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Ballroom Dance Holds

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The following holds are used in Ballroom Dancing, and should be studied carefully before trying to understand the scripts. Apart from the correct positioning of body and arms, some holds start with Man and Lady using the same foot, and some using opposite feet. During the course of many dances, the holds change and therefore when reading the scripts the dance may start with Man and Lady using the same foot then, because of a change of hold, Man and Lady could be using opposite feet.

In the scripts, only the Man’s description is given (unless it is deemed necessary to give Lady’s description also).

In the following description of Holds, it is fully explained which foot the Lady should be using and must be fully understood before reading the scripts.

Ballroom Dance Holds


BALLROOM HOLD – otherwise called – CLOSED HOLD

Man and Lady stand facing each other with Lady slightly to right of centre of Man and with light contact.
The Man’s Left arm should be raised so the Left elbow is slightly lower than the shoulder and the elbow is bent sharply so the Left forearm slopes upwards and slightly forward from elbow to hand.

The Lady will then place the fingers of her Right hand between the thumb and first finger of the Man’s Left hand. The Man’s fingers then close loosely over the side of the Lady’s right hand.

The Man’s Right arm slopes slightly downwards from shoulder to elbow and the hand is placed comfortably on the Lady’s Left shoulder blade. The Lady’s Left arm is placed comfortably on the Man’s Right arm with her Left hand resting lightly on the Man’s Right arm just below the shoulder.

In Tango Hold, Lady’s L.Hand moves to the same position under Man’s arm with palm Facing floor.

When Man steps forward Left foot, Lady steps back Right foot.
When Man steps backwards Right foot, Lady steps forward Left foot.
Man and Lady will use opposite feet.

 

ballroom dance holds

 

 

ballroom dance holds

 

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SHADOW HOLD

Lady stands in front of Man and slightly to his Right side facing the same direction. Lady’s Left shoulder blade should be in light contact with Man’s Right chest.

Lady raises both arms so the elbows are slightly lower than the shoulders.
The elbows are sharply bent to allow the forearms to slope upwards and slightly forward from elbows to hands, with palms Facing front.

Man raises his arms and takes hold of Lady’s hands from the outside placing his thumb on the back of Lady’s hand and the four fingers in the palm of each hand. Lady will lightly close the fingers on top of the Man’s hand.

Man and Lady will use the same foot and travel in the same direction.

 

ballroom dance holds

 


SEMI-SHADOW HOLD

This position is exactly the same as SHADOW HOLD except that the Man will place his Right hand on the Lady’s Right hip with the Lady placing her Right hand on top of Man’s Right hand. Lady must extend the Right elbow outwards away from the body.

Alternatively, the Lady may leave the Right hand extended to the side just below shoulder height. Free arm may be used in co-ordination with the music.

Man and Lady will use the same foot and travel in the same direction.

ballroom dance holds

Semi-Shadow Hold


DOUBLE HOLD

Man and Lady will face each other with man holding Lady’s Right hand in his Left hand and her Left hand in his Right hand.

Both hands should be slightly above shoulder height.

Man and Lady will use opposite feet.

 

ballroom dance holds

 


OPEN EXTENDED HOLD

Man and Lady stand side by side facing the same direction with the Lady on the Man’s Right side.

Man holds Lady’s Left hand in his Right hand at shoulder height with the free arms extended to the side just belowshoulder height. Free arm may be used in co-ordination with the music.

Man and Lady use opposite feet and travel in the same direction.

 

ballroom dance holds

 


Some of the above holds may be danced in various ways e.g. ‘Double Hold in Right side by side position.
Open Extended Hold with Lady on Left Side
Open Extended Hold in Promenade Position etc.

However, unless otherwise stated, Man and Lady will use ‘feet’ as described in italicized notes above.

OTHER BALLROOM HOLDS:

ballroom dance holds

Promenade Hold

ballroom dance holds

Skaters Hold

ballroom dance holds

Left Hand to Right Hand Open Hold

ballroom dance holds

Right Handshake Hold

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Ballroom Dance Holds

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