Friday, May 29, 2009

Cha Cha Cha - Underarm Turn

Today we are going to look at both an Underarm Turn to the Left and and Underarm Turn to the Right. They vary only in the direction that the lady is turning.

This step can be used in one direction or in both, whichever fits in with your sequence of steps.

Leaders'/Men's Footwork

You have it easy, gents... your footwork is the Basic Movement! (So no diagrams for you today!)

All you need to do to initiate the turn is raise your Left arm on your Cha Cha Cha (Chasse) to the Left. Then, as you take your back step, your partner will turn underneath the raised arm and face you again for the Chasse to the Right. To turn her the other direction, as you are Chasse-ing, raise the left hand again and bring it across your body between you. This will ensure that your partner turns the right direction. Take the forward step of your Basic as she turns and you will both join back together for the Chasse.

Followers'/Lady's Footwork

Although the guys have it easy in terms of footwork, you dont have it too much harder, ladies! You have already done a spot turn. Well, and underarm turn is basically a spot turn while holding on to your partner.

During half of a basic movement (when you are stepping back), as you Chasse to the Right, your partner will lift his Left/your Right hand.

Step forward with your Left foot, exactly like in the spot turn,

leave your Right foot where it is, turn away from your partner and return your weight to your Right foot. (Counts 2, 3)

Complete the movement with the Cha Cha Chasse to the Left facing your partner. (Counts 4-and-1)

If he then takes your right hand and leads it across your body on that chasse, he is leading you into the turn on the other side. Step forward onto your Right foot,

turn away from your partner but leaving your feel where they are and replace the weight onto your Left foot, ready to Chasse to the Right.

Notes for both the Leader and Follower:

- Leaders, don not think that you need to turn your lady with your left arm... allow her to turn herself! It will save a lot of sore arms and shoulders. Your arm/hand is simply there to guide her.

- Followers, do not grip your partner's hand while you are turning. You will end up hurting one or both of you! Your hands should be lightly resting in each others... which allows for an easy turn.

- Do not forget the timing of your own footwork. Just because you are doing different things with your feet, you should not get distracted or put off by this difference. Get your own footwork so that you dont have to worry about it while you are leading or taking direction.

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