Dancemax Letter # 38, Thursday Feb 15, 2001
Dear Max, Does it mean that in Closed Hip Twist I end the figure with
still holding onto my partner with both the hands? As against that in Open
Hip Twist I end the figure with holding on to my partner with only one hand
or no hold. Thank you, and with regards,..Jai.
Dear Jai, I think it is a wonderful question but I get a feeling that I am being put to test because the question by itself suggests that you already know so much about the answer, not being facetious. One way or the other it is good opportunity to discuss this for benefit of everybody specially me.
What is a Hip Twist: Obviously the name suggests that it is a twisting movement of the hip, in other words the hips turn more than the upper body. We perhaps twist our hips so often doing Latin dances but as a syllabus figure it is classically assigned to Rumba and Cha Cha. Let us discuss Rumba Hip Twists.
What are different types of Hip Twists:
1.Closed Hip Twist ( bronze): is a basic figure started in Closed Hold. On step 1 man steps to side LF opening the lady to her right, step 2, man transfers weight to right foot and lady does normal opposite and on step 3 man closes his left foot to right foot, lady either can step forward and across with her RF to mans right side or simply face the man. Now, she will twist her hip to right trying to keep upper body more or less parallel to her partner and on step 4, step forward with left foot then forward on RF (5) turning left and end in fan position, left foot back (6). Man simply steps back on 4, transfer weight to LF on 5 and step to side on 6 with RF. A little intricate detail about turning movements and hip twists should not be ignored.The turn or the twist should be initiated on the later part of previous beat the so called "&.". In other words when counting 2-3-41&, first three steps the lady should start the twist on & with pressure into the right foot before stepping forward on LF.
2. Open Hip Twist (silver) I wish I could describe it all but basically it will suffice to say that twist is started in Open Facing position.
3. Advanced Hip Twists (gold); Hip Twist concept same but more twisting and twirling and started from a more advanced position that had ended as right outside pos. for man.
4. Continuous and Circular Hip Twists (gold or open) Basically I think in a continuous hip twist the alignments change much less but in circular hip twist, the continuous twisting movement is associated with a circling movent to left.
5. Gaynor's Hip Twist?..(just kidding, although it is different, isn't it?)
Common Problem: I feel many some ladies don't twist the hip and they make a whole body turn between 3 and 4 and the movement becomes flatter. I think every attempt should be made to turn the hip more than the shoulders to give it a little punch. Also it will be just as ugly to force the shoulders to be absolutely parallel to the partner and a "naturalness of the movement should never be ignored."
Now the answer to Jai's question: Perhaps the first 3 varieties of Hip Twists get their name from HOW they are started, Closed from a Closed pos., Open from Open Facing Pos., and Advanced from a more Advanced Right Outside Pos. Any of these Hip Twists can be ended either in Closed, Close, Open, Fan or Counter Promenade Position. Man of course must change his lead and adjust the amount of turn appropriately and do an appropriate Follow. I would think same will be true of Continuous and the Circular Hip Twist, but I tend to finish them in Fan. This of course, one should learn from their teacher and other learning materials.
A word about Closed v Close or Contact Position. In Closed position the bodies are apart with normal Hold, I think Close is the same as Contact Position (new ISTD term) a position where slight contact is made with partner as we do in reverse top.
Note: Step 3 for the lady, RF forw. is a delayed forward walk with a bent knee before the hip twist.
This is as much I can say about this movement, Thanks....Max
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.