Sharing The Joy Of Dancing

CHARACTERISTICS OF AMERICAN STYLE LATIN MOTION


Latin Motion (also called Cuban Motion) is the action that gives Latin dance that sexy look that you see on television. It is also just another way to move your body weight from one foot to another.

In Standardized Ballroom Dancing there are two types of "Latin Motion", International" and "American". The primary difference is that in "International" style you move to a straight leg and in "American" style you move to a bent leg. In American style there is always one bent leg and one straight leg.

Latin Motion happens from the bottom of the rib cage and down. The upper body stays basically in place. To accomplish this, there are a lot of upper body muscles working really hard to achieve this.

Latin Motion is a very serial type of movement, only one movement happens at a time, but it is very fluid. The basic concept is: Move your weight to one foot to free up the other. Move the free foot, then move your weight to the free foot. Move the new free foot, then move your weight to the free foot, etc., etc. Make sure the foot moves first before your body weight moves.

Latin dances use only toe steps. Toe steps are taken by lifting your knees that are attached to your heels. When your foot moves your toes stay on the floor and slide to the new position. As your weight transfers the foot goes toe-flat.

Standing with your feet together on split weight (equal weight on each foot) move your belly button (center of gravity ) over your right foot by rotating the right thigh clockwise. Think of wrapping the cheek ( gluteus maximus ) around your tail bone. This action transfers your weight to the right foot, causes the left leg to bend, the left heel to lift off the floor, and the left hip to rotate forward. I call this process "Wrapping". When "Wrapping", make sure your hips do NOT move side to side, but rather rotate like a washing machine agitator.

Rumba Box pattern with Latin Motion:

Standing with your feet together on split weight, "Wrap" the right cheek (clockwise) freeing the left foot and rotating the left hip forward. Move the left foot forward. (the ball of the foot will be just ahead of your left knee) Lift the right heel to move your weight forward to the left foot. The left foot will then go toe-flat as your weight transfers. When the left heel hits the floor, "Wrap" the left cheek (counter clockwise) to free the right foot as the right hip rotates forward.

Now move the right foot to the side (toe). Lift the left heel to transfer your weight to the right foot. (When transferring your weight, both legs must be used, one is moving your weight to the new foot and the other is holding back the weight, thus allowing a smooth, controlled transfer of weight). When the right foot goes from toe to flat, "Wrap" the right cheek to free the left foot as the left hip rotates forward.

Close the left foot to the right. Lift the right heel to transfer your weight to the left foot. As it goes toe-flat, "Wrap" the left cheek to free the right foot as the right hip rotates forward.

(This is the hard part.) Move the right foot backward with the right hip still rotated forward. Lift the left heel to transfer your weight to the right foot. As it goes toe-flat, "Wrap" the right cheek to free the left foot.

Now move the left foot to the side(toe). Lift the right heel to transfer your weight to the left foot. "Wrap" the left cheek to free the right foot.

Close the right foot to the left. Lift the left heel to transfer your weight to the right foot. As it goes toe-flat, "Wrap" the right cheek to free the left foot.

This completes the Rumba Box pattern.

Latin Motion is what Latin dancing is all about. If you are just walking through foot patterns, you are missing the best part of Latin dancing. Lets see some hip action!!!