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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 12-12-2003
Title : Luca and Loraine come to Town
Article: “Dancing Tid-bits” Issue #164, Thursday, December 11, 2003

Today's Topic: Luca and Loraine come to Town

It was of course a historical day for Ann Arbor/Detroit area dancers to see Luca and Loraine in real life as the guests of Robert Kubis and Isabelle of Stardust Dance Studio. So I did not want to miss this event.

We gathered at the League Ballroom. I was getting a little restless because the Lecture was yet to start and they were playing lovely Waltz music. Every one was sitting quietly and waiting and I wished that I could ask Loraine for a dance. That would have been rude? so I didn't.

Movement Vs Motion: I never thought it that way. Interesting that as you move your foot you create Motion across the floor. I am just going to recall some key words in the Lecture and whatever they mean to you. It was a lecture on the inner and deeper meaning of ballroom dancing rather than choreography or technique.

Balance: Your spine is lined up with your heels but the weight seems to be in the balls of your feet.

Push and Pull: These are not such bad words and indeed you push and pull your partner. You may say; What? but I can assure if you were there listening to Luca you will get the correct concept. The best part that I liked about the Pull and Push theory was your movement in forward or back walk. As you step forward, you should feel as if you are pulling the "floor" backwards with the toes of supporting foot. I feel this feeling is akin to almost like walking on a Treadmill. This is another way of saying "push from the supporting foot". When you are going backwards pushing the floor forward with the heel of the supporting foot.

Who is going forward and who is going back? I have a murky concept of what was being said. All I know that he emphasized that each partner must know their direction of movement. There was something like forward, forward, forward doing 123 of Natural Turn for the Man. It seemed like I understood it at that time but it will be hard for me to explain it to my bronze level student Petra.

Swing: He was (perhaps?) of the opinion that Swing is an overrated word in ballroom but I rather not say too much because I do believe in the "feeling" of swing.

At the end of the day it indeed was an experience to hear these world class dancers. Not that I learned any new steps or anything like that, but indeed it awakend my inner conscience of dancing. Also just to be able to chat with them at the end was such a rewarding experince. They were extremely congenial, friendly and down to earth people. If Robert will not point at the clock Luca would perhaps go on thru the whole night. He is so dedicated.

I apologize to Luca and Loraine if I have misinterpreted any of their thoughts.

I will be on vacation till sometime in January. I, myself, am teachingand speaking on Dancing in Thailand and India along with my favorite subject of Diabetes, Heart Disease and "Hemorrhoids". (no kidding)...have a nice long.....Max