"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #91, Thursday, Feb 28 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
1 a 2 in Samba-"Changing Trends"

Samba, with it's changing rhythms and body actions and carnival atmosphere is the most exotic of Latin Dances. We will confine our discussion to basic rhythm "1 a 2" as it applies to some basic syllabus figures and you might say "what changing trends..that sounds stupid" Have you read up on the new ISTD manual on Samba and are you familiar with Laird's description of Samba Technique? It seems there are variations on basic concepts and I find that very exciting not that one is wrong or the other one is right.

By convention, 1 a 2 rhythm means the beat value "3/4 1/4 1". It does seem logical because I have been told that "a" or "&" belongs the the beat that has gone by, right? So, in Reverse Basic Movement you step forward LF on 1, close RF to LF with part weight on "a" and transfer weight to LF on 2. This of course is done with Bounce Action but to keep discussion simple,.I will not count the & of bounce action here.

The above descrption of Samba Basic is consistent with what was written in the old ISTD Tecchnique and was then put forth by Laird in the "chart format" but basically it meant the same thing.

Now let's look at the new ISTD manual and see the "Changing Trends"

Reverse Basic: 1. LF fwd. count 1, 2. Close RF to LF without weight, count "a" 3. Take Minimal weight to RF and replace weight to LF, count 2

I hope you can appreciate this major "changing trend". In other words now, the partial weight on "a" (old description) is out, now there is no weight on "a" and according to new technique the partial weight is now part of second beat. So are we saying that the beat value is *1, 1/4 3/4 according to new technique?

THE GOOD. Obviously it can be interpreted *that way but I am inclined to think that this is not what is meant here. I think what they are saying that dont "rush on 1 and delay your part weight on "a" and then take full weight on 2. It simply means that create "more samba tick" and bring that "freeze effect on 1". I agree that this concept encourages a good samba rather than a monotonous rhythm that sounds more like 1 and 2.

THE BAD: You try teaching that to a student that there is no weight on "a" and see the results yourself.

So far I have discussed it only with one world class coach and was told "forget it".

In the end I like this concept not in the Basic but more when you step outside your body on "a" as in Bota Fogos or Side Samba Walk. I would like to hear your interpretation.

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