It is said that Clave is the core of Latin dance but I'm totally new to this kind of instrument. (only old mans said?)
Can any one help that with its boom 2 3 in one bar and 5 & 8 in the next bar how can I step Int Rumba (I'm familiar with the counting 2 3 4)? I showed the question in other forum but seem that it is hard to be answered.
It seems that Clave is not necessary for us, the Int Latin dancers in the present time? I see no Int Latin Dancers and Coaches teaching about clave?
Dancelover2012. To my knowledge a clave is not an instrument. Just forget you ever heard the word. Remember the Basic Rumba has 3 steps over 4 beats. Beat one is a hip movement only. That's all you need to know at the beginning. Later you may play around with the rhythm for a different effect using an and count.
Despite what some dance teachers may tell you, the clave rhythm is not a factor in most of the music to which you dance your modern International Latin syllabus. It is scarcely a shadow of its original self, not the entire driving force behind the rhythms played by the entire band, as it is in more traditional forms of Afro Cuban music. Most Rumba and Cha Cha music played at your dance studio may contain some small nod to clave, often played by the rather high-pitched and insignificant clave instrument, which when not being backed up by the rest of the band, provides no real driving force of its own -- just a light and barely noticeable accent. In other words, it would be nothing that would make you feel inclined to follow anything other than the instruments all playing together, which is to say the natural agogic stress of the basic 4/4 structure, i.e. strong beats being 1 and 3.
Your Latin dance teacher may give you any number of reasons why he thinks you should break on beat 2. Perhaps he'll say it's the clave, or maybe he'll spout off something about the hip shift after the side step being the "strongest" action. Whatever the justification, the truth is, nobody really knows exactly how it came to be that we all must break on 2, and so everybody just parrots the explanation(s) they heard from their teachers. It doesn't matter whether it actually *is* more musical -- the truth is, it isn't -- what maters is that that's the way it's been done for several generations. And when you've spent a career dancing a particular rhythm (or even just a few months), your brain will accept it as the best rhythm.
At any rate, you're correct. The clave rhythm is irrelevant to us as modern studio-trained Latin dancers. But if you're interested in studying it, you'll find no shortage of information about it on Google, in book stores, and in music stores near you. It's a fascinating topic. Just don't expect to get very much reliable information on the subject from ballroom dancers.
Regards, Jonathan Atkinson www.ballroomdancers.com
Actually, WHY we break on 2 is very easy to trace.
When Pierre returned from his " trip " he evaluated what was being danced in Danzon and Bolero."We " were dancing, at that time period ,the square form of Rumba ( a very close resemblance to Danzon )... so.. it doesnt take much to extrapolate, opening the " box " to a Prep on "1" and break fwd on "2" .
Danzon using a " slow "..1 2; the decision, made by all evidence that ,he changed the Bolero ( on 3 ) to 2. The majority of basic foundation Intern. style Rumba, is essentially, a re-arranged of, if you will,of many of the standarised variations being danced in Bolero at that time ( as you probably already know ).
And, there are some Boleros written in a Son rhythm, and i wonder, if that , also had impact on the decision .
The pieces of the jigsaw are all there, just takes time, to put them in the correct sequence .
As to Clave, yes, its not as dominant in many " pop " type songs that, have been used for the Intern style Rumba, and you know what they say " No Clave.. not Latin " .Its the heart and soul of the genre . Just sayin....
In the old time, the Rumba is counted "Quick Quick Slow" or "2-3-4"? "No Clave Not Latin" is applied mainly for Latin Music or Latin Dance? I find to read something about Clave but it only topics around Clave with music, no topic talking about Clave and Latin dance. Any help for suggestion?
I would never count the Rumba in slows and quicks. To those of us who are familiar with a Foxtrot know that a Slow has two beats. By calling the 4 1 as a Slow we stand a very good chance of arriving too early and have nothing to do on beat one having already moved the hip across. It is far better to call beat four as Stop and then beat one as Hip. 2 3 4 1.
I think you may be a little confused ; " Clave " is the instrument that sets the stage, so to speak, for how the music is played. It comes in 2 separate orders. Rumba and Guaracha, 3/2 format ( 5 strikes ) and the Son and Guaguanco are 2/3 .
So.. it depends upon WHOM writes the music, for the style in which they want it played . Some bands do have a habit of "switching " the clave during the song. In essence, a good dancer, will adjust HOW they continue to dance, accordingly ( its important, but really wont affect your dance, if you continued dancing in the same fashion ) .
N.B. The above mentioned Rumba, is NOT the format which you would be dancing as a social dance, in either Intern. or Amer. style. This is a native form of musical composition, which is danced "Free " form .
It is the root of all latin music ,as it employs only a Clave ,and Tumbao ( a drum ) as an accompaniament .
So..... the dances we dance today, are loosely based upon those formats. The only truer forms left that, are danced socially, appear in some forms of Salsa ( Son for e.g. ).
Latin rhythms, are polyrhythmic , and complex. My suggestion is , for now, consolidate your foundation ,to simple counting methods which work for you . Studying at a deeper level will eventually give you a more complete undarstanding of how( and why ) the dances are constructed, the way they are, tho, in my opinion, the Intern. style has lost its way !
If you want to read more about the genre, there are some excellent articles ( written by musicians and others ) on Salsa Forums .