Introduction to Club Style or Latino Style Cha Cha Dance
Club Style or Latino style Cha Cha is different to Ballroom style Cha Cha Cha in several ways.
Firstly it's danced in a smaller area. It's more compact and follows the same slot dance or linear dance pattern as cross body salsa.
Secondly it is normally danced with the counts of 1 - 8 rather than in Ballroom Cha Cha Cha where we generally count 1 - 4 and repeat. When referring to this timing in Latino style, the man will break back on his right foot on 2 and the lady comes forward on her left foot on 2.
The style or essence of Latino style is to dance more grounded with a flat foot and flexed knee. In the Ballroom style we dance with straight legs, large steps and mostly cross our feet with a lock step. The Latino style provides more freedom to interpret the music and the steps are not prescribed whereas in the Ballroom style all figures are taught and learnt specifically with internationally recognised patterns.
The timing is often the hardest thing for students to master. Once the timing is mastered then the steps or turn patterns follow the same patterns as Cross body style salsa. Nearly all the moves that have been learned in Cross body style Salsa can be interpreted into Cha Cha timing.
There is a short video by Addicted to Salsa where they demonstrate the Cha Cha timing for Beginners. Below is the link, it's worth watching to reinforce your understanding of the Club style timing.