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Cha Cha Volume 1 (Beginner - Intermediate)

This tape is fully suitable for the complete beginner. This tape starts at the very beginning and it explains the basic step, the footwork, the foot positions, how to count the music, and how to achieve "Cuban motion." The tape also stresses the importance of frame, connection, and timing as essential elements for good lead and follow. It goes on to show all of the most common and familiar cha cha patterns.

This is a great video! It shows the most important and the most leadable cha cha figures. Most of the 27 figures shown are common to American style cha cha, International style cha cha, and country-western style cha cha. These are "foundation" moves that all cha cha dancers must ultimately master in order to advance. This video also shows the most common variations on the basic figures.

27 Figures
Note: This cha cha instructional video covers more than just the steps below. The videotape begins with an introduction to the cha cha that includes a demonstration. Next, frame, connection, timing, and music structure are discussed.

              Basic Steps

  1. The Side Chasse Basic Step
    This 8-count figure includes the standard forward basic and the standard backward basic.
  2. The Lock Step Basic Step (Forward and Backward)
    Lock steps are very popular in cha cha.
  3. The Parallel Basic Step
    The break steps are made in "outside partner" position.
  4. 5th Position Breaks & Hand to Hand
    A basic building-block figure.
  5. Crossover Breaks (also called New Yorkers)
    Perhaps the very most popular and quintessential figure in cha cha.

    Basic Turns

  6. The Natural Underarm Turn (also called Arch Turn or Bridge Turn)
    A natural turn means a turn to the right: a clockwise turn when viewed from above.
  7. Spot Turns
    One foot essentially stays on a "spot" during this very popular turn.
  8. Shoulder Roll Spot Turns
    The footwork is like #7, but the arm-work effects a "shoulder roll."
  9. New Yorkers with Free Spins
    A variation on the popular New Yorkers, the partners perform free spins on the 4&1 "triple step."
  10. Back Breaks (Hand to Hand) with Free Spins
    A variation on #4 above, where the partners perform free spins on the 4&1 "triple step."
  11. Patty Cake Free Spins
    A popular and easy-to-lead figure.

    Basic Figures

  12. The Cross-Body Lead
    A "must know" basic figure that sets up and precedes many figures.
  13. The Chase (three variations are shown)
    This is the second most popular and quintessential figure in cha cha. This introduces the concept of the visual lead where the follower watches and then copies the movement of the leader.
  14. Triple Cha Cha Cha's
    This is a very popular basic figure in cha cha.
  15. Swivels
    In this popular figure, the lady performs back and forth "sliding and tracking" actions with her footwork. This effects a sexy, swiveling action. Some folks call these "skater swivels" because the foot action resembles a skating action.
  16. Peek-A-Boo
    In this popular figure, the lady moves from open to closed, making 1/2 turn to the left. Following the backward break step, she moves back out to open. During the break step taken while in closed, she can "peek" at the leader.
  17. Sliding Doors
    Almost every spot dance has some form of "sliding doors" pattern and cha cha is no exception. This is a popular and very easy pattern.
  18. Cross-Body Lead with Lady's Turn to the Left
    The lady makes a turn during the second "4&1 step" of the cross-body lead step. This is a very leadable figure that sets up many other figures.
  19. Paseo
    The Paseo takes on many forms. We show two ways to initiate it.
  20. The Natural Top (also called the Back Spot Turn)
    Closed turning figures such as pivots and revolves are always fun and tops are no exception! This is a fun and very important figure in cha cha. We show several ways to get into this important figure.
  21. Left Turning Revolve
    Like I said above, turning figures like revolves are fun! This one is cool because it uses triple cha cha cha's to effect it.
  22. Spinning Right Side Pass
    The lady performs a right side pass while making two turns to the right.
  23. Movement to Bow Tie (Forward Break Step While in Bow Tie)
    The "Bow Tie" position (called Sombrero in salsa dancing) is popular in almost every dance.
  24. Guapacha Timing
    In Guapacha timing, the break step is delayed to occur on the half beat preceding the count of 3. The Guapacha timing count is: 4&1-2, &3; 4&1-2, &3.
  25. Behind the Back Pass
    This is a clockwise "around-the-world" figure, where the lady travels around the leader.
  26. Behind the Back Pass into the Natural Top
    Number 25 is okay, but this version of the figure is extra cool.
  27. Wrap / Unwrap / Hammerlock Turning Combination
    This pretzel-like move is fun for those who enjoy wraps and weird or complicated armwork.

    Plus Two Bonus Patterns: a "sneak up" and a head duck.

The video includes an index. In addition, all steps are named and introduced by a title.

Instructors: Joe and Sarah
2 hours
Number of Patterns: over 27
DVD: $30

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