Monday, November 23, 2009

Lesson on Cha Cha

Cha Cha technique points:
  • Hand hold--In open positions, man should hold the lady's hand with thumb on the back of her hand, the first two fingers on the palm of her hand, with just tight enough a grip to clearly lead and communicate my position. Our instructor says that while little emphasis is given to the hand-hold in most instruction, he finds that if there is any uncertainty about hand holds, including how they change during a figure, his figures will not work right. It is incorrect to hold the hand as if it were holding a cup, the lady's fingers down inside the cup. This is not adequate for anything beyond a basic.
  • Closed position--Fingers of man's left hand closed around lady's right hand. We try to create a large volume between us, slightly pushing away from each other. 
  • Footwork--Heel has to be on the ground on the beat on 1, 2, and 3, but no heel leads. Steps should be small. Remember to step straight back, and not turn, when leading an underarm turn.
  • Lead and follow--Man needs to lead where he wants lady to step. In open positions, he should try to keep his hand at the lady's waist level if possible. Hold the hand too high, and he will tend to tip her over at the top, rather than lead her feet to move.
  • Sharpness in movement.--Torquing the hips. The hips should never be flat, except between movements. It is the hip rotation driving the steps, and in the settling action on the 2, that will lend sharpness to the movements.
  • Natural Top--This happens in a closed position, shoulders square to each other, no hip action, the goal is to show off the amount of rotation. The man crosses behind, the lady has her feet pointing left relative to the shoulders, walking around the rim of the circle. The man and the lady have different footwork to avoid conflict in the feet.
  • Hockey Stick--The hand goes up on 1, but remains to the right side of the lady. On 3, the hand is brought across the lady's face, causing her to turn 1/8. On the & after 3, the lady is turned a half-turn. 

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