The History Behind the Cha-Cha
One of the most popular Latin dances in the US, the Cha-Cha began as a variation of the mambo called triple mambo. It was so easy and so much fun, it became the rage of the early 1950s. It’s infectious one-two, one-two-three, rhythm demands that sitters become dancers. Everyone can learn the Cha-Cha.
Cha-cha music is written in 4/4 time and may be played over a wide range of tempos. Often in Cha-Cha music, a rhythmical link can be heard between each measure resulting in an overall rhythm of one, two, three, four and repeated over and over.
Characteristics of Cha-Cha
Triple steps (Chasse) and rock steps are the basic components of the Cha-Cha. Since the Cha-Cha is derived from the Rumba and Mambo, Cuban motion is an important aspect of this dance.
Teaching Elements & Basics of Cha Cha
- Cha-cha breaks – Concentrate on combinations and variations
- Appearance in shine positions – Open leads, self-expression, arms and hands
- Quick footwork (syncopation) – Build staccato footwork and syncopated movement
- Cha-Cha turns – Develop momentum control, weight off heels
- Variety interrelation – Add variety by adapting patterns from related dances
- Amalgamations – stress importance of combinations
- Compare/contrast Rumba, Mambo, Salsa, Swing
What Are You Waiting For?
Start Dancing Today!
Cha-Cha songs and artists include:
- Oye Como Va – Tito Puente
- Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White – Perez Prez Prado and his Orchestra
- Black Magic Woman – Santana
- Bang Bang – David Sanborn