Cha-cha, aka Canadian Cha-cha
As I explained elsewhere, we are competing the Cha-cha in the European competitions (Mountain Cup & Vana Tallinn trophy) at the end of May, and find it a difficult dance as it's not part of our test structure, so we are not totally sure what the judges are looking for. Any hints and tips welcome!
Is this the same dance as the Pre-Bronze Cha Cha in the US? http://www.uq.net.au/~zzbarneg/sk_chacha_ice.htm That one?
It's a low-level dance, so what they're looking for here, anyway, is improving expression (using the free leg), improved, deeper edges from the Preliminary dances, and appropriate upper body positions. Basically at the level the dance is meant for, they want you to be starting to show the Latin character, and to be increasing the knee action and deepening the edges.
That's the one! It is purely a recreational dance here, so the steps and things are a bit variable - thanks for the link to the pattern.
It always seems odd that it is on the same level, in the USA, with the Swing Dance and Fiesta Tango, which are Level 4 Silver dances here. The standard required is probably the same in both countries, though - we just have more tests!
Here the Swing and the Fiesta go with the Cha Cha as pre-bronze! Really, looking at the bronze dances (Hickory Hoedown, Willow Waltz, and Tenfox) I can see that they're easier, except that wicked fast mohawk in the Fiesta. (Or as my coach likes to call it, the Fiasco Tango.)
On the Cha Cha, on the RFO going into the slalom step, what my coach has us do with the free leg (and this may be standard, I don't know) is bend the right knee and bring the free (left) leg in toe to heel and back out again to give it some flair. And definitely do the XF on the end pattern. There's another thing--I just got used to bending the left knee as I cross the right over--now on the Fiesta I have to STRAIGHTEN the left leg as I cross for the "tango flair." Gah! It took me forever to STOP straightening it!
We have 3 Bronze tests, 3 Silver and I'm not sure how many gold - after Level 6 Silver you can go into the "competitive" track for the elite dancers. Adults don't, normally (one or two have) of course, and precious few of us test above level 6 Silver.
And at each level we have compulsory dances (2 on each test, and you have to pass both at the same time - no testing one dance at a time as you can in the USA), variation/original dances, free dance and Dance Moves (to be replaced by Skating Moves early next year). At the moment, apart from those who need a full level 6 to go competitive, or to start training to be a judge or a coach, you can take the various strands in isolation. I, for instance, have level 3 Bronze compulsory dances, level 2 Bronze Dance Moves and Level 1 Bronze Free Dance! At the moment - I hope to test Level 4 Silver compulsory dances and Level 3 Bronze dance moves this year, especially the latter.
The compulsory dances are
Level 1 Bronze: Novice Foxtrot, Rhythm Blues
Level 2 Bronze: Dutch Waltz, Canasta Tango
Level 3 Bronze: Golden Skaters' Waltz, Riverside Rhumba
Level 4 Silver: Swing Dance, Fiesta Tango
Level 5 Silver: British Waltz, Foxtrot
Level 6 Silver: Willow Waltz, 14-step
Level 7 Gold: European Waltz, 22-step
and I get a bit lost after that! Blues and Tango and Paso and Starlight & stuff like that, but I get lost in which comes where.
I'm an Italian Bambina
I passed this test in November 2004- so it's been a while. I just pulled out my sheet that the judge gave me. I got 3.0 on Technique and 3.1 on Timing/Expression. Overall, I got 6.1 and you need a 6.0 to pass. Anyway, what the judges are really looking for is correct timing and they don't like stiffness in your knees. They like to see you bend your knees and push! They like seeing expression of the character of the music. So, maybe if you can get your hands on a ballroom cha-cha you can see how the expression is supposed to be. Good luck!
Canadian Cha Cha question
Are you sure that it is the Canadian Cha Cha being performed in Europe and not the American version? The Cha Cha done in Canada is not the same dance as the American low level Cha Cha. The Canadian Cha Cha is a Senior Silver dance, along with the Blues, Paso, Starlight waltz and Kilian.
Our Cha Cha is quite intricate in its footwork, and difficult to partner. Judges here are looking for neat footwork, close partnering and unison uninterrupted flow and true cha cha expression.
The pattern I linked to is labeled "Canadian Cha Cha" but is definitely the American test pattern for the Pre-Bronze Cha Cha.
Yes, it's the pre-Bronze one! It's called the "Canadian Cha-cha" in this country to distinguish it from the "Festival Cha-Cha", another recreational dance which is done to fast cha-cha music. The other Cha-cha is called the "Cha-Cha Congelado", and is very difficult!
Should be! Cha Cha Congelado is an International dance. As in, "You survived your Gold test. Now comes the HARD stuff!"