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Cha Cha has the distinction of being one of the most dominant "pop" rhythms of

the last 40 to 50 years and is characterized as having an upbeat, infectious rhythm,
which creates a sense of playfulness and flirtation. The Cha Cha is said to be a
combination of the Mambo and the American Swing.

Cha Cha is a Cuban innovation of the old Latin form (danson). Originally known as
the Cha-Cha-Cha the Cha Cha became popular about 1954. Cha Cha is an off-shoot
of the Latin dance 'Mambo'. In the slow Mambo tempo, there is a distinct sound in
the music that people began dancing to, calling the step the "Triple" Mambo.
Eventually it evolved into a separate dance, today known as the Cha Cha.

The dance consists of three quick steps (triple step or Cha Cha Cha) and two slower
steps on the one beat and two beat. The Cha Cha Cha is in 4/4 time with the rhythm
being counted as 2 3 4 & 1, the '4 & 1' are recognized as being the familiar Cha Cha
Cha triple. Note that the last beat of the triple is the first beat of the next bar.

Cha Cha's continued popularity can be heard in the music of Ricky Martin, Marc
Anthony and Carlos Santana.

Origin
Cha-cha rhythm
In the early 1950s, Enrique Jorrín worked as a violinist and composer with the
charanga group Orquesta América. The group performed at dance halls in Havana
where they played danzón, danzonete, and danzon-mambo for dance-orientated
crowds. Jorrín noticed that many of the dancers at these gigs had difficulty with the
syncopated rhythms of the danzón-mambo. To make his music more appealing to
dancers, Jorrín began composing songs where the melody was marked strongly on
the first downbeat and the rhythm was less syncopated.[4] When Orquesta América
performed these new compositions at the Silver Star Club in Havana, it was noticed
that the dancers had improvised a triple step in their footwork producing the sound
"cha-cha-cha". Thus, the new style came to be known as "cha-cha-chá" and became
associated with a dance where dancers perform a triple step.[5]

The basic footwork pattern of cha-cha-chá (one-two-cha-cha-cha) is also found in
several Afro-Cuban dances from the Santería religion. For example, one of the steps
used in the dance for the orisha Ogun uses an identical footwork pattern. These

two. The knee of the right leg must stay straight and close to the back of the left knee. "four-and-one. the left leg having straightened just prior to receiving part weight. chacha. and other Cuban charanga orchestras quickly imitated this new style. many social dancers count "one. two. File:Dance reedit 2. The music for the international ballroom cha-cha-chá is energetic and with a steady beat. and by 1955 the music and dance of the cha-cha-chá had become popular in Latin America. though it can start with a transfer of weight to the lead's right. These were the first cha-cha-chá compositions ever recorded. Basic step of cha-cha-chá[edit] The basic pattern involves the lead (usually the man) taking a checked forward step with the left foot. three. chachacha". They immediately became hits in Havana. which had been a worldwide craze a few years earlier. there was a cha-cha-chá craze in Havana’s dance halls. retaining some weight on the right foot. popularizing both the music and the associated dance. and Western Europe.[9] The original Cuban and the ballroom cha-cha count is "two. one".[10] Nevertheless. two.[6] Thus. Soon.webm Video of dancer Mimi Tse doing the cha cha with partner Styles of cha-cha-chá dance may differ in the place of the chasse in the rhythmical structure. the United States. especially those of African origin.[8] Description[edit] Cha-cha-chá is danced to authentic Cuban music. three. cha-cha-cha" and may find it difficult to make the adjustment to the correct timing of the dance. on the Cuban record label Panart. This craze soon spread to Mexico City.Afro-Cuban dances predate the development of cha-cha-chá and were known by many Cubans in the 1950s.[7] In 1953 Orquesta América released two of Jorrin’s new compositions. "two. This step is taken on the second . although in ballroom competitions it is often danced to Latin Pop or Latin Rock. The Cuban cha-cha-chá is more sensual and may involve complex polyrhythms. some[who?] have speculated that the footwork of the cha-cha-chá was inspired by these AfroCuban dances. three" or "one. "La Engañadora" and "Silver Star". following in the footsteps of the mambo. three. chacha". The dance does not start on the first beat of a bar.

