Evolution of judges preferences regarding "Latin Styling in Rhythm"?

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by Smooth Dancer, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Smooth Dancer

    Smooth Dancer Active Member

    I don't mean to dredge up a tired issue, but I've looked through lots of forum posts on the age-old question of Bent versus Straight legs in Rhythm versus Latin. Some of the discussions are excellent but several years dated. I sense this issue is constantly changing, so I thought I'd ask for an updated answer to...

    If I use primarily "Latin" styling consisting of "taking weight onto a straight leg" (I know this is a gross generalization), among other techniques, when competing in Syllabus Rhythm (primarily Rumba & ChaCha), am I likely to get "marked down" by the judges?

    In what direction is this issue heading these days?
  2. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    In an ideal world, yes, you would be marked down, but it still sort of depends on who is on the panel.

    You might want to search the forums for the thread on the American-style conference. A couple people posted links to their blogs about it including notes from the Rhythm portion.
  3. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    I think the growing opinion is that american style should be distinctive from international latin and part of that distinction is utilizing "bent legs" in rumba. That being said, as DOI stated, it depends on the panel, some are more committed to the idea than others.
  4. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    I agree with this. Also though I'd say it depends on who is on the floor dancing next to you. I feel like often people dancing "rhythm technique" look around and get upset when people dancing "latin technique" get marked better than them in rhythm rounds. When the reality really is the other people are just better dancers. Obviously this isn't really a comment for the top of the field but the lower ranks.

    This is not to say that I dont think people dancing rhythm should be educated on what the technique is (or what the options are more accurately). Just that depending on what level you are dancing it may not matter as much, meaning only that in lower levels there are more pressing issues for many judges I think (good posture, correct timing, ability to actually move at all). I don't know if that makes sense, and it may not be the most popular opinion, but that sort of technique just get more important the higher up you get (when all other things become closer to equal).

    Also agree on reading the posts on the American Style Congress. I was there and read the blogs and I think they did a really good job of summarizing what happened. There wasn't exactly complete harmony in the Rhythm section though so I'm not entirely sure if it will answer your questions or give you more :)

    All that said, if you are seriously wanting to compete Rhythm I think the only real way to do it is to find a coach you trust to help you make these decisions. It can be confusing to navigate ;)
  5. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    no, you will not.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree...you will not
  7. debmc

    debmc Well-Known Member

    Larinda and Fasc... doesn't it depend on who is judging? I was under the impression that there are some judges who are strong advocates of "rhythm bent knee leg action" and therefore it would be reflected in the marks.
  8. Gorme

    Gorme Active Member

    Only if you get really unlucky and have the entire judging panel stacked with judges who prefer the authentic way. But if it's a mixed panel, it won't affect you much.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    yes...there are some...and all sorts of factors can come in play from panel to panel including that, and many others, but on balance based upon the ones I have attended in the past 4 years, on balance it is not that significant..i think technical skill in whatever style trumps which one is most apparent...from what I have seen....could you bump into an unfortunate circumstance? sure
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    but you can guess yourself to death on that one
  11. Meagan

    Meagan Active Member

    Just realized the OP said syllabus :) Then I agree with the "no's". You may get a few bad marks from a few judges but in terms of a whole panel I haven't seen one yet where it would make a big difference in syllabus.
  12. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Though one could argue that technical ability in Rhythm includes exhibiting the bent knee at the appropriate time. So Latin technique, no matter how well-executed, should always be incorrect.

    Though I agree, in the lower syllabus levels they probably aren't even going to get to that level of nitpicking.
  13. wooh

    wooh Well-Known Member

    Out of curiosity, of the dancers here who dance both latin and rhythm, do you use rhythm technique when dancing rhythm, or just change up your patterns and stick with your latin technique?
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I practice primarily latin technique, the choreo we use for American neccessitates a bent knee here and there....in ways that make it strike a balance....it has served me well
  15. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    and I have heard coaches voice a variety of perspectives on it...I had a well known smooth coach who advocated for latin technique in rhythm when I was with my former pro, his view was it was trending in that direction b/c it simply looked better....dancing with a 10 dance champ now, well, I probably don't need to say more :)
  16. dlliba10

    dlliba10 Well-Known Member

    I try to use Rhythm technique -- it was beat into my body before I ever took my first step of Latin. But then I joined a team that is primarily Latin-focused, so then THAT was beat into my body and I find straight legs creeping into my Rhythm all over the place, much to my own chagrin. I agree with all the points that have already been made, though -- at the lower levels, there are more pressing, immediate issues than whether or not a Bronze dancer is arriving on a bent knee or a straight leg.
  17. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    NP spent a year on getting me to do Latin leg styling. He's now trying to get me to STOP as we're doing rhythm.
  18. singndance

    singndance Well-Known Member

    Pro uses a mix, but there are certain spots in the choreography where he absolutely insists on using proper rhythm technique and will beat me if I use a straight leg.
  19. GGinrhinestones

    GGinrhinestones Well-Known Member

    I agree with the previous comments that it depends on who is on the panel. These days, half the panel (sometimes all of it) seems to be made up of primarily latin dancers, or "rhythm" dancers who got their start in latin. So marked down? Probably not. You *will* however be marked down for sloppy styling, whether it is rhythm or latin.
  20. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    Or the Rhythm or Latin panels will be all Standard dancers... ;)

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