Ballroom Dancing – Components of the Cha Cha

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 45,276
    Professional dance instructor Terry Dean demonstrates the components of the Cha Cha.

    Terry Dean

    Terry is the owner and principal male dance instructor of Terry Dean’s Dance Studio, in Charlottesville, Virginia. He has been teaching ballroom dancing for 30 years and opened his own successful studio following a 19 year career with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Terry has received accolades for his choreography and has been honored as Virginia State’s Top Studio and Top Teacher twice. He and his staff teach students of all levels, whether they are interested in social dancing, exhibition dancing, or competitive ballroom dance sport. He has led many of his students to win top level gold medal competitions, and he is pleased to share his expertise with you today.

    Terry Dean: Hi! I am Terry Dean from Terry Dean's Dance Studio and we are doing the Cha-Cha-Cha. Now, I am going to be working on the components. The components in Cha-Cha are pretty simple, but there is something that you really have to practice in order to get really proficient at it. The first component is going to be what we call triple steps. Triple steps are three consecutive steps, done in two beats of music. So, its going to kind of a split-beat. So, its going to be like half, half, hold, half, half, hold or a triple step or cha-cha-cha works. There are three steps, toward this way so that the camera could see. You can come with me Sinny (ph). So here we go. Cha-cha-cha.

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    cha-cha-cha.

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    cha-cha-cha.

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    cha-cha-cha.

    Those are three triple steps. Triple step triple step and is obviously very important in the Cha-Cha.

    The other component is going to be rocking steps. Rocking steps are shifting the weight from one foot to the next. We actually just shift weight back and forth; rock-step, rock-step and again youre going to be working your body and shifting your hips. Now, I can do that as a back-rock, by starting off backwards or if I start forward that becomes a forward-rock. Forward-rock, forward-rock.

    Now, the cha-cha is made up of those two combined together to make the basic step, which well get to later. Right now, were going to working a little bit on the motion thats required in order to do the Cha-Cha and in order to do that you have to do some body isolations. So, were going to do just some basic hip isolations. So, you are going to bend your knees, and we are going to get hips to the left, in the center, the right and the center. Forward and center and back and center and you want to get so that youre pretty good at doing your hips in the different directions. You can practice a clock exercise which is going to round the clock one, two, three, four, all the way around and youre going to do 12 oclock, 1 oclock, 2 oclock, 3 oclock, 4 oclock, 5 oclock, 6 oclock, 7 oclock, 8 oclock, 9 oclock, 10 oclock, 11 oclock and 12. What you do is put on some music and just practice the exercise, so you get very good at doing your hip action. You will also do that with your ribcage so your ribcage can go side-to-side and forward and back.

    So, you can go 12 oclock, 1 oclock, 2 oclock, 3 oclock, 4 oclock, 5 oclock, 6 oclock, 7 oclock, 8 oclock, 9 oclock, 10 oclock, 11 oclock, 12. So, the Cha-Cha is going to require that you get good with your body motions. So, if you just practice the isolations, anybody can do it, but you have to just have to take some time and actually do the actions and then youll find that its pretty simple.

    So, again we have the triple steps; triple step, triple step, triple step. We have rocking steps; rock step, rock step, in both directions, forward-rock step, rock step and back rock steps, back rock, back rock. The body isolations, the hip isolations, and the ribcage isolations, that all put together will make it easier for you to do the Cha-Cha. Now, were going to do the basic pattern.