"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #119, Thursday, Sept 12, 2002
The Cuban Break Chasse
Where did I learn it? As I scan the technique books, I really dont see a
description of a Cuban Break Chasse, which doesn't necessarily mean that we
cant talk about it.
Technique: Cuban Breaks are standard gold figures in Cha Cha. There is a LF Cuban Break and a RF Cuban Break, both counted as 2&3&4&1. There also is something called a Split Cuban Break LF: 2&3, RF: 4&1 (Man, Ladies normal opposite). So, let's simply take the RF cuban break and use it as a Chasse on the back basic. After step 5 of basic, place RF back count 2, transfer weight to LF, count 3 and now ready to do a Cuban break chasse RLR.
Feet Positions: Place RF forward and across LF, count 4, transfer weight back to LF, count & and then RF to side count 1. You have done a Cuban Break Chasse.
Shaping of Legs: On 4, the Right leg is straight but not locked and left knee is bent. The left Knee is tucking nicely behind the right knee. On "&" the left knee starts to straighten out and on 1, both legs are straight and hips move softly to right. Keep the upper body stretched and do not "sit" in cuban breaks.
Footwork: I will tell you a trick to remember the footwork in Cuban Breaks. Just remember that all "Numbers" like 2,3,4,1 are Ball-flat and the "&"s are on Th. Ball. Nitty gritty details can be added later. So the cuban break chasse foot work is Ball-flat, Ball, Ball-flat. Yes, I know the technique book says ballflat throughout but that's OK. Also Ballflat may simply mean lowering of the heel.
Why and Where to use a Cuban Break Chasse? I find the greatest use of this type of chasse when executing a fan from open position (Open Hip Twist). The Man does a foot slip chasse (tid-bit 118) on 2 3 4 & 1, and then as lady is going for a fan, he can easily adjust his distance and position by executing a cuban break chasse.
Next week, Lock Step Chasses and then I promise no more cha cha cha for a long time, With Best Wishes, Max