Let’s Cha Cha! The Beginner’s Guide to Ballroom Dancing

Let’s Cha Cha! The LaBlast Ballroom Dancing Guide

Photo: Ryan Kelly / LaBlast

If you’re like the 11 million Americans who tune in each week, you can’t help but be hypnotized by the staccato quarter turns and rhythmic kicks from celebrities on Dancing with the Stars. And now you, too, can experience the same all-star instruction right at home with Daily Burn’s new dance fitness program, LaBlast. Led by Louis van Amstel, a top choreographer for DWTS, you’ll learn moves like the Cha Cha, Quickstep, Lindy Hop and more.

LEARN MORE: LaBlast: The Most Fun Dance Workout You’ll Ever Do

Total ballroom beginner? We have good news: LaBlast isn’t about perfect, precise movements. The four-week program keeps things simple, so you can get your sweat on just by moving to the beat. As van Amstel says, “If you can clap it, you can dance it.” Hint: A dance move is usually broken down into four or eight beats (also known as counts). For example, with Quickstep pendulum jumps, you alternate jumping each foot with each beat. When in doubt: “The feeling of rhythm is the best place to start,” he says.

4 Beginner Ballroom Dancing Moves to Try Now

To give you a taste of ballroom dancing and what to expect in the LaBlast program, we handpicked four major dance styles and their signature moves. Each one is 30 seconds and broken down into four to eight counts. Repeat two to three times to commit it to muscle memory. Ready to cha cha? Let’s move!

1. Hustle

Think John Travolta on Saturday Night Fever. This form of ballroom dance is just groovy. Shake your hips and boogie on down.

The Move: 4 Count Box Step
How to: With your feet hip-distance apart, take a step to your right with your right foot. Cross your right foot over your left foot and your left foot over your right, then take a rock step back with your right foot. Repeat the same movement starting with your left foot.

READ MORE: 4 Ways to Start the Dance Party with Louis van Amstel

2. Cha Cha

Let your mind and body escape to Havana, Cuba. There, you’ll sass things up with the Cha Cha. Nail those crossovers of the feet, but remember: the movement is all in the hips.

The Move: Time Step Cucaracha
How to: Stand with your feet together. March your feet for three beats, then on the fourth beat, take a step to your right foot to the side. Return to the starting position and march your feet for three beats, and then take a step to your left with your left foot. To help you feel the rhythm of the cha cha, clap your hands and sway your hips as you move your feet.

3. Quickstep

Imagine you’re living in the roaring 20s and were just invited to a lavish flapper party. Quickstep is a combination of foxtrot and swing — and yes, it’s quick!

The Move: Turn with Jump Jack
How to: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, your knees slightly bent and lift your arms straight out to the sides. Placing your weight on your right foot, lift your left foot off the ground and hop on your right side for four counts. Then, jack your feet in and out for two counts before turning a full circle to your left. Repeat the sequence by balancing on your left foot.

TRY IT FREE: Sign Me Up for Daily Burn LaBlast

4. Lindy Hop

Things are about to get jazzy for this joyful dance. Marked by rhythmic pulses and hip shakes, it’s clear why it’s also referred to as the Jitterbug.

The Move: 8 Count Basic
How to: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees slightly bent. Take a rock step back with your right foot, and then do three kicks, alternating your right and left feet. Next, take a rock step back with your left foot and do three kicks, alternating with your left and right feet. As you become more comfortable with the move, you can jump, instead of step, with the rock step and kicks.

Keep up your ballroom dancing with Daily Burn’s LaBlast Program. Click here to start your free trial today!

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