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American Style Cha Cha
Open Break & Underarm Turn to Right
2. Open Break & Underarm Turn to Right
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Open Break & Underarm Turn to Right
Dance / Level:Beginning Bronze American Style Cha Cha
Aliases:Outside Underarm Turn

The Open Break & Underarm Turn to Right is actually a short, 2-measure combination of two components -- An Open Break, followed by the lady's Underarm Turn to Right. Although they can be taken separately, they are so commonly danced in succession that they are normally thought of as a single figure.

The Open Break

The Open Break describes a method the man can use to separate from the lady in preparation for movements taken in open facing position (e.g. Underarm Turns, Crossover Turns, etc). After a chasse to right, instead of taking a normal forward rock step on his left foot in tandem with the lady, the man will instead take a back rock step away from the lady. The couple finishes the movement in open facing position.

To lead the lady to step backwards, the man releases his right hand from her back (if in closed position), and lowers his left hand to waist level with slight forward pressure ("push" connection).

The Underarm Turn to Right

The most basic Underarm Turn in Cha Cha is the lady's Underarm Turn to Right, commonly used as an ending to such figures as Open Break, Fifth Position Breaks, and most variations of Crossover Breaks.

After a chasse to left (4&1), the man will dance a rock step back on his right foot (2,3) while leading the lady to turn to her right under raised LH-RH hold. The turn is then followed by a chasse to right (4&1), which can be used to return to closed hold, or simply remain in open facing position.

From the standpoint of foot positions, the lady's part of Underarm Turn to Right is the same as the Crossover Turn to Right. Following a chasse to right (4&1), she turns underarm by stepping forward on left foot towards man's left side (2), turning, then forward again on her right foot in the opposite direction (3). She continues to turn until she is facing the man by the time she begins the following chasse to left (4&1), having completed 1 full turn to right.

The video clip demonstrations show the Underarm Turn to Right preceded by the forward half of the Cha Cha Basic, the Open Break, and the Crossover Breaks.


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