Thursday, February 11, 2010

Waltz - Closed Impetus

(Awaiting new drawing with correct amount of turn! - descriptions have been correct for Closed Impetus from the start... sorry for the confusion- I even confused myself this time!)

The Slow Foxtrot is full of heel turns for the lady but the Closed Impetus in Waltz is one of the occasions that it is necessary for the man to complete this slightly tricky move. The ladies footwork is very much like that of the Spin Turn. I am going to put it within a sequence so that you know one way of getting in and out of it.

Leaders'/Men's Footwork

Begin with the first three steps of your Natural Turn. (Forward on your Right, commencing to turn to the right, side on your Left, close the feet together. At this point you should be facing the wall which was to your Right when you started.) Count 1, 2, 3

Step back onto your Left foot. Swing your Right foot back to join the Left as you pull your right side around and transfer the weight from your Left foot to your Right heel. This should have turned you to face diagonally into centre (3/8ths of a turn). Push forward onto your Right to as you continue to turn your body, releasing your Left foot in a step "backwards" which leaves you backing diagonally to centre and having turned another 1/4. Count 1, 2 (and), 3

You can then finish with 4-6 of your Reverse Turn. Step back on your Right commencing to turn to the Left. Step side onto your Right and close your Left to your Right ending facing Diagonally to Wall again (where you should have started). Count 1, 2, 3

Follower's/ Lady's Footwork

Much like the spin turn, you start with the first three steps of a Natural Turn. Step backwards onto your Left foot, commencing to turn. Step side onto your Right foot and close your Left foot to the Right to face LOD. Count 1, 2, 3

Step forward into your partner with your Right foot. Step to the side (around your partner) with your Left foot. Brush your Right foot towards your left as you continue to turn (with no weight) and then step forward on it, facing Diagonally Centre. Count 1, 2,3

Finish with 4-6 of the Reverse Turn. Step forward onto your Left foot, starting to turn to the Left, side on your Right foot and close your Left foot to your Right to finish backing diagonal to wall.

Notes for Both the Leader and the Follower:
- Be aware of where your partner is needing to finish each of the steps. When the man is doing the heel turn, ladies, do not try to pull them in any way as they will not be able to move to keep up with you. Same goes in reverse as the gents come out of the heel turn as this is when the ladies are doing their brushed step.
- All of these steps should be taken in line with your partner!

Monday, January 18, 2010

We're Back!

It has been a while since my last post and it was the lovely comment that came through to me today that reminded me why I started this blog and why I should continue. I still firmly believe that people need to have a place that they can come to when they are looking to solidify the steps they are learning/have already learned and that that resource should be free and accessible.

Dance is something that is entering the public consciousness more and more and for that very reason, I believe that there is a genuine desire to explore - one that should be encouraged, not discouraged. Classes are an integral part to learning any dance style, but it is also easy enough to be in a class and do the routine that your teacher has given you. To feel that you are truly dancing, you need to understand what the individual steps are and how they can be put together and then listen to the music ... and just go!

I do value your feedback and love to hear from you when you have questions and thoughts. Those of you that have been in touch by email or through the comments on here have been greatly appreciated and I hope that you will continue to return despite my recent absence!

In all honesty, my future posts may not hit the schedule that I set out before, however I will do my best to at least regularly add something new for you and to keep the dances as well rounded as possible.

The best bit of advice that I can give you though, is to get out and dance whenever you can. There are socials and events all over the place and anywhere with music and an open space can be somewhere to dance. Don't be afraid of dancing in front of people that you may not know or who may not know you dance. Don't be afraid of dancing. Enjoy it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Samba - Style

The style of Samba is one that is very different from the rest of the Latin Dances. Based more on the bounce motion that is integral to the movement, Samba uses the forward and backwards movement of the pelvis in conjunction with the bend and stretch of the knees rather than purely side to side hip movement.

As many people know, Samba originated in Brazil and though formalized in the Ballroom and Latin syllabus, should still bring to mind a party spirit and a sense of fun.

One of the hardest Ballroom/Latin dances to dance socially, the Samba has a lot of movements that are done out of the closed hold and which generally require the partners to be very clear with and aware of what their partner is doing. There are tonnes of variations on the basic steps and attention should be taken to make no assumptions about which variation will be done.

One of the key elements to making the Samba feel correct is the bounce which should go down on the full count (1, 2, etc) and up on the half beat (&) or delayed until the "a" - which occurs on the last quarter beat. This bounce is then used to drive the movements and is manipulated to create the different rhythms within the dance.