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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 08-11-2004
Title : ISTD Test, Latin part 4, Samba
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #192, Thursday, July 22, 2004.

Today's Topic: ISTD Test, Latin part 4, Samba

Most of the time was spent on discussion of "Bounce Action". I presented the following interpretation and the examiner was satisfied and it is easy for me to teach it to students. However the recently published manuals have created some confusion in my mind and I find that interpretation difficult to explain to students. Hopefully you can express your opinion.

By convention, 1 a 2 rhythm means the beat value "3/4 1/4 1". It does seem logical because I have been told that "a" or "&" belongs the beat that has gone by, right? This description of Samba Basic is consistent with what was written in the old ISTD Technique and was then put forth by Laird in the "diagram format" but basically both meant the same thing.

The Laird diagrammatic showed that on 1 you step forward LF (Man-Reverse Basic) and compress the knees. This takes 1/2 beat.On "&" you straighten the knees. This takes also 1/2 beat. However you use partial weight on RF at the end of "&" and count "a". Then on 2 you transfer weight back to LF. The knee compresses and then it straightens on "&" again. This creates the typical bounce action. Thus the count of basic starting from a down position becomes "&1&a2&1&a2". This means beat value of 3/4-1/4-1.

Now let's look at the new ISTD manual and see the "Changing Trends"

Reverse Basic: 1. LF fwd. count 1......... 2. Close RF to LF without weight, count "a"......... 3. Take Minimal weight to RF and replace weight to LF, count 2

If I had to take the examination today, I do not know how I will interpret this action but I hope this helps you to understand different interpretations that are out there. I hope you can appreciate this major "changing trend". In other words now, the partial weight on "a" (old description) is out, now there is no weight on "a" and according to new technique the partial weight is now part of second beat. So are we saying that the beat value is*1, 1/4 3/4 according to new technique? I do not believe so.

THE GOOD. Obviously it can be interpreted *that way but I am inclined to think that this is not what is meant here. I think what they are saying that don't "rush on 1 and delay your part weight on "a" and then take full weight on 2. It simply means that create "more samba tick" and bring that "freeze effect on 1". I agree that this concept encourages a good samba rather than a monotonous rhythm that sounds more like 1 and 2.

THE BAD: You try teaching that to a student that there is no weight on "a" and see the results yourself.