"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #42, Thursday, March 15, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Rumba Walks Backwards

I got many positive comments on the last letter on Forward Walks so I thought we will touch upon other walks also. Actually if we look at it this way! there are only Forward Walks and then there are Backward Walks. The Diagonal and Side Steps are under Cucarachas or Side Steps which is quite different from the Walking Movement.

How is a Backward Walk different from a Forward Walk? The following comment from DavidB sums it all?

"try to dance a backward walk as though it would look like a forward walk if videotaped and played in reverse"

Even though I have not tried it but I think there is a whole lot of truth to that statement. Anyway the following points come to mind.

1. The stepping foot seems to lead ahead of the body weight. That also sounds like a good idea in every day life. We must feel Space and Ground while stepping back, because our eyes only see forward.

2. The Stepping Foot has "Toe turned out" as weight is collected and I do feel a little turning "in" of the toe of supporting foot during this movement.

3. As the Hip of the Supporting Foot starts to settle the Moving Leg starts to bend but we should not exaggerate this knee action, otherwise walk looks ugly.

4. The Knee of the passing Foot is most bent (like a slid down Fig 4) as it passes the supporting Foot and ankle is hyperextended (show laces). Even though there may be a "toe out" of passing foot but if we use proper technique and footwork, the knee should veer inwards, As often seen, a bent knee that is turned out is very ugly.

5. The Footwork obviously is inside edge of ball, inside edge of the big toe (on close) to inside edge of BallFlat during this transition from forward to back.

6. I feel the weight gradually transferring from Ball to BallHeelFlat.

7. As in Forward Walk the Hip settles and the Free Knee breaks on "&"

Delayed Forward Walk: Simply delay the straightening of the moving leg. The Delayed Forward Walks can either be on (a) Straight Knee: as step 4, LF of Alemana turn for the Lady or (b) Bent Knee: as step 3 Lady, RF forward and across in Closed Hip Twist.

Delayed Backward Walk: The backward walks are slightly delayed by nature. However they are classically delayed in Latin Cross Movement by man as he steps back and behind LF, with his RF to create Natural Top. The knee is always bent and there can be no such thing as a "Delayed Backward Walk on Straight knee," it will be unnatural and Pogo like.

Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK, Tid-bits