Fabulous frame – Ultra Ballroom

Fabulous frame

So if you have read the previous blog you will have seen that our own posture will improve if we start to be aware of how we sit, walk and stand in daily life and also this will lead to better movement and frame when we come to dance.

Very often we hear on Strictly comments about frame – good, bad, poor, too tense not strong enough and so the comments go on. Naturally, there are some questions you may want to ask…

Why is a good frame so important in ballroom dance?

The purpose of ballroom dance is that two people move gracefully across the floor in synchronisation with flow and ease. In order to achieve this a well-placed and strong frame is essential, it joins the dancers and allows them to turn, bend and move beautifully.

What is frame?

Frame is how the partners connect using the correct positioning of the arms, shoulders, elbows and hands. A well placed frame is essential to allow correct leading and following in ballroom dance.

What does a good frame look like?

Today we are going to consider the hold in the waltz … if you master the frame for this then you will be in a great place to look fantastic in all the ballroom dances.

In a ballroom dance there is always a leader and a follower so that is how I will refer to them.


The leader stands with a strong straight back with their left arm lifted and in line with the left shoulder and bent with the forearm at about a 45 degree angle from the floor.

Their right arm will be holding their partner so out to the side folded in but with a slight slope from the shoulder.

The follower’s right arm is extended to the side, slightly forward with a softer elbow. The fingers of the right hand will hold their partners hand folded softly over the thumb and the next finger.

The followers left hand should be extended to the side then bent leaving a gap between upper and forearm, the fingers, which will be placed on uppermost part of the leaders arm are slightly fanned apart with the middle finger in contact and the remaining lifted other than the thumb which is separate. The little finger is held highest

The Head

The leader will look outwards and over the follower’s right shoulder with beautiful lifted posture and the frame allowing the chest and shoulders to open

The follower lifts upwards and slightly backwards in the upper spine and the head is turned to the left.

Essentially the leader is the frame and the follower is the picture in the frame. It is crucial that the leader maintains that broad well held frame so the follower works with them. Any turns, sways and bends will be completed successfully if the frame is well placed and held.

The perfect frame takes time to maintain but when it’s achieved the dance will flow beautifully and is incredibly pleasing to the eye.

The beauty of Ballroom is that however hard the dance, to those that are watching it looks easy. To be light on your feet you will always need to lift up an. You will always need to lift up and out of your spine, the more you walk well and practice good posture in day-to-day life the more this will help your dancing and your health. Dance postures can vary across the Latin and ballroom and the next blog looks at the very different posture and stance required for the Jive. In the meantime keep practicing, look after your spine by thinking about it daily and you will be ready to join us and be ahead of the game on an amazing Ultra ballroom challenge very soon.

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