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Saturday Boot Camps

*Registration will be taken on a first paid first serve basis. You may call to reserve a spot, but please be aware that those who prepay will get first priority in reserving their spot.

**Please Register by midnight the Thursday prior to the Saturday Boot Camp that you are planning to attend. If there are no registrations by midnight the Thursday prior to class, the class will be cancelled for that Saturday.


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Argentine Tango

Argentine Tango Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: Club Dance

Description

This gorgeous and improvisational style of dancing has its origins in the brothels of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. Argentine gauchos (cowboys) would dance with the prostitutes in what was then the world’s first Milonga. Argentine Tango has evolved to become the extraordinary dance form that is today.

It differs from American Style (or Ballroom) Tango in several ways. The Argentine Tango hold is more of an embrace, with the couples’ upper bodies close and the legs far apart (the better to execute the complicated kicks, or ganchos that is a crucial aspect of this organic dance.) Whereas Ballroom Tango is very formalized, Argentine Tango is an improvisational form, with both partners contributing to telling the story of a relationship that is encompassed in each dance.

Argentine Tango music features violins, piano, and an accordion-like instrument called the bandoneon. Some of the greatest Tango music in the world was composed by the Argentine genius Astor Piazzola, who is widely regarded as one of the great composers of the twentieth century.

History

Ballroom tango was born in the slums of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. Argentine gauchos and migrating black met and mixed in the infamous Bario de las Ranas, trading cultural rhythms and dance steps in and around the areas well-known brothels. From this melting pot emerged a highly passionate dance, one that the respectable classes of society shunned. But as with the Waltz, there is nothing like controversy to make a dance popular.

In the US, Tango became all the rage right before the First World War. Vernon and Irene Castle made their fortune from Tango, becoming America’s sweethearts of the dance. There was a flurry of Tango dance hall openings and tango teas became popular in big hotels. Couples even danced between courses at the finer restaurants. Rudolph Valentino did his part, performing a sensual Tango in the silent film “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse”. The dance varied greatly from performer to performer and was eventually standardized in the 1920’s by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

Dance Characteristics

Tango is characterized by a close hold, a low center of gravity and an emphasis on Contra Body movement. Movement is stealthy, almost cat-like and has an unmistakable staccato feel and major dramatic attitude. The Leader’s right arm is further around and lower on the Follower’s back than in the other Smooth dances. The left arm is bent at 90 degree angle with left hand held closed in toward the Leader’s body and face. The follower’s left hand is placed behind and below the Leader’s upper right arm.

Musical Information

Time signature: 4/4 or 2/4
Tempo: 30-32 measures per minute in 4/4 time
Timing: SSQQS and QQS QQS plus others
Beat value: 2-2-1-1, 1-1-2 1-1-2

Cost $35.00 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 8 Dancers***

 

Dancer
  

 


TBD

Bachata Boot Camp

Bachata is a dance from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean islands. Both the music and the dance have been influenced by Cuban Bolero, the Merengue (also of Dominican Republic origin), Salsa and Cumbia.

 Cost:  $35 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 16 dancers***

 

Dancer


TBD

 
 
 

 

Balboa Boot Camp (Beginner)

Balboa is a swing dance from the 1920's to 1930's that was derived from dances such as the Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Foxtrot, and Rumba. It was developed by dancers in Southern California (Balboa Peninsula, thus the name) and is associated with dancers Maxie Dorf and Willie Destatoff. It is an 8 count dance that can be danced to slow tempos (80 beats per minute) to fast tempos (300 bpm).

Pure Balboa is danced solely in closed position. Bal-Swing evolved when dancers wanted to start to break away as the dancers were dancing swing in Los Angeles (LA Swing as they called it, otherwise known as Lindy Hop). Although, the connection is no longer closed, the dance still maintains its upright appearance throughout the dance.

In either form, you can enjoy a full song of dancing without getting too short of breath. One of the old masters, Anne Mills stated that Balboa was a "three minute hug" and was used as a breather after dancing all those really fast swing out dances.

