Cha Cha Basic

These are Newcomer Level figures. This online reference gives a detailed description of the different variation of the dance steps, including timing, footwork, alignment, and movement; a list of figures that may precede or follow the pattern; and videos providing instruction and demonstration of the figure, techniques and practice routines that include it.

Cha Cha Cha Closed Basic

Chasse to the side. Danced in Closed Position. With or Without turns.

Leader

Step Timing Movement
Turn
Notes
1 2
LF fwd


2 3
Transfer weight to RF


3 4 5
4 & 1
LF to side, slightly back to chasse LRL
1/8 to L over 2-5 Variation: No Turn or 1/4 turn
6 2
RF back


7 3
Transfer weight to LF


8 9 10
4 & 1
RF to side to chasse RLR
1/8 to L over 7-10 Variation: No Turn or 1/4 turn
Ending variation: could be in Open CPP over 8-10.

Follower

Step Timing Movement

Notes
1 2
RF back

See Backward step technique. Hip rotate half circle to R
2 3
Transfer weight to LF

Hip rotate half circle to L
3 4 5
4 & 1
LF to side, chasse RLR
1/8 to L over 2-5 4&: very small step

Opinion 1: lateral movement (minimal rotation)
Opinion 2: hip should do continuous figure 8 even on chasse for movement.

On "1", push off LF. slightly bigger step. Settle on "1&".

Variation; No Turn or 1/4 Turn,
6 2
LF fwd

Check action
Option 1: "2" immediate check. split weight (not too forward)
Option 2: "2&" or "2a": check R knee on "&" or "a".
7 3
Transfer weight to RF


8 9 10
4 & 1
LF to side, slightly back to chasse LRL
1/8 to L over 7-10
Variation: No Turn or 1/4 turn
Ending variation: could be in Open CPP over 8-10.
  • Closed Position is maintained throughout the figure.
  • Closed Basic can end with Man and Lady turning to Open CPP over 8-10. Man Turning 1/8 R and Lady 1/8 L, man release R hand hold.

Cha Cha Cha In Place basic

  • The figure is danced in place with feet almost together for all 5 (or 10 steps).
  • No Turn. Can be danced in place of Closed Basic.
  • Closed position. Really show off hip twisting left and right, bending and straightening the knees. Sudden energy.
  • Try to open as big a gap as possible between the front knee and the back leg, while keeping feet turned out. In order to do this, it will be necessary to extend with the hips, enhancing the Latin action.
  • Connecting Figures: same as Closed Basic.

Cha Cha Cha Open basic

  • Similar to Closed Basic, except that it goes straight back and forward, not to side like in Closed Basic.
    • No Turn
    • first Chasse is back chasse (for Man) instead to the side.
    • second Chasse is forward chasse (for Man) instead of to the side.
  • When foot passes from behind to in front, arch the foot (no flat foot) and draw it forward on the toe, rather than the ball of the foot, as this will accentuate the line made by the knee. In other words, have the foot pointing more strongly down to accentuate the knee line.

  • Could be danced in Closed or Open position, in normal hold, L to R hold, or without hold.