Bossa Nova

Bossa Nova is a bit like a slow Samba although the rhythm is different. It is an alternative to the Rumba - especially to slightly faster tempos. The music has 2 beats to the bar and about 35 bars per minute. Count 1, 2 and (SQQ) to a bar for most step groups or figures.

As with other latin dances, the close hold is looser than for ballroom.

Steps are usually taken onto the ball of the foot first with slight flexing of the knee. As in Samba, the heel isn't lowered at all on the middle step of the three.


Basics

The basic figures may or may not turn. They begin with a forwards, backwards or sideways step. The other foot is closed to it. This is with only partial weight on the ball before transferring weight back to the original foot. Turn is introduced by close slightly behind or in front of the other foot (as in Mambo).

Normally the basic is forwards on the left foot or backwards on the right foot. The opposite form is also allowed.

L Forwards Basic (FP, CH) R Backwards Basic (FP, CH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LF RC LC RB LC RC
Lady RB LC RC LF RC LC

Rev. Turn Basic (FP, CH) Rev. Turn Basic (FP, CH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LF RC -1 LC RB LC -1 RC
Lady RB LC -1 RC LF RC -1 LC

L Sideways Basic (FP, CH) R Sideways Basic (FP, CH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LS RC LC RS LC RC
Lady RS LC RC LS RC LC


Back to Back

In this mini-sequence the couple turn back to back and dance sideways basics before turning to face each other again. The man uses a low left to right handhold to lead this.

Turn Away (FP-BP, LRH) Back-to-Back (BP, LRH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LSB +2 RC +2 LC RS LC RC
Lady RSB -2 LC -2 RC LS RC LC

Turn Back In (BP-FP, LRH) Sideways Basic (FP, LRH-CH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LSF -2 RC -2 LC RS LC RC
Lady RSF +2 LC +2 RC LS RC LC


Whisks

The Whisk is an alternative to sideways basics and resemble those in Samba apart from the rhythm. After the side step, the other foot is closed behind and touching toe to heel.

Left / CP Whisk (FP-CP, CH) Right / PP Whisk (FP-PP, CH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LS RCb +1 LCf -1 RS LCb -1 RCf +1
Lady RS LCb -1 RCf +1 LS RCb +1 LCf -1


Alemana Turn

Two sideways basics are required to complete an Alemana (underarm) Turn in Bossa Nova.

Natural Alemana Turn (FP-SFP-FP, LRH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LS RC LC RS LC RC
Lady RSF +2 LC +2 RC LXF +2 RC +2 LC


Solo Turns

Two sideways basics are required to complete a Solo Turn in Bossa Nova. It travels along or against the line of dance. Use a sideways basic or whisk to change feet between successive solo turns.

Solo Turn along LOD (FP-SRP-BP-SLP-FP, NH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man LSF -2 RC -2 LC RSB -2 LC -2 RC
Lady RSF +2 LC +2 RC LSB +2 RC +2 LC

Solo Turn against LOD (FP-SLP-BP-SRP-FP, NH)
Beat 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q) 1 (S) 2 (Q) and (Q)
Man RSF +2 LC +2 RC LSB +2 RC +2 LC
Lady LSF -2 RC -2 LC RSB -2 LC -2 RC


Content: © Susan Foord
Version: 2001-01-22
Contact: sf@pedag.org
Link to: Dance (main page)