 Cost:  $35 per person

 ***Class Size is Limited to 20 Dancers***


TBD

 

Bal-Swing Boot Camp (Beginner/Level I)

Balboa is a swing dance from the 1920's to 1930's that was derived from dances such as the Charleston, Collegiate Shag, Foxtrot, and Rumba. It was developed by dancers in Southern California (Balboa Peninsula, thus the name) and is associated with dancers Maxie Dorf and Willie Destatoff. It is an 8 count dance that can be danced to slow tempos (80 beats per minute) to fast tempos (300 bpm).

Pure Balboa is danced solely in closed position. Bal-Swing evolved when dancers wanted to start to break away as the dancers were dancing swing in Los Angeles (LA Swing as they called it, otherwise known as Lindy Hop). Although, the connection is no longer closed, the dance still maintains its upright appearance throughout the dance.

In either form, you can enjoy a full song of dancing without getting too short of breath. One of the old masters, Anne Mills stated that Balboa was a "three minute hug" and was used as a breather after dancing all those really fast swing out dances.

Cost $35.00 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 10 Dancers***

 

Dancer

 

 

 


TBD

 

Balboa Boot Camp (Level II)

Cost $35.00 per person

12:30-3:30 pm

 

Dancer

TBD

Bal-Swing Boot Camp (Level II)

Cost $35.00 per person

12:30-3:30pm

Dancer

TBD

The Traditions of Bolero

Bolero Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: American Latin Dances (with Variants)

Description

Bolero is a slow, beautiful, expressive dance that is somewhat of a hybrid. It combines the dance patterns of Rumba with the rise and fall action of the Waltz. It is danced to music in 4/4 time, at a tempo slower than Rumba. Bolero is the slowest of all the American Style Rhythm dances.

It can be danced by either as a solo or a couple, and has many timings depending whether you are in Spain, Cuba, Mexico, or around the world.

Bolero is often called the “Cuban Dance of Love” and is believed to have evolved from Afro-Cuban and Spanish folk dances such as the Danzon, Beguine and Fandango. Originally it was danced in its classical form, to the constant beat of drums.

Danzon is the freer more spontaneous version of “Danza” which came to Cuba in the 18th century as “Contradanza” from Spain which came from “Contredanse” at the French Court in the 17th century. It has the typical instruments of Chamber music – violins etc with the addition of African drums. Danzon was danced by wealthy Cuban society where very small steps are taken, the women producing a subtle tilting of the hips by bending and straightening the knees.

First sung in Creole French, the Beguine developed as ballroom music on the islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique. The Martinique beguine dance is a slow close dance with a roll of the hips. The most famous interpretation of it was in 1938 with Artie Shaw’s rendition of Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine.”

Styles of Bolero

  1. Fandango: Fandango is a style of folk and flamenco music and dance. It arose as a dance of courtship in Andalusia in southern Spain early in the 18th century. Originally, the Fandango was always danced by only two persons who never touched each other with the body or the hand, only facing each other. This courtship dance is one of “The Chase,” basically boy sees girl, girl snubs boy, girl chases boy, and then runs away. The Fandango has been portrayed in many ballets as well. By the 19th century the Fandango was replaced by the Jota, Sevillana and Boléro.
  2. Cuban Boléro was derived from the old Spanish Boléro. The term “Boléro” stems from the Spanish verb “Volar” meaning “to fly,” exemplified in the elegant moves of the dancers. Cuban composer Pepe Sanchez composed the first known Cuban Bolero, entitled Tristeza (“Sadness”) in 1883. Cuban Boléro is a different dance than Spanish Boléro as the music and rhythms were changed by Cubans from 3/4 to 2/4 and then 4/4 time and is danced closer to a Rumba style. By the early 1900s, the immensely popular Bolero reached Mexico and Latin America, eventually gaining recognition in North America by the late 1920s.
  3. The American Bolero was made popular in the United States when French composer Maurice Ravel wrote his composition in 1928. Contemporary Boleros are a ballad style with slow tempos and sentimental lyrics usually with Spanish vocals and soft percussion.

History

The credit of this dance goes to Sebastiano Carezo, in Spain, around 1780. Dancer Sebastiano Carezo is credited for inventing Spanish Boléro in 1780. Danced in 3/4 time, as a modification of the Fandango with the gracefulness retained and the objectionable parts omitted.

