Cha Cha Ice Dance Tutorial

The Cha Cha Ice Dance Pattern and Steps
The Cha Cha Ice Dance Pattern and Steps. Diagram Used With the Permission of U.S. Figure Skatin

The Cha Cha is a pre-bronze level ​pattern ice dance which is skated in both partnered and solo ​figure skating tests and also at partnered and ​solo ice dancing competitions.  The Cha Cha pattern ice dance is also done socially at ice dance weekends, social ice dancing sessions, and for fun on public skating sessions. 

Figure skaters of all ages and levels will find the Cha Cha pattern ice dance simple to do and easy to master.  No backward skating or turns are required. 

Skaters can do the dance with a partner or skate it alone. When skating with a partner, the dance is done in Kilian position, a basic ice dancing partner hold where both partners face the same direction. The man holds the lady's left hand with his left hand while standing slightly behind and left to the lady. He puts his right hand on the right side of the lady's waist. She places and holds her right hand on and around the man's right hand while bending her arm.

Cha Cha Ice Dance Steps and Instructions

The steps of the Cha Cha are very simple and are listed below.

Note: These instructions are for recreational, competitive, and/or test only ice dancers.

  1. Start at either end of the rink and do four optional introductory steps (two beats each): (left, right, left, right) that cover the width of the arena.  
  2. Now do a left forward progressive from a left forward outside edge onto a right forward inside edge.  The left outside edge that begins the progressive should be two beats and the right inside edge that progresses and crosses the left edge, is also two beats.  This two-part progressive step completes the first lobe of the dance.  (There is not a third push to the left forward outside edge for this particular progressive sequence.)
  3. When that first progressive lobe ends, transition to a chasse that begins on a left forward inside edge.  (One beat for the left inside edge and one beat for the right outside chasse lift.)
  4. The left-inside right-outside chasse should be followed by a two beat left-inside wide step.  (When doing this step with a partner, it will feel as if the lady is almost stepping over the man's previous foot.  In addition, pretending that you are trying to move from one "rock" to another in an imaginary creek may help you enjoy this step and do the wide step correctly.  The weight should transfer from one skate to the other.)
  5. Next, comes a four-beat right outside edge that should include a pull action of the free leg on beat "2."  The pulley step should angle towards the rail.  During beats "3 and 4" the free leg extends back.    
  6. The pattern now shifts as a two-footed slalom step moves straight down the length of the arena.  The slalom moves to the left and right for two beats (beat "1" left, beat "2" right) and then two beats to the left (3-4), and then two beats to the right (1-2).  The first three parts of the slalom are done with two feet on the ice, but the fourth step of the slalom is actually a two beat right outside stroke on one foot that makes its way towards the railing.  It is essential that the skater keeps his or her right skate on the ice as the push into that right stroke is made.
  7. After the slalom section and the right outside stroke, the left skate is quickly placed on the ice for a half beat and then the skater pushes on that half "and" beat from that quick left skate placement to a two beat forward inside stroke (3-4). 
  8. Next, there is a left forward outside swing roll (four beats, free leg swinging forward on beat "3") that continues on the curve that began from the previous right forward inside two beat stroke.  This section should be close to the arena's barrier, and almost fill up the corner of the rink.
  9. After the swing roll, the skaters have the option of doing a cross step (from outside edge to outside edge) or just pushing onto a right forward outside edge for two beats (1-2).
  10. The next step of the dance is a left forward inside cross behind where the right free leg slides in front like a slide chasse (3-4).
  11. The final step of the dance should fill the opposite corner with a four beat right forward inside swing roll where the free leg swings forward on beat "3"  (1-2-3-4).  
  12. Repeat the entire dance again, without the four introductory steps. Each pattern should begin with the first left forward outside progressive sequence.

Ice Dancing is Fun!

Learning the Cha Cha pattern ice dance is a great way to get started ice dancing because it is an interesting ice dance that includes a variety of forward ice dance steps which includes stroking, progressives, chasses, swing rolls, slides, a fun slalom step, cross strokes, and even a cross behind step.  

Skaters of all ages interested in becoming figure skaters should consider ice dancing in addition to the other figure skating disciplines. It's a great way to enjoy skating and have fun, but there are also ice dancing test and competition opportunities.  Social ice dancing can also be a way to meet people and make friends.