Kizomba Technique thread

Discussion in 'Salser@s Anonymous' started by Kading, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Hard to explain in writing. That is why I broke it down in to 1, 2a, 2b and 3 to explain. Which part is contradiction ?

    If you talk in terms of steps you will get confused. It is better to talk in terms of weight transfers and directions. But that makes it very long to write.

    A very simple explanation would be: you should already be in contra body position before you begin the step where she moves forward to your right. That is simply put when you transfer your weight back on your right foot is the time you should begin to turn right for contra body motion. Your weight transfer on the right foot happens as you transfer the weight from the ball to the heel.
  2. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Thanks terence. I was hoping you step in and describe correct technical details of what is CBM. I was merely taking a lazy way of describing the end effect of it.
  3. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Saida at 1:38 by Cymeone is quite similar to saida danced by Ivo. There is a slight difference in 2nd step (in my numbering), where he moves his RF even slightly towards LF (instead of back). But it's just a matter of moment when you stop moving your body forward and start moving back - it's slightly later in this case

    It's also worth noting that during 2ns step (in my numbering again), leader's RF doesn't travel exactly in the same direction as follower's LF. As he is rotating his body to the right, preparing her to step outside on the next step, her step with LF is actually diagonally forward, while his step with RF is back. Or if his step is diagonally back, then her step is almost to the side. But in both cases, they are not moving the girl to the right in relation to the body, while D'Ongala is frequently using his right arm to move her more to his right side and back. However, in some cases, especially when stepping outside partner on her left side, we use the right arm to slightly change the contact point with the follower more to the left (we do that in ballroom as well in similar situations). Most frequent move in my venue where we step outside partner on the left side is at position 2:07 of Ivo's demo (usually finished with saida)

    So Kading, are there still some problems/questions/whatever about saida ?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  4. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    Well the way I see it he is already leading her to the right before he steps his right foot in the ground. The moment he lifts his right foot off the ground he's leading her to the left (in both videos) as you can see she is already stepping to HER left side (your right side) on her 2nd step. This wouldn't be possible if we only started leading her to your right the moment we put our second foot on the ground since she would have no time to feel the lead. Afterwards the third step just seems to be straight/slightly towards you.
    I thought I read previously that you only started contra-twisting after the 2nd step since OffBeat said the girl steps her left foot (second step) in place, but in fact it is already to your right she is stepping on the second step right?

    Just want to understand this correctly since I have problems with it on dance floor and it seems to be the CBL of kizomba :p
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  5. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yes, you are correct, his action of turning the body starts even before his RF and her LF is on the floor, so she steps more to the side preparing for the next step. As about next step, in ballroom we usually describe such step as forward and across, because her body is facing to the right of the direction of her moving foot

    Also, she is slightly leaning towards him, so there is even more space for the feet. Like in tango, in kizomba some people prefer dancing upright and some prefer slightly leaning to the partner

    As I said, you need to adapt your leading to the partner. Like in salsa, some girls are very responsive and you feel immediate response of her feet to your leading, while some are not so you have to start all actions early enough to be hopefully transferred to her steps in time. With experienced kizomberas, you need to do very little of this preparation and it can be later - steps are short, her foot barely passes your when stepping outside (in ballroom, it can be about 1m long step outside with 10x higher speed, while contact point of the bodies is actually lower)

    So what would be the next topic of our discussion ? What do you think about way of stepping, as described by the guy from Afrolatin connection?
  6. Offbeat

    Offbeat Maestro 'Fania' Pacheco

    Like in any other dance, once you know the technique, you can take liberties.
  7. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    I agree with his general statement. I think it helps with your balance since the effect is that you are on two feet for a much longer time than when you roll it off and you stay pretty grounded. I think its hard to create a flow-momentum this way since the quick push on the ground with your feet naturally creates some form of shock (though it can obviously be very minimized), but I don't believe such momentum is needed in kizomba (which is required for salsa for example). I see people in semba doing this form of stepping (lets call it Boots-Walking like he described) much less, since semba is more about creating momentum, else you can't keep up with the music. The walk technique is still there though. I think they transfer their weight much quicker/snappy in Portugal than in Angola though. People from portugal seem to make the movements very big and shocky from what I've seen (We don't have much teachers from Portugal, most are from Angola). This is both seen in their stepping and in the way they do tarraxinha and contra-body twist. Abir and Sara being the prime example of big shocky movements hehe. I haven't seen them social dance much though, so it might be just the performances.

