Ballroom Dance > Contra Body Movement Position

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by pygmalion, Nov 12, 2003.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

  2. msc

    msc New Member

    After review of Alex Moore's book, I realize my terminology was completely wrong, let me try again. I was under the impression that CBM was the creation of a body torque in preparation of a turn, but in fact it's the unwinding of that torque to power through the turn. In the swing dances, the examples are, as described in the first article, the swinging action of the hip and body through a natural or reverse turn. For example, on the front half of the natural turn for the man, or the back half for the lady, the right side should be slightly forward as the right foot advances. After the right heels begins to establish, the left hip and side swing up and around the right foot. That movement of the left hip/side around the right foot is Contra Body Motion.

    CBMP occurs when a foot crosses the body line (although it's not very far across the line, just slightly.) This should happen because of some sort of twist through the body though, not just because a step calls for CBMP.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I believe it then follows that there are for ways to step into CBMP:
    Fwd on LF
    Fwd on RF
    Back on LF
    Back on RF

    I believe Contra Body Movement is the "follow thru" of the body as the upper body is "swung" over the foot.
  4. Taita

    Taita New Member

    Hi Jenn,

    To me, CBMP (Contra Body Movement Position), to me is nothing more complicated than walking. There are very precise, technical definitions, which have been graciously provided by others. I'll just try to explain it in my words. If you have 2 arms and 2 legs, take a look at how you walk. With every forward or backward step you take, your legs and arms swing. They will swing in opposition (right arm will swing forward and left arm will swing backwards when stepping with your left leg and vice versa). Anyone not swinging their arms in opposition to each other will definitely be amusing to watch :lol: !

    When I was learning this, initially, I would simply swing my arms back and forth. Then I would swing my sides along with my arms. Then I simply relaxed while I was dancing and enjoyed the moment. When I did this, I realized I didn't have to do all that stuff, CBMP would happen naturally on it's own. Try not to think of yourself as 'dancing' as you are 'floating' and you may find these things happening naturally.
  5. msc

    msc New Member

    Technically I agree with this, but there's more than meets the eye. For example, the second step of a Tango promenade walk is "forward and across in CBMP," and that's not generally what one might think of when one thinks of forward. Actually, the body actions that create this step are incredibly involved, and of course they are nowhere descibed in the ISTD manual.

    Also, the crossing steps in the hover cross are taken forward and across in CBMP for the man, I'm not sure about the lady, but again, a very strange step to be labeled "forward." Unless you understand the body actions that generate the step, but then it's merely an incredibly difficult step in CBMP.

    When you swing through a move, isn't this exactly how the body will move? For example, on the forward half of a natural, the left hip and leg will swing out in front and the left rib (and hence arm) will follow, yes?
  6. Taita

    Taita New Member

    Hi msc,

    I was originally refering to the forward and backward steps one takes while walking (i.e. not dancing). However, in regards to the natural turn (waltz), do not get trapped into the idea that there is simply 'one' way to do anything in dance. There are as many ways of doing just about anything as there are dancers. The way that seems to work best for me in order to execute a good natural turn, one must preceed the turn by first using your body's momentum to 'reach' upwards with the left half of your body with the initial right forward step thus creating a natural CBM position. Then 'swinging' your leg into position to further the reach on the left side.
  7. msc

    msc New Member

    Fair enough.

    But actually I think we're fairly similar in reality, as I've said before it's easier to show these moves than describe them. I think of the left side reach as pitching my hips while keeping both sides long and projected forward, with the leg naturally swinging out to a toe position due to the aforementioned swing, but still, pretty much the same sequence of actions you described.
  8. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Amazing - for something that is so important for ballroom standard/smooth this is the only thread I could find dedicated to the issue and it only has 6 posts (maybe I missed something - TC where are you :)).

    CBM and CBMP are everywhere and they've come up in lessons gallore. However, I'm still a bit confused. The description above (from Alex Moore's book) describes CBM as in essence the unleashing of a body torque but we never use the term that way, we always use it for establishing the torque. If its the latter what do we call the torque generation which I'm currently trying to build. And whats the best way to do so relative to the step - I think I have been creating it too late.

    I would love to hear some of the gurus here comment on the descriptions above (this is an old thread so there may be more current thinking on the issue) and specifically on the creation of torque and its timing.
  9. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Actually there have been numerous treatments of the subject here, most far more accurate than the posts in this thread (which where the details are concerned are somewhere between misleading and erroneous)

    The Len Scrivener style descriptions are perhaps the most practical. Roughly:

    CBM: turning the opposite side of the body towards the moving foot

    CBMP: placing the moving foot towards the opposite side of the body.

    Both are potentially CBM, unless the body rotation occurs during a step when the wrong foot is moving for rotation in that direction to qualify as CBM. Yet another possibility is a "body turns less" situation, where the body rotation lags the foot rotation, with the result that you end a step in a wound-up position.

    Take for example an initial natural turn in waltz. Potential anticlockwise rotation during the prep step is CBM. Clockwise rotation early in the first step is CBM. Body turns less (in practice, we leave out most of the official "body completes turn") during the second-third step results in a under-turned wound up position that will allow more CBM in the fourth step than would be possible if the body turned square to the feet as they closed during step three.
  10. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    In defense of the posts... if you look at the dates, they were back when we at DF first got started. And the depth of the newer posters knowledge base was far more sophmore than it is today.

    The posts actually fairly well represent the understanding of most average dancers interpretation of CBM and CBMP.
  11. Chris Stratton

    Chris Stratton New Member

    Yes, and that's more or less the problem. Most people have picked up assorted trivia about CBM & CBMP that is a mix of incidental and inaccurate; most are not learning the concepts or especially the difference between them in a useful way.

    Thats why I like the objective clarity of the Len Scrivener description.
  12. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

  13. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Not gonna click through as believe one of those involves me giving same type of inaccurate information Chris mentions, and then being corrected. :) Have sinced worrk with coach on the subject.
  14. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    You don't have any posts in either thread. :)
  15. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    You are the thread find king for sure TC :) - how come I didn't come up with those when searching for CBM??

    thanks :kissme: I will peruse...
  16. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    isn't CBM too short a search phrase?
  17. Terpsichorean Clod

    Terpsichorean Clod Well-Known Member

    You're welcome, ee. :) 3-character words are too short for the search function.
  18. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    Thanks Chris - I think I have it this far whats challenging now is when you are in a position that requires CBM and then your partner asks you for more going into another stepp. For example, from an outside spin into natural pivots - maybe its a following issue. You sort of have to know to do it, I don't feel a lead that tells me to crank the CBM up more at that point. Or maybe thats falls into the 'something one has to just do' catagory.
  19. elisedance

    elisedance New Member

    er, that would probably explain it
  20. tangotime

    tangotime Well-Known Member

    Pretty much like all of his musings .

    His ideas in the " day ", were sometimes ( and still are to some degree ) very controversal . His lectures were always packed to the rafters ( including Pros being there ).

    He frequently rocked the boat ,and that was probably in large part ,why he was never invited to judge the "British" .

    For those of you who are un aquainted with him ( and Nellie ), if you ever have the opportunity to read his book " Just One Idea ", do so .

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