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American Style Waltz
Twinkles to PP and CPP
14. Twinkles to PP and CPP
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Twinkles to PP and CPP
Dance / Level:Full Bronze American Style Waltz
Aliases:Promenade and Counter Promenade Twinkles, Passing Twinkles, Flip Flops
Twinkle, Back Twinkle

A basic Twinkle is a figure that typically begins in closed position, and is turned to promenade position over three steps. However, there are many variations on this type of movement, as can be seen in the figure Twinkles to PP and CPP.

These Twinkles use a much more relaxed version of dance hold known as open promenade and open counter promenade position. In these positions, the man and lady stand a few inches apart in a V-shape, with the man's hand on the lady's shoulder blade at the closed end of the "V", similar to normal promenade but without body contact. The opposite end of the "V" is left wide open with the hand hold released. When turning from open promenade to open counter promenade or vice-versa, the man's free hand is placed on the lady's free shoulder blade, and the opposite side released.

The Twinkle to Open Promenade Position
When the Twinkle begins with the man's left foot on the first step, it can be turned to promenade position over steps 2-3. The first step is forward, and can be danced in line or outside partner, or taken from open counter promenade position.

The Twinkle to Open Counter Promenade Position
When the Twinkle begins with the man's right foot on the first step, it can be turned to counter promenade position over steps 2-3. The first step is forward from either promenade or open promenade position following a promenade figure (e.g. Forward or Back Twinkle). See the list of follows for additional details.

The figure as outlined in the man's and lady's parts begins in closed position and starts with a normal Twinkle, with the exception that the man releases the LH-RH hold to end in an open promenade position. The second measure is a Twinkle from open PP to open CPP, followed on the third measure by a Twinkle from open CPP to open PP. The last measure is a "Promenade Close", which is the action that typically follows a basic Twinkle, starting in open promenade position and ending in closed position.

Measures 2 and 3 (steps 4-9) can be repeated as desired.

Note that in the technical charts, the open promenade and counter-promenade positions are described slightly differently than the normal closed hold promenade position. The open position with one hand released allows for more flexibility of the frame, while at the same time causing the lead to come less from the body and more from the connected arms. Consequently, the man's and lady's bodies are turned at true right angles to each other from top to bottom, without requiring their upper bodies to be turned slightly toward each other in the same way that is required when in full hold. Therefore, you will not see the designation "body turned slightly to right/left" in either promenade or counter-promenade positions throughout this figure.

The figure is normally danced without sway. However, it can also be taken with "metronomic" sway or "pendular" sway. Sway would then be described as follows:

Metronimic Sway, man's part:

  • Left on 2-3
  • Right on 5-6
  • Left on 8-9
  • Right on 11-12

Metronimic Sway, lady's part:

  • Right on 2-3
  • Left on 5-6
  • Right on 8-9
  • Left on 11-12

Pendular Sway, man's part:

  • Right on 2-3
  • Left on 5-6
  • Right on 8-9
  • No sway, or right on 10-12

Pendular Sway, lady's part:

  • Left on 2-3
  • Right on 5-6
  • Left on 8-9
  • No sway, or left on 10-12

An alternative version of the figure can be danced using open promenade position with a RH-LH hold, and open counter promenade position with a LH-RH hold. When the figure is danced as written in the man's and lady's charts, the first Twinkle must be finished and second Twinkle begun either normal promenade position, or in open promenade position with the man's right hand on lady's left shoulder blade, since it is awkward to try to achieve a RH-LH hold from a normal closed position during the course or a basic forward Twinkle. After that, hand holds can be used throughout (including any repeats of steps 4-9), until the man chooses to return to the normal dance hold.

14b. Progressive Twinkles to PP and CPP

The basic Twinkles to PP and CPP are non-progressive, as the mirrored movements of man and lady traverse back and forth in one location on the floor. To create a progressive version, the technique must be modified, and the resulting figure is the Progressive Twinkles to PP and CPP.

The first modification is the alignment: The first Twinkle should end with man facing line of dance and lady facing center, both ready to move toward diagonal center. This can be done either by commencing the Twinkle with man facing line of dance, or by commencing facing diagonal wall with man and lady each turning 1/8 to promenade position. The latter version is the one shown in the man's and lady's charts.

Once man is aligned to line of dance in open promenade position, his alignment will not change for the duration of the figure. Instead of turning equally with the lady, he will maintain his position and pass the lady back and forth from one hand to the other, progressing down the line of dance in a zig zag fashion, alternately from diagonal center to diagonal wall. The lady will end up having turned 1/2 to either direction on each Twinkle -- 1/2 to the left when passing to the man's left side to end in open CPP, and then 1/2 to the right when passing to the man's right side to end in open PP.

Because the man is now on the inside of a turn, he will need to take a slightly smaller step to allow the lady to pass from one side to the other.

Like the basic Twinkles to PP and CPP, the progressive version can be danced either with the man's hand on the lady's shoulder blade, or the alternative using hand holds. This alternative requires further modification of the technique, since the lady is on the outside of a much wider circle: The man must accommodate this by closing his foot on the second step, resulting in a hesitation action.

A second alternative is to dance the figure with a cross-hand hold: LH-LH hold in open promenade position, and RH-RH hold in open counter promenade position. As in the first hand hold variation above, the first Twinkle should be finished in the normal promenade position before the hold is changed. A popular styling variation of this hold is to release the hand hold on each switch by extending the hands up overhead, in similar fashion to the Viennese Waltz Explosions. Note that this choice of styling diminishes the man's ability to truly lead the figure, so it is best reserved for showcases and choreographed competition routines. Social dancers will prefer to keep the hands at normal waist height for leading.


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