Bustin’ The Moves This Week!

This week we started off two new teaches at Capital Carousels. On Wednesday, it was a West Coast Swing called “Lie To Me” and on Thursday, it was a Rumba called “Rhythm & Romance”. As with the majority of new dances we learn, we have new figures to learn or different sequences to master. This week in our blog entry, we decided to talk about some of the key elements in our dances. Donna and Arlo will begin with the teach we began presenting on Wednesday, “Lie To Me”. Ziggy and Jenny will finish our blog off this week by covering some of the key points in their dance on Thursday, “Rhythm & Romance”.


This week’s West Coast Swing teach is introducing us to a couple of new figures for our club, the triple travel with roll and the tummy whip. As the majority of our teach will be about the triple travel with roll, we decided to start last Wednesday with a clinic session on that figure. The Tummy Whip will be presented this week.

The triple travel with roll is a 3 1/2 measure figure. There are different ways to enter that figure, but the most common way is probably with an underarm turn which is modified. This underarm turn will start the same as a normal underarm turn but has three important differences at the end: (a) we omit the anchor step at the end and (b) we end in a right hand star with our trailing feet free and (c) the timing is now 1, 2, 3&4 only (the normal underarm turn is timing 1, 2, 3&4, 5&6). The important thing to note is that the cue will be “underarm turn with triple travel with roll”. That cue is YOUR cue to modify the underarm turn. Please remember the “underarm turn” and “triple travel with roll” are TWO separate figures and not always used together.

The “ROLL 2” part in the figure doesn’t seem like much, but there are a few things to understand that might help with this. Triple Travel with Roll is a figure that travels. A roll also travels as compared to remaining in place as a spin would do. To help this roll travel, you need momentum! At the beginning you are in a right hand star formation. If you and your partner push off one another in that star formation, this will help give you the momentum needed to do the ROLL 2. Good tone in your arms is needed for this-NO NOODLE ARMS! Also a good thing to remember, if you are in a right hand star, the momentum will turn you to your right. If you are in the left hand star, the momentum pushing off will turn you to your left. There are also 2 weight changes in a ROLL 2. When the ROLL 2 is over, you should be facing the same way as you did when you started the figure.
So when you are in the star formation and you push off one another, this will give you momentum to start your turn, step down reverse line of dance, keeping momentum to continue the turn and take your 2nd weight change down reverse line of dance to finish the figure. *NOTE THAT REVERSE LINE OF DANCE IS THE LINE OF PROGRESSION IN THIS DANCE BUT COULD ALSO GO DOWN LINE OF DANCE IN OTHER DANCES*

One of the key points is memorizing the sequence. We have a more in-depth explanation of the sequence in the “Encyclopedia Brittanica Version” and then just a basic sequence written out in the “Reader’s Digest Version”.

Encyclopedia Brittanica Version

  1. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) SIDE-CLOSE-SIDE
  2. (In a right hand star with lead feet free) ROLL 2 (to the right) TO A LEFT HAND STAR
  3. (In a left hand star with lead feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD TO A RIGHT HAND STAR *BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES*
  4. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD TO A LEFT HAND STAR *BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES*
  5. (In a left hand star with lead feet free) FORWARD-LOCK-FORWARD *STAY IN LEFT HAND STAR* **BACK-LOCK-BACK FOR LADIES**
  6. (In a left hand star with trailing feet free) ROLL 2 (to the left) AND JOIN LEAD HANDS
  7. (With lead hands joined and trailing feet free) ANCHOR STEP

Reader’s Digest Version

  1. (In a right hand star with trailing feet free) SIDE-CLOSE-SIDE
  7. ANCHOR STEP (ending in good WCS position-lead hands joined and lead feet free)

Memorization is a big key to this figure and practice makes perfect! This part will not be step cued by cuers so memorizing it is key! Remember in WCS you only dance in a slot, but this figure will be a LONG slot. A long stretch in your house would work such as a basement, a long hallway or other long slot area you might have in your home for practice purposes.

The last point we made was that throughout the triple travel with roll figure, you should be looking in the same direction at the end of each part. In this dance, for the man, it is reverse line of dance and for the ladies, it is line of dance. We should not be finishing any part of this facing the wall or centre of hall. This is particularly directed toward finishing the star formations in the figure.

We hope this might help you and remember that memorization of the sequence is key. Arlo and I will be doing some Triple Travel with Roll practice prior to our Wednesday 7PM start for those who would like the extra practice time. I suspect this will start sometime around 6:45PM or so. See you then!


Last Thursday, Jenny and Ziggy started to teach the dancers a Phase 4 Rumba, entitled, Rhythm & Romance. This dance was suggested by Donna. It’s very romantic (according to Donna); especially as the music is provided by Kenny G on his saxophone!!
Rumba is somewhat different than other rhythms in that there is no rise and fall as in Waltz and Foxtrot and there is no stepping with the heel first as in Tango. Steps are taken “ball-flat”. And one other aspect, the feet literally never leave the floor; in many instances it is only the toes that touch the floor. This is sometimes not easily done; even Ziggy has to constantly remind himself of this.
The dance is relatively simple in that Part A is danced three times and Part B twice; the second time as part of the ending. The Introduction consists of a through vine 7 to Aida then a slow switch in one (with the trailing foot) to the wall then hold. The vine is not done to the music beat, just do it when the cuer says to do it.
After the hold, you are cued to do a ½ basic to a full natural top. It is important in performing the ½ basic that the man turns ¼ turn to the right thereby facing reverse line of dance. This is important as otherwise it would be difficult to perform the full natural top and finishing facing the wall. The full natural top is done to a count of 9 (3 QQSs). The man starts by stepping behind with the right foot while the woman starts by stepping in between the man’s feet. Jenny’s “wagon wheel” tip was a great help for the ladies.
Next comes a “cross body to low butterfly”. In performing the cross body; at the end of the first QQS, the man should be facing the line of dance and the woman the centre of hall, i.e. they are a right angles to each other. After the 2nd QQS the partners are facing each other in low butterfly with the lead feet free.
The next cue is Slow cross swivel with Ronde (twice). The first cross swivel by the lady is to her left. She crosses with her right and she rondes with her left foot; keeping her toes on the ground!!! While she is doing that, the man shifts his weight to his left while looking at his partner. The whole movement is done slowly to the count of QQS. Then the lady does the same going to her right and the man shifts his weight to his right.
The next cue of consequence is “chase with underarm pass”. Remember men that you keep your left hand low for the first QQS and only raise if for the underarm turn on the second QQS.
Part B starts with a serpiente. Remember to keep the toes on the floor while doing the ronde. Later there is a “flirt” to a fan followed by an “alemana”. The second part of the alemana is normally QQS while the lady turns to the right. Instead, here she (and the man) does two “slows” while turning. Then, a cucaracha is performed (QQS).
The Ending is identical to Part B except there are no two “slows”. Instead, when performing the last three steps of the Alemana (QQS), the woman overturns to a “wrap” facing line of dance and hold. While overturning to a wrap, the lady is to bring her left arm across her body to allow the man to take her right hand with his right hand.
Jenny & Ziggy hope that you enjoy doing this romantic Rumba. They are usually available before dancing starts to assist when asked and this week, they will be doing some practice runs prior to our regular 10am start for those who would like this opportunity. This will probably start sometime around 9:30am or so. See you then!