Sunday, November 29, 2009

CBM and/or CBMP?

There seems to be a great deal of confusion among, not only students, but instructors, teachers and professionals who have not truly studied the Technique of Ballroom Dancing.

So, I will try and help some of the helpless on this very subject!

CBMContra Body Movement. This is a body action. It is used naturally everyday when we walk. Watch somebody walking naturally and you will see his or her arms swinging naturally forward and back. As they step forward with, say their right foot, their left arm swings slightly forward. This is naturally created through a normal slight rotation of the human body. Watch a troop of soldiers marching and you will see this same movement but slightly more exaggerated.

In dancing, CBM is used only on forward and backward steps usually when turning. Example – first step of Natural or Reverse Turn in Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Slow Foxtrot, and Quickstep. Without CBM you are pushing your partner or being pushed instead of dancing past your partner or allowing your partner to dance past you. The technical definition of CBM is – “A body action. The turning of the opposite side of the body towards the moving foot which is moving forward or back, generally to initiate turn”.

The opposite of “CMB” is “Side Leading”. This is used naturally whenever you would reach forward or backward to take something from a shelf or even to shake hands with someone. The technical definition is “ taking the same side of the body either forward or backward with the moving foot”.

CBMPContra Body Movement Position. This is a foot position and not a body action.. “A foot position where the foot is placed on or across the line of the supporting foot, either in front or behind to maintain body line.”

This creates the allusion of CBM being used! This is not usually a natural everyday movement – unless you are a Fashion Model on a Runway, but there are everyday situations were you would naturally step across the line of your standing foot. There are five (5) dance situations where CBMP is used. (1) All partner outside steps as man or lady (except the 3rd step of the Fishtail in Quickstep). (2) All pivots. (3) All promenade figures. (4) Tango Left Foot Forward Walks and Tango Right Foot Backward Walks. (5) The only step that does not fall into the above 4 situations is the last step of the Change of Direction in Slow Foxtrot and/or Quickstep.

There are times when CBM and CBMP are used together. Example - the first step of all Natural Turns in Waltz and Quickstep as Man and Lady when the first step is outside partner on step 1 or the second step of the Closed Promenade in Tango as Lady.

Side Leading” is often used to denote a preparation step for an “outside partner” step. Example: Second step of the Feather Step in Slow Foxtrot or third step of Running Finish in Quickstep.

The next time you are in class or on a private lesson ask your teacher/coach/instructor to explain the CBM and/or CBMP techniques – it is a very, very important part of great dancing and should be understood by all good teachers and dancers.

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