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  • Writer's pictureDavid Phillips

System change experience—Spiral

Updated: Oct 12, 2023


Standing at rest with a partner. The first Lead partner will spiral ("dissociate") their torso to one side and the other, sending their partner to either the Hand- or Arm-side (HS or AS) of the embrace.


Meanwhile, the Lead plays with: 1) staying weighted equally in both legs; 2) shifting weight *with* the partner (i.e., to the same, hand or arm side) to be in Parallel-System (PS); or 3) shifting weight *opposite* the partner (i.e., to the diagonally opposite corners of the "box" made by our four feet) to be in Cross-System (CS).


Switch roles so we can both have this useful (whether or not we Lead) experience.


When this feels comfortable and clear, we add a test of our success by taking one or more steps in the system (PS or CS) we've chosen. After the spiral, use a clear windup ("intention") to signal the step.


Stepping from a toe-to-toe position in CS presents a challenge since we are not offset for easy passage of legs. We can snake our Light-Leg (LL, free leg) over our own Heavy-Leg (HL, standing or supporting leg) and around our partner's HL, into the space created by our partner reaching to take the step. (Alternately, we can angle the partnership in the direction of the light-legs, aligning them. This requires an intermediate pivot in the opposite spiral direction. We leave the details of this as an exercise to explore.)


Although we describe this from a static starting position, it can be used on-the-fly, while stepping. We often use the spiral with an open (O) (“side”) step.


In another article, we describe using a double-step to switch between systems.



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