Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let's Talk Terminology!

The first thing that we encounter when learning a new skill is Terminology! In order to master our new skill we need to know the words to go with it.

Line Dance has evolved, and continues to do so, through many years. The nature of an evolving form is that the terminology ofter does not always keep up, or gets muddled.

For the sake of clarity in my teaching and dancing I would like to define a few terms, which are not standard in the Line Dance arena. I don't mean to make myself an authority..these standards are merely offered because I find it easier on me and my students when I can standardize my terms. If you like my standards, please feel free to adopt and pass them along.

So here's a little list, which I will probably edit and add to as time goes on. So come back to this article from time to time!

Chassé' - This step has been called a shuffle, cha-cha, triple-step, and probably other names as well. It is a syncopated step, following a pattern of 1&2, 3&4, etc. It moves forward, back, diagonal or side. To execute a right forward chassé':
1. Step forward on your right foot
&. Slide the left foot up to the right
2. Step forward again on the right.
      A right side chassé is the same pattern, except the movement goes to the side.

Vine - A vine step can be as little as two beats, and as many as you want. I ALWAYS start a vine with a cross behind. So a 4-count vine to the right would be:
1. Left foot crosses behind the right
2. Right foot steps to the side
3. Left foot crosses in front of right
4. Right foot steps to the side.

Grapevine - A FOUR-COUNT vine step that starts with the step to the side, then crosses behind on the second beat, another step to the side, and ends with a tap, scuff, hitch or kick.

Weave - The same as a Vine, EXCEPT: it ALWAYS starts with a cross in front.

So, when I am teaching someone else's choreography, I always change the names of these three steps to fit my definitions as I cue the dance. Naturally, I warn my students when I have changed a name so they can be adaptable to other teachers.

There will be more later...such as a discussion of what REALLY is a cha-cha step? and what is a check back!