Are there two major schools of International Rumba?
I recently discovered some of Allen Tornsbergs teaching videos. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXAkE5d-wE8
The more I study them, the more I like them. For example: The accent on 4 in Rumba, the moderate hip movement as opposed to the exaggerated movement many teachers prefer. I always thought that exaggerated hip-movement is OK for the lady but looks a bit strange on the man. Allen seems to confirm that.
Rumba Walk. Allen transfers the weight on the exact beats of 2, 3, 4 right away, while Slavic goes through a split-weight position on Rumba Walk (in his teaching video with Karina). It seems there are two schools.
Thanks for your comment. Of course, Latin is more flexible than Standard.
It seems, you are at least partially supporting my observations. In the meantime, I asked the same question (are there 2 schools?) from a well-known teacher and she more or less agreed, adding the same observation which you also noted, that there is more room in Latin style than in Standard.
If one compares the two teaching videos, I quoted, there is a definite major difference.
What is your opinion on emphasizing to accent the 4 (as per Allen Tornsberg)? Obviously, one does not want to do that at every 4 in a routine, but it seems to me that it adds musicality, if used properly, as in the original Rumba music the 4 is predominant. He says something like: the more you hold the 1 the more you accent the 4.
The musical reason for the "4" accent is.. its the signature note emphasised by the tumbao and base, which is dominant in Son rhythms , and Son is the foundation of todays latin dances . Even a "slap" by the conga on 4and1, may often be heard,and if not heard, is always implied .
The " clave "which is incorporated into the phrase , is often debated whether or no, it occupies 2 bars .Sometimes yes, and sometimes no .
The 2 major forms of Clave are " Rumba and Guaracha " both in 3/2.. also.. " Son and Guaguanco " , which are in 2/3 .There are also other clave signatures, as in Guajira and Montunos
NB.. The Rumba I quoted is NOT the formalised one that is dance in partnership, but, the indigenous style which is danced solo.
Clave rhythms, are the " Alma Y corazon "( heart and soul) of latin music.
Bottom line.. the many layers of latin music, gives us the opportunity to express the music ,as our ears perceive it .
Voco. It is impossible on any step in any dance not to have right in the middle of the step split weight. You could divide the step into a million parts. At some stage the weight will be equally divided. Just as Slavic suggests if you listen.
Thanks for your comments. I am surprised that there are not more readers participating in this discussion.
I fully understand what you and Slavik are saying about the transitional moving positions. However, I still maintain that there is a major difference of style between Saviks and Allens. Of course both are great dancers and teachers. It looks to me, and to some of the experts I discussed this theme, that Allen transfers his weight earlier (say on Rumba-walk), whereas Slaviks foot arrives on split weight on the beat and then transfer his weight on the following And-count with considerable body motion. In other words, Allens weight is pretty much close to 100% on the stepping foot on the beat, whereas Slavik is 50%-50% split weight at that point of time. Do you agree?
To me this represents two major schools. And the two styles look definitely different.
I am not saying that one is better than the other. I am saying that there are two major styles, and I dont hear much discussion about that in the dance world. Most teachers settle on one style or the other and that is what they teach, as if it were set in stone.
Allen makes a point to stop or nearly stop the body after 4 in order to accent 4 (on Rumba walk). While the other school says never stop the body, so the And 1 looks different, in that aspect also.
The hip movement is pretty continuous and difficult to distinguish from the body movement. The main components are the Figure 8, the Pendulum and the Compression. Karina explains this pretty well in Rumba Innovation video under the chapter Body Movement:
at approx.. 53:00
(Of course they teach the continuous body movement school including 4 AND 1, as opposed to Allens style, as Allen stops the body on 1, as my original theme.) I think Slavik & Karina demonstrate it in cucaracha and in walks, but it applies to basic as well. (Except that the 2 is a check-step in basic and it is a little different in body.) I think Karina does a good job explaining the general concept of body movement.
