The advanced academy introduces new aspects of technique - such as footwork, poise and posture, body sway and contra body movement.
Any dance student aiming at a high standard must understand the theory and practice of using Contra Body Movement, it cannot be taught to beginners - good balance, timing and movement must have been acquired first.
In ballroom dancing contra body movement is brought about by turning the body slightly, from the hips upwards, so that the opposite hip and shoulder are turned towards the moving leg; if the step is being taken forward on the right foot, the left shoulder and hip will be turned slightly forwards.
The four ways that contra body movement are used are as follows;
Step forward with right foot, turning the left hip and shoulder forward.
Step forward with left foot, turning the right hip and shoulder forward.
Step back with right foot, turning the left hip and shoulder backward.
Step back with left foot, turning the right hip and shoulder backward.
You can use contra body movement by allowing the back foot to turn inwards very slightly, there is a natural tendency to turn the back foot outwards; this must be corrected because it will prevent the hips turning together with the shoulders.
There is another form of contra body movement, called contra body movement position, when you step across your body you will be in contra body movement position. If you step forward with your right foot across your left, keeping your body facing the front, you will see that the effect is the same as if you had stepped straight forward with your right foot, at the same time turning your left hip and shoulder forward.
This form of contrary movement - CBMP - is used on all outside steps, where you step outside your partner or your partner steps outside you, it is often used in the tango, especially in promenade figures.
In ballroom dancing you always dance anti-clockwise and there are only two basic ways that you can turn - natural (right-handed) or reverse (left-handed).In a natural turn you always sway towards the middle of the ballroom, and in a reverse turn you always sway slightly towards the outside of the ballroom - the wall. The sway should be carried from the feet upwards, so that the whole of your body - legs, hips, shoulders and head is inclined towards the centre of the turn that you are making, with experience you will find that it comes naturally!
Strictly Ballroom Advanced Academy Dance Workshops
The Connoisseur of Choreography in Salsa, Rumba and Cha Cha Cha and Samba, Foxtrot, Waltz and Quickstep.
Dust of those dancing shoes and give it a whirl!
Specialist private lessons are available throughout the day, evenings
and weekends at the dance studio, The Selsey Centre, Manor Road, Selsey, West Sussex.