    The body movement most people are getting wrong is the same reason for salsa. People use their hips too much and let their feet/knees circle instead of going forward and backward. My basic step (the side step) seems to be pretty oke in matching the feeling, and its just sinking in your step slowly and let the hip motion not go sideways like it should in salsa, but more diagonal/forward back. A good exercise is keeping same height while weight transferring, naturally it has to go through the hips then. Than force your hip to go forward and backward instead of sideways. Afterwards you can add a small bounce for a less stiff feeling like everyone does (but teaches to not do it lol).
  8. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    I also notice (I'm just practicing at home now) that I am indeed not transferring 100% of my weight if I walk through the Boots-Walking method. It makes no sense to transfer 100% of the weight since else keeping the other foot on the ground makes no sense since there is no weight on it. It seems to be 60-80% of the weight is transfered on the beat, while the other 40-20% is transferred between the beats (when lifted up the heel). My Angolian teacher does this too now that I look at his videos again. Or atleast I think he does it...
  9. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    As about body movement, I'll be attending some classes with one well known Angolan instructor, so hopefully will get some new info. Anyway, obviously there are different styles here. I posted this documentary in another thread, but since this thread is about technique, I'll put it here as well as a kind of historical reference

    as we can see, it's relatively simple kind of social dancing, without much body movement, tarraxinha etc. A couple from Portugal I mentioned also had very little body movement (Paula also danced with us on the class) and they said it's not the point. However, another couple teaching on those classes (Felicien and Isabelle from France) had much more body movement and it seems to be a mainstream on the congresses (the same about Cymeone and Tabara on your video)

    Albir & Sara (they don't teach together anymore btw) developed pretty much their own style (he was a hip hop dancer and is from Panama, she danced salsa etc), the same with Nuno & Vanda (they were dancing contemporary dances, tango, salsa etc) and many other, so these are actually recent developments of the dance (at least it looks like it to me), but people obviously like it and their style seems to have been gradually integrated into kizomba through various classes and congresses. Still don't agree with you about hip movement, I see a lot of sideways hip movement in addition to forward-backward (by the girl at least) in all their videos (including the one of Cymeone and Tabara) done pretty much the same way like Tony Pirata, which means it's not like in bachata, feels completely different to me as body is used different way, although at first it looks similar to bachata moderna

    Here is a video of Sara dancing socially with a guy from a venue not far from mine. Compare the body movement with Cymeon and Tabara for instance. He is doing it differently, using a kind of cuban motion and straightening the legs (observe the section at position about 1:00), her body movement is completely different than with Albir or other dancers and doesn't seem to enjoy it. It's how almost all guys dance in my venue currently as well

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  10. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    I see a lot of side hip-movement during normal steps, but doing tarraxinha I usually see diagonal/forward backward. Not with completely straightening the legs like the guy in the video, and it should be more gradual the sinking in. I also think his foot positioning is a bit off because it creates a lot of distance. I usually see them planting their foot a bit more forward or in an angle.
    Plus there seems to be no match with them on the dance floor because of the difference in style. Sara probably likes a bit bigger/stronger lead judging how she moves and the guys she dances with as partner.
    How do you think the boots-walking compares to the hip movements during the normal steps? You can see the foot planted (as you said) pretty quickly, with 60-70% weight on it, and transfering the last 40-30% near the end of the step. The hip movements seem to go pretty gradual though...
  11. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    I think that first problem is to define what is tarraxinha. Various teachers seem to be explaining it a bit differently. Probably common one is as you put it - to divide parts when we actually move (normal steps) from those with mostly some kind of body movement on the spot. However, for instance on his tarraxinha class, Felicien said "you can lead various kizomba moves when doing tarraxinha" and various other dancers do the same or similar body movement as in tarraxinha while moving along the floor, so this all is a bit unclear

    When it's about parts when we do steps, there are also big differences among various instructors - some use more and some less body movement. Some tried to define its shape, for instance I was on the Sara's lady styling class (most boring and least useful dance class I ever attended I think) and she was mostly showing bodywave like body movement without much side hip movement, but in reality she does much more side hip movement, using this bodywave type movement only from time to time (and there were some other differences between her demo on the class and actual dancing, including dynamics of her weight transfer). On some other styling classes on youtube clips she demonstrated much more hip movement etc ...

