"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #122 , Thursday, October 3, 2002

Dancing Tid-bits
Barbara Ambrose: A Lecture

I know it and I feel it; you are sick and tired of my Tid-bits on Cha Cha Cha. But I could'nt help it. Once I started I had to finish all chasses because I feel it is so basic in Cha Cha that if one doesn't know all this, he or she does'nt know Cha Cha. It is also the most ignored lesson or lessons at least here in USA.

So What is today's subject? Yes, it is about Cha Cha but also about the basic technique of all Latin Dances. And, yes it is about a lecture by a renowned lady coach, Barbara Ambrose. I dont know her personally but she must be a top notch coach if she is invited to lecture in Blackpool Congress. Look up your 1997 collection of Lecture Tapes in Blackpool and you will see her being introduced as Barbara Ambrose from Slovenia.

She presents a very succinct method of training her students by coming up with practice routines of some very basic movements in each of the Latin Dances. This is not choreography but some very basic movements put together in sequence and such can be practised as a Line Dance by many dancers, men and women at the same time.

She includes many complex competitive movements such as batacuda etc., but for our social dance training we don't have to be so involved. Let us have a room full of beginner-intermediate pupils and play a hot Cha Cha at different speeds and make a simple routine such as I present here. Start with all facing wall. The following sequence can be followed.
  1. Start with Basic Cha Cha Cha with side chasse and make 1/4 turn to left on 2 bars
  2. Next do just simple progressive back and forward (There and Back). 2 bars
  3. Switch to Back Lock and Forward Lock, 2 bars
  4. LF Ronde and and a Hip Twist Chasse next, 2 bars
  5. A foot slip and a Cuban Break Chasse next, 2 bars
  6. And now a Basic with Side Chasse turning 1/4 to left, face a new wall, 2 bars and repeat ad lib. If you like, do 4 bars for each movement.
I think you will have fun and improve your cha cha by observing others. If you are a high class competitive dancer, look up Ms. Barbara Ambrose's Lecture and do what her students do. I guarantee, if you listen to her and do what she says, it will make a difference of day and night in your dancing.

Chapter Closed, Thanks ...Max.

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