Have you ever watched "Dancing with the Stars" with those beautiful costumes, the romance, and the infectious Cha Cha music and visualized yourself dancing to that mesmerizing beat? Cha Cha Slide, also referred to as the "Casper slide", was invented by Mr. C, a Chicago DJ in 1996. The dance line was created as an aerobic workout for Bally's Total Fitness. As the dance became a hit with the gym members, Mr. C recorded Cha-Cha Slide: The Original Slide Album which was released on September 19, 1996.
The best part for a novice wanting to learn the Cha Cha slide dance steps is that the music guides you. And I mean it quite literally, since the lyrics of the Cha Cha song tells you exactly what to do. Here are a few basic steps that will guide while dancing to the tune of the Slide music.
Basic Cha Cha Slide Dance Steps
"Take it to the Left" - Grapevine Left with Touch
Step left to left side, cross right behind left. Now step left to left side and touch right foot beside left.
"Take It Back Now" - Stroll Back with Touch
Step back with the right foot, then step back with your left foot. Now step back right and touch the left foot beside right one.
"One Hop This Time" - Hop Forward
Hop forward on right while hitching to your left.
"Right Foot Let's Stomp" - Right Stomp Forward
Stomp right with your left foot in front. For adding some attitude with each stomp spread your arms.
"Left Foot Let's Stomp" - Left Stomp Forward
With weight on right foot stomp, put the left foot forward.
"Now Cha-Cha" - Jazz Box
This is an actual Latin Cha Cha Cha step known as a Jazz square or a Jazz Box. Cross the right foot over the left and step back with the left foot. Now step to the right with the right foot and step forward with the left one. You can also do mambo rocks.
"Turn It Out" or "Let's Go to Work" - Left Into Grapevine Right With Touch
Make a slight turn to your left side while stepping to the right with the right foot. Now cross the left foot behind the right and step to the side with the right foot. Then touch the left foot beside the right.
"Clap" - Hand Claps
Clap your hands in time to the beats of the music. Some people prefer to walk around while doing their claps
"Criss Cross" - Jump Apart, Jump and Cross
Jump keeping feet apart. Now jump while crossing your right foot over the left.
"Slide to the Left" - Left Slide
Step to the left side with the left foot, while sliding right to touch beside left. In a part of the track, the music instructs you to "reverse" the slide steps.
"Slide to the Right" - Right Slide
Step to the right side with the right foot while sliding left to touch beside right. Now "reverse" the slide steps
"How Long Can you Go" - Twist Down
The classic limbo step where you lean back towards the floor while bending down, as low as you can go.
"Bring It To The Top" - Stand Up Waving Arms
Pull yourself into a standing position and raise your arms up while waving to the beat.
"Hands On Your Knees" - Knee Knocks
Knock your knees together while criss-crossing the hands on the knees.
"Charlie Brown" - Charlie Brown
There is some confusion over what is required at this part of the track some. The actual dance step is a "Jazz Jump" or a 2-footed jump. In Cha Cha slide, the jumps can be forward and back or from left to right. This is done while nodding your head or turning your head from side to side.
"Freeze" - Strike a Pose
Show your attitude as you freeze and take the final pose.
Once you get this basic pattern in place, there is a lot of room for your own improvisation, like creating a dramatic pose when you freeze or adding a full turn to the grapevine. After all, the point is to just have loads of fun doing Cha Cha slide dance steps.