Donnie Burns MBE – Lecture on Cha Cha

Key learning points:

  • Importance of knowing the background and history of the dance, including the music, as this aids to the understanding of the steps and the style of the dance (this is important for every dance not only the Cha Cha).
  • Importance of knowing the difference between syncopated timing and normal timing; the difference between walks and steps; the difference between delayed walks and normal walks and finally the difference between muscle and bone.
  • Playing with timings during the dance can portray a particular mood/ emotion much like when an actor delivers his lines in a movie. Different timings, accents, intonations and pauses can completely change the meaning of a line or a dance.
  • Moments of silence/ allowing the body to settle from muscle to bone can add a poetic feeling to the dance.
  • “It’s not about people who move, but it’s about people who move you” The creation of mood and atmosphere; allowing time to connect with your partner emotionally as well as mechanically.
  • “The only way to dance with a partner is if she lets you; the only way she will let you is if you find your way past the defences to get the lady from muscle to bone and then most of the man’s leads will be stopping the lady not starting.” A body in motion is efficient.

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