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Cha Cha Cha

Like most modern music, Cha Cha music is 4/4 time (4 beats to a bar of music, and therefore four dance steps to a bar of music.The fourth beat of the music screams for you to step side and close - this step, with the drag of the foot side, then the drag of the foot to close, produces the characteristic Cha Cha sound, from which the name of the dance is derived. Some teachers count the Cha Cha movement as slow, slow, quick-quick, slow but this can be confusing to the beginner. Its probably better to think of the movement as Rock, Rock, Side-Close, Side. In most Latino dances, you commence your steps on the 2nd beat of the music and change weight from one leg to another between the beats. In Cha Cha your feet only move on the 1st, 2nd and 4th beats. The change of weight which gives the dance its look and feel occurs half way through the 1st and 2nd beats, on the 3rd beat, half way through the 4th beat and on the 1st beat. Counting from the 2nd beat of the music, my preferred count is 2 & 3, Cha-Cha, 1 - check out the section on the basic movements and this will become meaningful. There are two parts to timing. The first is the static metronome beat that flows through an entire track and dictates when to move your feet. The other is the tempo of the music itself. Itís the tempo, that times the length of a dance step, the duration of a pause or how fast you should make a turn/spin and itís the tempo that tells you what move to do when. Understanding what to do with the tempo will make you a good Cha Cha dancer. You can't mistake a Cha Cha beat in a song. You hear two slow beats and three quick. Its the quick beats that you move side and close, cha cha cha.


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