Monday, April 12, 2010

Rumba Practice Exercises

This is one of the two actions for in-place weight change on beats 4 and 1. Bringing the hips flat before using the twist of the hips to move the foot is needed to create the right action.

Start the exercise with right foot forward hips flat.
1) Twist back left hip to start pulling back right foot.
2) Settle left hip, and bring right foot with bent leg even with left foot
3) Keep head level, up on both toes,  rotate hips, straighten right leg, and transfer weight
4) Extend left foot forward.

Points to remember:
  • Maintain pressure of inside edge of ball of foot with ground.
  • On 2 and 3 create maximum forward separation between knees by rotating hips
  • On 3, use core to lift hips to keep head level
  • Keep shoulders flat, unrotated
  • Use back muscles to create opposition between hips and shoulders
Alternate action for weight change:
Pull right foot in with straight leg, use hips and core to change weight, put left leg forward with knee straight.

The alternate action is slower, and emphasizes the hip action, while the other action emphasizes the leg. Different body types may look better doing one or the other action for in place weight changes, and what looks better may not be what feels better.

Rumba walks, in four parts:
Start with right foot back, 30% weight on ball of right foot with straight leg, feet turned out, hips flat. 
1) Turn left hip forward, this turns out right foot more
2) Settle left hip, bring right foot even with left foot, right knee bent, knees together
3) Push right foot forward, keeping weight on straight left leg
4) Push off from left foot to transfer weight to right foot.

Rumba walk back.
Start with RF forward, no weight
1) Left hip goes back, to the point of losing balance backwards
2) Right foot with bent knee quickly passes left foot
3) Catch falling weight on straight right leg back with weight on inside edge of ball of foot.
4) With straight legs, push of left ball of foot to transfer weight to right foot.

The size of a backwalk step is as big as the ball of foot can reach when the knees are together and moving leg's knee flex. If the step is too big, when settling the front foot will slide, which is not correct (except for some cases for styling).

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