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Re: International vs. American
Posted by Billy
12/14/2012  12:21:00 PM
Similar situation in South Africa. I estimate about 5% American smooth ballroom and Rhythm Latin versus 95% International standard Ballroom and Latin. Furthermore, most American orientated studios are Pro-Am (solo), which means that you make use of the instructor to dance and compete with - and that is very expensive. Nearly all the International based studios concentrate on amateur partners. Consequently it is much easier to find a dance partner in the International standards when you're at a social ballroom event, and for every American competition you'll find at least 10 International competitions available to you (and your partner). However, I have yet to see a nice non-boring ballroom dance show where the American influence is not visible. Just check out the shows of the various world champions. I agree with the previous correspondant that it is easier to switch from International to American - International teaches the basics (posture, poise, technique, etc) much better. If you start with American, you'll probably pick up some disturbing bad habits w.r.t. your basics, and it may take longer before you look good on the dance floor.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by anonymous
12/15/2012  10:38:00 PM
waynelee: "Latin rumba starts on the two beat, American on the one beat."

AFAIK, int'l Rumba starts on the four beat.
Re: International vs. American
Posted by anymouse
12/17/2012  1:11:00 PM
"AFAIK, int'l Rumba starts on the four beat."

When something is cyclic, where the cycle "starts" is not really very relevant. What continues to matter is the relationship of steps to music.

For an international rumba, the forward or backward step (in situations where there is only one) is on the 2nd beat.

Contrastingly, in American style the forward or backward step would be on the 1st or 3rd beat (there are two traditions). Additionally, the pattern of steps would often be different from in international style, the tempo would likely be a litte faster, and the character of the music would ideally have a different flavor.

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