Jan. 23., 2017
-USA Dance will offer certification exams in Spring of 2017. My understanding is that eventually all their judges will have to be certified in the curriculum associated with their international dance governing body.
I was removed from USA Dance's judges roster for quitting one of my dance teacher organizations. Then even though the organization had no formal agreement or written expectations with another one of my teacher organizations, I had to jump through a hoop to get reinstated. See how important and effective having the right diplomas and test papers can be?
At this point in time, my qualifications are that I have passed the all elusive 'A' license level with my new group. That took three and a half days and part of an evening to get done, not counting the days off of work, the travel and hotel costs, the costs of the workshops and all that went into getting the 'B' license a couple of years ago.
I am not required to take this further testing, but the best way to find out what is contained in the tests is to take the tests. This way I can help other teachers who want to become judges get ready.
So I am restarting my studies, for the umpteenth time, and I am starting with cha cha cha.
There are many Main Factors relative to the Latin dances and specific to cha cha cha that one must understand in full.
To me, this is the order of importance:
music, timing, rhythm
relative partner positions
types of weight changes, chasses, rock steps
holds and leads
The plan is to study a figure, then an element, then an 'extra' while developing ease with terminology and descriptions that have changed from the traditional.
CHA CHA CHA
Part One, TIME STEP
#!-not to be confused with the 'time step chasse' which is close, close, side 2+3; close, close, side, 4+1.
#2-time step- close, close, side chasse, 2 3 4+1
#3-time step w guapacha-foot x back in Latin cross (2) +3, side chasse, 4+1
#4-time step in place-'basic movement in place,' close, close, close, close,close 2 3 4+1
#5-time step moving away from partner- 'there and back' w a merengue action on 4+1; may use just one measure; 6, 7 are, evidently, close, close, instead of back, transfer in place
-Steps 1, 2, 6, 7 may use delayed action.
-Dance w/o hold, but may use close, open, extreme open opp, or left side same or right side same and appropriate holds to match the relative position.
-Uses 'settle' on counts 2, 3; uses 1/2 fig. 8 on 4 + 1
Part Two: SPIRAL ACTIONS
-In rumba, we have the figure called 'the spiral.'
-In all Latin dances we use spiral actions and spiral turns.
-Either can be danced turning right or left.
-Spiral Cross is a forward walk turning on one foot, ended w the other foot crossed in front at the ankles. It uses a reverse hip design ending w a settling. The turn is up to 7/8.
-Spiral Turn uses a delayed walk, a rise, crossing to sou-sous, allowing the turn to continue for more than 7/8 turn, then extending the crossed foot forward as the standing foot lowers. It starts with the reverse hip design, and ends w incline of the pelvis.
-There is a Close Hip Twist Spiral & an Open Hip Twist Spiral using a Spiral Cross for lady on step 7, count 3, followed by a 3 step turn ended in open opposing
-Cross Basic With Turn has a Spiral Cross for lady on step 5, count 1+
-Hockey Stick To Chasse may include a Spiral Cross for lady on step 7, count 3+
-Curl has a Spiral Cross for lady on step 5, count 1
-Rope Spin starts with a Spiral Cross for lady, count 2+
-Continuous Overturned Lock has a Spiral Cross for lady on step 1, count 2+
-Overturned Lock Ending has a Spiral Cross for lady on preceding step, count 3+
Part Three: FOOT CHANGES (as opposed to the old foot switches)
There are numbered foot changes, 1-5, and there is a 'Simple Foot Change.'
-The Simple Foot Change is from open opposing position to right side same.
-Dance a hand to hand or other mirror image figure ending w a chasse to man's right OR dance a lock forward, lady backward ended on man's right foot.On counts 2,3, lady does a checked backward walk and weight transfer, R, L; man steps across w left foot, turns 3/8 to right, recovers his right foot turning another 1/8; now in 'right side same' dance a chasse to right.
