Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Chassé

By John Chung, Honokai Hale:

The Chassé has been done by humans from as far back as 10 thousand years. 9 thousand? We shouldn’t quibble over it. Humans can say, “been there, done that.” The point is that it really did not begin to be recognized as such until the beginning of modern partner dancing. And that is only about three centuries back. The word came from ballet terminology and from the French meaning “to chase.’ Nothing difficult about that.

"Our greatest weakness has always been in giving up. The most certain way
to success is to always try - just one more time."

Big Mahalo to Gareth Au for making this available for our readers/dancers.

What was it and what is it? Chassé is a three-step pattern, going basically in the same direction with the leading foot always leading. The man going forward and the woman going back in the first half of the chassé, and with the man going back and the woman going forward to complete the second half - is the “natural step.”

"Mama Told Me (Not to Come)" by Three Dog Night

Side steps are part of it too, but any other fashion is an “unnatural chassé step” even though they may be quite acceptable in some disciplines. They are also used extensively in exhibition dances and most look just fine. It works the same as the rock step, as a complementary step, as a mirror step and even as a promenade step, with eight basic directions.

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(da Rail Disaster) can make it to Honolulu. Not a misnomer, a deliberate lie.

So in the West, we can now start to assemble the steps into a dance pattern and it is mostly up to the dancers. How about using a rock step and a chassé as basic to some good Cha Cha Cha music? Wow, the absolute berries. And how about a Rock Step and two chassés to some good Swing music? Terrific! We are getting a good bunch of dancers in the west that know how to get the best simple moves out of all that beautiful music. And what is more, they know what they are doing.