Ask the Experts

Can you define Light and Shade and do you consider it important for competition?

Linda Joy Douglas (Adjudicator at the Emerald Ball, Fellow and National Examiner for Fred Astaire Dance Studios, member of DVIDA)

"I view this as a two-part question. When referring to Light and Shade in music there's emphasis on the downbeat for most of the dances with expression on the upbeat. Display Light and Shade with the lighter parts of the music being the minor sides of the phrase and the shaded part being the major parts of the phrase. And it's absolutely important. You must show Light and Shade with the presentation of the arms and facial expressions that show a connection to the music."

Judi Hatton (Adjudicator at the Emerald Ball)

"Light and Shade is the dramatic positioning of choreography and music."

Corky Ballas (Professional Dancer, Teacher, Coach and Adjudicator at the Emerald Ball)

"It means that you show a change of speed, a change of timing, a change of tension, a change of movement on the floor."