contrabody motion

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by dantoddd, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. dantoddd

    dantoddd Changui

    We're being taught contrabody motion is class. But i'm not getting it properly. are we supposed to move the shoulder in the opposite direction of the feet or what? so far what i understood was that when your left foot moves forward the right shoulder should also move forward. But that just seems weird and what do you do when you step back. can you guys please explain.

    thx in advance
  2. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    It's not just the shoulder, it's the upper body. In a nutshell you put your weight over your foot, so when you step into your left foot, you left shoulder moves forward as a result of your upper body moving over your foot. When you step into your right foot, your right shoulder moves forward.
  3. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Make sure you get a video of the breakdown from your instructor as well, so that you can practice at home with less confusion.
  4. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    First[ I would NEVER teach CBM to a beginner. In matter of fact ,with the constant change of direction its nigh impossible ( nor necessary ) to put any emphasis on the CBM action.
    CBM is a natural product of HOW we move, so unless someone is creating a false body action then leave well alone.

    BR is a different matter primarily due to the closed contact and the changing body positions, from lady in line to outside partner and back .

    NB.. It's NOT the shoulder , but the whole right/left side of the body .
    This correction in BR was adopted several years back .
    timberamayor and vit like this.
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    This is the least important aspect of your beginner program (read my response in full )
  6. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Yep I agree entirely. CM should only be taught at the higher levels. And yes, it's the whole right/left side of the body that moves. I'm trying to say it in a way that makes a bit more sense and is more of a summary, for dantoddd.

    dantoddd - if you don't mind me asking - how long have you been taking classes?
  7. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    What you are describing is shoulder lead or side lead as it is called now. CBM is exacrly what the OP describes. It is a movement where the upper body is rotating in a different direction than the lower part. So indeed if you are stepping fwd on the left foot (which means the left foot will be more fwd than the right foot) then the right shoulder is MORE FWD than the left shoulder. This opposition causes a twisting of the body. It seems to be used a lot in certain styles of salsa but in basic steps it is more associated with modern/standard Ballroom dancing than cuban latin dances.

    For the opening post, CBM is simply how you walk or run. If you think of your movement while running you will see that as you push off a foot to move fwd that foot is behind the other one. The shoulder on the same side as your pushing foot rotates to a more fwd position than the other one. Just searching for runner in Google you will find plenty of images of this. I copied a link to a very clear image of a sprinter below. He is pushing off the left foot which means his right foot is more fwd than the left foot. But you can see that his left shoulder is more fwd than his right shoulder.

    Now in dancing, a good example of CBM from the old times is Fred Astair. I copy one photo of him below. As you see his left shoulder is more fwd than his right shoulder (as his upper body is rotated towards us) but the feet are the other way around as the left foot is behind the right foot. This position is taken a lot in US styles of salsa. If you look at the social dancing videos thread you will see it a lot.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  8. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Ah yes that's a good pickup. What I was describing is Cuban Motion, not CBM.

    In the Salsa Basic, it's actually more important to practice CM than it is to practice CBM - however CM has CBM integrated - for example watch Oliver Pineda's Body Movement DVD where he describes this. He uses the pointing technique to point with the opposing hand towards the shoulder that's moving over the step.
  9. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    His R foot appears to also be in CBMP .
    Open/apart positions are not really a good ex for face to face partnership. Many times, open positions are prone to exaggeration to create "shape" .

    Again, I do not think using the term " shoulder" is appropriate as it is invariably misleading .

    Here's a quote from Len Scrivener , former BR champion and one who influenced dance techn. to a fine art . " To my mind, CBMs main purpose is to bring the lady back into closed position" .

