From the picture it seems to me that even though both types of movement are going down (in the body school sense of the word) the move to lower is accompanied by the falling action. We move our weight forward to create the step, rather than pushing with our legs , the move to lower then creates a much smoother and comfortable swing just like as if you were riding a bike up a hill, if you have just gone down a hill it is much easier to move up the hill in front of you. How does this work if you are going backwards though? obviously you must still feed your weight forward to your partner to keep the connection, so how do you simultaneously feed forward while falling back? wouldn't the two forces then cancel eachother out?
There are so many words and explanations floating around out there that it can often be difficult to find out what are really meant.
“Lower” is the lowering of the heel from standing on Toe (platform) or ball of foot to flat foot. Once you are standing on flat foot then you are in Neutral position. “Down” is the movement until you have reached the bottom of the “Down Swing”. The whole movement from above the Neutral Position to the Down Position is called the “Down Swing”.
If you go backwards down a staircase then you are keeping the weight in the right relationship to the back movement of your body. You wouldn’t lead back to move down the stairs. It really works the same way when going backwards in dancing.
Hmmm...I have a question, when we say "lower" do you mean lower from the neutral standing position?
I've been told that if I am lowing from a rised position, as soon as I pass the neutral position, I should start moving on to my next step. ie. I should never lower with my feet closed.
I think DSV answered this above, lower in the body school means moving from an elevated state back to a neutral position. So what you have been told would then be lowering, and then using the move to lower (down) principle as you pass from lowering to going down. I don't understand why you would not lower while your feet are closed (could well possibly be missing something in my understanding) lets take a 1-3 of a natural turn for example, as your feet close on the 3 at the end of this would you not lower back to neutral position and then move into the next step? so therefore your feet would have closed, even if it is only for a very short time? i'm a little confused with it, maybe someone else may be able to help?
There is a little different action whether you are closing your feet through a “sidewards movement” or closing then in a “passing movement”. If you are doing the “sidewards movement” then you close first and then lower onto the heel (close on 3 and lower on the & after the 3) to get to Neutral Position.
In the lowering action the moving foot should be moving to prepare for the next movement like in the “sidewards moving” steps or be moving toward the standing leg (lowering foot) if you are in a “passing moving” step.
If you are in promenade then you are closing through a “passing movement” then you close and lowering of the heel should happen at the same time to lower to Neutral Position.
The closing of the moving leg and the lowering of the heel should happen at the same time to get to “Neutral Position”. Many dancers lower the heel of the standing leg too early and bring the moving leg under the body too late.