Latin Basic Mechanics – Spine & Leg

Spine positions

With one foot in front of another:

  1. Spine split between 2 feet. (Both feet flat.)
  2. Spine stacked over whole foot. (The other foot is “demi-pointe” position.)
  3. Spine over front of foot. (The other foot is in “pointe” position.)

A typical Latin movement will go through these spine positions.

Leg Actions

  1. Horizontal action: release back leg, track (drawling a straight line through), move to front horizontally, front ankle directly below knee.
  2. Vertical action: Contract thighs, pushing knee down and backwards to create lengthening of the leg. Common mistakes: reach from knee outwards.

Use thighs:

  • Think about turning the thighs out, that will help turning the foot out more.
  • To create a lot of sitting positions: e.g. weight on R leg, L leg diagonal forward to the side. both legs bent, turning R thigh inward (to left, closing), turn L thigh outward (to left, opening), keep turning both thighs to maximum, that will create the right sitting position.
  • In Samba cruzado walk or Botofogo, turn back leg thigh outward, continue turning front leg thigh inward, the more thigh turns, front leg will bend more, chest will be more forward, back hip high, compressed side, this will create the right line and more power.
  • Ladies: strive to keep legs together, minimize space between thighs.