"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #154, Thursday, September 18, 2003

Dancing Tid-bits
Teaching Samba Part II

The most important feature of "1 a 2" is the Bounce Action which we have discussed again and again. I recall a session with Johanes Eftedal who spent the whole hour teaching students how to take the first step of the Basic. He said, "If you are not releasing the heel of the supporting foot" you are not doing Samba. I may have used these words in not exactly the same way but I hope you are getting the point. The release of the heel uses the "&" part of the previous beat and this is where the knees begin to straighten out and then it goes on and on.

The Whisk: In the American terminology we call it "Balancette" but the technique is the same. Men, LF to side on 1, RF crosses behind LF (Latin cross) on "a", and transfer weight to LF on 2. It is as simple as that but then so much can be shown and see how many variations, out there, exist.

Count: The first samba lesson might be confusing if we drill technique too much. However soon, the student must understand the bounce of 1 a 2. If we use straightening of the knees on "&", the count for the basic sounds like "&1&a2" - "&1&a2". I do not agree with a1&a2 - a1&a2, that many teachers use.

Problems: If you do not use the "tick" of Latin, many students start dancing 1and2 - 1and2 and this must be discouraged early enough. You must take your time on 1 which will give a sticky character to dance. However if this is exaggerated which it does many times, the timing tends to become "SQQ" which is essentially 12&. This is OK too if you are doing it intentionally but then we should know that there is no bounce action in SQQ and this will require a different expression. It would be a nice way to end the whisk to right and then turn to Walks in PP.

I hope I made some sense, please let me know, Best Wishes...Max

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