Lillian Wang
Physical Education
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
High School
  • Lesson Plan
  • PE
  • Physical Education
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    Cha Cha

    Cha Cha


    In lesson plan, educators will learn to teach students to perform the basic Cha Cha step with the correct timing, footwork, and body placement.


    Author: Caroline Martin

    Subject: Physical Education: Ballroom - Cha Cha 

    Grade Level: Secondary

    Lesson Length: 1 - 80 min class period

    Background for Teachers

    Equipment Needed: 

    • Bring all videos up on separate browsers for easy access, bring up spotify for easy access to music.
    • Sound system, projector, white board, spotify music playlists, cha cha example videos, cha cha footwork diagram, Youtube videos.

    Students’ prior knowledge, skills and assets:

    • FoxTrot rhythm and body positioning, basic partner dancing skills, walking and stepping forward and backward

    Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

    Step 1 Goals and Outcomes

    Core Standards: 

    • Standard ILA.1.3 Participate in specialized skills that will promote health-related ftness
    • Standard ILA.1.1 Participate in and refne skills in activity-specifc movements, through various means such as rubrics, self and peer assessment, video and computer analyses, and teacher feedback, in (1) up to three lifetime activities (e.g., outdoor pursuits, individual-performance activities, aquatics, net/wall games or target games), and/or (2) a form of dance. 
    • Standard ILA.1.4 Demonstrate profciency in one or more specialized skills that will promote health related ftness. 
    • Standard ILA.2.3 State skill-specifc cues for a variety of physical activities.
    • Standard ILA.4.3 Utilize time efectively to include setting personal goals, practicing, completing assigned tasks, and including activity time.
    • Standard ILA.4.9 Self-ofciate in recreational sports. 


    • Students will perform the basic Cha Cha step with the correct timing, footwork, and body placement.

    Step 2 - Planning Instruction

    Step 2 Planning Instruction


    • Support for ELLs:
      • Picture demonstrating footwork
      • Teacher demonstration of movements. 
      • Student’s paired for one on one practice
    • Accommodations/Modifications for IEPs/504s:
      • Aids will be participating fully in the class with the student. They will aid me in teaching the student and breaking it down slowly with them when I am working with other students.
        • *Other modifications are Inserted into each learning activity below*

    Step 3 - Instruction

    Step 3 Instruction


    • Pre-assessment:
      • Take student results from the previous unit to learn the students timing and ability to shape their bodies correctly and move to the correct rhythm.


    Roll - 3 min

    • Students enter and sit in their assigned spot and put on their dance shoes. Take roll quickly.

    Warm up: Conditioning - 8 min

    • Lead and follow to two songs of movement
      • First song = general whole body movement to warm up all major muscle groups and joints
      • Second song = arm toning/exercise


    • Use music from the kid’s playlists
    • Cue the students verbally of what we are doing for VI students
    • Use movements that are simple enough for everyone to do easily

    Savila Se Bella Loza - Serbian Dance - 15 min

    • Introduce History of Savila Se Bella Loza
      • “For hundreds of years people around the world have used folk dance as a medium of expression to proudly represent the colors, sounds, and pulse of their lives. More often than not, folk dancing is a joyful social display of cultural traditions. One prominent characteristic of serbian dance is their prolific propensity toward the creation of easily accessible communal dances. The sequences are simple, the steps are pedestrian, and the experience is joyful. No partners are necessary. When the music plays you join in the line and dance.”
      • Video Example

    Explain you want the kids to use/develop their skills in counting and moving to the music.
    Teach the dance

    • Hands are joined and held low
    • Performed in a line (can lead the line anywhere they want)
    • 2/4 meter
    • Dance starts right away with the music
    • Pattern A: Right end of line starts as the leader. Everyone steps on the right foot and run to the right for 19 steps. Step 19 is on the right foot which is then followed by a hop on the right foot on count 20 to reverse directions. Step starting with the left foot to the left and run 19 steps. Step 19 is on the left and then you hop on the left foot on count 20. Then start onto Pattern B
    • EASY Pattern B: Step together step touch RLRLR
    • HARD Pattern B: Hop step step, step hop (SqqSS) - hop on the left foot, step right foot to right, left foot steps in to meet it quickly, right foot steps to the right again, then you hop on the right foot. Repeat on the other side starting with another hop on the right foot. (repeat 3 times each side)Continually repeat Pattern A and B together until the music's over. 

    Add any variation you need to keep the students interested while practicing the timing and footwork. This might include finding new groups, trying it without holding hands, having the leaders switch to lead people in a different space in the room, etc. 


