Latin Position and Partnering


    1. Closed position

      • Normal Closed Hold: 6 inches (15cm) apart from partner

      • No hold, L-to-R hand, or R-to-L hand hold.

    2. Open position (Bronze, Silver & Gold)

      • Facing and away from partner, about arms length.

      • L-to-R hand, R-to-R hand, no hold, or double hold.

    3. Fan Position (Bronze, Silver Gold)

      • Lady at 90 angle to Man on his L side on an imaginary line about 6 inches in front of him.

      • Man's L hand hold Lady's R hand.

      • Man feet apart, weight on RF; Lady LF back, weight on LF.

    4. Open Counter Promenade Position

      • V shape with Lady's R side close to Man's L side. Distance may vary.

      • L-to-R hold, R-to-L hold, or no hold.

    5. Open Promenade Position

      • V shape with Lady's L side close to Man's R side. Distance may vary.

      • L-to-R, or no hold.

    6. Right Side Position

      • Lady is on Man's R side, both facing same way

    7. Left Side Position

      • Lady is on Man's L side, both facing same way

    8. Contact position (Silver/Gold)

      • Facing partner with light body contact and normal hold.

    9. Promenade position (Silver & Gold)

      • Lady on Man's R side and Man's R and Lady's L side towards each other, slightly apart.

      • The opposite side of the body turned outwards to form "V".

      • Normal hold

    10. Right Shadow Position (Gold)

      • Lady on Man's R side slightly in advance, both facing same direction.

      • Three different holds:

        • Hold 1: Man's RH on or below Lady's R shoulder blade, LH holding Lady's LH, wrist or lower arm.

        • Hold 2: ("Cuddle Hold") Lady's arms across front of her body below chest level with her R arm above her L arm. Man's R arm is behind lady's back, RH holding her LH and his LH holding her RH.

        • Hold 3: Man's RH on or below Lady's R shoulder blade, LH holding her RH in front of the bodies just below chest level. Lady's L arm is held across front of her body, just below or above the joined hands.

    11. Tandem Position (Gold)

      • Lady directly in front of Man, both facing same way.

Lead and Follow

About partnering:

    • Appropriate weight: always the minimal amount necessary to do the job.

    • Lead:

      • Physical: good physical lead, connection between partners - not tight, heavy, but with tone, connected. Lady sense it, do not resist, relate to Man's movement. Maintain chosen body design.

      • Visual: be very aware what partner is doing.

      • Verbal: not used very much in ballroom and Latin dancing. But there are some auditory cues - sound of breath, stomping feet on floor - are used slightly, sometimes by advanced dancers.

    • Follow: Always follow the spine. Relate to what Man does.

      • Lady could be too early - don't do that. do not go ahead of Man, always commit fully and transfer weight, solid steps.

      • Be very aware of partner's transfer of weight. Make conscious choice.

      • Lady is "echoing" Man. Delay action: seeing, sensing and then doing. This could be mirroring Man's movement, or doing something different.

      • Lady needs to keep the rhythm she is put in till she sense the change of timing.

    • Connection:

    • Maintain tone in connection.

    • Remember opposition: e.g. when Lady steps RF back, her right hand connects to Man's left hand in open position, do not pull Man back, when RF steps back, the energy in Lady's right hand should be forward to Man.