Cha Cha

The Cha Cha is the most popular of the social Latin– American dances. It is a very lively and flirtatious dance that is full of passion and energy.

History

The Cha Cha originated in Cuba in the 1940s. The dance is a variation of the Mambo and Rumba. The name of the dance is onomatopoeic, derived from the sound of the dancers’ shoes as they shuffle across the floor. This dance is also called the Cha Cha Cha.

Characteristics

This dance is vibrant, flamboyant and playful. The bubbly feel of the dance gives it a unique sense of fun for dancers around the world. There are lots of small steps and a lot of hip motion required. There are four beats that are split into two. This gives it a characteristic of 2, 3, 4 &1 rhythm. Five steps are danced to four beats (one, two, cha, cha, cha).

Action

To master the Cha Cha, a dancer must first learn the “Cuban motion”. This motion is the distinctive way the hips move up and down. To get this hip movement, one needs to alternate bending and straightening the knees. As one knee bend or straightens, the same hip should drop or raise. The basic components are the triple steps and rock steps. One must maintain quick, small steps throughout the dance. Partners in the dance must synchronize each movement as they dance parallel to one another.

Distinctive Steps

The Cha Cha has many similar dance steps to the Mambo and the Rumba. The biggest difference is that the “slow” steps of the Rumba and the Mambo are replaced with a triple step in the Cha Cha. Some of the basic steps in this dance are Cha Cha Chasse, The Fan, The Hockey Stick, The New York, El Mojito, The Aleman Turn, The Peek-a-Boo and The Zig-Zag and many more.

Rhythm and Music

This dance should be danced to music with a carefree, happy, party-like atmosphere. The tempo should be 110 to 130 beats per minute. The Cha Cha is normally danced to authentic Cuban music, but it is popular in all genres of music.

 

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