BASE Press Release


These are the findings of the inaugural meeting of BASE (Body for Artistic Standards of Excellence). This is a body of experienced Professionals formed as an independent group not connected to any particular organisation. The meetings are for discussion and sharing of opinions for the betterment of our art form to uphold its values and offer helpful information and free advice of our accumulated experiences.

A situation regarding the recent British Open Junior Championships was the first most interesting item. The winner of the Juvenile Ballroom Championship apparently repeated only an 8 bar dance routine in all their dances which astounded the judges and the audience alike due to the total package of quality, technique, musicality etc. Such was the excellence of their dancing that they were asked to do an honour dance after the result. This was the very first time at these Championships that a Juvenile competitor presented a demonstration and what a delight it must have been for them. This is most commendable proving that is was not what they did but how they did it.

The next topic was the use of “Head Rolls” and the “Ironing Board” Step in the Ballroom Dances! The use of “Head rolls” and the laying of the ladies head on her man’s shoulder is a relatively new fashion that is now deployed by many couples.

The “Ironing Board” step nicknamed for its picture of the lady creating a horizontal line from her head to her toe kicking her inside leg high outside the man whilst leaning back means that she has no longer retained the correct body contact with her man. All of these figures the Base group agreed that they find undesirable effects demising the classic beauty of the required silhouette.

“Excessive use of syncopations” in all Ballroom Dancers is creating a look of “Running” around the floor. This has somewhat demised both the individual characteristics of the dances and the restriction of having “time” to display precision and beauty of the use of the feet.

“Is Samba losing its identity?” Agreed opinion is that Samba is the Latin dance that is removing itself furthest away from its’ characteristic intentions. Activity and dynamics are replacing body rhythm and the wonderful expression of a Samba pulse, tick and bounce action. The general consensus of opinion is that the understanding and use of Samba music together with its various rhythms & nuances requires the dancer to coordinate feet, knees, pelvis & body. This will help to enhance the flow of movement. Sadly due to the demise of the use of foot action and to a certain extent some choices of choreography the dance has become flat and characteristics are lost.

The topic of “Untidy Footwork” was the final debate. Many valid points were raised by all present = Weight in feet, pressure, tracking, shaping, emotional awareness of both the standing foot and the free moving foot, timing, articulation, synchronization of 4 feet in the partnership; the use of the standing foot and then the continuation of dancing through the standing leg should be a priority in all 10 dances. Someone once said the dancer should “Show on their face what they should be feeling in their feet!” As a related point to this topic the mention of the present fashion of a lack of stirrups by the male Latin dancers certainly does not help. Even on the best dancers good footwork can appear most messy and untidy when the trousers are flapping up and down!

Action and timing should create the character which should be the BASE of everything….

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