"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #194, Thursday, August 12, 2004
ISTD Test Latin (contd.) Part 5, The Jive
It was my desire to write some articles based on my personal experience of taking an ISTD Associate Test. When I took the test there was absolutely no guidance available and there was nothing that could help us to get even the slightest idea of what this test is like. So, I have tried to describe my experience in the hope that someone somewhere will appreciate this series.
Syllabus: Actually 5-6 years ago there was a lot of confusion as to what is the syllabus. It seemed that even figures, now from Licentiate (membership then) were included at Associate Level. However hopefully this is over and the new ISTD Manuals (each dance on separate manual) describes clearly what you will be expected to be tested upon for each level.
Usually the Jive and Paso will be left for the end of the test. By this time the examiner already has made up his/her mind as to whether you pass or fail. Now really it almost becomes a teaching session and the examiner will tell you about areas that they universally find lacking in knowledge in most students.
Jive Basic: In my earlier days I used to think that Jive Terminology was tedious for no good reason. But as I have become used to teaching, I feel the terms used in Jive are very explanatory.
Fallaway Rock: Yes it is a "Fallaway" because during the Rock you and the Lady go into a Fallaway position. For the beginners, Fallaway position is when both of you step back in Promenade Position. I am really indebted to Mr. Billet who gave me such basic information on Technique that without this concept Jive feels Flat. It is important that the Man provide a firm "Tone and Frame" so that the Lady gets a Lead to go into Fallaway. He must initiate the Lady to turn to her right before he makes 1/8 turn to his left. Therefore the Ladies turn will be slightly more than 1/8 and they would have achieved a good fallaway on beat 1. Actually when he opens her up to her right he will also feel a little torsion to right in his upper frame and then he will turn left on the Rock and then again right when he does his Chasse LRL to face his partner. This will improve your Jive Rock as it did mine.
Fallaway Throwaway: The Lady just fills the space that you leave vacant by not turning right after the Fallaway, you know what I mean?
Hip Motion: You will certainly be asked about Hip Movement. I have found this to be a controversial subject. My own answer is that Hip movement in Jive is not really "cuban" like in Rumba and Cha Cha The side movement is minimal at the end of the chasse and slightly more pronounced on Rock. It is not fair to teach Jive to Slow music and then say "move your hip to side" etc. Jive is more Bouncy.
We talked about the amounts of turn in Spanish Arms, Windmill and Rolling off the Arm but don't worry these figures are now at Licentiate level and I believe you will not be tested on these more advanced Figures.
There used to be a Link and a Link Rock and now there is just "Link" which is the good old Link Rock. Check your old and new manual.
I still don't like the terms Change of Places. They are confusing to beginners.Why cant we say Under Arm Turn to Right and Left"...?
With Best Wishes, Max.
Paso will be last in this series and then Thanks God we are done on ISTD Testing.