So You Think You Can’t Dance

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So, you still think you can’t dance? Let us prove you wrong with this encore session. This year we are going to learn the ChaCha! The ChaCha is a dance of Cuban origin, and there are quite a few reasons we have selected it for this year’s “So You Think You Can’t Dance” session.

  1. The Cha Cha is relatively easy and it’s fun!
  2. It’s a partner dance that goes well with many types of music
  3. It is great for training your ear to hear the beat
  4. It allows for quite a bit of styling and body movement
  5. Wherever there is a dance floor, there is likely cha cha music to dance to!

*Dance Disclaimer – We are not professional ballroom dance instructors. Don’t expect fancy terminology or complicated counting in our presentation. We are social dancers who simply enjoy dancing and teaching others to dance. We have deconstructed the cha cha to make it easier to teach you. We hope you enjoy our method.


If you go to a dance studio or watch Youtube dance training videos, the counting of the cha cha might seem a little complicated. Social dancers will often adjust the beat of the ChaCha to make it easier to learn. Basically, the cha cha uses a 4/4 time signature.  In other words, four beats per measure of music; however, in each measure the fourth beat gets two counts. If you look at the notes to the right, you might be able to see the count: four-and-one, two, three, four-and-one. The “four-and one” is the “Cha Cha Cha.” Social dancers will often change the beat and count beats two and three as one and two, which changes it to one, two, cha cha cha.

Our theory is…

If you can count the beat, you can walk the beat.

If you can walk the beat, you can dance it!

Let’s forget the Cha Cha Cha for now and just count the beat

1 – 2 – 3 – 4      1 – 2 – 3 – 4    1 – 2 – 3 – 4

Now let’s walk to that beat. Yeah but what foot do we start on?

Remember: The lady is always RIGHT, which is why the man LEFT.

Ladies Walk – Right – Left – Right – Left       Men Walk – Left – Right – Left – Right

Ok, now let’s add the Cha Cha Cha. If you remember the beat above, the Cha Cha is made by splitting the fourth beat into two beats (four-and). As far as steps go, you are still walking, but you simply walk faster for those steps. While walking, think

one, two, three-and-four

slow, slow, quick, quick, quick,

rock, step, cha, cha, cha

Let’s give that a test, the video below is a mix of cha cha songs with the count posted for you. Play it and walk to the beat. You count the beats however you like. Just remember to keep walking to the beat.

That’s it! You have learned the Cha Cha basic step. Now let’s try some turns.

Other Considerations

Basic Turns for the Cha Cha

The chase

Crossover break

Basic inside turn

Basic outside turn

Hand Holds for the Cha Cha

Dance frame

Double hand hold

Single hand hold

Palms together

Hand shake hold

Look mom no hands


Don’t look at your feet

Keep your frame strong

Take short steps

Step & settle

Music Ideas

The Cha Cha can be danced to lots of different songs. Here are some samples. Listen to the beat. Remember…

If you can count the beat, you can walk the beat.

If you can walk the beat, you can dance it!


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