    • Pair students with a buddy that picks up stuff easily
    • Give students who are struggling simpler foot work, step together slowly 6 times. 
    • Have students using wheelchairs be the leader of a line that does not hold hands
    • Pair students of all levels in lines - then try with different abilities with different tasks

    *Water Break* - 2 min

    Cha Cha Introduction - 8 min

    • Discuss the brief history of Cha Cha dance
      • The Cha-Cha originated in Cuba in the 1950s. It is the most popular Latin dance in the United States today. The appeal of the Cha-Cha is its infectious rhythm, which is slow and staccato, much like the rhythm of the blues. It is said to be a combination of the Mambo and American Swing. Due to the Latin influence, the Cha-Cha is smooth, carefree, and flirtatious, encouraging the dancer to inject their own feelings into the dance - relax and let the personality show! 
    • Time signature or meter is 4/4. 
    • The rhythmic pattern is SSqqS. 
    • Basic step pattern leads with the toe. 

    Show video of professional Cha-Cha dancers - discuss the similarities and differences between the two performances.


    • If a student cannot see, describe the movement qualities, colors, and atmosphere  to the students with words, focusing on painting a clear picture for the VI student. 

    Cha Cha Timing - 5 min

    Discuss the timing of the Cha-Cha

    • Time signature or meter is 4/4
    • Rhythmic pattern is SSqqS starting on 2!!!

    Play a variety of 4/4 time songs and have them start to count the beat. Then clap on 2 so they can hear where the steps begin to move. 

    • Cha Cha spotify playlist (Latin songs and regular songs)


    • If a student cannot hear, have them feel the rhythm by lightly tapping it out on their legs or with their hands. If they cannot see, describe the movement qualities to the students with words, focusing on painting a clear picture for the VI student. 

    Basic Cha Cha Positioning - 5 min

    Discuss and show the positioning with a partner. 

    • Typically down in Two-Hand or Closed Position (For our purposes we will be doing two-hand and progressively working to closed position).
    • Have a volunteer come up and show two-hand with the teacher (ASKING PERMISSION TO TOUCH).
    • Have the students stand up where they are and pair with someone (ASKING PERMISSION TO TOUCH) near them to feel what the position is supposed to be.


    • If a student cannot hear, have them feel the rhythm by lightly tapping it out on their legs or with their hands. If they cannot see, describe the movement qualities to the students with words, focusing on painting a clear picture for the VI student. Have the VI student with someone they feel comfortable with to try holding hands with to feel the correct position. 

    TEACH: Basic Cha Cha step - 15

    Put up a picture of footwork on the projector and leave it there for students to reference while waiting for their turn. The other group not working with the teacher should be getting a drink or looking at the image.
    Start teaching one group at a time!!!

    • Group 1 = Leaders (men’s position)
      • Step forward with the left foot, rock back onto right, left foot steps side to the left, right foot meets it into a closed foot position and weight transfers again to the left foot stepping left. Reverse that so the right foot steps back, rock weight back to the left, step right foot side, left foot comes in to meet it and weight goes back to right as it takes another step to the right. 
    • Group 2 = Follower’s (woman’s position)
      • Step back with the right foot, rock forward to put weight into the left, step right with the right foot, step left foot together, step right foot out again. Reverse and step left foot forward, rock weight back onto right, step left with the left foot, step the right foot in to meet the left, then step the left foot out one more time. Repeat!
    • Put dancers together with a partner and practice it slowly. Keep practicing it slowly with verbal cues and clapping the rhythm. Have the dancers rotate partners and repeat the step multiple times with multiple partners. Add in music and continue to give them auditory cues with voice and clapping.


    • Make sure struggling students have a buddy or aid to help them learn the step. If the student is using a wheelchair, have their aid or buddy show/help them practice moving forward and back with the rhythm we are using (asking if they would like help or if they would like to do it alone). They will only move forward and back, not side to side. 

    *Water Break* - 2 min

    Practice Time - 15 min

    “Open Floor” = Music plays and each couple practices starting and stopping on their own time. They lead and follow each other without the teacher cueing them when to start. The teacher walks around and gives individual instruction/correction and stops to help struggling students on a one-on-one level. 


    • Pair struggling students with someone who understands the movement. Have them practice for more time with that one person before switching. Frequently give individual instruction to those groups and slow down the steps. 

    Step 4 - Assessments

    Step 4 Assessments

    Formative assessments:

    • Watch the dancers as they perform the movement and give verbal feedback

    Final formative assessment (Unit):

    • Cha cha pass off - put your own combination of cha cha steps together and perform for the teacher your practiced routine.

    Reflection - 3 min

    While students are changing their shoes, ask them these questions and start a conversation about how they are feeling. This will inform you, along with watching their movements, what you need to do in the next lesson. They may need it broken down into smaller parts again or just need more practice time. 

    Reflection Questions: 

    • How do those steps feel? 
    • Do you have any questions? 
    • Were you more drawn to the Latin songs or the regular songs? Why?
    • What part was the hardest about the cha cha basic step?