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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

By Ron Houston

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Ron Houston


Dick Crum Someone lost my entire Cha- notebook (may they eternally roast in Hell) so I have only memories of this dance.

Information: A dance and family of dances.

Translation: Named for the town of Čačak, Serbia (or vice versa?)

Pronunciation: CHA-chak

Other names: Five-step Čačak

Source: Introduced to the United States in 1955 by Dick Crum.

Meter: 2/4

Rhythm: It has the 3-2-1 pattern of other Čačaks and the usual 10-bar pattern.

Formation: Short lines of men with belt hold and short lines of women with belt or front basket hold. Leaders at R end. Free hands (at ends) with thumbs tucked in belts.

Note: Originally, we had the basic step and the current step 2. That was too easy, I guess, so we got 3-, 4-, 5-, and even 8-step Čačaks. The 5 steps below are quite common in the United States.


1-4 Wait . . .
1.   Step-lifts. Face forward.
1 Step to R onto R ft (ct 1), step behind R ft onto L ft (ct 2).
2 Repeat action of bar 1.
3 Step slightly forward onto R ft (ct 1), with a small hop on R ft, lift L knee halfway to hip-high with L ft beside R ankle (ct 2).
4 Step back onto L ft (ct 1), with a small hop on L ft, lift R knee halfway to hip-high with R ft beside L ankle (ct 2). Bend forward slightly.
5 Repeat action of bar 3, lifting L knee hip-high with L ft held beside R leg, and straightening up.
6 Step in place onto: L ft, R ft (cts 1,2).
7-9 Repeat action of bars 4-6 (2 step-lifts and 2 steps).
10 Step thrice in place onto: L ft, R ft, L ft (cts 1,&,2).
Note: You may shout "Hop!" or Hok! (pronounced "hope" or "hoke") during bars 5 and 8.
2.   Threes. Face somewhat to R.
1 Run forward to R 3 small steps onto: R ft, L ft, R ft (cts 1,&,2).
2 Repeat action of bar 1.
3-5 Dance three "3's" in place: RLR, LRL, RLR (cts 1,&,2 of each bar).
6 Facing slightly to L, run forward to L 2 steps onto: L ft, R ft (cts 1,2).
7-10 Repeat action of bars 4-7.
3.   Step-kicks. Face forward.
1 Hop sideward to R on L ft (ct 1), step to R onto: R ft, L ft (cts &,2).
2 Repeat action of bar 1.
3 Step in place onto R ft (ct 1), hop on R ft and kick L ft forward, small and tight and low (ct 2).
4 Repeat action of bar 3 with opposite footwork.
5 Repeat action of bar 3.
6 Repeat action of bar 1 with opposite footwork and direction (hop-step-step to L).
7-10 Repeat action of bars 4-7.
4.   Step-stamps.
1-10 = 1-10 of step 3, with stamps instead of kicks. Bend forward slightly, and face diagonally to R when stamping beside R ft with L ft. Bend forward slightly and face diagonally to L when stamping beside L ft with R ft. Stand up straight and don't face anywhere during bars 1-2, 6, and 9.
5.   The clock.
1-10 Repeat action of bars 1-10 of the first step. Travel from "6 o'clock" through "3 o'clock" to "12 o'clock" during bars 3-5. Travel from "12 o'clock" to "Mickey's shoulder" (the center of your clock) during bar 6. Travel from "Mickey's shoulder" to "6 o'clock" during bar 9. Some folks step across in front of L ft onto R ft (cts 2) in bars 6 and 9.
  A really good sequence is: each step thrice, each step once, and the first step to finish.



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