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The Essential Guide to Cha Cha


An underarm turn in which the lady turns to the right under the right hand, used specifically in International Rumba and Cha Cha.


A figure where one partner pursues the other. Popular in cha cha. A visual “what-you-see-is-what-you-do” lead is used for this figure.

Guapacha (Wah-pah-CHA) A rhythmic variation commonly used in certain basic Cha Cha actions, including the Basic Step, the Turning Basic, and Time Steps. Guapacha timing is similar to basic Cha Cha timing, with the exception that the step which normally occurs on beat 2 is delayed 1/2 of a beat, causing it to be taken on the “&” count between 2 and 3.

Hockey Stick A basic figure used in International Rumba and Cha Cha, taken from Fan Position and involving a Loop Turn for the lady. The figure gets its name from the hockey stick- shape of the path that the lady moves along throughout.


Popular in Latin dances such as mambo and cha cha, these are movements where the partners are not physically connected. Often the partners dance similar patterns while disconnected or they act out a piece of music interpretation.

Shine position

Dance position where dancers stand apart, facing each other. The term “Shine Position” is usually associated with modern social Disco and Latin freestyle dancing, where dancers improvise and “show off” to their partners.

The Chase

A Cha Cha figure where the man and lady dance variations of the Progressive Basic movement in an Apart dance position. The lady will either follow the man visually, or improvise freely on her own until the man picks her up into a connected dance position.