Thursday, July 9, 2009

Should Dance Figures Be Named After Persons?


The Aida is a popular dance figure used in the Rumba (as well as the Cha Cha Cha). In the Rumba, the dancers commence in contact position with the man facing wall, and then take 3 steps down the LOD in LSP. The man releases his R hand hold on the first step and turns his L arm out over the last 2 steps. The man turns a total of 1/4 to his R while the lady turns a total of 1/4 to her L. A good precede to this figure would be the 1-6 or 4-6 of the Reverse Top. The endings to the Aida are 1) Cuban Rock and Spot Turn, 2) Double Spot Turn, 3) Side Cucaracha or 4) Cuban Rock to Progressive Walks Forward in Right Shadow Position (Kiki Walks). The Kiki Walks are basically six Progressive Walks Forward with the lady in Right Shadow Position.

As I was curious as to know why these figures are known as the Aida and Kiki Walks, I decided to surf the internet to find the answers. I discovered what I was looking for in an excerpt to a book "A Concise History Of Latin American Dancing In The UK". Aida was the wife of a Cuban dance teacher, Pepe Llorenz (image above, man in centre) and as she danced this figure extremely well, it was named in her honor, circa 1950. Aida originally executed this figure with ending number 2 as shown above, that is, making 2 Spot Turns, but as it proved rather difficult for the average dancer, the other endings were introduced. Kiki on the other hand was one of the foremost dancers in pre-Castro Cuba and gave his name to this figure which he created.

Should dance figures be named after persons? I am of the opinion that dance figures should not be named after persons due to the fact that most people do not know who they are and their names are soon forgotten. As it is, most dancers (even teachers) I spoke to, do not know who Aida and Kiki were. There is an advanced Waltz figure known as the Rudolf (Rudolph) Ronde. Was the Rudolf Ronde named after Rudolf Laban the dance theorist or Rudolf Nureyev, the ballet dancer, or some other Rudolf? I am unable to find the answer in the world wide web. I believe dance figures should be named after the description or action of the figures, for example the Hockey Stick or Fencing in the Rumba or the V6 or Fishtail in the Quickstep.


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4 comments:

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....

Joseph Lim said...

The name Rudolf always remind me of that red nose reindeer. By the way foxtroot was named after Harry Fox, not after the fox

Dancesport Malaysia said...

Yes, the foxtrot was named for its creator Harry Fox. The foxtrot is often considered the most beautiful as well as the most difficult to learn of all the ballroom dances. Read my Article 35 of October 31 2008 entitled "Dancing The Foxtrot - Mastering The Feather Step & Three Step"

Mati said...

Enjoyed your post! Ballroom dancing is truly everywhere. A past time brought back to life. Thanks for sharing the passion.