Dancing Tid-bits #47, Thursday, April 19, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Corta Jaca, Technique

Ever since my earlier training days, this figure has caused me a lot of grief because if you do it as prescribed in Technique books (both ISTD and IDTA), it seems to break the phrasing 1 to 4 or does it really?

Standard Technique: If you do a Natural Basic Movement as your Samba Basic, the standard technique as written in textbooks is just fine, i.e., Man: step forward on RF on 1 (S), and start Corta Jaca LRLRLR foot 2&3&4& (or QQ,QQ,QQ) and then do lady's part, on 5 step back on LF and finish 6&7&8& and resume Natural Basic Movement going RF forward 1 a 2, or whatever. Let's call this Corta Jaca/Natural, because we started with Right Foot forward on 1 (S).

However, if the beginner students are taught Reverse Basic Movement which we conventionally do in USA (I do not know about rest of the world), problems arise. If you want to teach the strict technique, you must do 1 a 2 of Reverse Basic with LF then start the above amalgamation which obviously breaks the phrasing. Not that it cannot be done, you can do some figure as 1-4 of Volta starting with LF that puts you RF forward on 1 or 5 but it requires imaginative choreography.

Suggested Modified Technique: Consider 2 scenarios:

1. We are doing Reverse Basic Movement as our Basic or

2. In our choreography, we are ready to go forward on LF on 1. I recommend the following technique to keep the phrasing of 1 to 8.

Man: (Lady normal opposite), Precede with 1 to 8 of Reverse Basic Movement, Now, take a strong heel Lead and step forward on LF, lowering and bracing Left Arm, count 1 and now Corta Jaca (RLRLRL) 2&3&4&, RF forward on 2, LF rightward on &, RF back on 3 and LF rightward on &, RF forward on 4, LF rightward on &.

Now Man does Lady's part and Lady normal opposite.

Man: RF back, Firm step count 5 and Corta Jaca LF back count 6, RF leftward count &, LF forw. on 7 and RF leftward on &, LF back on 8 and RF leftward on &..... and there you have it, follow with Reverse Basic Movement. Let's call this Corta Jaca/Reverse, because we started with Left Foot forward on 1 (S).

Note: It helps if you go to open position (L to R hand) on 1 and close on 5.

Yes it might feel a little odd if you are so used to RF forward on step 1 (S) but it will fly if you keep and open mind, Best wishes...Max

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