and finally there is a last step to the left with the left foot. When weight is released from a foot. the heel should release from the floor first. These three steps constitute the cha-cha chasse. A step to the side is taken with the left foot. The checked first step is a later development in the "international cha-cha" style. In general. however. Then a chasse is danced RLR. It is possible it will shoot slightly but no deliberate flexing of the free leg is attempted. In traditional American Rhythm style.beat of the bar. Hip movement[edit] A young girl dancing cha-cha-chá The girl moves her hips while holding the torso relatively still. The other leg is allowed to remain straight. This is quite different from technique associated with salsa. Full weight is returned to the right leg on the second step (beat three). and then with the heel lowering when the weight is fully transferred. Because of the action used during the forward step (the one taking only part weight) the basic pattern turns left. for instance. The length of the steps in the chasse depends very much on the effect the dancer is attempting to make. allowing the toe to maintain contact with the floor. For steps taking a single beat the first half of the beat constitutes the foot movement and the second half is taken up by the hip movement. though in modern . Each partner is now in a position to dance the bar their partner just danced.[10] The partner takes a step back on the right foot. the right foot is half closed towards the left foot (typically leaving both feet under the hips or perhaps closed together). Hence the fundamental construction of Cha-cha extends over two bars. Hip actions are allowed to occur at the end of every step. steps in all directions should be taken first with the ball of the foot in contact with the floor. some steps require that the heel remain lifted from the floor. Latin hip movement is achieved through the alternate bending and straightening action of the knees. The fourth beat is split in two so the count of the next three steps is 4-and-1. On the next beat (beat three) weight is returned to the left leg. The hip sway eliminates any increase in height as the feet are brought towards each other. whereas in earlier times Cha-cha was danced without rotation of the alignment. the knee being straightened as full weight is taken.

he . Without a doubt though… Cha-Cha is the one Latin dance rhythm that has been integrated into more American pop music than any other. When you try to research its origins. One person who undeniably had a lot to do with it was a Cuban violinist named Enrique Jorrin. the technique is virtually identical to the "international Latin" style. As a step is taken. the basis of the modern dance was laid down in the 1950s by Pierre & Lavelle[11] and developed in the 1960s by Walter Laird and other top competitors of the time. In general. It should then remain straight until it is completely free of weight again.org/wiki/Cha-cha-cha_(dance) You can call it Cha-Cha or Cha-Cha-Cha. International Latin style cha-cha[edit] Cha-cha is one of the five dances of the "Latin American" program of international ballroom competitions. The basic steps taught to learners today are based on these accounts. particularly in competition dancing. https://en. but in essence is still firmly based on its Cuban origin in the 1950s. The likelihood is that only professional ballroom dancers really care (I call it “Cha-Cha” simply because it is quicker to say). In 1954. a free leg will straighten the instant before it receives weight. The modern ballroom technique of Cha-cha (and other ballroom dances) does undergo gradual evolution. while a member of the Orquesta America Charanga. As described above. In the international Latin style.competitive dancing. the weighted leg is almost always straight. The free leg will bend. you get a few different stories that do sort of tie in together. steps are kept compact and the dance is danced generally without any rise and fall. allowing the hips to naturally settle into the direction of the weighted leg.wikipedia.

One of my favorites too! The instrument originally was made from a plant in Haiti that has seedpods called ‘Cha-Cha‘. It later incorporated many rock and roll attributes as well as became a common theme sound in commercials and shows…like “I love Lucy”. The leader of the band used the ‘Cha-Cha’ as a metronome to keep the group in rhythm. It turned out many people liked it.made several recordings wherein he slowed down the orchestra’s mambo beat because several ladies had complained it was too fast. Locals made small rattles from them known as ‘Cha-Cha’ and the music was played by Voodoo bands (really! I’m not making this up!).I think that it might be that the guys in the band who coined the term ‘ChaCha‘ had already heard the sound made by this ‘bean’ instrument. So…. The modern style of dancing cha-cha comes from a dance teacher named Monsieur Pierre Zurcher-Margolle. Sounds possible too. The orchestra continued to play and promote the new dance and by 1959 people all over America were ‘ga-ga over the Cha-Cha‘ and it was said to be the one of the most popular latin dances in America.the dance became very popular in America and even today it is one of the five top Latin American dances in professional ballroom competitions. Sounds plausible doesn’t it? Cha-Cha Explanation Another explanation I’ve heard is that the name ‘Cha-Cha’ first popped up in Haiti where it was the name of an instrument used to keep time. He brought it back to England from a trip to Cuba in l952. doesn’t it? Anyway…. “Tea for Two”…I’m sure you may have heard others. This orchestra came from Cuba and they claimed that when Cuban ladies danced. their heels smacked the floor making a sound that was later described as ‘Cha-Cha’. This is the instrument that later became the ‘guijro’ which is used in all latin percussion ensembles today. .

It is very. you really don’t hear too much Cha-Cha.Cha-Cha seems to be the hardest to learn as many find learning the beats to be a challenge. Bruce Lee won the Hong Kong Crown Colony Cha-Cha Championship. sexy and sensual. Nowadays. First of all… The hip movement and staccato footwork. Certainly not as much as I’d like. Of all the latin ‘street dances’….In 1958 at age18. infectious and upbeat…although it can also sound very nice slowed down. http://dancetherapystudios. It is a really fun dance and it can really distinguish you on the dance floor. very “latin”. Cha-Cha Is Unique There are a few things that are very unique about Cha-Cha. Its unique rhythm and sound is considered very flirty. Finally.Dancers found the rhythm and the music very infectious and this is probably how it got into the area of popular social and professional competition dancing. in the salsa clubs. if you want some Cha-Cha trivia….com/cha-cha/a-brief-history-of-cha-cha-dancing/ .