HOW TO DANCE
THE BOSSA NOVA
From the back of "The Big Bossa Nova,"
by Bob Freedman
"Gentle swaying of the hips while the body remains straight and almost motionless is the
Bossa Nova. Knees bend with each step, weight
must remain evenly balanced on balls of each
The degree of hip motion for example is up to
each dancer. Partners can dance near to each
other or at some distance apart as they
choose. And remember the Bossa Nova is
essentially a rhythm dance; that is, the
dancers accent each step to the distinct beat
of the music.
Start with feet together.
Man steps forward on left foot, close right
foot to left foot without transferring weight.
Right foot back, close left foot to right foot
without transferring weight. The woman makes
all her steps in the opposite directions, as
follows: feet close together back right
foot--close left to right foot without
transferring weight. Forward left foot. Close
right foot to left foot without transferring
The partners' next step is to reverse
steps--each taking the other's.
Remember, the basic element required is the
bending of the knees on each step followed by
swaying of the body. The knees bend and the
body sways slightly forward on the backward
steps, while on the forward steps the body
sway is slightly backward. The rhythm in each
movement is the Bossa Nova's
Many variations of the basic step are
possible. The dancers are apart from each
other holding hands. The man takes four steps
to the left, bringing right foot behind left
each time. Then the man takes four steps to
the right reversing feet movement. Remember,
the essential is to take these steps with bent
knees and a rhythmic swaying of the
Strange to say, the Bossa Nova is so flexible
that even a waltz step can be adapted to it.
When trying this step, remember that because
of the knee bend and the rock and sway
movement the steps must be shorter. Also try
the fox-trot side step to the Bossa Nova.
Slide the feet when you try this
The fun in dancing the Bossa Nova is that the
partners are not restricted to a set of
rigidly patterned steps. Partners are free to
let their own interpretations flow gracefully
with the music."
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