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Plaza Column - View article
Written by : Max M Ali MD
Date : 07-08-2004
Title : ISTD Test, Latin Part 3, Cha Cha Cha
Article: Dancing Tid-bits Issue #190, Thursday, July 8, 2004.

Today's Topic: ISTD Test, Latin Part 3, Cha Cha Cha

As I said before, if you satisfied him in Rumba, chances are there will be no more hassles in Cha Cha. O'by the way when I say "him" I certainly don't mean that there are only male ISTD examiners. It just happened that my examiner was Mr. Billet and as a reflex I just refer to him as "him". There are just as many Lady Examiners and Fellows of ISTD and I certainly don't mean to ignore that aspect.

1. Should I take a Lady Examiner? Many times prospective candidates ask me that if they are male, should they take a Lady examiner and vice versa.I do not believe it makes any difference. When it comes to taking training I certainly recommend a Man teacher for a Lady and a Female teacher for a Man. However if you are getting certified as a teacher, you have to show both Lady's and Man's part proficiently for that level irrespective of your own sex. I do feel that it is more tedious for lady teachers to do Man's steps and I think Lady Candidates may have a slightly harder time in a test.

2. So what is new in Cha Cha Cha. Really we did not spend much time in this dance after Rumba. Most of the time was spent in Basic Step. I must say that I had a different opinion than my examiner on how large the steps should be in the basic.

My Examiners interpretation: I was told that in the basic chasses the first 2 steps are quite small and the third step is slightly bigger. In other words this interpretation lends to "little, little, big" concept.

My Interpretation: When I took my training I saw early straightening of Legs as I switched from American Style to International. I saw my teachers taking just normal length steps to do 'side chasses'. But I also saw many other teachers teaching "little, little, big". As I experimented, it was difficult to straighten knees early if I made the first two steps quite small. So I just did what I felt natural. Then as I read the Technique, it simply said (man) step 3, LF to side, on 4, RF foot half close to the LF and on 5 step LF to side.

This was no time to press my point of view so I simply said, Yes Sir..and that was it. However this topic is open for discussion.

And then as I attended a group with Louis Van Amstel, I was happy to see that, that is what he was doing. I did come out from his lesson with following strong points on the basic:

Step 1, LF forward (man) in Basic is a Checked Forward Walk. with following characteristics:

1. The Foot and Leg is slightly in advance of the body

2. The Foot is more externally rotated

3. There is partial weight (I think 85-90%)

4. The right knee veers toward the back of left knee.

Is the Lady expected do the same thing on her forward step LF..? I dont know, you tell me.

So much should suffice for this Tid-bit. I got to catch a flight to Montreal for Pierre Allaire Danse-sport Competition July 8,9,10. With Best Wishes, Max