Cuban Bolero originated in Santiago de Cuba in the mid-19th century, but is quite different from the Spanish version. You can find more information about the history of Bolero here. After being in Cuba for some time, the dance traveled to Mexico and other areas in Latin America, and from there, the world.

Dance Characteristics

Bolero is a slow dance characterized by smooth, gliding movement, dramatic arm styling and a romantic feel. Bolero is a mixture of 3 dances: Tango (contra body movement), Waltz (body rise and fall) and Rumba (Cuban motion and slow Latin music).

There is also the concept of ‘drop and drift’ used on forward and back breaks, left-turning slip pivots and extended movements such as larger side steps. The Bolero frame is wider than a typical Rhythm frames and is a blend between the Smooth and Rhythm frame with the distance between the partners only a few inches apart or light body contact.

Musical Information

Time signature – 4/4
Tempo – 24-26 measures per minute
Timing – SQQ
Beat value 2-1-1

In Spain, it is danced in a 3/4 time. In Cuba, either 2/4 or 4/4 time, at a tempo slower than Rumba. The American version works is built of this Cuban theme, and here at Back 2 Basics Dance Company we work on the 4/4 timing.

Cost $35.00 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 8 Dancers***

 

Dancer

 

 

 


TBD

Cha Cha Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: American Latin Dances, International Style Dances (Latin)

Description

This is a fun, flirty dance that grew out of the Cuban Mambo and became immensely popular in the United States in the 1950′s. It consists of triple chasse steps (cha cha cha’s) and rock steps.

Cha Cha has a modified Cuban Motion hip action, because of the speed. This is an exuberant dance that will get your heart pumping and put a smile on your face.

History

Cha Cha originated in Cuba and evolved from a slow version of Mambo called “Triple Mambo” or Mambo with guiro rhythm. This musical rhythm inspired dancers to dance a hip syncopation to the forward and back breaks of a mambo which late evolved to a triple step.

Mambo evolved from a fusion of danzon, son and American jazz. Danzon has its origins from Europe (chamber music) and African/Haitian drum rhythms. Enrique Jorrin, a Cuban Violinist created the first cha cha song in 1948. He named it after the shuffling sound the dancers shoes made when they dance to this type of music.

In 1952, an English dance teacher Pierre Lavelle visited Cuba and saw dancers dancing this triple step to slow rumba and mambo music. On his return to Britain, he taught this as a separate dance and it has since evolved to Ballroom Cha Cha.

Cha Cha was introduced to the US in 1954 which replaced mambo as the latest dance craze. After its introduction to the US, the traditional violins and flutes were exchanged with big band instruments such as trumpets, trombones and saxophones.

Dance Characteristics

Cha Cha is a lively, fun, cheeky and playful dance. It is a non-progressive dance that emphasizes Cuban motion, distinguished by the chasses (cha-cha-cha) typically danced during the 4&1 counts of the music. Cuban motion in Cha Cha is more staccato than Rumba to reflect the music with emphasis on count 1. The Cha Cha frame is a typical Rhythm frame.

Musical Information

Time signature – 4/4
Tempo – 30 measures per minute
Timing – 1234&
Beat value is 1-1-1-1/2-1/2

Cost: $35.00 per person

***Class Size is LImited to 10 DAncers***

 

Dancer

TBD

East Coast Swing Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: American Latin Dances

Description

This dance (and all contemporary Swing) has its roots with the Lindy Hop dances done at the great Savoy Ballroom in Harlem in the 1920′s and 1930′s. East Coast Swing is an energetic, fast dance, done usually with triple steps and rock steps to Big Band or contemporary music that ‘swings’.

History

ECS came from Lindy Hop which was the original dance to swing music. Swing music came from New Orleans in the form of Jazz. In the 1920s, Jazz migrated to big band format made up of elements of ragtime, black spiritual, blues and European music. Big band Jazz such as Duke Ellington, Ben Pollack etc were early big bands playing hot music and provided the start for future big band leaders like Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, etc.

The formation of big band jazz created the need for the “arranger”. In small groups of Jazz players, they can just get together and blow for their solos, however, in large groups, structures were given to the solos. At the same time, hotel dance bands such as Paul Whiteman, The California Ramblers, Ted Lewis, Vincent Lopez etc played to ballroom dance crowds and radio broadcasts. This arranged easy style of flowing jazz is called swing.

