Dance Resource

Cha Cha

Time Step

This is a simplified basic with the rock steps replaced by marches in place.

Leader's steps:

LF left                     (1)
RF together                 (2)
LF in place                 (3)
RF right                    (4)
LF together                 (a)

RF right                    (5)
LF together                 (6)
RF in place                 (7)
LF left                     (8)
RF together                 (a)

Basic

Leader's steps:

LF left                     (1)
RF back                     (2)
rock LF                     (3)
RF right                    (4)
LF together                 (a)

RF right                    (5)
LF forward                  (6)
rock RF                     (7)
LF left                     (8)
RF together                 (a)

Cha cha right = RF right + LF together. Cha cha left = LF left + RF together. The (4-a-5) / (8-a-1) steps are also called triple steps or chasses.

While (4-a-5) / (8-a-1) steps are in theory meant to be done side to side, it seems a number of people execute them diagonally.

Progressive Basic

Leader's steps:

LF left                     (1)
RF back                     (2)
rock LF                     (3)
RF forward                  (4)
LF together                 (a)

RF forward                  (5)
LF forward                  (6)
rock RF                     (7)
LF back                     (8)
RF together                 (a)

LF back                     (1)
RF back                     (2)
rock LF                     (3)
RF forward                  (4)
LF together                 (a)

(4-a-1) is cha cha forward, (8-a-1) is cha cha back.

When transitioning from basic to progressive basic, (1) is LF left and the progressive basic properly begins on (4). When continuing progressive basic into another progressive basic, (1) is LF back.

Similarly (5) is normally RF forward, but if doing only (1-4) counts of the progressive basic and exiting to normal basic then (5) will be RF right.

In the figures table, the "forward/back" designation on the progressive basic refers to the direction of the break step on (1)/(5), which is opposite of the direction of triple steps.

The steps on (a) can be trailing behind the other foot or passing the other foot:

RF forward                          (4)
LF together slightly behind RF      (a)

RF forward                          (4)
LF forward slightly past RF         (a)

Which of these variations are possible depends on the spacing between partners and how they move together.

Three Cha Chas

This video illustrates both forward and back versions.

Instead of executing a single triple step in each direction in the basic, three cha chas executes three triple steps in each direction. Thus doing three cha chas forward and three cha chas back adds a total of 8 counts to the basic which is the length of the basic. Alternatively, doing three cha chas forward and one back adds a total of 4 counts to the basic which is half of the basic.

Side Version

Forward/Back Version

Leader's steps:

LF left     (1)
RF back     (2)
rock LF     (3)

RF forward  (4)
LF forward  (a)
RF forward  (5)

LF forward  (6)
RF forward  (a)
LF forward  (7)

RF forward  (8)
LF forward  (a)
RF forward  (9)

LF forward  (10)
rock RF     (11)

LF back     (12)
RF back     (a)
LF back     (13)

RF back     (14)
LF back     (a)
RF back     (15)

LF back     (16)
RF back     (a)
LF back     (17)

RF back     (18)
rock LF     (19)

(into second half of basic)

Counts (14) through (17) may be omitted to travel forward as a result of this figure.

Outside Partner Breaks

Leader executes forward breaks diagonally forward/outside, and is thus stepping outside partner. Follower executes back breaks.

Crossover Break

Leader's steps:

(prep:)
cha cha right & LH scoop follower's hand    (4-a)

RF right                                    (5)
rotate R 90d & LF forward & open            (6)
rotate L 90d & rock RF                      (7)
cha cha left                                (8-a)

LF left                                     (1)
rotate L 90d & RF forward & open            (2)
rotate R 90d & rock LF                      (3)
cha cha right                               (4-a)

Two possibilities for hand hold during the crossover:

  1. Leader's hand under the follower's hand ("scoop");
  2. Leader's hand over the follower's hand ("bear hold").

Bear hold supposedly makes it easier to lead a spot turn following the crossover, though I am not entirely sold on this just yet.

