Learn to Dance The Cha-Cha

Learn The Basics of The Cha-Cha at Arthur Murray Dance Studios!

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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

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

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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