Technical Manual

Note: The complete manual is available to members for download or to view for free.

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The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is the principle technical resource for ICBDA. The purpose of the Committee is to provide information and guidance on questions of choreographed ballroom/round dance technique and teaching methods. TAC members develop, edit, revise, publish, and distribute the information through the Technical Dance Manual.

The International Choreographed Ballroom Dance Association (ICBDA) Technical Dance Manual contains figure descriptions in 16 rhythms from Argentine/American Tango to West Coast Swing including rhythms from both the Latin/Rhythm and the Smooth/Modern styles.

Each figure in the TAC Dance Manual goes through a rigorous development and review process. The final product defines each figure in three different ways:

Cue Sheet Form – A description of the figure as it could be written on a cue sheet for both the man and the woman.

Chart Form – Each line or row in the chart will include a step number to correspond to the timing of the figure and a description associated with that step number. Each line may or may not be an actual step. Instead it may correspond to an action taken by the dancer in accomplishing the figure that utilizes part of the timing allocated to the figure. There are separate charts for both the man and the woman. The information includes: step number, timing, facing alignment of the step, step direction, amount of turn, footwork, action used, and lead and technical points.

Narrative Form – This narrative describes each “step number” of the chart, in plain language, with restricted use of abbreviations for both the man and the woman.

Most figures also include General Notes that provide additional information about the figure. This may include hand and arm recommendations, advanced timing options, a variation on the figure, advanced techniques to dress it up, or any other information believed to be useful to the dancer.

The current ICBDA Technical Manual includes figures in the Roundalab Phase III through Phase VI range and also includes many yet-to-be phased figures.

The figure names for the Standard and Latin figures are generally the same names as used by the ISTD and IDTA. There are a few exceptions in cases where the Round Dance figure names have been adopted uniquely for the Round Dance community.

In the American Style the figure names are generally the same as used by USISTD and USA Dance, formerly USABDA. Again there are a few exceptions in cases where Round Dance figure names have been adopted uniquely for the Round Dance community. This figure naming “convention” has also been used generally by Roundalab.