The cha cha is actually one of the most popular dances in ballroom dancing. It’s a fun dance and it is pretty easy. If you can master the basic cha cha dance steps you will immediately look like a pro. Add a few swings of the hips and some sways of the arms then you will look like you’ve been doing ballroom dancing for quite a while. It’s a great dance where you can fake it until you can make it.
In this article you will learn 3 free cha cha dance steps that will give you a general vision on how to dance cha cha.
So make sure to watch the videos from the very beginning to the end of it.
You will also get some tips and general informations about the cha cha dance.
The cha-cha dance is a Latin dance that is originated in Cuba in the fifties. It is danced to the music of the same name. It is one of the Latin dances that is part of the repertoire of ballroom dancing.
Cha Cha steps videos
Cha Cha Dance Lesson #1: Cha Cha basic step (The basic in place):
This exercise is the primary one you have to watch in case you are a beginner. This progression comprises of doing the stone advance, triple step, and shake venture to underscore the Cha cha Rhythm.
Cha Cha Dance Lesson #2: Cha Cha side basic:
This is the second essential you have to learn. The side essential is really the most utilized fundamental advance. It is like the progression you learned above, aside from here you will do the triple means to the side rather than set up.
Cha Cha Dance Lesson #3: Underarm Turn in Cha Cha:
Now you will figure out how to do the woman’s underarm swing to one side. Utilizing the side fundamental you simply took in, this one ought to be no issue for the folks. Yet, the women need to ace the spot turn with a specific end goal to do this turn. We’ll separate everything.
Origin of the cha cha dance
In the early fifties, the Cuban composer and violinist, Enrique Jorrín, began experimenting with danzón. The rhythm of the chachachá is born of these musical experimentations.
Jorrín wanted to create melodies that were easy to dance for everyone. He had noticed that many dancers had difficulty following the time in some dances, like the mambo.
He decides to create danzones with a good danceable sound, but with a slower rhythm than the mambo. The dancers on the dance floors invented steps for the new rhythm, adapting steps of the mambo and the rumba.
The name cha cha is an onomatopoeic reference to the steps of this dance. It describes the sound of the shoes when the dancers make the most distinctive steps of the cha cha three quick steps that are danced in two stages.
Popularization of the cha cha dance
After the Second World War, the cha cha dance became more popular than the mambo as a social dance. It spread throughout the United States and Latin America. In the fifties, the master of ballroom dancing, Pierre Margolier, visited Cuba on several occasions to study the popular dances of the time.
He discovered the cha cha dance, took it to England and adapted it to the Ballroom style.
The cha cha dance at present
Today, the cha cha is still a Latin dance appreciated by lovers of Latin music. Salsa dancers often dance cha cha to the beat of the old cha cha or to the rhythm of other Latin musical genres.
Often, the cha cha is confused with the salsa dance, because they have a similar rhythm. Discover in this article how to distinguish the cha cha from the salsa dance.
As a ballroom dance, the cha cha is one of the most popular Latin dances. It is studied internationally in the ballroom dance schools and is part of the great Ballroom competitions.
Characteristics of the cha cha dance
Like the mambo, the cha cha is danced in pairs at a 4/4 rhythm. But it differs from the mambo because in these four times five steps are executed.
- The basic step of the cha cha dance In the Cuban style cha cha and in the Ballroom-style cha cha the first step of the dance is done in the second time. In other popular styles that first step is often executed in the first half. But no matter in what time the dancer starts, the basic step of the cha cha always consists of five steps: two slow steps and three quick steps. That is, 2.3 cha cha or 1,2 cha cha. In these two guides, I explain step by step how to dance cha cha with the basic step in place and the basic step in the form of an L.
- Movements of the cha chaIn the cha cha the dancers do not move too much in space. The steps are small and crawl on the ground without lifting your feet too much.At each step, the foot makes contact with the ground with the front of the plant first. The rest of the foot does not touch the ground until the weight is transferred to that side of the body.The cha cha is danced with a relaxed, naughty and flirtatious attitude. The hips move up and down in each step. These hip movements arise in a natural way by transferring the weight of the body from one side to the other and, by flexing and stretching the knees.
The Prep Step
The following steps are for the leader. This is where it all begins. The starting position is having your feet together. Most of your body weight should be on the right foot. Your left foot should be popped up slightly which helps to prepare you to make the first step. You will then perform the following steps:
- Step forward with your left foot. Your right foot should be kept in the same place as you step out with the left. It should not be a long step. The step should only go a bit past the line of your shoulders. As you make this step to the left, you should allow your hips to sway a little bit in the direction of your step. Note that your shoulders will also follow naturally as you sway with your body’s left side. Allow your left hip to pop as you do.
- Step two is done by sliding your right foot so that it will meet your left foot and then back. Let your right foot slide lightly with finesse. It should slide behind you and not so much as a step but as if you are dragging your right foot behind towards the back of your left foot. As the two feet get in line, you should lift your left foot ever so slightly.
