Charlie Brown Dance Step

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The Charlie Brown dance step is one of the steps of the Cha Cha Slide, a line dance created in 1996 as an aerobic workout for Bally's Total Fitness. The Charlie Brown is a hopping move with alternating feet and with arm motion. It is a running man step that rocks forward on one foot and kicks back with the other.

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The Charlie Brown Dance Step

Charlie Brown
Tracy Wicklund

In the Cha Cha Slide original sequence, it comes as the last dance step before the Freeze. It follows the "Hands on Your Knees" step where your hands cross from knee to knee while your knees are bent and bouncing to the beat. It's followed by the "Freeze," when the dancers strike a pose and can then begin the sequence again. Here are the moves you need to know to do the Charlie Brown dance step.

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Charlie Brown Dance Step 1: Hop on Your Right Foot

Charlie Brown. Photo © Tracy Wicklund

The Charlie Brown is basically a hopping move, with alternating feet.

  • Hop on your right foot, raising your left foot off the floor at the same time.
  • Thrust both arms forward, keeping the elbows straight and arms parallel.
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Step With Both Feet

Charlie Brown. Photo © Tracy Wicklund
  • Step with your left foot.
  • At the same time, push your right foot behind you.
  • Both feet should hit the floor at the same time.
  • Pull both arms backward, bending at the elbows.
  • Immediately hop on the left foot, continuing the hop/step pattern, while alternating your feet.

You'll wait for the next dance command. In the classic Cha Cha Slide, it is followed by the Freeze command when you freeze and strike a pose with attitude.

There are many variations of the Cha Cha Slide, so you may be called to do the Charlie Brown at different points in the sequence. Once you know how to do the step, you'll be able to relax and have fun with the dance and burn a few aerobic calories in the balance.

History of the Cha Cha Slide

The Cha Cha Slide was originally written with lyrics by Willie Perry, Jr. titled the "Casper Slide Part 1" in 1998. He recorded the song as "Casper Slide Part 2" in 1999 and self-released it in Chicago through Ciscos' Music World record stores. It got play at nightclubs and his nephew, who was a trainer at the Bally Total Fitness health club used it in his step aerobic class.

The "Slide Album" was released by Universal Records in 2000 and they made instructional Cha-Cha Slide dance videos. The "Cha Cha Slide" single and dance caught on in 2001 in the US and Canada. The "Cha Cha Slide" was certified Gold in 2005 by the Recording Industry Association of America. The song reached number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2004.

Despite this popularity, there still remains confusion about what to do when the Charlie Brown step is called. Some people resort to moves from the "Linus and Lucy" dancing in "A Charlie Brown Christmas" rather than the original Charlie Brown dance step.