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American Style Cha Cha
Fifth Position Breaks
5. Fifth Position Breaks
Fact Sheet
Official Name:Fifth Position Breaks
Dance / Level:Intermediate Bronze American Style Cha Cha
Aliases:Promenade and Counter-Promenade Breaks

Fifth Position is a term derived from the five foot positions in classical ballet technique, whereby one foot is placed behind the other, toe to heel. Fifth position in Cha Cha is only generally reminiscent of a ballet fifth, partly because the desired amount of foot turnout is much more extreme in ballet than it is in the Latin American partner dances, but also because Fifth Position Beaks in Cha Cha are taken with the feet slightly apart.

Another name to describe Fifth Position Breaks is Fallaway and Counter Fallaway rocks, since they are a sequence of rock steps taken in alternating fallaway and counter fallaway positions. The Fifth Position Break to Right consists of a side step to (man's) right, followed by a LF back rock in fallaway position, with lady dancing the natural opposite. Similarly, the Fifth Position Break to Left consists of a side step to (man's) left, followed by a RF back rock in counter-fallaway position (lady natural opposite).

Dance Holds

A series of Fifth Position Breaks taken in succession are most commonly danced in an arm-to-arm position, whereby the man's hand is placed on the lady's back at her shoulder blade, with the lady's hand on the man's shoulder, similar to dance position but with the opposite side completely disconnected. In promenade position, the man's right and lady's left arms are connected, whereas in counter-promenade, the man's left and lady's right arms are connected. To transition from one position to the other, both arms are connected as the man and lady pass briefly through closed facing position.

Alternative holds are possible:

The couple can remain in a closed hold when taking the Fifth Position Break to Right in promenade position, which is normal when dancing only a single isolated Fifth Position Break, or when dancing it as an ending to another figure, e.g. Open Break and Underarm Turn.

Another popular interpretation of the figure is to dance the promenade break in closed hold, then lower the joined hands (man's left to lady's right hand) to waist level, to take the counter-promenade break in left side-by-side position. When danced this way, a more accurate description of the combination would be one measure of Fifth Position Break followed by one measure of Crossover Back Break. Nonetheless, this combination is often simply (if not accurately) labeled Fifth Position Breaks.


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