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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 foot.

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 weight.

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 secret.

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 hips.

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 step.

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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