    CBM is best left to its natural state..the overt usage in latin is not that compatible .
  10. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    I fully understand what you are saying. I think that more and more though CBM is used in latin because its body twisting effect enables one to move faster after the CBM, thus increasing the visual impact. And again I agree on the comment of bringing the lady back as the CBM is used a lot in latin in normal breaks in order to change direction. In salsa it is more characteristic of the American styles of salsa when doing back breaks in an open/apart single hand hold position (very similar to the Fred astair position above). Again what usually follows is bringing the lady back.
  11. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    Lets avoid further confussion. CM is one thing and CBM another (as shoulder/side lead is another).
  12. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Anyway, OP was obviously referring to some kind of body movement usually taught on salsa classes (sometimes under name styling classes etc). Some name it cuban movement / cuban motion, some contrabody motion and probably there are several other terms

    In ballroom latin books, similar thing is referred as hip movement. Other terms mentioned here (CBM = contrary body movement, shoulder lead) are used only in ballroom standard books for describing particular type of body action used in those dances. There were some redefinitions there, for instance CBM is generalized as "rotation" and shoulder lead replaced with side lead. But all of that is of zero importance in salsa - even if some might be using these terms in ballroom latin or salsa, they mean something different (like contrabody movement)

    However, teaching it proved to be quite problematic and controversal ... common approach is to teach people various body isolations (like in Oliver Pineda DVD), that are gradually put together in some complex movement. It's done similar way in ballroom latin as well. However, originally, that "cuban movement thing" was probably just some kind of natural reaction of the body to forces developing when dancing particular dance (weight transfer, change of direction etc) ... and if you try assembling it from various elements produced mostly by using core muscles, it's pretty much the same as if you are trying to produce a natural juice from ingredients synthesized in the laboratory ... but however, many people will prefer it over natural juice ...

    Another problem is ... many times people try to produce body movement (using core muscles) that goes directly against forces acting to their body from the floor, because they were taught to do it particular way ... so they are surprised why it doesn't work well and why it is that hard ... not to mention that many times it looks quite funny

    Sometimes it may be better to avoid some classes, as mentioned by terence ...
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    The majority of beginners have little or no discernment .

    vit likes this.
  14. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    Yeah, that is the problem, and there's another - in today's world, it only important how things look and not are they actually good ... even if they actually don't look good, there is always someone to convince you that they do ....
  15. Live2dance

    Live2dance Shine Officer

    But, in several cases, they also have no choice of alternative classes.

    On the definitions I suggest not reinventing the wheel. CBM is a BR dancing definition (and Pineda was a BR dancer).

    As for teaching CBM at early stages, well if you are in a place where they teach kizomba then you can't avoid CBM.
  16. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    In kizomba, they are mostly using "dissociation", which I think comes from arg. tango (or at least it is used there as well)
    Yeah, there was a guy here that was teaching kizomba using something like CBM word, but however, body movement in kizomba is quite different (as is cuban motion). And yes, many people here dance kizomba that way, adding some artificial styling to look more african or at least more cool ... similar to salsa again ...
  17. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Sorry Live2Dance but I have to disagree - teaching stepping and using opposite shoulder is wrong, full stop, and is *not* CBM.

    CBM stems from the need for balance. When you walk, your shoulders actually follow your steps, but your hands swing in the opposite direction - *that* is an example of CBM.

    An instructor that teaches as described by dantodd - well at least the way I'm interpreting it - is teaching an odd and incorrect habit. Shoulders are never the subject of CBM, and in CM when instructors say "shoulders" in actuality they are referring to the entire upper body, and the visualisation of shoulder is only to enable someone learning the motion to ensure their weight is over their foot. The CBM comes from the hands moving in the opposite direction, to establish dynamic balance.
  18. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    The example you used of Fred Astaire is a poor one. If you draw a line from his right shoulder to his right foot, you'll notice a continuity. Yes it's an example of CBM, but in the context of what dantoddd wrote, it's nothing but confusing. He is learning to use CBM in his Salsa body movement, but for the instructor to suggest that the opposite shoulder moves forward to the stepping foot, is simply wrong, in the context of the salsa basic.

    Sorry dantoddd.
    LarsM likes this.
  19. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Bolero is danced with an overt usage of CBM, it's representative of the style .
    vit likes this.
  20. vit

    vit El Sabroso de Conguero

    You really walk that way?
    Anyway, even if you do, it doesn't conform definition of ballroom term CBM
    Me and L2D were discussing this shoulder vs hip alignment in cuban movement / merengue / whatever, a while ago, but didn't come to agreement ...

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