    Nelson Campos said that body should be "like a wave" with hips relaxed, without actually explaining how body movement should look like. Ricardo also said that movement of the body should be fluid (as in his comparison the body is above the water, while legs are under the water, making them harder to move), so I think that this is important. Since these kizomba steps are not that smooth and movement of the body should be smooth and continuous, obviously there should be some body movement that would act like a damper, to prevent transmitting staccato movement of the feet to the upper part of the body. In absence of a good definition of body movement in kizomba, it's probably the best to do like Nelson said and leave the body to react naturally. First thing to do would be to learn walking exactly like kizomberos walk, to give the body a chance to "react normally to it". But there is another problem with us that dance (or danced) salsa (or other dances utilizing cuban motion, like bachata, merengue, son, b/r latin etc) - cuban motion is in our muscle memory. Now, in cuban motion we try to somehow delay settling on the hip. When we start transferring weight to the foot, hip on the other side is higher and gradually gets "down", together with transferring the weight (and this propagates upwards in a form of side bending of the spine). So we actually don't have relaxed hips when doing cuban motion. Doing something similar in kizomba results in a dancing like on above clip with Sara - guy actually restricts her hip movement, because his hip movement is different (there are likely also diferences is the style as you said, but I think this is the main reason). So we actually have to "reprogram" our body muscles for this dance. And indeed - in my venue, those few guys that look slightly similar to kizomberos are those that I've never seen on salsa, so they didn't have this problem
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2014
  12. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Found some interviews with some well-known kizomba instructors. Not much about technique, but interesting viewpoints about dancing, our culture, how it started in Lisbon, their experiences with some venues etc. There are also links to some other interviews on youtube page

    Kading likes this.
  13. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    As about body movement, I would like to compare these two clips

    At first sight they might look the same, it's some "bunda movement" (as they say) in several ways. But to me, they don't really look the same. Black girl on the first clip looks ok to me, she is grounded, her weight transfer and movement of the hips is relatively fast, which goes well with my observations how it should look like. Girl on the other clip looks like a typical wannabe kizomba instructor and I really don't like the "rear view" of her dancing (can't believe I'm saying this)

    Any opinions?
  14. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    The second girl clearly is forcing her hips to move, and sometimes you can even see a disconnection between her feet stepping speed and her hip movement (unnatural). The steps seem secondary to her. The second girl doesn't even need to shift weight (and sometimes doesn't) and could still do all those hip movements, which is a bad thing.

    First girl is awesome, the weight transfer initiate the movement and the hips follow as a 'natural' movement. In which I use natural between ' ' because whatever happens 'natural' is largely due to previous life experience. The hip movements are very fluid and even have a bit of an accent, (It's not a total smooth 24/7 movement, but there is a slight bit of staccato in the hip movement) which I see how most good kizomba dancers move.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2014
    vit likes this.
  15. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Found more clips with Sika Tro, from 2012 and 2013. Interesting, there is much more sideways hip movement in 2012 clip than in 2011 (in previous post) and less body-wave like movement

  16. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Now some tarraxinha body movement demo from one unknown couple (looks similar to other instructors though)
    I'm still not getting why they all demonstrate it one way and then dance it mostly another way ...

  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    My guess is ( which i have done ) is to show the basic structure, then show HOW it will, eventually look ?
  18. Aurel

    Aurel Sonero

    perhaps this video of blindfolded following without hands could shed some light on saida leading
  19. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    In my opinion it actually sheds more light on saida following, while his leading isn't that great as it may look like (I think it wouldn't work with 90% of girls in my venue even "with arms")
  20. Kading

    Kading Rhythm Deputy

    My saida is, thanks to this threads advice, actually going pretty great. The main trick was already twisting my body to the right before the 2, and than twist even more on the 3 (though smoothly hehe). I also had a lot of problems opening the girl (so it looks like this _| where | is the female). I first tried to do everything with the arm, which took too much effort. Getting to do everything with the upper body rotation doesn't work either though, since I have to stop earlier to get this _| form. Now I begin the initiation with my upper body and than (by changing my elbow position) I let my arm do the rest. That seems to work the best. I still some some difficulties keeping her close in those positions though (and me still be able to walk lol), and than changing her back to 'normal position' without losing the connection. Now it sometimes just seems she's wobbling around until she gets back in my normal frame hehe.

    By the way, what I also see like almost every good kizomba guy doing during tarraxinha, is twisting his feet. I assume this is some kind of by-effect from the motion they are using since everyone does it, but I don't really see what it is.

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