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re: Cha Cha / Rumba Technique
Posted by Larry Richardson
8/18/1999  1:15:00 AM
Rock step, break steps, to lower the heel or not to lower the heel?
Several years ago I attended a week long instructors camp for Arthur Murray instructors. Sam Sodano taught a class on teaching what he called the component system in Rumba.
He began by refering to the 5 basic foot positions that any instructor or student should be familiar with. He then defined "Break" as a change of weight from one foot to another without changing the position of the feet. A "rock" step is simply another work for a break.
In most rhythm dances the most commonly accepted foot position for a foreward or back rock is an open 3rd foot position. The only difference between a foreward rock (break) and a back rock is which foot the weight is placed onto first (foreward rock = front foot then back, back rock = back foot then front)
In order to maintain a continuity of body motion, there normally should be a staigtening of the knee with a corresponding lowering of the heel. Normal poise and weight carriage in dancing should always have the "weight" felt over the balls of the feet. My experience is that this is one of the most misunderstood techniques in ballroom dancing. So many instructors seem to equate the lowering of the heel with also allowing with to the heel.....It ain't so. The heel can be lowered while still maintaining the weight over the ball of the foot. Yes...it is possible to straighten the knee without lowering the heel, but but that does not mean "dig" the ball of the foot into the floor and arrest the straigtening action of the knee and hence body movement.
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