by Pete & Mary McGee
We have so many of them in the modern
rhythms, the Open Telemark, Closed Telemark, Hover Telemark, Natural
Telemark, Natural Hover Telemark, Double Telemark, and Telespin.
We know that they all have one thing in
common, and that is the footwork -- a forward step followed by two
side steps. However, if that was all we had to know about a Telemark,
we wouldn't be writing this article. In order to execute a Telemark
correctly and to make it feel more comfortable for both the lady and
the man, there are some finer details that are important.
The first step for the man should be a
strong straight step, heel-to-toe, rising early (the early rise is
what causes the lady to do a heel turn). Because a Telemark is a
left-turning figure, we should always remember a second rule: "A
left-turning figure turns late," and of course that takes
care of the end of the first step, which is where the turn happens.
Now that you have caused the lady to do a heel turn, your second step
becomes very important. Since the lady is literally on her heels, she
can very easily be pulled off balance. The second step is to the side
on the toe. It is important that you take that step past the lady,
which will put her on your left side, which is where you need her to
make the next step work. Also think of slowing this step down. The
third step is also a side step, and the amount of turn you make
depends on what figure follows, but the important thing to remember
is to keep your body toward your partner, and point your foot in the
direction that you want to go for the next figure. This last step is
done toe-to-heel, and it should feel like a coasting step. You never
want to put a lot of power in the final step of a Telemark.
One reason a Telemark is difficult is
that in one movement your are on the outside of the turn, and then
become the inside. And of course the opposite is true for the lady.
The lady also has a few
responsibilities to make the Telemark "work." Her first
step should be straight back, keeping left poise and a "closed
head." At the end of the second step, rise up on the toes, and
on the last step just lower toe-heel.
an article published in the ROUNDALAB Journal, Spring 1995. Reprinted in the Dixie Round
Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, February 2013.