Cha-cha-cha or simply Cha-Cha is a little brother of Mambo. It originated from Cuba in the late 1940’s where it evolved from the Danzon. The primary difference in Cha-Cha is the addition of a triple step that replaces the slow step in Mambo. Funny enough, this syncopation has given its name to this dance. Indeed the name Cha-Cha is said to arise from the sound of dance shoes slapping against the floor in the cha cha “chassé”.
Cha-Cha became a popular social ballroom dance in the United States in the early 1950’s. From then, two distinct branches of cha-cha-cha were born: ballroom Cha-cha-cha and street Cha-cha-cha. The former turned into one of the 5 international classic latin dances (with Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive). The latter rapidly gave rise to different sub-genre such as Boogaloo, Shing-a-Ling or Latin Funk.
What is truly captivating with Cha-Cha is the way it enables the dancers to connect with the music. The slower speed of Cha-Cha beat allows to bring more subtleness, richness and complexity while interacting with the music. Knowing Cha-Cha-Cha also makes some of the best Latin Music (from Tito Puente in the Palladium Era to the 60’s Boogaloo Era) available to you as a dancer.