Cha Cha Dance Steps

As you can see from the above video, the basic Cha Cha Cha dance steps involve small-sized steps with turned out feet and legs. The cha cha requires very small steps because of its rhythm. The counting for the steps are "1-2-3-cha-cha-1-2-3-cha-cha" or "1-2-3-4-and-1-2-3-4-and". There are five steps for four beats of music. Cha cha music is energetic with a steady beat.

The cha cha is a very expressive dance and requires a lot of hip motion. So you must be able to do the Cuban Motion (alternately bending and straightening of the knees) or it won't look like the cha cha cha.

Make sure that you take small steps, transfer your weight completely with every step and that you don't shuffle your feet.


Learn Dance Steps Through Speaking

When learning dance steps, it is very helpful to use all of our senses - how we see, hear, feel and move. By speaking the words, doing the actions, and feeling the results in our body movements, we will increase our ability to learn dance steps.

What this means for us is to count aloud the steps (slow, slow, quick, quick, slow) or the timing (1, 2, 3) in a strong, clear voice as we take each dance step.

This simple exercise enables the sound of our voice to match the underlying music and over time will develop our inner voice so that we do not have to say the steps out loud. This activity integrates our physical ability with our musicality. In short, it gets our feet used to the music.

Which Dance Steps For The Music?

Being able to recognize the rhythm of a song is the way to know which are the most appropriate dance steps to do. As dancing comes from music, it is all about recognizing the fundamental elements of timing and rhythm. Each dance step was developed to match its own music and expresses the rhythm and timing of that music.

For us to learn how to hear the differences between songs for the different dances, we need to listen for the bass line (i.e. the consistent beat of the drum, percussion or bass guitar) to discern the timing of the music. Turn up the bass on your stereo and turn down the treble in order to hear the bass line more clearly.

Here are some example songs and dance steps:

Samba Dance Steps
Livin' La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin
Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias

Cha Cha Cha Dance Steps
Sex Bomb by Tom Jones
I need to know by Marc Anthony

Foxtrot Dance Steps
Sixteen Tons by Tennessee Ernie Ford
Walking my baby back home by Nat King Cole

Jive Dance Steps
Jack is Back by C’lan
Candyman by Christina Aguilera

Tango Dance Steps
Libertango by Kirsty Maccoll
La Comparsita

Mambo Dance Steps
Baby Keep Smiling by Lou Bega
Mambo No 5 by Lou Bega

Rumba Dance Steps
Under the Boardwalk - Bruce Willis
Take my breath away – Berlin

Salsa Dance Steps
Corazon Espinado by Santana

Waltz Dance Steps
Come Away With Me by Nora Jones
Theme from Papillon

How To Follow Dance Steps

Following can be as difficult as leading dance steps. In partner dancing, the follower needs to understand that the leader leads the pattern and they follow one step at a time, based on the lead. As a follower we are responsible for carrying our own weight and responding to the lead of our partner.

Even if the leader is not leading the dance steps properly (or at all), it is best to NOT be tempted to lead for them. The follower dances with the leader's body as they dance to the music. New leaders may not always be on time with the music at first.

As a follower, we need to have enough firmness in our upper body and to pay attention to the subtle movements of our partner's body. The leader's chest and shoulders usually lead the movement.

How to Lead Dance Steps

For men, leading is one of the fundamentals of learning to ballroom dance (along with knowing how to do the steps and how the frame feels when doing it right). Learning to lead is a skill that can be learned.

What do we mean by leading? A lead is initiating, creating and planning ahead which dance pattern we will be doing. As the leader, we determine the direction the couple dances in and which dance steps we do.

The leader needs to understand the dance pattern and how it is led so that they can relay the dance steps to their partner. To teach the steps to others, we first need to be proficient ourselves. Once the steps are learned, the music leads the dance couple.

We can ensure a firm lead by maintaining a good posture, gently pulling and pushing our partner with our hands, and, most importantly, aiming to move as one on the dance floor.