The connected arm should remain bent at the elbow throughout the figure.

With Swivels

This is an NDCA syllabus step (NDCA syllabus video).

The steps on (2-3) are replaced with two swivels in double hand hold.

Continuous Crossover

This is a variation of the crossover with (8) / (4) becoming a check step into another crossover.

Leader's steps:

(prep:)
cha cha right & LH scoop follower's hand    (4-a)

RF right                                    (5)
rotate R 90d & LF forward & open            (6)
rotate L 90d & rock RF                      (7)
RH high five check follower & rock LF       (8-a)

RF right                                    (5)
rotate R 90d & LF forward & open            (6)
rotate L 90d & rock RF                      (7)
cha cha left                                (8-a)

LF left                                     (1)
rotate L 90d & RF forward & open            (2)
rotate R 90d & rock LF                      (3)
LH high five check follower & rock RF       (4-a)

LF left                                     (1)
rotate L 90d & RF forward & open            (2)
rotate R 90d & rock LF                      (3)
cha cha right                               (4-a)

Crossover Double Rock

This is a variation of the crossover where the (2-3) / (6-7) steps are repeated.

Leader's steps:

(prep:)
cha cha right & LH scoop follower's hand    (4-a)

RF right                                    (5)
rotate R 90d & LF forward & open            (6)
rotate L 90d & rock RF                      (7)
rotate R 90d & LF forward & open            (8)
rotate L 90d & rock RF                      (9)
cha cha left                                (10-a)

LF left                                     (11)
rotate L 90d & RF forward & open            (12)
rotate R 90d & rock LF                      (13)
rotate L 90d & RF forward & open            (14)
rotate R 90d & rock LF                      (15)
cha cha right                               (16-a)

If done on both sides, the double rock takes 4 extra counts which puts the next step back on the first beat musically.

Reverse Crossover / Fifth Position Breaks / Butterfly

The figure can be open or closed. When follower is on leader's right both open and closed are acceptable, when follower is on leader's left the open version seems to be the only sensible one.

UAT Right

Leader raises LH on (1) to lead the turn then executes a back break, follower executes the right turn.

Leader's steps:

LF left & raise LH                  (1)
RF back                             (2)
rock LF                             (3)
cha cha right                       (4-a)

The figure can start from open or closed position. One way of starting from open is to execute an open break on preceding (5) count. Finishing position can be open or closed as well.

Free Spot Turn

A turn in which the leader releases the follower, and both turn independently. Similar to free spin in swing. Can be done in left or right direction.

Leader's steps for both turns, from closed position:

(prep:)
cha cha left & release RH & LH in high five position        (8-a)

LF left pointing R                                          (1)
    & push LH diagonally left/forward to turn follower R
rotate L 90d & RF forward & rotate L 90d                    (2)
rotate L 90d & rock LF & rotate L 90d                       (3)
cha cha right                                               (4-a)
    & double palm to palm with follower

RF right pointing R                                         (5)
    & push RH diagonally right/forward to turn follower L
rotate R 90d & LF forward & rotate R 90d                    (6)
rotate R 90d & rock RF & rotate R 90d                       (7)
cha cha left                                                (8-a)

Hands can be in double high five position or leader's hand can be under the follower's hand.

The push to lead the turn must happen between 1 and 2 counts, prior to the follower stepping on the 2 count (because the step is to the side for a spot turn and forward for basic).

The lead can be more prolonged which generally happens in a more social setting, or more crisp in a more competitive setting.

Alternating UATs

This is a follower's UAT right followed by leader's UAT right.

