How to Use Your Feet in the Cha-Cha

Learn how to use your feet in the cha-cha in this Howcast dance video.

Christina: Hi guys. This is Christina.

Aaron: And Aaron with Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin’s, Dance Times Square, here in New York City.

Woman: And today we’re going to talk a little bit about how to use your feet correctly in the Cha Cha. So the correct foot placement and foot action. So, one of the big things to note is this is different than walking around in your everyday existence because when we go forward we do not take heel leaves. What I mean by that is if you were to just walk normally, and I’ll walk across, you walk with your heels hitting first. In the Cha Cha and in our other Latin dances, when you take a forward step, you will place the toe, you will step onto a bent foot, and then straighten the leg, so it’s dual action of stepping ball flat and stepping on a bent leg and then moving that to a straight leg.

Aaron: As well, we’re going to work with a slight turn out in the feet working through the inside edge of the feet onto that bent knee, as we were saying. Side, together, together. Working that weight down into the floor continuously.

Christina: And for the ladies, particularly when we have our feet together there, you want to think about taking your knee, and although your knee will be turned out the same way that your foot will be, you will try to angle your knee over to the other leg. So it’s kind of like that infamous Marilyn Monroe pose where her leg is kind of over to the side. So you’ll do that each time you transfer the weight the knee will come over.

And the guys, it will be the same idea, but maybe a little less pronounced just to keep it nice and masculine. Some other tips for both guys and girls in the Cha Cha is to really be aware of your foot placement. When you are stepping just in place, for example, you want to step, if we take our left foot, with the left toe, ball, and then as you flatten your foot, you’ll straighten that leg. So then when we switch to the right foot and we pick it up, it will be toe, ball, flat, straighten. So it’s a really kind of slow breakdown of what turns into just bending the leg, stepping on a bent leg, and straightening it and really making sure that with your feet, I’ll show it from the side, that you are really using your ball flat action, ball flat, as opposed to just stomping your feet flat, flat, flat, because then you lose the feel of the dance and you lose the hip action which is so important in the Cha Cha.

Aaron: Really feeling that good strong muscularity in the legs and really working, working, working those feet down into the ground. And that’s how you use your feet in the Cha Cha.