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CHA CHA DANCING IN Sherman Oaks CA - Cha Cha dance lessons



An exciting, syncopated, Latin dance, which originated in the 1950s as a slowed down Mambo, the Cha Cha gathers its personality, character, rhythm, basis, and charm from two major dance sources. It is a derivation of the Mambo through its Latin music, and it is also a stepchild of the Swing, as it is danced to a 1-2-3 step rhythm. The Cha Cha gets its name and character from its distinct repetitive foot rhythm.



The Cha-Cha is basically a triple rhythm Mambo (3 step rhythm to two beats of music, usually slower) done in 4/4 time, around 126 beats per minute. The dance may have been introduced to the world by a British dance teacher 'Pierre Leville' who noticed that the Rumba was occasionally danced with a couple of extra steps. He brought the idea back with him to Europe around 1952. In 1953 the Cuban dance orchestra "America" in Havana, started playing the Danzon' with a new syncopated beat, which sounded like a slow mambo. Later it was learned in 1954 that Enrique Jorrin, also of the band "America," was said to create the full version of the Cha-Cha back in 1948 by mixing the Danzon and Montuno music together while touring in the U.S. (some say Mexico). Basically he just called the dance after the shuffle he heard in the music. The Cha-Cha and Rumba are related to the Mambo (salsa) Dance.

Cuban Mambo dancers would add a slight triple hip movement to this syncopation which eventually was replaced by a triple step rhythm. The Cha-Cha was introduced to the United States in 1954 and by 1959 the U.S. was Cha-Cha crazy. The Cha Cha has the same rhythm as the Lindy (8 counts) such as 1-2/3&4/5-6/7&8. The words Cha-Cha hail from certain plants, producing seed pods in the West Indies called Cha-Cha (Spanish means nursemaid). These seed pods are used to make a small rattle called a Cha-Cha (maracas). This instrument is used kinda like a metronome by certain bands. The Guaracha was a Theater dance originating in the late 1500's from Cuba or Spain, and was done in 3/8 time. It was danced by one person, accompanied by the guitar which some report was the precursor to the Cha-Cha. There are Sheet Music covers and a few stage plays done in the 1930's which may have some connection to the Cha-Cha as well. The Pachanga replaced the Cha-Cha in popularity.


For more information about Cha Cha dance lessons in Sherman Oaks CA or to schedule free Cha Cha dance lessons in Sherman Oaks CA, please call (916) 607-0852

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