Sharing The Joy Of Dancing


Latin dancing refers to dances that employ Latin motion (Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Swing, etc.). Latin dances are danced from the bottom of the rib cage down keeping the frame steady. The frame is what makes the two dancers "one". It is what allows the two 2-legged people to become a single four-legged entity. The frame is what "Lead and Follow" is all about. If there is no frame - there is no connection and no feeling.

In the Latin dance frame, the bodies of the partners have the characteristics of the letter "A" and the lady is off set to the man's right side (lady's belly button even with the man's right hip bone). The man's right arm is connected to the lady between his wrist and elbow. The connection is with an upward pressure (never side pressure). This connection is with the muscle on the bottom of the lady's left upper arm as close to her body as possible. The lady's left hand is on the outside of the man's right arm. (Instructor's opinion). The man's left hand index finger (that is parallel to the floor) is at the eye level of the lady (regardless of the lady's height) and the forearm is touching or slightly apart. It is always made comfortable for the lady.

The Latin frame has distance between the partners because of the forward feeling frame. It feels forward from the elbows. The head is straight ahead making the body forward heavy taking the weight slightly off of the heels creating the "A" frame connection. The frame is consistently toned but never frozen and is moved by the movement of the body not by separate arm movements. American Style Latin motion has a lot of knee action and the Latin frame accommodates this.

The lady is short from the shoulders down and tall from the shoulders up. Usually the lady will be shorter than the man but the lady NEVER dances "up" to the man. Stay down into the partnership's center. She will never be balanced in an "up" position. The man should bring his frame "down" to the lady.

Each person in the partnership has a center of gravity (usually about 2 inches below their belly button) and the partnership also has a center of gravity (somewhere between the partners). The goal of partnership dancing is to become "one" with your partner and that is accomplished by dancing through the partnership center of gravity. The connection to your partner is through the center (center of gravity) of the partnership even though the partnership is physically connected thought the frame above the center. The power of movement is initiated from your back through the partnership's center.

I hope this description will give you a beginning understanding of what the Latin frame is all about.