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Contra Body Movement Position

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Contra Body Movement Position Defined

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Before we describe the Contra Body Movement POSITION, we need to talk about the Contra Body MOVEMENT.

The Contra Body Movement (CBM) is perhaps one of the least emphasised, yet most important of all ballroom dance positions. The reason is, because the CBM makes all the difference to how you look when your dancing “outside” (i.e. alongside and not in line with) your partner. If you bring to mind any dances you know of, try to imagine yourself in any one of them, moving in a position outside your dance partner. Here’s a question for you – are your legs facing one way while your body is twisted in another direction? If not, then you aren’t using the Contra Body Movement – and you aren’t looking as good as you could be.

Creating the Contra Body Movement (CBM)

The Contra Body Movement involves rotating the right shoulder towards a left moving leg OR rotating the left shoulder towards a right moving leg. The body and the leg must move at the same time, and not one after the other. CBM occurs on forward or backward steps only (or diagonal steps which still feature forward or backward movement), and not on side steps. Thus, CBM occurs in the following four scenarios:

* The left leg moves forward as the right side of the body moves forward (the torso rotates to the left)
* The left leg moves backward as the right side of the body moves backward (the torso rotates to the right)
* The right leg moves forward as the left side of the body moves forward (the torso rotates to the right)
* The right leg moves backward as the left side of the body moves backward (the torso rotates to the left)

The overall effect and intention of CBM is smooth transition from linear to rotational movement. Thus, CBM is often followed by sway.

Contra body movement position (CBMP)

Contra body movement position (CBMP) is a position rather than a movement. CBMP is the foot position achieved when the moving foot is placed on or across the line of the standing foot, in front of or behind it.

The term is slightly verbose in an attempt to make it self-describing and to stress the similarity of the dancer’s feet position with respect to the body as if a step with CBM was performed.

However the most important usage of this term in Ballroom dancing is to describe steps when a foot moves across the standing foot, while the torso moves in the same direction as the moving foot without rotation. Essentially, this means that you are keeping your upper body facing one direction while your lower body faces a different one. CBMP is routinely used in steps taken in promenade position or outside partner step in order to maintain the relative body position of the couple. CBMP and CBM often occur together in turning steps commenced outside partner or in promenade, but in such case the CBMP is required by the commencing position and is not a result of the turn.

In the ballroom tango, most forward steps of the man’s left foot are placed in front of the right foot in CBMP , due to the tango’s characteristic compact hold and movement slightly biased towards the right side of the body. Forward steps of the left foot in tango which commence a reverse (left) turn will also utilize CBM in the body in addition to a CBMP foot position

Enjoy This Video Showing the Contra Body Movement Position

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