"Dancing Tid-bits" Issue #155, Thursday, October 9, 2003
Spice Up your Cha Cha Cha
Pierre Allaire and his wife Mirre (Me-ray) need no introduction and in my previous tidbits I have often talked about their lessons. So, I had no hesitation last evening to go for an hour long session on Cha Cha Cha and I am glad I did. More recently I was feeling a little "blah" with this dance because I just didn't feel it at a basic level and since I don't have a regular partner I was finding it hard to lead other ladies in something more fancy. I have always emphasized the importance of different types of Chasses in Cha Cha. Having said that I also feel guilty that when I start to dance I hardly put them to work. Pierre and Mirre literally injected life into my basic cha cha by putting a simple routine with some spiced up chasses.
The Routine: Start with a Basic Fan to Hockey Stick but overturn the Hockey Stick to go to New York and follow this NY to right by doing Three Cha Cha Chas forward in Right Side by Side (Promenade) Position followed by a New York to Left and end facing each other. Now do 1 Time Step (2 bars) and then end the routine by doing Side Step to Left and Right.
It is all very simple, very basic and bronze routine. So how do we "spice it up?"
Spice Up your Fan: As the Lady is going to fan on the 2nd bar of music, you, the Man can do a Hip Twist Chasses and if you do it with proper connection and Lead, it really creates a nice effect. If you are wondering what is Hip Twist Chasse you can read my Tid-bits Dancesport UK, Dancescape, Danceplaza #114 to 121 that describe all different types of chasses in Cha Cha Cha.
Spice Up your Hockey Stick: You (man) can execute a Cucaracha type of Chasses movement on 4&1 as the lady does a running or forward lock on the 1st bar of music. Create a window effect here and over turn the Hockey Stick assisting lady to do a Spiral Turn as she steps forward on count 3 (step 7) with her right foot turning left. Take her with you to do a running Chasses in Left Side by Side Position. Go ahead and do a New York to right (Counter Promenade Position or CPP).
Spice Up your New York: As you come out from a NY to right, follow with Three Cha Cha Chas any way you want (going forward or back in right or left side position). This is my modification.
Spice Up your Basic Time Step: Now you are ready to do a NY to left (starting with RF) Do it and end facing each other. A little pause here, Stabilize let the Arms go and now work on non verbal and visual leads only. Do a Time Step in Place with good Hip Movement, 2 bars.
Spice Up the Ending: With abstract body and visual leads, do a Side Step to Left LRLRL and Tap RF to LF at the end of Chasses and then do a Side Step to Right RLRLR and tap LF to RFat the end. Resume normal hold and do whatever.....!
If you are beginner level and find it hard to understand this choreography, you can either go to your teacher or get to text books or videos. It is all very well described. With Best Wishes, Max