Cha Cha


The Cha Cha is a Latin dance from Cuba that is flirtatious and fun. It is also known as the Cha Cha Cha and started in Cuba in the 1940's. It was developed by the violinist Enrique Jorrin as a variation on the Rumba and the Mambo. The name comes from the sound of the dancer’s shoes as they move across the floor. In the Cha Cha the slow steps from the Mambo and the Rumba are replaced with a triple step to make the fast and furious Cha Cha. Many of the other steps from both dances are still seen in the Cha Cha.

What is the Cha Cha?

This is a fun, enjoyable and playful dance that requires small steps and the ‘Cuban Motion’ that uses the hips. This is an up and down movement from the hips. This movement is made by alternately bending and straightening of the knees.

The dance is in 4/4 time but has 5 beats as can be seen by ‘One, two, cha, cha, cha”. The fourth and final beat has been made into two beats instead of just one.

The main steps of this dance are rock steps and triple steps that are small and quick and need to b maintained throughout the dance. The dancer’s need to dance in sync with, and parallel to each other and have lots of fun as they move around the floor.

Dance moves

The Cha Cha like most dances consists of named moves that are learned in combinations and sequences to make a flirtatious and fun dance to do and watch.

The names are often indicative of the movements needed but some names are just a bit wild.

  • Cha Cha Chasse
  • The Fan
  • The Hockey Stick
  • The New York
  • The New York Bus Stop
  • Underarm spot turns
  • The Liquidiser
  • Manita a mano
  • The Peek-a-boo
  • The Zig Zag

The Cha Cha should be fun and carefree with the music creating a party-like atmosphere. It can be danced to traditional Cuban music but it also fits well with country, hip hop and funk music.