. Keep shoulders facing the chair, while the belly button rotates towards the free leg.
Dance Exercise #4: Single Plait
Now it’s time to put all 3 of the exercises above into one motion.
1. Start with hips and shoulders facing the chair.
2. Rotate towards the standing leg and bring the free leg in.
3. Swivel with ankles together for a brief moment
4. Circle the free leg, while stroking the floor with that foot.
Dance Exercise #5: Alternating Plait Swivels
1. Make sure you transfer your weight entirely onto the leg before you start to move your free leg.
2. Keep your shoulders square to the chair
3. Imagine the chair is your partner! Keep a light touch on the chair.
A final word about Plait Swivels:
Once you get these more into your body, try changing up the speed and see if you can do them more quickly while still maintaining the brush action of the feet. Also be mindful to keep a tall posture as you are practicing these plait swivels!
Use these Isolation exercises to help with these swivels.