"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #68, Thursday, September 20, 2001

Dancing Tid-bits
Back to Samba

I am not in a mood to talk about anything new today. I will dwell on an old subject. I take the liberty of borrowing the following two posts from Dancescape website.


1. Has anyone heard anything on this subject? Tonight at my first group dance class for this semester, the teacher mentioned that the samba syllabus is already outdated and the ISTD is preparing a new samba syllabus book. I think he said that they won't sell the samba book right now because they're waiting for the newest version to be completed. This is the first I've heard of it. Does anyone else have any additional information?Anything you can offer would be appreciated.Thanks.Jams M.

2. Last week I received the videos for the ISTD congress in July this year. In a question and answer session about the new Latin syllabus, Lorna Lee (Chairman of the Latin Branch) said that a new Samba book is being produced. I assume that this is to replace the previous 'new' Samba book, David B. ..........UNQUOTE

That sounds like good news. If you recall, I expressed my frustration in Dancing Tid-bits # 37 with the technique of Samba Bounce Action as written in Textbooks, the ISTD vs IDTA.. Lets us recall a little bit of that.

Samba Bounce Action, how it is created? The compression of the knee takes 1/2 beat and so does straightening, 1/2 beat...OK? We can divide the beat in two parts and call it 1&. where 1 is the first half and & is the second half. So the question is, do we bend the knee on "1" and straighten on "&" or it's the other way round To me it is more logical to bend the knee as we step on 1 and then straighten on & .

Quotes from IDTA vs ISTD: I am quoting word for word from the IDTA and ISTD books on this action.

IDTA (Laird): " If the timing of the Bounce Action and the timing of the associated foot movements are combined, the resulting timing becomes: & 1 & a 2 & 1 & a 2... etc. The knee straightening of the Bounce Action that commences during "and" after beat "one" continues while the 1/4 beat step is taken."

In other words, here we are straightening the knees on &. and therefore must be compressing on 1.

ISTD: (new ISTD manual on Samba): "The normal bounce action which is so characteristic of Samba can briefly be described as a slight straightening of the knees on the first 1/2 of the beat and a slight flexing on the second 1/2 of the beat." In other words, here we are straightening on 1 and compressing on &

What is the Confusion: As you can see the above quotes are giving me conflicting information or am I reading it wrong? So, I hope you understand what is confusing here. Are we using two different techniques or am I simply confused and both mean the same thing, you tell me!

Summary: Now we all know Bounce in Samba is not bopping up and down. It is the samba bounce action that creates Samba. To put it simply, the bounce is absorbed in the pelvis by contraction of lower torso as the knees straighten and retraction as they compress. This is the Tic of Samba. Please ask your teacher what is meant by contraction and retraction of Pelvis which is the basis for Samba. This has to be done for all figures that are counted "1 a 2."

Anytime there is change, some confusion is normal. I loved my old "Revised Technique of Latin American Dancing" but then people want change. If we change something just for the sake of changing, a few wrinkles will show up but then soon, I hope we will something newer and more exotic.

I also feel that Bronze Syllabus as given in the old book was just fine. The foot changes and Volta movements at bronze level is too much to ask for this level.

The new to the new edition perhaps will address these issues but for now enjoy your Samba and let go all your inhibitions, With 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