Cha-cha Dance Lessons
Express yourself in Latin movement
The Cha-cha is similar to Salsa, rumba
and to mambo. The difference is that the “slow” step
of the rumba and the mambo is replaced with a triple step. Check
our online calendar for class
times and details.
The step timing is counted 1,2,3, 4&,. Several
steps would be counted:1,2,3, 4&1, 2,3, 4&1, 2,3, 4&1,2,
3. The cha cha may also be counted using quicks and slows. The
count using quicks and slows would be: Slow, slow, slow, quick,
quick, slow, slow, slow, quick, quick. Notice that five steps
are taken to four beats of music. The dance may also be counted:
One, two, three, cha cha cha, two, three, cha cha cha.
In the music, the heavy beat is the one beat,
the first beat of the measure. Cha cha music is written in 4/4
time, with four beats to each measure. The music tempo is 110
to 130 beats per minute.
All steps should be taken to the inside edge
of the ball of the foot. As with all Latin dances, the footwork
is ball-flat, ball-flat for all steps. Cuban motion is an essential
element of the dance. Cuban motion, especially the hip action,
comes mainly from the alternate bending and straightening of
Typical figures of the cha cha include crossover
breaks (also called New Yorkers), spot turns, the cross-body
lead, fifth position breaks, and the back spot turn also called
the natural top. Notice that these same figures are used in mambo
and in rumba.
Like the basic for rumba and for mambo, a full
basic of the cha cha can be thought of as having a forward basic,
which takes 4 beats of music, and a backward basic, which takes
four beats of music. So, eight beats of music are required to
complete one full basic.
In cha cha, five steps are taken to four
beats of music. Each forward and backward basic can be considered
to contain the following five steps: a break step, a replace
step, and a triple step chasse. Tips: 1) Try to make complete
weight transfers with every step. A mistake is to shuffle your
feet. 2) Avoid taking steps that are too large. 3) Avoid bouncing.
4) Gentlemen, maintain good posture, keep your head up, and
avoid looking at your feet 5) Avoid trying to shake or twist
your hips. Hip action should be a natural result from correct
foot and leg action. 6) Practice counting and learn to dance
with the break step on the second beat of the measure.
ATRIUM DANCE STUDIO
4721 N. Crescent Boulevard
Pennsauken, NJ 08110