- The next prep step is a rocking forward motion to the left foot. You should rock forward as you shift your weight from the right foot moving it to the left foot. You will then have to bring the right foot up. Now you are at the main starting position to dance the cha cha
The Basic Cha Cha Steps
You should practice the prep step as described above. It should be pretty simple. One or two practice moves and you should have it down easily. Now that you can move into the fundamental starting position in cha cha using the prep steps you can start the actual cha cha steps
- You begin with a triple step. Remember that your feet start out close together. The first thing you do is to pop your right foot up but do it only slightly while keeping the ball of your foot on the floor. Raise your left foot up and lower the heel of your right foot as you do.
Next, you should lower your left heel on the dance floor. After that you raise your right heel. After that you will repeat the same steps again on the right side. This is the point when your dance instructor will chant “cha-cha-cha.” This is also the move where the dance got its name.
After making this three step shuffle you should end up with your left heel lifted and your right heel on the floor. You may want to practice this triple step if you have a bit of difficulty doing it
- Next, now that you know how to do the cha cha shuffle, it’s time to move on with the rest of the steps. Take a rock step forward with your left foot. Remember that it shouldn’t be a large step. A small step will do nicely. You should extend it about a foot away – maximum. Your right heel should come up as you make this step.
You should be making this step on the third beat of the music. You will be transferring your weight from one foot to the other so keep your feet light on the floor.
- Do a rock step starting with the right foot going to the left. You should rock your right foot back dropping the heel to the floor. As you do, bring the left foot back close to your right foot. You should be back to starting position. This is at the fourth beat of the cha cha music.
- Now you should do the triple step cha cha shuffle again. Remember that you should have practiced this step if you were having some difficulty with it.
- Now, rock step back with your right foot. Make sure to extend your right leg backward. The ball of your right foot should touch the dance floor. As you do this step lift your left foot up. Make sure that the ball of your left foot comes off the floor. The heel should stay in place. Next, rock back on your left foot and then you should bring your right leg back to starting position.
Basic Side Step
- Start with the basic three step cha cha shuffle. You’ll be practically doing the same basic prep step in cha cha. The big difference here is that you will be doing a side step now instead of a forward step.
- You should slide your left foot out to your left side. Note that when you step to the side you should transfer most of your weight to the left foot. After that you should slide your right foot immediately chasing after your left foot and then back. The right foot will then take most of the weight of your body which will allow you to lift your left foot slightly. You then rock back forward letting your left foot carry most of your body weight again.
- The next step in this dance is to move with your right foot making a side step to the right. Bring your right foot next to your left foot and then return to starting position by moving your right foot to side. Your right foot should be positioned around shoulder width.
- Next, slide your left foot so that it will meet with your right foot. Transfer most of the weight of our body on your right foot. Your right foot should pop up as you lightly slide your left foot to meet with the right foot.
- Next you should step to the right again. Transfer the weight of your body to the left foot. Next you should step out using the right foot again. Your right foot will take the weight of your body again.
- Next you should take a rock step going forward while your right foot is slightly moved outward. Take a diagonal step with your left foot. This will make both feet closer together. Both of your feet won’t be parallel to one another. The left foot should be positioned a little bit in front of your right foot. You should rock forward on your left foot and your right heel should rise above the ground. After that you should rock back on your right foot as you return your left foot back to starting position.
- Next, you repeat the same steps but this time do it all on the left side. Your right foot should bear most of your body weight and then take a step to the left. You should then lift your right foot slightly off the ground but the ball of your foot should maintain a good contact with the floor. You will then slide your right foot moving it closer to the left foot. You should then shift the weight on to your right foot. After that you should step to the left once more.
- The next step involves a rocking step as you step backwards. Shift the weight of your body, well, most of it, to your left foot. This will enable you to step back with your right foot. As soon as you right heel makes contact with the floor, you should lift your left foot only slightly so that only its heel will maintain contact with the floor. Next, you will move your right foot forward again. After that you should step out to the right. And then you will do the same side steps all over again.
A Few Cha Cha Tips
- You should keep your hips moving as you perform the steps in the cha cha. Needless to say the motion of the hips is just as important as the steps made in this dance. You should make some sort of a rolling motion either forward or to the side as you make each step either a forward to backward step or when you make a side step.
- Remember to keep the arms loose throughout the dance. You should be able to swing your arms freely. Well, you can opt to hold hands with your partner but for starters you should let your arms loose for now. There will be times when you have to let go of your partner’s hands especially when making turns
- Finally, you should dress like a cha cha dancer to complete the overall effect. Women should wear a flowing skirt. You can also wear a scarf around the waist to add an accent to your look. Men can wear long pants (high waist if possible). Of course, don’t forget to put on dancing shoes.