"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #48, Thursday, April 26, 2001
Bronze Samba Routine
Recently I had an opportunity to teach a Samba class at the University of
Michigan Ballroom Dance Club. It was a Beginner-Intermediate group, rather
large number, up to 60 students in the class which is really quite a
challenge. We tried to cover Bronze Level ISTD Syllabus and developed a
Routine that is presented below:
My Approach: In my opinion, Teaching Samba is slightly different from other Latin dances. Each element of the dance such as Whisk, Basic Movement, Bota Fogo and Volta movements, etc., must be introduced as separate steps like you would teach alphabet A to Z. Once the basic elements have been introduced and if students understand the timing, basic technique and a little bounce action, they are ready for choreography and dance to music. Usually I will take it in gradual increments and spend first 30 minutes on drilling the figures and then put them together and start to build a simple choreographic routine.
Line of Dance: This concept must be introduced from the very first day but I tell my students if they are not ready, just carve a spot in the Center and do your Basic and Whisks, etc., to enjoy pulsating music but do not block the LOD.
The difference in the beat value of "a" and "&" is important. "a" is 1/4 beat and "&" represents 1/2 beat. Also that "a" or "&" belong to the beat gone by. This must be clearly understood. Thus Basic Samba 1a 2 or Sa S.has beat value 3/4 1/4 1. Volta Movement is 1a 2a 3a 4, with beat value 3/4 1/4 3/4 1/4 3/4 1/4 1,
It is important to understand the difference between 1&2 and 1 2&, the former being QQS (1/2 1/2 1) and later SQQ (1 1/2 1/2). We used the S QQ QQ QQ or 1 2& 3& 4& for the Corta Jaca Movement. The following Routine was very workable and everyone was able to grasp quite well.
By the way did you see Gary and Diana vs Alain and Anik at Hyatt last week. It was fabulous, good crowds almost on their feet all the time...! Superb Dancing.
Questions and comments to Dancemax@aol.com, thank you.