Latin dancing is about having FUN! It's not about the complicated patterns, being the best, or showing off to an audience; it's about feeling the music, letting it move you, and enjoying it with the person you're dancing with! It can be addictive, a great way to meet new friends, and excellent exercise. Latin dancing is so much fun that it has transcended the Latin community and is danced around the world. In fact, phenomenal Latin bands have emerged everywhere from Scotland to Japan!
The Cha Cha Cha is a super playful dance can be done to much of today’s popular musi
Cha Cha Cha (or just Cha Cha for short) is a super playful dance that can be done to much of today’s popular music. It was born in the early 50s when the syncopated triple step (like in swing) was added to the mambo on the 4&5 and 8&1 beats. In fact, the dance was originally called the Triple Mambo. The name Cha Cha Cha came from the sound of the distinctive guiro instrument and of the dancer’s heals as they shuffled on the triple step.
Cha Cha comes in two styles: ballroom and club/social. We teach social style. The biggest difference between the two is that the chasse (the “cha cha cha” part) in ballroom is done to the side, traveling a great distance, whereas socially in clubs it is forwards/backwards and kept much smaller. The moves in social style Cha Cha are very similar to salsa; there are generally no open breaks, which are trademark of the ballroom style and designed to present to a judge.
Both styles are danced on2, like mambo or NY style salsa. (Sometimes, other instructors will initially teach it on1 because it’s generally easier to learn that way, then correct the timing later.) There are also a few modern songs that do have the syncopation on 3&4 and thus can be danced on1. (Technically, these are actually Guajiras, another style of music very similar to cha cha. But I digress.) As always, the golden rule of social dancing is to dance to what you feel in the music :)