-To use the 'Simple Foot Change' to exit 'right side same and end in 'open opposing,' finish up with left feet ready to dance forward on the 2, 3. Lady will dance her checked forward walk and weight transfer, L, R; man will step across again with his left foot, turn 3/8 to right, recover his right foot, turning another 1/8; then he locks forward in 'open opposing' while she locks backward.
-There are 5 more numbered Foot Changes, three in silver, two in gold.
Foot Change #1 "Lady's walk to RSS"
-dance chasse to man's right in open opposing
-man transfer sideways to LF, brush RF, count 2, 3; lady walks towards his right side, L, R, count 2, 3, w reverse swivel to end RSS; follow w chasse to R
-use L-R on 2, 3; release for chasse to R
-open opposing, R diag opp, RS opp, RSS by the end of count 3
Foot Change #2 "Forward Lock towards Lady's Right Side"
having danced a hockey stick to DW>LOD
-forward lock step curving to lady's right side
-LF forward and across 3/8 turn R to end facing C
-Recover RF on back swivel turn another 1/8 to face DC
-forward lock DC in LSS
-forward on L, recover RF turning 3/8 turning R, count 2, 3
-chasse to R
lady rocks backward on the first 2, 3, then forward locks in LSS w man
she dances the 'spot tap' on 2, 3, essentially they are both switching
she dances the chasse to R w man in RSS facing W
That's 3 of 6.
Part Four: FOOTWORK
There isn't much to know, instead of knowing every foot action on every foot placement you just have to know several dozen rules and where they apply.
Have to figure it out. There are these possibilities: BF, B, T, i/e T, o/e T, ET, FF, F, TB, TF
All 'rock steps' fwd count 2, 3, are BF BF
All 'rock steps' side count 2, 3, are BF BF
All 'rock steps' bwd count 2, 3, are BF BF
All side chasses count 4+1 are BF B BF.
All forward locks are BF T BF.
All backward locks are T BF BF.
All recoveries are T.
All Tap to side w/o wt are ET
Delayed walk on alemana is o/e T-BF BF BF.
Delayed walk turning on way to fan on only one figure which I can't remember, o/eT-F
All slip chasses are i/e T F BF.
All hip twist chasses are precede w ET then TF B BF
All ronde chasses, ET of ronde foot; TB (latin cross); F (slip) BF (side walk).
Knee pop on 16 and 17 of Follow My Leader for lady is B of both, both FF.
Man's twist on 16 and 17 of FML is BF then T of RF; LF F
Cuban break action is preceding step FF, i/e T of XF; B-T of XSF; WF w XF
Both whisk chasses are B BF BF
Running chasse is B, LF F & B RF, RFF & BF of LF
Time step chasse to R is B, RFF & B LF, BF
Volta chasse to L is T BF BF
volta chasse to R is BF T BF
Part Four: OVERTURNED....There will be a bunch of these...
#1-the Overturned Lock Ending
-on step 7 of a close hip twist to chasse or open hip twist to chasse or step 7 of the hockeystick, the lady dances a spiral cross w 7/8 to L to end in 'same.' From there, she may turn at the end of the lock to open opposing or she can continue forward to dance the Swivel from Overturned Lock.
-there are many other precede options with this Overturned Lock Ending.
-One precede is the Swivels. This is a figure in close position with 2 swivels, L, R on count 2,3. in order to do the Overturned lock following the swivels, an extra pair of swivels must be danced. another one of my assumptions.
-Another precede is Syncopated Open Hip Twist. this one I have to think about.So far all I come up with is to hold the tap to the side for two extra beats then exit with the Overturned Lockstep Ending.
Part Five (w/o having finished part four) studying not to learn but to take the test
Going to make some graph style charts and practice filling them in. Having trouble even remembering the top row identifying each of the nine columns.
this might be the answer to working a little faster towards the goal.
Part five is getting used to sticking with the new terminology. I am like an expat who is learning a new language but still mixing the English with the Spanish.