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Lake Ontario Dancing Sociables (LODS)
Secret Signals

By Victor Jean Ouellette

Modified April 29, 2007

Here is a newer pdf document I made in 2018 as a lesson on the Contra Body Motion Revision July 27, 2018.

The Very Basics
     This is an advanced dance and not for the beginners. Expect to wait until you have about three years experience to get into this dance step.

     The man has to communicate to the lady whether he wishes to do a right turn a left turn or a back lock. If he doesn't do this then she will not know what to do. The turns are done in 90 degree turns starting with the man's back to the diagonal centre but the progress is down the floor in the line of dance (parallel to the Wall). In other words, if the couple is in a corner then the man will position himself with his back to the center of the room so he faces the corner but will move parallel to the wall that is on his left.  But, he will move by backing up with his right foot and turning 90 degrees to his left then will go forward with his right foot while turning 90 degrees to his right. (If you want to learn the up down movement called the rise and fall, then TAKE A LESSON eh, because they are not done like the Waltz and Fox Trot rise and falls.)

/ = Zig and  \ = Zag  (Except they are 90 degrees. See PDF)                                                       Start  
                                                                Line of dance is parallel to wall going to the left.  

Dance Floor Centre

The man starts standing in the upper right corner of the floor facing the word Start.
The man backs up on the Zig and goes forward on the Zag.

     You will recall that the Waltz Zig Zag step and the Fox Trot Zig Zag step are performed much the same way only without the Contra Body Motion. These zig zags are performed on the diagonal as one progresses down the wall parallel to it. This is one reason why QStep is an advanced step. If you already know the Waltz and Fox Trot Zig Zag then QStep is a wee bit easier to learn.

Secret # 1. QStep
     The man indicates to the lady his wish to turn right or left by an upper body, Contra Body Motion, of one eighth turn.  Read that last sentence again please.

     The man indicates his wishes to do a left turn by stepping  back with his right foot and turning the lady's upper body to the left, one eighth of a turn, on the Second S while leaving his pelvis turned to the right, (square with the lady). (Note: We begin the dance on the Second Slow.) This is initially awkward to learn with the twist not feeling correct until one gets used to it. The lady is stepping forward with her left foot but turning her upper body to the left and also leaving her pelvis square to the man's pelvis. The man is stepping back with his right foot while turning the upper body to the left while leaving his pelvis square to the lady's pelvis. When the man does this, she knows the next step will turn her feet to her left to match the pelvis with the shoulders. Its like saying, "OK dear, next we are going to turn this way."

     The man indicates his wishes to do a right turn by stepping past the lady (but outside her on her right) with his right foot, while at the same time turning her upper body to the right one eighth turn. The lady steps back with her left foot while at the same time turning the upper body to her right. (Right shoulder goes backward.) In other words, she keeps her chest square to his chest, as she does in all dances. It is poor form for a lady to turn her chest to an angle with the man if he did not lead that move.

     The couple can go all around the floor repeating this sequence with no back locks of the feet at all until they learn it.

Secret # 2. QStep
     The man indicates his wish to do a back lock instead of a turn, by doing two things.

     1. FAILING to turn the lady's upper body to the right
     2. Proceeding in a diagonal line of dance instead of the straight line of dance that is used with the turns that go parallel to the wall. The couple would actually move toward the wall.

     This move is always done AFTER the first 90 degree turn to the left. So instead of turning the lady to the right to come back to the opposite diagonal where they started, the man indicates his wish to do the back lock, see above, then moves straight into the lady (at an angle to the wall), as they both do the back lock together. The lady knows it is coming because she was NOT turned to her right. The Back Locks are done on the QQ with the man's right foot going behind his left foot as he goes forward. The lady will put her left foot in front of her right for her back lock as she is going backward.

     Right after the back lock, the man has to turn the lady to the right to get back to the start of the whole sequence. He turns her with the Right Turn procedure as explained above. He will take the first S, (after the back lock), with his left foot, then the next S with his right foot will be with the Contra Body Movement turn to his right and thus get back into the Zig Zag.

(Note: An additional BONUS secret is that the man turns the lady to the left in one 90 degree step but turns her to the right in three proportional moves. {You had to be there at this lesson to grasp this lol.}) Next you will need to learn the sway that goes with this but that is beyond the scope of this article. It gets into very picky fine tuning.

     To learn the rise and fall, the sway, the corner turns, the back lock, the SQQS timing, and the correct way to do the right and left turns, you will need lessons. Each instructor teaches their own sequencing and when you see a whole dance floor all moving the same, then it means they were all taught by the same instructor.  It doesn't mean that this is the only way to do it. It just means that this is the way THEY do it.

Practice, practice, practice.

     I used to have a long hallway when I lived in an apartment. If you were to catch me walking down that hallway I would generally have been doing the QStep. I think the lady at the end of the hall must have thought I was  nuts when she saw me through her peephole backing up and turning like this down the hallway. LOL

Copyright July 2003,  Dr. Victor Jean Ouellette     All Rights Reserved