They are similar figures. The primary difference is the starting positions. A plain Spiral is done from closed facing using a Natural Opening Out as the lead-in. The man leads the lady sort of forward across his body on the third step and leads her into a spiral turn, then they proceed to a fan ending. A Curl starts from open facing position. The lady will take her third step forward towards the man at which point he leads her into a spiral turn and they proceed to a fan ending. I suppose I can pull out the technique book later if you want more specific details, but that's the main difference between the Spiral and Curl syllabus figures -- the Spiral is done from closed facing and the Curl is done from open facing.
Well, my new ISTD latin books are at home. I only have the old one with me right now. For the spiral in rumba the man's footwork is listed as ball flat throughout and the lady's as ball flat except on step 3 where it's ball flat RF, toe of LF. Cha cha looks like the same footwork, ball flat throughout for both except the lady's step 5 which is the same as rumba's step 3. The steps themselves are relatively easy, especially for the man, the trick is leading the lady's spiral turn. It seems like a lot of figures where the lead is the hard part give the man pretty simple steps so he doesn't have to think about them and can concentrate on getting the lead right. HaOanhTranThanh offered a brief description of the steps. I think right and left foot are switched though -- in syllabus Spirals and Curls, the lady should be making the spiral turn on her RF, not her LF.
As James says, a curl is just a type of spiral turn taken from open facing position. It therefore has less turn than a standard spiral and as a result, the left foot ends up crossed more loosely in front of the right than in a spiral.
As far as we know the difference between Curls and Spirals as follows :
· Curls: Turn used in walk around turns and as an advanced way for women to do cross body leads. Begin with weight on right foot. Step forward with left foot, leaving right foot behind. Once weight is completely on left foot, swivel 1/2 turn counter-clockwise on the ball of the left foot, letting the hip settle or follow through on the finish. · Spirals: Begin the same as a curl. Instead of taking the turn 1/2, dancer will be turning 3/4. When dancer turns to a point the upper legs are closed, bend the knee of the free leg, still leaving the free foot behind, almost wrapped around the supporting leg. We hope that what we have written above is helpful.
Spirals can be done on either foot. I always thought the Curl was more down than the Spiral. But looking at the example.s I cant see much of a difference between the two.In a Practice session I used to attend. On our own , both ladies and men, in file, we had to start in the Fan Position. Spiral to our left . Two Walks and Spiral to our right keeping a strait line down the floor to music. This was our warm up before we really got into it.
There is a DanceVision Silver Bolero pattern called Curl, Fan, Lunge. You can find it on YouTube, performed by Ron and Karla Montez. While a curl in Bolero may not be EXACTLY like a curl in Rumba (comments from experts?), I think it's close enough. Rumba and Bolero are at least cousins. The curl in that pattern comes after an open break. You can see it performed by some top professionals, and you can watch it as many times as you want.
I think the main problem with a Spiral is trying to do the whole thing on the count of 4. 1. Instead of standing on the count of 4. and then and only then Spiral on the count of 1. In other words separate them as two distinct moves.
Pretty much, most of the basic variations were taken from Bolero and Danzon ( same for mambo/chacha ) and adapted to the Intern. style .
The speed of the music for each, played a large part, in each figures construction, a good ex being the basic in each of Bolero and Rumba, both predicated on the open Box ( XBL and Fan another ex )also, the change in music...
The Bolero. A piece of music composed by Ravel in 1928 commissioned by a Russian Ida Rubinstein actress and dancer for a Ballet. It seems it was a solo dance at that time . Some credit for its popularity must go to film actors George Raft and Carol Lombard who in a 1934 danced the Bolero in a film of the same name. Look it up.There is a film clip which can be seen. For the records . There was already a Spanish dance called the Bolero. Its interesting to note that most of the demonstrations take place on a large round table or stage, which points that in a market place a crowd always form a circle never a square. Even in the George Raft film they are on a circular stage possibly to stay with tradition.