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Tips for Teaching the Chasse Step to Younger Dancers

chasse step

Chasse is a basic, fundamental skill for dancers. Here are some tips for teaching the chasse step progression.

Chasse Step Progression

1) Younger dancers begin learning the chasse as a gallop. We pretend to ride our horses, placing one foot in front of the other and chasing it around the room. Even with my youngest students, I encourage them to practice changing the foot in front at varying moments throughout the exercise.

2) Once chasse moves into an across the floor progression, we begin with a side chasse and transfer into a right or left foot led chasse across the floor.

3) As students mature and their coordination develops, we transition to an alternating foot chasse- right foot goes, left foot goes, etc. I encourage the students to say “Step-Together-Step-CHANGE” as they execute the exercise.

4) Once students accomplish the alternating chasse, we add arms. For ballet, we will use a port de bras. For jazz, we position our arms in a “L” shape, boxing in the foot (opposite arm from leg- we call this “wrapping up our present”).

Things to Watch For

As students go through the varying stages of the progression, it is important to encourage them to:

(a) Be Aware of Their Hip Placement

(b) Connect Their Feet Through The Appropriate Position

(c) Lead with a Pretty Pointed Foot vs. the Heel

Of course, in teaching this move, pronunciation is equally important. 🙂

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Chasta Hamilton Calhoun

Chasta is the artistic director and owner of Stage Door Dance Productions in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is also the founder of The Dance Exec, a website and organization that provided resources and training for dance studio owners. The resources from The Dance Exec have a new home on the TutuTix blog, giving dance studio owners an even more in-depth library of free tools and information with which to grow their business. Chasta contributes to the TutuTix blog from time to time, offering her perspective as a studio owner (and TutuTix client!).