Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Cha Cha Cha - Hockey Stick

This move begins from the Fan position. Ladies, you are basically retracing the steps from the Open Hip Twist into Fan. Guys,whilst leading your lady and assisting her movements, you are also going to be adding in your more complex chasses. Make sure your leads are definitive and timed at the right moments.

Leaders'/Men's Footwork

As usual, most of your footwork with this step is based around the basic, however we are throwing in complex chasses now rather than the more simple compact chasse that you would be used to. Start this movement in Fan position, standing with your feet apart and on a slight diagonal towards your partner. You are going to do one basic movement stepping forward on your Left foot (Count 2), replacing the weight on your Right (Count 3), and then a Slip Chasse on the 4, and,1 count. (In a Slip Chasse, place your foot - in this case your Left - behind you with part weight, slightly slide your Right foot backwards and then replace the Left foot beside the Right.) You should do all this and accomplish a small amount of turn to get you back to facing a wall instead of a diagonal by the end. As you do this you need to bring your Left hand (the one that is in contact with your partner) forward and in towards your body to make your partner move forwards and by the end of this set of steps you should have your hand drawn across your face, the back of your hand towards your forehead and there should be a window created with your and your partner's arms so that you can see each other.

As you move into the next set of steps, you need to move your hand over your partner's head so that your hand is resting with hers on or near her Left shoulder. You then have another basic movement, stepping backwards this time onto your Right foot on Count 2, transferring the weight forward again onto your Left on Count 3, and then using a lock step chasse forward (following your partner) with your Right foot on Count 4, and, 1.

Followers'/Lady's Footwork

You have a bit of a tricky set of steps to describe, so hopefully with the combination of the words here and the drawn steps, you will get the idea. I have numbered the steps in your diagram rather than labelled the counts as i thought that would be less confusing. So please don't do the rhythm based on the numbers on the diagram!

You are standing in fan with your Right foot extended diagonally towards your partner and weight on your Left. On count 2, bring your Right foot in to your Left foot, put the ball of your foot on the floor (your Right knee should be bent and crossed slightly in front of your left) and change weight so that you end up with your Right foot flat on the floor with a straight leg and your Left foot is now on the ball of the foot with the knee slightly bent and crossed. All of that is on count 2!

Then you have a walk forward towards your partner on your Left foot on count 3 and a lock step forward leading with your Right foot on Counts 4, and, 1. Your partner should lead you straight forward directly in front of him and bring your arm up in front of you so that there is a window between you and your partner when you reach the end of this set of steps. You are facing the wall to his Right.

He will then lead your arm over your head so that your Right hand is holding his and resting on or close to your Left shoulder. With your next two steps (Counts 2, 3 - Left, Right), you actually make a total of a 90 degree turn (some variations are closer to 45 - depends on preference and following steps) and walk away from your partner. At the end of the second step (on count 3) you are wound in your own arm and can only get out of it by unwinding - bringing your Left shoulder back and around - turning on your Right foot before you then step back onto your Left foot for a lock step on Counts 4, and, 1.

Notes for both the Leader and the Follower:

- When you get more comfortable with the steps, you can make the leads sharper and slightly delayed - especially the final turn on count 3. But that requires both partners to be secure in their steps and paying close attention to the leads.

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