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Rumba and the Latin Hip

by Kenji & Nobuko Shibata

Rumba is a "body" dance. We'd like to share with you some ideas with regard to rhythmic interpretation and body/hip movements that will help you to dance more comfortably and beautifully.

Hip actions are produced by a controlled transfer of weight from foot to foot. The hips should move softly from side to side as a result of the flexing and straightening of the knees and never by a conscious swinging of the hips. To achieve this hip movement, every step should be taken with pressure on the ball of the foot with the knee flexed, and as the weight is taken onto the foot, the heel should lower, the knee straighten, and the heel of the opposite foot should be released as the hips move softly sideways in the direction of the stepping foot. Hip movement is used on every step except in some figures, such as the Natural Top.

Each foot movement takes a half beat of music. Weight transfer or body action then occurs on the second half of the beat for steps taken on a quick (Q) count. For steps taken on a slow (S) count, the weight transfer or body action uses one-and-a-half beats of music. Taking an example of the man's Forward Basic movement:


Count

Rhythmic

Interpretation

Action Taken

Q

Q

Forward L toe with pressure on the ball of the foot with knee flexed, weight retained on R.


&

Transfer weight onto the L as the heel lowers with the knee straight, hips move from right to left softly.

Q

Q

Replace R toe with pressure on the ball of he foot with knee flexed, weight retained on L


&

Transfer weight onto R as heel lowers with knee straight, hips move from left to right softly.

S

Q

Step L toe side & back with pressure on the ball of the foot with knee flexed, weight retained on R.


&

Transfer weight onto L as heel lowers with knee straight, hips commence to move from right to left.


Q&

Hips continue to move from right to left softly.


This article is taken from clinic notes prepared for the 1995 URDC Convention. Reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, March 2013.


dingbat




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