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.
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.
- 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
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