Danced One Chasse . . .
that one chasse be the same as every other chasse you
dance? That would be too simple!
have chasses in smooth rhythms, as in thru chasse to
Banjo, or ripple chasse. We have chasses in jive, although we usually
triples, but you will hear jive chasse as a cue. And we have chasses in
cha, those triple steps at the end of most measures. They are all
together, side” in simplest description. But they are all different in
waltz, most figures have rise and fall, including the
chasse. Rise begins at the end of count 1, continues through
lowering comes at the end of count 3. At the phase III level, in a thru
to semi, the dancers will step through in semi then turn to face each
close trail feet, then open to semi again as they step forward. Thru
semi-chasse at a higher level will have the dancers stay in semi
and their feet will travel diagonally forward (not straight forward)
the mechanics of semi-closed position. In any case, the steps are
the same length.
the latin rhythms, the chasse changes, and differences
exist between cha cha and jive.
jive and cha cha, the first step of a chasse is to the
side, then the second step closes, and the third step is to the side
do they differ? Let me count the ways. Timing, hip and leg action,
foot placement -- that’s all.
Cha cha timing is 123&4, the chasses being the
three steps on 3&4. The “&” count represents a half
beat, taken from
beat 3. The beat value of the steps in a cha cha measure is 1, 1, 1/2,
Jive timing is 123a4. The “a” represents a quarter beat, taken from
beat 3, so
the beat value of a jive measure is 1, 1, 3/4, 1/4, 1. In both cases,
two steps on the third beat of a measure, but the second of those steps
faster in jive because you have less time to do it.
cha chas, the footwork (how you use your feet) is ball
flat, ball flat, ball flat. Jive footwork is ball, ball, ball flat,
with the bounce and speed of the music. Jive is bouncy with pressure
floor; cha cha is slower and moves more laterally. Jive is more “up and
with knee and ankle action, and we don’t think about hip movement. Cha
Cuban motion like its sister the rumba. Steps in cha cha begin with a
step, followed by a closing step, and a longer side step to end.
of its speed and the bounce—should be danced almost in place, in place,
subtle differences are what makes each rhythm
distinctive. Try to master them. You may find that adds more joy to
a club newsletter, June 2016, and reprinted in the
Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC)
Newsletter, April 2017.