The Chassé in Paso Doble

Published on by CMe


The Chassé in Paso Doble

A traditionally Spanish dance, the Paso Doble (literally "two step" in Spanish) originally developed in Southern France, and a good many of the steps have French names. Though Spanish background of the dance can be seen in the dance's vigorous style, which share many characteristics with flamenco, postures embody a certain grace that is often attributed to the French style of dancing. Again, the specific founders of the tradition have faded into obscurity and, like the introduction of Spanish dancing in France, has been attributed to the proximity between the two countries.

How to Chassé
The chassé step is one the the most basic moves in dance. Upon mastering this step, one can use it to perform more difficult dance steps.
  1. To begin a right chassé, point your right toe out in front of you, and take a step on that right foot.
  2. Use that step as a prep to jump into the air, as your left foot touches your right.
  3. Land first on your left foot, still behind the right, and finish the move by landing second on the right foot into another step.
  4. Chassé steps typically include the use of your arms in an "L" position. The left arm is held out straight in front of you, palm down, as the right arm is held out to your right, palm down, thus making an "L". Each arm is held at shoulder level.
  5. To do a left chassé, switch each step to the opposite side.

Perform a Chassé
A chasse is a series of 2 or 3 side steps. The feet come together on the second step. The name is derived from "to chase," because one foot is essentially chasing the other. A chasse can be done solo or with a partner. Many types of dance incorporate the chasse into a routine. To perform a chasse (pronounced sha-say), a dancer must have good balance and properly soled shoes.

Perform the Lateral Chassé
  • Bend your knees, leaning slightly forward, and extend one leg to the right.
  • Lift up on the left leg and quickly glide it along the floor until it is next to your right leg. This move should glide in a flowing way, not hopping or skipping.
  • Hold the position with your legs and knees together, putting most of your weight on your toes and repeat.
  • Chasse in the opposite direction. Typically, dancers chasse in both directions an equal number of times.
Perform the Turning Chassé
  • Hold onto your partner and bend your left knee while extending your right leg either forward, backwards or diagonally. The most common direction is diagonally in traditional dances.
  • Swing your partner in the direction of the extended right leg while you glide your left leg along the floor to meet the right foot.
  • Take turns extending the right and left legs. Each time the opposite leg meets the extended leg, pause before repeating. In international dances, the woman will sometimes bow after a chasse.
Practice Your Chassé
  • Clear a space in your home or outside about 10 feet long.
  • Begin to chasse across the space. Meet your feet together at least five times. You may chasse laterally, diagonally, forward or backwards.
  • Return from the direction you were heading by performing a wide circle turning chasse and continue back to your starting point. Repeat a few times. Doble
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