The ballroom check movement is one of the easiest ballroom dance moves to do and yet, it is a move that is so often not done properly.
For the man, it is simply a matter of holding your partner in ballroom hold position while at the same time, sliding your left foot in a diagonal to wall direction (against line of dance) through your partner’s right foot position. For it to work properly, the woman must also do her part. As the man commences the move, she must slide her right foot backwards, also in a diagonal direction against the line of dance.
The man’s right leg should also bend through this process. If you don’t bend your right leg, it will cause the extended arms to lower, which we don’t want.
The upper body should maintain the normal ballroom dance hold while this is happening and you should resist any temptation to raise or lower the extended arms. The ballroom contra check is not a sway!
Things to Avoid
1. The ballroom check movement is not an upper body action – therefore the man should not try to accomplish it by just pushing his left arm forward.
2. The ballroom check is not just a step forward towards the wall – it should be a contra body movement across your partner.
Below, we have included a video which demonstrates the ballroom check movement. Although this video is designed for tango, the principle is exactly the same across a range of movements including waltz, tango, rumba etc.