Dances With Easy Dance Steps

Which dances have easy dance steps? Single rhythm Jive is often the best place to start, closely followed by the Rumba.

For beginners to partner dancing, a good place to start is with Ceroc. Also known as 'modern jive', Ceroc dancing is a fusion of Salsa, Ballroom, Hip Hop, Tango and Jive. This modern dance is easy to learn and can be danced to any music with a regular beat.

Complete beginners are welcome every week. At a beginners class which lasts 45 minutes, you will learn 4 fun moves that are surprisingly simple. There is no need to bring a partner or enrol on a course. You can just turn up to whatever venue you like, as often as you like and whenever you like.

Watch this youtube Ceroc video to see the beginner easy dance steps:


Correcting The Dance Steps

To effectively learn new dance steps, we must commit our entire body to the step. Committing to the movement as a couple allows us to feel what the dance steps actually feel like.

This commitment will give us the feedback we need to learn and show us the mistakes that we are making. If we were to do the steps right the very first time, we would have no need to correct them. The same errors will only continue if we keep doing the same thing over and over.

We can measure our progress in dancing ability by how quickly we can correct a dance step. Like flying a plane, taking control of a dance step is a process of constant correction.

Get Dance Steps Up To Speed Of Music

After practicing the dance steps without music at first to get to know what the new steps will feel like, we need to get our dancing up to the speed of the music as soon as we can.

As we dance with our feet, we need to get our feet used to the music. Matching our dance steps to the tempo of the music will help integrate more quickly the physical with the music. Tempo is how fast we and the music are moving in terms of time. The music requires us to be on time.

Start with dance songs with a slower tempo and then dance to songs with a faster tempo.

Learn Dance Steps Without Music

Learning the dance steps for dances such as the cha cha cha, jive, mambo, waltz, foxtrot, and rumba is simply about repeating an action the same way each time.

As such we need to start learning the steps without music and to practice the steps soon after doing them for the first time in a ballroom dance lesson or after watching a dance steps video.

It is better to practice the steps every day for 5 minutes or so rather than for one hour per week. This constant practice trains our feet and our minds until we know what we are doing with our bodies.

The Body Knows How To Do Dance Steps

Although basic dance steps are easy to do, it can take some time to do the easy dance steps without conscious thinking and efforting. As new dancers we can often over-think the process and have trouble harmonizing our actions with our thinking. We know what we want to do, but can't seem to do it.

But it is vital to realize that our body actually knows what to do. All we have to do is get out of its way and let it do what it knows.

The direction we move in has more to do with the way we commit our bodies to the movements than where we place our feet. We begin a dance step by moving our body in the direction we want to go. We must commit ourselves to this movement. Just before we move our feet, our legs and feet will accommodate this forward, backward or sideways impetus of our body.

Dance Shoes Make Dance Steps Easier

Each dance style has a specific type of shoe that are designed to protect our feet and legs. For example, dance boots are for country and western; ballroom practice shoes are for couples dancing.

Dance shoes help us physically. The shoes make it easier to learn dance steps due to their lighter weight and flexibility. As our feet will be more comfortable with dance shoes, we can dance longer in dance classes and practice sessions. There is less strain on our feet, legs and knees and we have improved control in our movements.

Dance shoes also help us psychologically. The shoes make it easier to dance because we feel like a dancer and act like one.

Both ladies and men’s ballroom dance shoes have non-slip soles. The sole is made of thin suede which results in better contact with the floor and a wider range of motion. This split leather sole works better because of the 'fuzzy' surface.

What Are Dance Steps?

Are you able to repeat an action the same way each time?

That's all that dance steps are. The same action over and over. This action is simply transferring our body weight from one foot to the other within a set period of time. This time period is dictated by the music.

If we are to dance well, we must come to know the feeling of having all of our weight over the next foot. During every step, our foot must be supporting our body. We need to always finish a dance step with our weight on only one foot and never have our weight on two feet. This will let us know which foot we are to move next.