Why You Should Learn Cha Cha
- Fun — Cha Cha is all about FUN! It is one of the most popular Latin rhythms anywhere you go. Weddings, clubs, cruises, your friends’ backyards — you’ll find it everywhere.
- Manage A Crowded Floor — It will teach you how to move fast on small dance floors, which, as you can imagine, is a very useful skill to have in your dance repertoire.
- Rhythm — You learn new syncopated rhythm, characteristic of the dance. “Cha Cha Cha” corresponds to the three fast sounds (often a cowbell) that you can’t resist moving to.
- Shine — You’ll learn how to let yourself shine! Shine refers to moments in the dancing where the leader, without touching their partner, calls to them with a showy movement and responds in like manner. This lets you really show off your personality. Cha Cha is stellar at building confidence, coordination, and self-expression on the dance floor. It isn’t about following or leading your partner, but leading with your body and eyes. Followers will learn to become aware of all cues their partner gives them.
- Control — Cha Cha is great for helping you work on your turns. You will develop control. You’ll learn how to move on the ball of your foot with accuracy and speed. No more losing balance after spins!
- Variety — It will teach you how to keep the lady interested! Cha Cha is all about combining patterns in interesting, new ways. Pro tip: Learn the Cross Body Lead and put it everywhere!
- Swirls — Here’s another great reason to learn the Cha Cha — swivels! They’re fun, they’re sexy, and they’re a fantastic way of showing off your legs and hips. Not to mention a calf workout.
- Cuban Motion — And on the subject of showing off your body, Cha Cha is all about that Cuban motion. You’ll learn how to move your hips properly, which is vital for any dancer to add to their dance vocabulary.
The Cha Cha is one of the most popular dances in the United States and around the world, and likely the most popular of the social Latin dances. Its energetic, infectious rhythm makes it a playful sort of dance, one that encourages everyone to cut loose and hit the dance floor. It is one of the core dances here at the Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cranford.
Developed in Cuba in the late 1940s by a man named Enrique Jorrín, the Cha Cha actually began as a derivative of the Mambo and Rumba. Jorrín, a violinist and composer, had noticed that some crowds had difficulties with the irregular rhythm of the Triple Mambo (the Danzon-Mambo). So to try to help and appeal to more dancers, he began composing songs where the melody was marked strongly on the first downbeat and the rhythm was less syncopated. The new rhythm was nearly an immediate hit and was named for the cha-cha-cha sound the dancers’ feet would make during their triple-step.
In 1953, the orchestra Jorrín worked with released the first two Cha Chas to be recorded, “La Engañadora” and “Silver Star”. By 1955, the songs and new style had hit Mexico, the United States, and most of Europe, resulting in a Cha Cha craze that mirrored the Mambo fever that had swept the dancing world just a few years prior.
Today, there are two types of the Cha Cha taught by Arthur Murray Dance Studios around the world: the International style and the Rhythm style. The more common of the two is Rhythm style. It’s fast-paced and fun, but with an earthy feeling to it, and is very popular with dance students even today. Rhythm Cha Cha is characterized by bent knees, whereas International style features straight leg actions; the difference between the two in competitive levels is nearly imperceptible.
You too could learn this fun dance style and weigh in on the debate between the two! Sign up for your complimentary first lesson today with us here at Arthur Murray Dance Center of Cranford to learn the Cha Cha and many more dances.