Saturday, January 15, 2011

Boléro Walking

Feature Entry: Boléro Walking

The MoneyWalkers just attended the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s January 2011 “Pan-American Life Fiesta Sinfónica: Boléro.” Boléro is the masterpiece of Maurice Ravel. Bravo! Bravo! The MoneyWalker really wanted to add Ravel to his emerging MoneyWalkers’ Hall of Fame, but alas, I can’t find evidence that Ravel was a walker unless you count the walking from his apartment to the bordellos of Paris.

Ravel’s great composition first captivated my attention as the musical background for Blake Edward’s 1979 blockbuster movie starring Bo Derek and Dudley Moore. Who could forget Henry Mancini’s version of Boléro and Bo’s beach scenes with her corn row hair style.

So what is Boléro Walking? It borrows from the Boléro style: “…the insistent repetition of a single melody of slightly irregular phrasing..Its magic is almost childishly simple: repeating the melody, changing the instrumentation, gradually increasing the volume, and adding more instruments.” Boléro walking then is simple walking that varies the pace and rhythm of the walking style. As the walk continues, the walker varies the pace from slow to medium, and then to fast. As the pace increases, the arm and hip action is more pronounced and forceful. In this phase, the walker is nearly running and invites fatigue. Then the walker changes back to a slower pace and repeats the escalation.

If you are a discerning reader, Boléro Walking may sound similar to Fartlek Walking. If so, go to the head of the class. Fartlek is a Swedish term meaning 'speed play'. Says Graham Foster: “Walk for a while at a moderate pace, then at a brisk pace and then at a fast pace. Then drop back to a moderate pace (recovery period) to get your breath back before perhaps injecting either another period of brisk or fast pace.”

So what is the basic difference between Boléro Walking and Fartlek walking other than the awkward Swedish pronunciation? Boléro walking helps you to look like Bo Derek. Was Bo Swedish?


Journal Entries:

January 15, 2011: Weight = 174.6 lbs; Coinage =$2.40, 50 pennies (a six coin penny dump), 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 1 quarter, 1 one dollar bill; glass bottles = 5; ground scores =7.

1/13/2011: Weight = 177.0 lbs; 45 pennies, 3 nickels, 5 dimes, 2 quarters; glass bottles = 9; ground scores 7.

1/10/11: Weight = 177.4 lbs; Coinage = $1.52; glass bottles = 13; ground score = 4.


  1. Ha! I knew what a fartlek is! I learned about them from running forums that I followed when I first started about seven years ago. I believe fartlek, bolero and ralking are all very similar. Now if only I looked like Bo Derek....

  2. Numi, for us men, the challenge to look good next to Dudley Moore is much less than for women and Bo Derek. But for me the challenge is to look good against the best that nature has provided me. I appreciate your fidelity.