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Alemana - to brush or not to brush Login/Join
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Confusion has been set upon me!!! When doing an Alemana turn do you brush the right foot to the left foot or not? Is it a sytle choice? I have seen it done both ways and am not sure if one is preferred over another or if one is just wrong.

Location: Montreal
Registered:: 03-17-2002
Posts: 68
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For me, I think it looks nicer if you brush. Of course it's an opinion.

Location: USA
Registered:: 10-03-2000
Posts: 605
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For the lady's part or the man's? And on what step of the figure? You didn't specify. The man's steps should be like a basic except he closes his feet after the rocks instead of stepping side. I don't have too many specifics about the lady's part on hand (I don't dance it), but as far I as can remember, the moving foot should pass by the standing foot throughout. I guess that would involve brushing the LF next to the RF on step 3, before actually doing the Alemana turn. If you're asking about the lady's part, perhaps some women who know the part best will be able to answer your question. I hope this helps though.
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I was talking about the lady's part (since I am a lady ). Forgive me not explaining the steps, I was afarid I would confuse everyone more.

Specifically I was referring to what I think is technically step 2 (or maybe step 3). Step one being left foot forward outside right side of man then step 2 brushing right foot to the left foot on the turn before placing right foot forward. I was thinking of this turn in Rhumba coming out of fan position but I guess it might apply other places.

Hope that makes sense. Hard to describe while sitting down and not actually dancing it.


Location: UK, surprisingly....
Registered:: 03-20-2001
Posts: 904
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I think that this depends much more on whether or not you are dancing syllabus steps or going for the competitive flair/style.

I have noticed a lot of competitors brushing, however I believe that it is meant to be danced as a replacement of the right foot, not as a brush.

But I expect someone with the syllabus would be able to better advise.
Location: Rockville, MD
Registered:: 11-27-2001
Posts: 542
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Well, for what it's worth, I dance the second step unbrushed. The first step is LF forward and across (one coach called it like a scissor step), swivel on LF 180 degrees, replace RF, then brush LF to right as you turn on the RF and step forward on the LF. I do steps 1 and 2 as a switch turn.

Location: Nashua, NH
Registered:: 04-19-2002
Posts: 316
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(I'm a leader, so take this with a huge dose of salt.) Well I normally hear the step described as three forward steps. Ie
Step 1: Forward outside of the leader, and turn
Step 2: Forward (not just a weight replace), and turn
Step 3: Forward (unless led to close or side, etc)

Step 2 being forward differentiates the footwork pattern of an Alemanna from a Spot Turn. I don't remember what the coaches have said about brushing. My _guess_ is that if you're doing the step as I described above a brush would probably be better than no brush, but if you're doing a "spot turn"-Alemanna then no brush would be preferred. My reason is if you're going for the three forward walk appearance then the brush will emphasis the second step as a walk; if you're not emphasising the forward walk aspect, then you're only going to have a minor motion and its probably better to keep that foot fixed.
Location: Not the dance floor
Registered:: 07-26-2002
Posts: 839
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I'm with the non-brush people. I was told that the first step outside partner was a delayed forward walk, turn 180 on it sharply (no time to brush), so you end up in another delayed forward walk position and complete the remainder of the turn, although my recollection may not be perfect

Location: On The Road Again
Registered:: 07-02-2002
Posts: 642
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I could write an extremely long post to relate the various descriptions and instructions I have heard from coaches on this. Here's my own digest:

1- Officially, you should brush. Some British coaches, especially those very technically inclined, make a big thing of this.

2- Unofficially, brushing is considered very old-fashioned. You rarely see it, except as a deliberate stylistic choice. There is a greater emphasis today on speed. Brushing makes the move slower.

3- For training purposes, you do need to have the ability to do a clean Alemana with brushing. It does require more control of your balance.

4- Ask your coach, and do what he/she prefers.
Location: Germantown, MD
Registered:: 12-16-2001
Posts: 973
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Step one turns to the right on the left foot. I.e. it's an outside turn (like a spiral or a spot turn). It would be very awkward to try and bring the rf to the lf as one turns and it would look busy and slow to bring it after the turn. So, I would leave it where it is and treat the turn as a spot turn, since that's what it is! It's a spot turn that starts on the diagonal towards the leader and ends on the diagonal away from him.

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