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Dance Steps

Toe-Heel: This is the hunting or stealth step in which the brave/princess quietly goes up to his/her prey in order not to be heard. There are two dance positions. The first is the loud beat. On this beat, step up with the left foot and touch the ground lightly with the toe. The second position on the soft number 2 beat of the drum, by coming down on the heel. Alternate by doing these two positions, first on the left foot, then on the right.

Stomp Step: This is a step to signify that a very good thing has happened and it is done to signify a celebration or success. The dancer’s body is held upright and the hands are kept close to the body at hip height. The dance is timed to the 1-2-3 drum beat and has three positions. On the 1 beat, the knee is lifted high and the foot brought down hard to the ground in a stomping motion. On the 2-3 light beat, the dancer comes down lightly in two hops on the toes. Most of the action is done with the hands and arms. The drum rhythm must be evenly spaced to a 1-2- 3, and not a 1 -2-3 beat.

Drag Step: This is used to signify a long journey or great distance covered. The drumming time is the same as the Toe-heel step, but the action is different. In the Drag Step, the first beat of the drum is soft and the second beat is loud. At the soft 1 beat, step forward so that the toe touches the ground and then drag the foot backward, bringing the heel down at the 2nd or loud beat of the drum.

Canoe step: This is the most graceful of all the Indian dance steps. This dance represents the journey on water or on a canoe. The body and arm motions add interest to the dance. The dancer moves their arms in long swinging strokes; first to one side of the body and then to the other. In doing this dance, imagine yourself holding a canoe paddle and you will have the right position for your arms. This step is based on the 1-2-3-4 drum beat, and the drummer must time the beat to the dancer a little more than usual.

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