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WALK IT OUT: RUMBA STYLE

Posted on June 23, 2016 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

It's always nice to find a clear, concise explanation of a dance technque.  What better than finding EIGHT for something that can be as sensual as the Rumba walk?  Rumba is a staple and learning to execute the various walks can add variety and style to your dancing.  Try these out your next time, or contact us to learn from our experts!


THE 8 RUMBA WALKS

 

Many of us started practicing our Rumba Walks as beginners, not knowing what we were doing, but being told it was important. In fact, it is a great medium for analysing and correcting posture, movement, footwork, and other various technical issues. Fourteen time undefeated Professional Latin World Champion Gaynor Fairweather was known for dancing Rumba Walks for half an hour per day for that very same purpose.

 

When we talk about Rumba Walks, most people think of the Forward Walk, but did you know there are seven other ways to dance a Rumba Walk? Below you can read a brief overview of the 8 different Rumba Walks, each deserving of careful and studious practice just as much as the others. If you click the links within each Walk, you will be directed to full descriptions of their techniques, as well as links to figures where you will use those types of Walks. Don't forget that all of these Walks are also used in Cha Cha.

 

1 The Forward Walk


This is the Rumba Walk we all practice, going forward endlessly around the room, and using it to work on leg and body action. This Walk is used in countless figures, such as the Open Basic Movement and the Progressive Walks. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

2 The Checked Forward Walk


This type of Forward Walk has one purpose - to stop forward progression and start backward progression. It is used in almost every figure, from the Basic Movement to the Advanced Hip Twist, more often danced by the Man, but danced by the Lady in many figures as well. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

3 The Extended Forward Walk

This type of Forward Walk creates a delay in the rhythm and may provide an emotional change of shape in a figure such as the Lady's Spiral, or Alemana. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

4 The Pressed Forward Walk

Use this type of Forward Walk to end a forward progression in one direction, followed by a very quick turn to a new forward direction. It also provides the possibility of creating the correct shape between partners to provide an intimate visual connection without being too close to the partner, which would make such a connection uncomfortable. It is used by the Lady in the Closed Hip Twist and the Sliding Doors. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

5 The Forward Walk Turning

This type of Forward Walk is used mostly by the Lady, but a fair by by the Man as well. It is used to go from walking forward in one direction to walking forward in a completely different direction, typically a turn of 180°, but sometimes slightly more or less. It is used in the Alemana, and Switch Turns. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

6 The Backward Walk

The Backward Walk is fundamentally what the Forward Walk would look like if played in reverse. The Lady typically dances more Backward Walks than the Man, but it is performed by both dancers also in the Open Basic Movement and the Progressive Walks. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

7 The Extended Backward Walk

The Lady usually dances this type of Walk when commenced with feet together in a Sit Line, or other Stationary Position such as the commencement of the routine. This allows for a compression in the connection as the Man approaches the Lady while she delays her action, and then a quick explosion of dynamics within the partnership when she quickly moves back. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.

8 The Pressed backward Walk

The Man uses this type of walk whenever he dances a Cuban Cross action, crossing one foot behind the other on the Toe, then (optionally) lowering to the Flat of the foot later. It is used in the Natural Top, and in the Sliding Doors. A full technical description of this figure can be found here.



EXTRA CREDIT:

Check out this video of offical NDCA Rumba!

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History of Swing Dancing

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

With April upon us, we now have new group class offerings including the ever popular East Coast Swing.  As always, our group classes are kid and adult friendly!  To get everyone ready for East Coast Swing we are offering every Thursday evening in April, here is a brief history of Swing dancing in general, the parent category in which East Coast Swing lies. 

...In the 1920’s, a new dance was being developed, different from any previous dance. It would become known as the Lindy Hop, and later as the Jitterbug. Lindy Hop (the original form of swing dance) is a mostly 8 count dance based partly on the Breakaway and the Charleston, with influences from many Jazz dances and other previous dances. Smooth Lindy would develop soon after the birth of the Lindy Hop, and these two styles would give rise to various other dances.

Dance contests became more and more "attention getting". In the 1930's a dancer named Frankie Manning added the first aerial into the Lindy. Aerials (lifts, flips, and other "air steps") had been done for years in a few other dances through exhibitions by professional club entertainers, but supposedly had not yet been done in the Lindy Hop.

Frankie and his partner worked out a back flip they had seen, and they added it to their performance at a dance contest in an effort to beat the then Savoy Ballroom "king" dancer, George Snowden.

July 4, 1928. On the 18th day of a non-stop dance marathon at the Marathon Casino, the NYC Board of Health had finally closed down the event. Four of the original 80 couples were left standing. Contestant number 7, Savoy Ballroom dance star "Shorty" George Snowden, and his partner shared the prize with the other three couples. Earlier, when the event was still in full swing, people could post a small cash prize with the emcee for a brief mini-contest among the survivors. This was the backdrop in which Shorty's spontaneous throw-out breakaway, and a flash footwork improv, capturing media attention. "What are you doing with your feet?" asked the Fox Movie Tone News interviewer. "The Lindy Hop," replied Shorty George -- Charles A. Lindbergh (aka "Lindy") had recently "hopped" the Atlantic, landing on May 21, 1927. From Shorty George's ad hoc reply, the Lindy Hop was officially given a name...

...Today there are many types of swing. East and West Coast, The Lindy Hop, The Charleston, The Jitterbug, etc. The ASU Swing Dance Club teaches East Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Charleston, Balboa, Shim-Sham.

The above information is excerpted from a wonderful post by Appalacian State University Swing Dance club and is the full property of that organzation.  Read the full article here.


Some MOTIVATION to get out and learn East Coast Swing with us!!! Check out this videos of the professionals showing us all how its DONE!!

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12 Rules for New and Seasoned Dancers

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Being a new dancer can bring a variety of emotions from nervousness, fear, excitement to confusion.  

To help everyone out with the last one (come down for private lessons to help with the rest) I found a great infographic on the blog VivoMasks that makes it easy for new and seasoned dancers to look like pros (and get a good peer review on the floor!).



Tips with Tiffany: Social Dance Etiquette

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

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Tips with Tiffany: Social Dance Etiquette

Posted on February 4, 2016 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

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Tips with Tiffany: Shoe Care Tip

Posted on January 26, 2016 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

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Tips with Tiffany: Latin & Rhythm Styling Tip

Posted on January 12, 2016 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Check out our brand new tip from Tiffany!  Make your Latin & Rhythm routine really pop with this cross-over break styling tip.:D

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Dancer Health: Tango Dancer's Guide to Core Muscles

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Thinking of our dancers, we found this great article regarding core muscles and the Tango dancer.  

We are offering Tango on Tuesday evenings for the entire month of January so hopefully this will come in handy!


Here is the link:

http://tango-space.com/blog-all-posts/2016/1/2/the-tango-dancers-guide-to-core-muscles

Tips with Tiffany: Smooth Technique

Posted on January 6, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)


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