In 1926, the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem opened – the dance floor was 1 block huge and the weekly dance competitions with top big bands created radical dance moves. “Shortie George” Snowden is credited with naming this dance the Lindy Hop after Charles Lindberg’s solo flight across the Atlantic. Lindy Hop was popular in the US and Europe to the mid 1930s. In 1936, this dance became known as Jitterbug and was danced until the end of WWII.

In the 1930s, Arthur Murray was grappling on how to tame “swing” for the white ballroom crowd and sent his instructors to the local dance halls to see what they were dancing and then to teach a modified form in their studios. As a result, there were many different regional versions of swing being taught. In 1942 the American Society of Dance Teachers published a syllabus for the Jitterbug/Lindy/American Swing. In 1951, Laure Haile (Arthur Murray instructor) unified the swing syllabus called Eastern Swing and in the late 1970s, it was renamed to East Coast Swing.

Dance Characteristics

East Coast Swing is a happy, fun, upbeat dance. Distinguished by its bounce, rock step (back break), Swing hip motion and triple steps, East Coast Swing is also a non-progressive dance. The Swing frame is typically in Closed Promenade position with the leader’s left hand at the waist level and the right hand is on the follower’s left shoulder blade.

Musical Information

Time signature: 4/4
Tempo: 34-36 measures per minute
Timing: 1, 2, 3a4, 5a6 (a is equal to 1/3 of a beat of music) or 1, 2, 3&4, 5&6
Beat value: 1-1, 2/3-1/3-1, 2/3-1/3-1 or 1-1, ½-½-1, ½-½-1

Cost $35 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 10 Dancers***

 

 

 

Dancer


TBD

Learn to Foxtrot in Los Angeles

Foxtrot Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: American Style Smooth Dances, International Style Dances (Standard)

Description

Foxtrot is the dance of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This smooth and elegant dance had its beginnings in a New York theatre in 1914. There, a vaudeville actor named Harry Fox began dancing a series of trotting steps to ragtime music as a part of his act.

Eventually the dance evolved to incorporate the walking and brush steps that make this dance popular with beginners and advanced dancers alike. Foxtrot is danced to music with a 4/4 time signature (think Frank Sinatra) and has two rhythms: slow-slow-quick-quick and slow-quick-quick.

International Style Foxtrot uses the same music as their American Style counterparts, but the dances are different and more difficult. They are all done in closed position and the couples pass their feet instead of close them at the end of measures (no box steps in International Style!)

The timing is more complex and there are new technique challenges such as heel turns. American Style Foxtrot is the easiest Smooth dance; International Style Foxtrot is the most difficult.

History

Around the turn of the 20th century, influential African American musicians, such as Scott Joplin began composing syncopated ragtime music. A smooth dance like the Waltz just did not suit this type of fervent music and a new breed of dances quickly evolved in response to ragtime. One of the first was called Turkey trot, a one-step that included flapping the arms like a turkey. Then came a flood of others like the Monkey dance, the Horse Trot, the Grizzly Bear, the Bunny Hug and the Kangaroo Dip. Ragtime seemed to demand dances with jerky steps, possibly emulating the walks and the wild abandon of animals.

In 1914, a young dancer named Harry Fox did his version of trotting in the Jardin de Danse on the roof of the New York Theatre with the Ziegfield Follies. Fox’s fast and jerky trot became the hot new thing in New York.
On September 3rd, 1914, the “American Society of Professors of Dancing” started standardizing the steps of the Fox-trot. Oscar Duryea was hired to introduce the dance to the public. Duryea modified Fox’s dance, as the trotting could not be kept up for long periods without tiring out the dancers, so the trot was replaced by a glide or “Saunter.”

This “new Foxtrot” was an instant hit and has remained a stable part in most dancing syllabus ever since. In 1914, a piece of sheet music was created with the title “Original Foxtrot” by Jack Mcenness and Dorothy Hunter. In the same year, the Reuben Fox-trot was introduced by Miss Sonia Baraban and Charles C. Grohs, another was the Kangaroo Hop which was listed as a Fox Trot and Uriel Davy’s created the Davy’s Foxtrot as well.