Hi OK, RE: I don't think that anyone can do a Rumba Walk exactly the same as the other. We have different heights. Then there is the thickness of the thighs. calves and so on. One thing does stand out is the short to medium height person has an advantage over a tall person.
I respectfully disagree. A relatively tall couple demands presence on the dance floor (not abnormally tall). Of course a proportional body is important.
With regard to the schools of Rumba, I talked to a teacher last night, who was Slaviks student for years. She agrees that there are two major accepted styles.
Voco. Even among the elite they dont always agree. On you tube there is a lecture given by Salsberg assisted by Slavik. I dont like to see that said Slavik. I do said Salsberg. I was at a Seminar where Fletcher and Salsberg spoke about the turn out of the feet on a Rumba Walk. One believed the front foot should turn out. The other in his part of the Seminar said no. Both taught that the rear foot must turn out. And so it will go on. For those who compete The, at that time currant World Champion, in a lecture said. I dont care if you are a World Champion (he pointed to himself ) or a Bronze Medalist. When the pressure is on you will only dance about 75% of your best. On those very rare occasions you may get to a 100%. Make sure your 75% is better than your opponents 100%
OK, Would you please give me a link to that video? (Salsberg & Slavik) I would be very interested to watch it.
With regard to the 75%, they are right. I find that at competition, under pressure, I fall back on my muscle-memory, even if that move was proven wrong and corrected long time ago, unless I concentrate to execute that particular movement correctly. On the other hand, such concentration makes me look rigid and unnatural.
Well, we all know that dancing is not easy except for a few geniuses like Slavik - one in a million. For most of us simple mortals, it is a constant process of getting rid of the old bad habits and put the corrected version in muscle memory.
Voco The way I go to the Salsberg Slavik Video is first .Google Espen Lecture. Zip along to 30.27. If you watch the whole thing right through you will find the answer to several thing you have been writing about. Please come back and say if you have changed any of your opinions or have learnt anything from the Lecture. Take a close look at 25.26. Very interesting as is the whole Lecture. Another part is going from the Cuban Motion to an Emotional action and then back to the Cuban Motion all within a couple of bars of music. I found the Delayed Forward Walk also very interesting. Especially where the body weight should be.
Its not easy to explain the Rumba Walls in detail. The step forward is followed by a movement of the hip. The weight is not completely over the front foot. The rear foot still has a fair amount of weight on it. The rear foot is turned into a Latin Cross Position and is still behind . Toe to Heel. From the front the rear leg is hidden by the front leg. The rear hip is still not completely under the body . When it arrives you have danced your weight completely onto what was the front foot and is now the standing foot. When looking at a demonstration look for this action.
What you describe is pretty much the way Slavik and Karina teaches it (in the video quoted somewhere in the above posts). My point was that Allen Tornsberg, an equally great dancer and recognized teacher, teaches it differently (as quoted somewhere above).
So my question was if there are 2 recognized schools. I have the answer in the meantime by talking with some advanced teachers who said, yes, there are two schools, and both are correct in competition.
Voco. Hi. Google The Cha Cha Time Step. It will tell you all you need to know. It is presented by Stefan Green and Adriana Sigona. You will notice the Half Close which is now Close. Footwork. Before was ball Flat throughout. It is now Ball Flat. Ball. Ball Flat. This is a official WDSF presentation.
The 3 ball-flat chasse versions have not been danced in competitions for probably at least decade. It looks slow and rigid. I realize that it has been on the books, but the competitors just ignored the book.
It appears that the current tendency is to speed up the 4-And in order to have enough time to accent the 1. Do you agree?
Voco. I expect you often see the Cha Cha Chasse danced wrong especially in the social scene in which the three steps are wrongly given an equal value. As you know the correct timing is 1/2 . 1/2. 1. I still have the former I.S.T.D. Technique Book 1983 Edition.In it they don't even bother to state the timing, it just says 4 & 1. Back to the real world. If you do move the closing foot in faster to accent the whole beat your timing would more likely be 3/4 . 1/4 1. I suppose it then depends on the judges. They would be very quick if they could pick it. If you look good, why not do it that way.