Cross Body Lead

Cross Body Pull Back

Sweetheart / Shadow

Simple version without follower's turns, leader's steps from handshake:

(open break:)
RF right                                                    (5)
LF back                                                     (6)
rock RF                                                     (7)

(rhythm change:)
LF together & RH rotate follower L 180d into sweetheart     (8)
RF together & RH continue rotating & LH connect             (1)

(in sweetheart, follower on right:)
LF back                                                     (2$)
rock RF                                                     (3)
LF triple step in place, move follower left                 (4-a-5*)

(follower on left:)
RF back                                                     (6)
rock LF                                                     (7)
RF triple step in place, move follower right                (8-a-1*^)

(follower on right:)
LF back                                                     (2$)
rock RF                                                     (3)

(exit:)
LF together & LH lead follower's right turn & release LH    (4)
RF together                                                 (5)

(finish basic:)
LF forward                                                  (6)
rock RF                                                     (7)
LF triple step left                                         (8-a-1)

As written, sweetheart starts on RF and the next step starts on LF. Sweetheart thus takes 20 counts. The 4 counts prior to the sweetheart could be follower's right turn which ends with a single hand hold from where it is easy to transition into handshake.

Instead of back rocks on (2$) leader can execute forward rocks to be in opposition to the follower who will still execute back rocks.

The standard hold is both hands, follower's palms pointing up, leader's palms pointing sideways, leader's fingers connecting to follower's palm (not fingers).

Exit is led with LH push away & disconnection.

With Forward/Back Travel

This is a variation of the (4-a-5) and (8-a-1) triple steps marked (^) above. Instead of these steps being in place for the leader and the follower transitioning from leader's right to his left and back, these steps can travel forward and then back for both leader and follower. If traveling forward/back the follower remains on the leader's right side.

With Progressive Turns

This is a variation where both the leader and the follower execute half turns when the follower is on the right and when the follower is on the left, and thus are side by side on the ends and facing the same direction in the middle. This is unlike the first version where the partners are not rotating at all when they are in sweetheart position.

With Both Turns At Ends / Traveling Sweetheart

This is a variation of the (8-a-1) triple step marked (^) above. Instead of a triple step in place, leader executes a half left turn while leading the same half left for the follower. At the end of the (1) the follower is still on the right side of the leader but now both partners are facing the opposite way.

With Follower's Spin / Sweetheart Spins

This figure is like the traveling sweetheart, except the follower executes 1.5 left turns on (8-a-1^) instead of a half left. The leader still executes half a left turn. The connection and lead for the follower's 1.5 left is leader's RH.

Double Handhold Cross Exit

Handhold Variations

  1. Leader's arms extended downward, straight. The follower only transitions left/right in this variation. Exit is still led with LH push & disconnection.
  2. Instead of left/right travel, leader executes a sendout maintaining both hand hold in the middle. The partners are in perpendicular/fan-like positions, with follower on leader's left and then on leader's right. Exit is from follower on leader's right, with LH push away & disconnection from double hand hold.
  3. When moving follower right to left, release both hands and establish LH connection to follower's back. When moving the follower to the right switch to RH connection to follower's back. Exit is with RH push on follower's back on the left side.

Fan Exit

Chase

Chase can be done with half turn or full turn on either end. If done with half turns, the partners walk forward in the middle. If done with full turns, one partner walks forward when the other is walking back, and I imagine most times only one of the two turns is actually taken though I can see both turns also being a possibility.

Flick

Shoulder Check / Peekaboo

From LH hold:

From handshake hold:

Leader's steps:

(open break:)
RF right                                                    (5)
LF back                                                     (6)
rock RF & LH lead follower's right turn for right side pass (7)

LF left/forward                                             (8)
RF together                                                 (a)
LF forward & rotate R 90d                                   (1)
RF forward in front of follower in her track &
    RH check follower on her back                           (2)
rock LF                                                     (3)
RF right                                                    (4)
LF together & rotate L 90d                                  (a)
RF right                                                    (5)
LF back                                                     (6)
rock RF                                                     (7)

LF triple step left                                         (8-a-1)

The middle steps from (8) through (7) can be repeated.

Crossover Flick To Side Break