The Bolero is a music unlike any other: a graceful, Spanish style with its own rhythm. Usually written in three-quarter time, the Bolero offers a lilting, romantic melody, then slowly adds in other instrumentation and harmony, growing in volume and power. The Bolero dance is likewise romantic and powerful; it will bring out the best emotions in you, as it carries you away with its alluring and relaxing slow tempo.
To fully enjoy the magic of the Bolero, you have to learn the dance. After you have learned the Bolero’s basic steps, you will be able to focus on the music, and what the composers were trying to convey.
What Is the Bolero?
The Bolero rhythm was historically in 3/4, and is normally characterized by numerous Spanish vocals and subtle percussion, at a tempo of 20 to 25 measures per minute. It is danced based on a “slip pivot”, which is a typical rotation of the body on the ball of a supporting foot. This creates a pivot back and forth, while the body rises and falls except for the feet. The effect of the combination of these body movements and the “slip pivot” is a pattern of smooth and powerful dance moves that bring out a romantic feeling to the dancers and the audience.
The Bolero involves eight steps in two sets: the slow, quick, and quick steps. The slow has two beats, while each quick has one beat. Bolero dancers bend knees in positions such that the posture forms a straight line from shoulder to hip. The bent leg rises and slides towards the side by sliding the ball of the foot across the floor. This step can be performed once, or as many as five times. During the slower second beat, dancers pull up, straightening the knee until it’s flexed but not locked. In beat two or six, going up on one toe is another common move, though it is not necessary. On beats three and seven, dancers bend gradually while lowering themselves, before coming back to the first position. In this position, dancers bend their knee slowly to complete beats four and eight.
The History Of
Originally, the Bolero was a dance for couples, and was played at many weddings and family events. Years later, interest expanded, and composers adapted it for larger venues, with more talented dancers and dynamic choreography. Italian ballet specialists performing in Spain influenced the Bolero’s success in theatres. This growth continued into the twentieth century, with the opening of many Bolero schools and training companies.
The Bolero, whose music was initially in the 3/4 metre with a moderately slow tempo, consisted of three ‘coplas’, or verses. Each copla lasted for 36 bars. A copla was made up of 3 parts, each followed by a swap in the positioning of the dancers. The culminating pose of each part is known as ‘parada’. The end of a copla was crowned with a dramatic pose, or ‘bien parada’.
Ever since its inception, the Bolero has undergone many changes, notably: the 3/4 meter changed to a 2/4 meter under Cuban influence, and later to 4/4 as practiced in Arthur Murray Studios. Arthur Murray instructors have kept up with the changes to the dance, and are flexible in their teaching. You will find yourself practicing some of the oldest all-time classic techniques, while keeping abreast of the latest innovations in the dance.
We’re The Masters at Teaching Bolero
Learning to dance the Bolero at Arthur Murray is a lot of fun. Experimentation is encouraged, and you refine the dance everyday to incorporate new ideas, and your own personal nuances, all of which add to its flavor. Our dance instructors have developed the Bolero to a more romantic slow dance that is more lyrical than most of the other Latin Dances. They have incorporated techniques that make the Bolero resemble the Waltz for its rise and fall, the Tango for body movement, and Rumba for musical rhythm, ultimately making it a beautiful style for developing dramatic expression in your dancing.
We are able to teach students of all skill levels because we give each student the attention they need to learn the steps, and tailor each lesson to address their needs. Arthur Murray Dance Studios are posh and spacious. Dancers easily access individualized coaching, while the audience enjoys an unobstructed view. Our studios are highly preferred because of the warm social environment, and the guaranteed success in learning.
Arthur Murray’s Commitment To Excellence
Arthur Murray has a phenomenal track record in teaching dance. Bolero culture has been revitalized here, and continues to attract many dancers. This is largely due to our well-formulated teaching system, and our qualified trainers who know what is best for their students.
Come to Arthur Murray an amateur, and you can walk out of our doors a pro!