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Today's French/Flemish Mazurka
Brief reminders of steps taught by Richard Powers


This is mazurka as danced today in northern France into Belgium, at carnival festivities, weddings and other social gatherings.


FLEMISH MAZURKA STEP:  Step side L LOD w/ weight; replace R; bounce on R closing L to R without weight.     Woman dances opposite.


• 2 mazurka steps + 1 full waltz.  (the most common variation)


• 1 mazurka step + 1 half-waltz.  1 mazurka step over the elbows + 1 half-waltz.


• 1 mazurka step + 1 half-reverse waltz (he casts her toward the center).  1 mazurka step + 1 half-waltz.


• 3 mazurka steps + 1 half-waltz.  Repeat opposite.


• 2 mazurka steps + both rollaway from each other


• 4 mazurka steps


• Any elements from Bizourka


Bizourka

This is a series of today's mazurka steps collected by Renaat Van Craenenbroeck (1937-2001).  Elements from salsa and tango Argentino have infused into the mazurka in recent years.


Man's steps are described; woman steps opposite.

Introduction: 4 bars of music.

A) Mazurka step, Grapevine and Twist
1,2,3    Flemish Mazurka Step: Side L LOD w/ weight; replace R; bounce on L closing L to R without weight.
4,5,6    Repeat.
1,2,3,4    Step side L, cross R behind L, step side L, cross R forward
5,6    Closing feet together, twist on the balls of the feet to the R then L diagonals.

B) Two Grapevines in Place
1,2,3    Step side L w/ weight; replace R; bounce on L.
4,5,6    Cross L behind R; step side R, close L to R.
1,2,3    Step side R w/ weight; replace L; bounce on R. (i.e., Repeat opposite.)
4,5,6    Cross R behind L; step side L, close R to L.

Repeat A and B.


C) Waltz to Cradle Position
1-6    One Rotary Waltz traveling LOD.
1,2,3    She turns under her R arm with a waltz step.
4,5,6    She rotates extra to end facing LOD at his R side and she folds her L arm across her belly, under her R arm, and he takes it with his R hand, ending in Cradle Position with woman at the man's right side, closing feet together without weight on ct. 6.

D) Berceuse and Wheel
1,2,3    He steps side R as she steps side L, to opposite-side Cradle Position, close feet, step in place with feet still closed (waltz balance).
4,5,6    Repeat opposite, to return to original Cradle Position, lady on his right side.
1-6    She wheels backing up (beginning L) as he wheels advancing (beginning R), light running steps. Stop on ct. 4 and close on 5. So he steps R-L-R-L and closes R to L on ct. 5.


E) Unwind and Waltz
1,2,3    Travel LOD with waltz steps (he begins L, she R) as he raises his L arm to let her unwind out of Cradle Position. She turns 260 in 3 steps.
4,5,6    Continue to travel LOD with waltz steps as he raises his R arm to turn her under CW again. She starts this measure backing L. Completely let go of hands for a moment, facing partner, to re-take Waltz Position.
1-6    One Rotary Waltz traveling LOD.

F) Mazurka and Tour sur Place
1,2,3    Flemish Mazurka Step. On the count-3 bounce, the woman swings her free R foot back, behind her L.
4,5,6    She Grapevines crossing R behind L, side L, crosses R over L; while he stands in place for 3 counts. The couple is now in R-Side Position (partner by your R pocket).
1,2,3    Both Mazurka-step forward L; forward R, raise R, as both travel forward around each other, wheeling clockwise.
4,5,6    Both step forward L, close R to L and hold. End facing LOD.


Repeat the entire dance.

Descriptions by Richard Powers Copyright 2003, 2009



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