Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cha Cha Cha - Open Hip Twist into Fan

Much like the Hip Twist and Fan in Rumba, this step follows the same patterns but in a Cha Cha rhythm. This is a very standard step and one which sets the slightly more experienced student from the absolute beginner.

Leaders'/Men's Footwork

There are a couple of different options for you guys with this step. I am going to start giving you some of the different types of chasse that you can and should be starting to use by this point. If you ever feel a little overwhelmed, go back to a basic simple chasse (three steps in place) until you have the rest of the movement and feel confident to try the complex chasses again.

Starting in open position (one hand hold), with your weight on your Right foot, you will step forward onto your Left foot on count 2. Bring your weight back onto your Right foot on count 3. Here is the first of our complex chasses - a Slip Chasse. Touch your Left foot back behind you with part weight, slip your Right foot slightly towards your back foot (similar to the movement you would have used in your samba walks), and then place your Left foot beside your Right foot (4, and, 1). Try not to take your body weight back over the foot placed behind you - keep it over your Right foot and make sure you still keep a solid connection with your follower to allow her to turn in her Hip Twist.

Now, take your follower into Fan Position by leading her to move forward (your Left) as you step back onto your Right foot (Count 2), replace the weight on your Left foot on count 3 (start thinking about angling your body slightly to the diagonal towards your partner), and then we have our next complex chasse - a Hip Twist Chasse. (Though there are many styling options here, I am going to explain the easiest version.) Cross your Right foot forwards and across your body - hips and lower body turning more than your shoulders (Count 4), uncross your feet placing your Left foot beside your Right (Count 'and'), Step to the side onto your Right foot facing the diagonal (Count 1). You and your partner should now be in Fan position.

Followers'/Lady's Footwork

Starting in open position (one hand hold), with your weight on your Left foot, step back onto your Right foot (like in the basic) on count 2 and then replace your weight to the Left foot on count 3. Your partner should lead you to do a lock chasse forward using your Right foot, coming towards him as he stays in the same place (4, and, 1). The lead arm therefore becomes a lot more compact. Dont allow your elbow to get behind your body at any point. As you come forward there will no longer be room for you to travel and this will cause you to pivot on your Right leg (just after you count and step "1") and finish facing the wall that was to your right. You should still have connection with your partner through your Right arm, but it is also wrapped in front of your body at this point.

You then have two steps forward (Left, Right) before you cant really go any further whilst still holding on to your partner! So at the end of the second step (on Count 3) you will unwind with half a turn on your Right leg. Step backwards into a lock step with your Left foot (4, and, 1). Ending in Fan position.

Notes for both the Leader and the Follower:

- The final pivot for the Follower must not be rushed into and also needs to be distinctly created by the Leader. In order to make this transition the most effective, both parties, need to be very aware of their arm placement and the connection between them.

- As the Follower has quite a few steps in this sequence which lead away from the Leader, it is important that both people are aware of how far they are getting away from each other and that the joined arms are not overstretched.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for drawing the steps and taking the time to publish.