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.
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.
- The Side Chasse Basic Step
This 8-count figure includes the standard forward basic and
the standard backward basic.
- The Lock Step Basic Step (Forward and
Lock steps are very popular in cha cha.
- The Parallel Basic Step
The break steps are made in "outside partner" position.
- 5th Position Breaks & Hand to Hand
A basic building-block figure.
- Crossover Breaks (also called New Yorkers)
Perhaps the very most popular and quintessential figure in cha
- 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.
- Spot Turns
One foot essentially stays on a "spot" during this
very popular turn.
- Shoulder Roll Spot Turns
The footwork is like #7, but the arm-work effects a "shoulder
- New Yorkers with Free Spins
A variation on the popular New Yorkers, the partners perform
free spins on the 4&1 "triple step."
- Back Breaks (Hand to Hand) with Free
A variation on #4 above, where the partners perform free spins
on the 4&1 "triple step."
- Patty Cake Free Spins
A popular and easy-to-lead figure.
- The Cross-Body Lead
A "must know" basic figure that sets up and precedes
- 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.
- Triple Cha Cha Cha's
This is a very popular basic figure in cha cha.
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.
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.
- 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
- Cross-Body Lead with Lady's Turn to
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.
The Paseo takes on many forms. We show two ways to initiate
- The Natural Top (also called the Back
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
- 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.
- Spinning Right Side Pass
The lady performs a right side pass while making two turns to
- 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.
- 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.
- Behind the Back Pass
This is a clockwise "around-the-world" figure, where
the lady travels around the leader.
- Behind the Back Pass into the Natural
Number 25 is okay, but this version of the figure is extra cool.
- Wrap / Unwrap / Hammerlock Turning
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
The video includes an index. In addition,
all steps are named and introduced by a title.
Joe and Sarah
Length: 2 hours
Number of Patterns: over 27