There are assertions that the Castles originated the Fox-Trot from James Reese Europe’s version of W.C. Handy’s Memphis Blues (1912), but the Castle’s called it the Bunny Hug! How Fox’s name got to it is unclear, however the original version had Castle similarities.

By 1915 the Foxtrot had become the most successful dance of the day. When the Foxtrot traveled to England, the jumps and the high jinks of the original dance were ironed out. What remains is a smooth, elegant dance more reminiscent of the Waltz than of the Trot’s hyperactive past. In fact, many of the Foxtrot patterns have been adapted directly from Waltz.

Dance Characteristics

Foxtrot has smooth gliding steps with a heel lead, controlled movement and an easygoing look. It has less rise and fall than the Waltz as the emphasis is on progression. The foxtrot is an all-purpose dance that can be performed to many different styles of music.

Musical Information

Time signature: 4/4
Tempo: 32-34 measures per minute
Timing: SSQQ and SQQ
Beat value: 2-2-1-1 and 2-1-1

9:00am-12:30pm

Cost $35 per person

Dancer

***Class Size is Limited to 6 Dancers***


TBD

Night Club 2 Step Boot Camp (Beginner)

Type: Club Dance

Description

This dance was allegedly invented by Buddy Schwimmaer, the father of So You Think You Can Dance stars Benji and Lacey Schwimmer.

It is a slow, romantic, floaty dance that features rock steps and long glides across the dance floor. It is done to contemporary and popular ballads (“The Lady in Red”) is probably the classic Night Club Two-Step.)

History

Nightclub Two Step is one of the most practical and versatile social dances ever conceived. It is designed to be used with contemporary soft rock (“love song” type of music).

This type of music is common just about everywhere: nightclubs, radio etc. The rhythm of the dance is very simple and rarely changes from the 1 and 2 count.

This simple romantic dance fills a gap where no other ballroom dance fits. It give the dancer, either beginning or advanced, the opportunity to express and create without a rigid technique being required.

Buddy Schwimmer a renowned California dance teacher created and popularized Nightclub Two Step.

Dance Characteristics

Nightclub Two Step is an easy dance that almost anyone can learn. Its key characteristic is a rock step (5th position break) followed by a side step with a slight sway. The frame is relaxed somewhere between a Latin and Ballroom frame – similar to a Bolero frame with a little more distance between the partners.

Musical Information

Time signature: 4/4
Tempo: 16-22 measures per minute
Timing: 1&2, 3&4, 5&6, 7&8
Beat value: ½ – ½ – 1

9:00 am-12:30 pm

Cost: $35 per person

 

Dancer

 

***Class Size limited to 10 Dancers***


TBD

Salsa Boot Camp

This is a truly great club dance, one that is fun, accessible, sexy, and constantly evolving as new generations come to the Salsa clubs.

Salsa as a dance style began in New York in the Latino dance clubs (Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican) in the 1960′s and 1970′s, though most agree that Salsa clearly had its earliest origins in Cuban Son.

Both the music and the dance continue to evolve in the Salsa clubs of New York, California, Texas, and beyond.

Salsa music is Afro-Caribbean in its beginnings, though it has been adapted by Latin jazz musicians to meet the tastes of the current popular music, with contemporary pop, rock, and R&B also added to the mix.

Salsa music features a complex clave driven rhythm with exuberant horns and percussion sections (with cow bells and timbales) as well as a powerful vocalist.

Salsa dancing features break steps, spins, showy performance moves and drops, and solo moves called “Shines,”a term borrowed from the world of tap dancing.

Cost $35 per person

***Class Size is Limited to 10 Dancers***

 

 

Dancer


TBD 

   

Ballroom Waltz Boot Camp (Beginner)

This is the granddaddy of all ballroom dances. It grew out of the Germanic dances of the 17th and 18th century such as the Ländler and the Allemande.

The name ‘Waltz’ comes from an old German word walzen, meaning to roll, turn, or glide. Waltz was the first dance in which the man and lady danced with body contact, and was considered quite scandalous in its day.

It was immensely popular all across Europe, first with the lower classes and then with the aristocracy. Waltz features a lovely, elegant rise-and-fall action, ¾ time music and a 1-2-3 rhythm.

***Class Size is Limited to 6 Dancers***