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8. Offset Breaks
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Offset Breaks
Dance / Level:Intermediate Bronze American Style Cha Cha
Aliases:Outside Partner Breaks, Parallel Breaks, Shoulder to Shoulder

Also known as Shoulder to Shoulder, Offset Breaks are a series of alternating chasses and rock steps, where the rock steps are taken in an "offset", or outside partner position. It is more typical for the man to rock forward outside partner on the lady's right or left side as written in the charts, but it is also possible for the lady to rock forward outside the man's right or left side.

To dance an Offset Break to right, the man will take a chasse to right (4&1), turning 1/8 to right, with the last step of the chasse being side & slightly forward (lady side & slightly back) in order to prepare to step outside partner on the lady's left side. He then takes his forward rock step outside partner (2,3). The couple returns to inline/facing position by turning 1/8 to left over the following chasse. The lady's part is the natural opposite of the man's.

The Offset Break to right is the same pattern taken in the opposite direction, whereby the man turns 1/8 to left to dance his forward rock outside partner on the lady's right side. The two breaks are often danced in pairs, and can be repeated as desired.

Man Back Variation

To dance the variation where the man breaks backward, he must turn in the opposite direction as for the forward break. For example, for the Offset Break to right, the man would turn 1/8 to left, taking the last step of his chasse side and slightly back (lady side and slightly forward) in preparation to lead the lady to step forward outside his right side.

Variations of Hold

Offset Breaks can be danced in either closed or open facing position. When dancing in closed position, it is popular (but not necessary) to drop the LH-RH hold down to waist level or even slightly below. It is also popular to bring the partner in slightly closer than normal, for a more intimate or playful interpretation.

When danced in open position, a two-hand hold is highly recommended. Here too, it is popular to drop the joined hands to waist level or slightly below, moving in slightly closer than normal.


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