4 Basic Elements of Cha-Cha | Cha-Cha Dance

4 Basic Elements of Cha-Cha | Cha-Cha Dance

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Aaron: Hi guys, I’m Aaron.

Christina: And I’m Christina.

Aaron: Coming at you today from Dance Times Square here in New York City. Today, we’re talking about the four elements of the cha-cha basic. Our first element is what we call walking steps. Forward and backward. Forward, forward, forward, just as simple as that, and replacing back where we came from. And walk, walk, walk and back, back, back. Just as easy as walking down the street.

Now with our cha-cha we’re going to be talking about a little bit of a different kind of quality of action, this being a dance that’s come over from Cuba in the late 1940’s. We’re going to add a little bit of a Cuban action to this and place more emphasis, on putting our weight on the balls of our feet. So we’re going to dance this forward a little bit more. One, two, three and back again, one, two, three.

Now our second element of the cha-cha basic is going to be a side step. We’re going to start in this dance with our left foot and we’re going to start side, together, side, together, side. And just the same back in the direction we were coming from, to our right. Side, together, side, together, side. Again, with a little bit of that Cuban action, as well. Side, together, side, together. Really digging down and back where we came from, to our right. Again, side, together, side, together, side.

Christina: And the last element we’re going to talk about is the rock step. You take your left foot and you’re just going to place it behind you. You’re going to step back and put your weight back on your right foot. So weight on the left foot, weight on the right foot, and again, we’re going to add that Cuban hip motion in. You’re going to step back and replace forward, back, replace, back, replace.

The trick to this move is, I’ll show you from the side. You want to keep the movement underneath your body, so you don’t want to think of stepping back and forward. You want to keep it very small. It’s just going to be right underneath your body, back and forward, back and forward. Great.

Aaron: Okay, guys. So just to recap, the four elements of the cha-cha basic were; walking steps, forward, backward, sidesteps and the fourth element, the rock step. Now we’re going to take those, and put those together, and make up our cha-cha basic. Just like so, side, rock, step, side, together, side, rock, step, side together side, rock, step. Now forward and backward with the walking steps,cha-cha-cha, rock, step, cha-cha-cha, rock, step and side, together, side.

Five, six, seven, eight, one, two, three, cha-cha, one, two, three, cha-cha, one, two. Cha-cha, one, two, three, forward, two, three, cha-cha, one, two, three, cha-cha, one, two, three, cha-cha, one, two, three, side together, side.


  1. Hmm, she teaches the rock-step starting with her left-foot going backwards. The only rock-step going backwards is always starting with the right-foot for both the man and woman. You can see that when they put all the steps together and when they started dancing with the music. The only time you start the rock-step with your left-foot is when going forward (not backwards). Am I missing something?

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