Friday, November 27, 2009

Lesson on Cha Cha

Two key points of technique to work on: locks and spacing.
Most common problem is taking too big steps, in general, but specifically in locks. Backward locks are simpler. The legs remain straight at all times. On forward locks, footwork is ball-flat, ball, ball-flat. On 4, the front foot steps, pointing toe, and landing on a straight leg. Trailing foot crosses behind front foot on &, with feet turned out on ball, and knee bent. On 1, the trailing leg pops straight, lifting the trailing hip, and it is this motion that provides the impetus for the front leg to move forward, a little bit. When changing from left to right and right to left, as in the triple cha chas, a turning of the ribs should be used to effect the change. Do not swing the trailing leg around in a big arc, which is not very attractive.
How far apart the man and woman can and should get: The anchor of the partnership in open position is the hand hold, and so the man and woman should not step further away from the hands than would allows for upright body posture, waist high hands, with bent elbows. A critical element of making this work is small steps. The previous point talks about how small the steps are for locks, but small steps are the rule in general. This goes back to a previous post on hand hold in a private lesson, where the instructor recommended a firm grip in open hand hold. This is the only way the man can effectively communicate how much travel is appropriate. It seems easy for the lady to travel too far without this hold in getting into, for example, the fan position.

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