by Tim Eum
Three Alemanas (Phase 6):
It is easy to convert this to the phase 4 sequence of “Half Basic;
Underarm Turn; Reverse Underarm Turn; and Underarm Turn;” and many do,
but to truly do the phase 6 Three Alemanas you need to do the following:
The first measure is simply a Forward Half Basic, even for the Three
Alemanas, and is thus simply Forward, Recover, Close, -; for the man --
and Back, Recover, Close, - ; for the lady (or Close, Forward, Forward
to face if starting from Fan Position).
Now, on the second measure comes the “extra” ~ the man still does a
Back Basic (Back, Recover, Close, -- ; ) while the lady does a regular
“Alemana” but on the last step the lady overturns right face into a
“Half Wrapped” position where lead hands are joined across the lady’s
waist but the trail hands are held high above the head.
The third measure is the toughest for the lady, the man simply does a
side left cucaracha. The lady’s first step in the third measure
is to step side & forward with her right foot and sharply swivel on
it left face ½ , then on her second step to step forward with her left
foot and sharply swivel left face ½ again, then on her third step to
step forward across the front of the man toward his left. That is
a lot of quick turning.
The fourth and last measure is simply a regular Alemana ending where
the man does a cucaracha toward his right side while the lady steps
forward turning right face 3/8, takes a second step forward turning
right face 3/8, and finally takes a step forward toward her partner.
Three Threes (Phase 6):
The Three Threes usually starts in Closed Position, BFLY, or LOPF with
man facing wall, with lead foot free. Timing is QQS; QQS; QQS; QQS;
thus, taking four measures.
Three Threes is easy for the man: He does "Rock, Recover, Close, - ;"
three times: first rocking forward (and a recover, close), then rocking
to his right side (and a recover, close), then rocking forward (and a
recover, close), and after that finishes the figure with a rumba Back
Basic (rock back, recover, forward & side, - ;). You can see from
the man's footwork why it is called Three Threes -- the figure for him
is three three-step cucarachas followed by a Back Basic.
It is much different for the lady. She does all the fancy and beautiful
The first measure for the lady is like an Open Hip Twist, except that
instead of doing only a ¼ right face turn on the hip twist, the lady
turns it ½ right face to end up in tandem. If the figure started in
closed, BFLY, or LOPF with man facing wall, both will be facing wall in
tandem at the end of this first measure with trail foot free. Remember
that while the lady did this the man simply did a Forward Cucaracha.
The second measure for the lady starts simply -- she simply rocks side,
recover, side -- except that she does a full turn, 360 degree left face
spin on her left foot on that third rocking step to face wall again.
That is a lot of turn and it takes practice for the lady to do without
losing balance. While the lady is doing all this, the second measure
for the man is simply a right side Cucaracha.
The third measure is like a "Sweetheart" except using the lead foot to
rock instead of the trail foot. The lady will rock back with her right
foot (while man rocks forward with left), then both recover onto the
trail foot, and then man closes while the lady steps forward and after
taking weight immediately swivels ½ right face to face partner.
The last measure (fourth) is like a "compressed" Alemana turn for the
lady. She will step forward quick toward partner with her left foot and
immediately swivel right face ½. Then she will quickly step forward
away from partner with her right foot and immediately swivel right face
½ to face partner again, and finally take the last step forward toward
partner with her left foot (without any turn, whew !). Unlike an
Alemana turn however, the lady does these quick step-swivels freely,
without any hands joined to partner. The man does a simple rumba Back
Basic adjusting his last step to go towards his partner and helping her
regain her balance, rejoining at least the lead hands and perhaps even
getting fully to closed position or BFLY.
Full Natural Top (Phase 5):
The Full Natural Top is a three measure phase 5 rumba figure with
standard timing QQS; QQS; QQS; As defined, this figure begins in Closed
Position with trail foot free.
It gets its name from the little toy that spins round and round.
The “Natural” part of it doesn’t mean that it is naturally easy -- it
means the figure turns right face, which was at some time considered
the natural direction to turn.
It is common to get into a Full Natural Top by starting in CP wall and
doing a Forward Half Basic and then doing the defined Full Natural Top.
Other entries are possible. For instance – Open Break to a Full Natural
Begin the Full Natural Top in Closed Position with trail foot free.
Then for 8 of the 9 steps, the couple will rotate right face around
each other and finish on the 9th step with man doing a close step and
lady a side step. The man does his 9 steps as Cross Right in Back
(XRIB), Side, XRIB; Side, XRIB, Side; XRIB, Side, Close ;
Remember to do these in QQS timing. The lady does her 9 steps as
Side, Cross Left in Front (XLIF), Side; XLIF, Side, XLIF ; Side, XLIF,
Side ; again danced QQS.
Note that at all times the partners are in a loose Closed Position –
they start that way, they stay that way, and they end that way.
When the man does a XRIB, lady is doing a side right step. When
the man is doing a side left step, the lady is doing a XLIF step,
somewhat between his feet.
The Full Natural Top ends in CP with lead foot free.
Continuous Natural Top (Phase 6):
The Continuous Natural Top is almost exactly like the Full Natural Top
except that on the first step of the second measure and the second step
of the third measure the lady will spiral left face on her right
Just like the Full Natural Top, the Continuous Natural Top begins in
Closed Position with the trail foot free and the timing is QQS; QQS;
QQS; The couple will rotate around each other clockwise.
The man’s steps are exactly the same as in the Full Natural Top.
He has nine steps XRIB, Side, XRIB; Side, XRIB, Side; XRIB, Side, Close;
The lady’s steps are the same nine she had in the Full Natural Top
except for the spirals on steps 4 and 8. Thus they are Side,
XLIF, Side; Spiral LF on R, Side, XLIF; Side, Spiral LF on R, Side;
prepared many Round Dance Tips for Calls 'n' Cues,
WASCA, for his weekly Rocket Rounds email reports, and for
grateful for permission to collect and reprint. A Tim Eum archive.