Cha Cha Cha

Cha Cha Cha

The Cha Cha Cha is a latin dance who's roots stem from 1950's Cuba, when a syncopated beat was added to the traditional Danzon dance. 

It took just ten years from its conception for this latin dance to take the USA by storm and take its place as one of the most popular dances. 

Also known as the Cha Cha, its name is thought to stem from the West Indian seedpods of the same name that are used as small rattles for keeping time. It later also became known as the Cha Cha Cha owing to the dance's triple step rhythm. 


There are differing styles of this dance. The one I will describe here is often referered to as social or Cuban Cha Cha. The other variation is international or ballroom cha cha, which was created by Monsieur Pierre, following an inspirational trip to Cuba. He adapted the Cuban dance and introduced it as one of the five latin dances of the international ballroom competitions.

Cha Cha Cha

The Cha Cha Cha is a latin dance who's roots stem from 1950's Cuba, when a syncopated beat was added to the traditional Danzon dance. 

It took just ten years from its conception for this latin dance to take the USA by storm and take its place as one of the most popular dances. 

Also known as the Cha Cha, its name is thought to stem from the West Indian seedpods of the same name that are used as small rattles for keeping time. It later also became known as the Cha Cha Cha owing to the dance's triple step rhythm. 


There are differing styles of this dance. The one I will describe here is often referered to as social or Cuban Cha Cha. The other variation is international or ballroom cha cha, which was created by Monsieur Pierre, following an inspirational trip to Cuba. He adapted the Cuban dance and introduced it as one of the five latin dances of the international ballroom competitions.


The Music

Traditionally Cha Cha music uses Congas, Guiro and Cowbells as the prominent percussion instruments. It can be characterised by the distinctive "da, da, cha cha cha" rhythm that is played out by the cowbell. 


These days however it is danced to a wide variety of popular music, not just those of latin origin. While these may lack the distinctive Cuban percussion, they still retain the rhythmic feel required to dance to them.

(Click the play icon along side the tracks above to listen to them)

Traditionally Cha Cha music uses Congas, Guiro and Cowbells as the prominent percussion instruments. It can be characterised by the distinctive "da, da, cha cha cha" rhythm that is played out by the cowbell. 

These days however it is danced to a wide variety of popular music, not just those of latin origin. While these may lack the distinctive Cuban percussion, they still retain the rhythmic feel required to dance to them.

(Click the play icon along side the tracks above to listen to them)

The Basic Step

The footwork for the basic Cha Cha step is very similar to the Salsa Basic Step although it is danced on the second beat and instead of pausing on the forth and eighth beat, you continue to step in a sort of shuffle. The timing of this is three steps across the forth and fifth beats, and again across the eighth and first.

The video below demonstrates this.



Watch It In Action

So you can see this dance in action, I've added the video below. Rather than giving you a ballroom performer's view, putting on a choreographed dance display that's all lifts and solo work, I wanted to show you how the Cubans do it, dancing together. 

I can only apologies for the poor video quality, but could not find a high quality clip with Cuban dancers.



Top 5 Songs

(Click the play icon along side the tracks above to listen to them)

Preview my personal top five favourite tracks to the left, or listen to the full playlist in Youtube below.

(Tracks are ordered starting from my most favourite.)


You will find I tend towards the more modern contemporary tracks, as opposed to traditional tunes. But that's just me. There are some great Cuban songs out there.


If you like what you hear you can purchase each song by clicking on the View button alongside the track you like on the left.



Preview my personal top five favourite tracks above, or listen to the full playlist in Youtube below.

(Tracks are ordered starting from my most favourite.)

You will find I tend towards the more modern contemporary tracks, as opposed to traditional tunes. But that's just me. There are some great Cuban songs out there.


If you like what you hear you can purchase each song by clicking on the View button alongside the track you like above.





Do You Have A Favourite Song?

So what's your favourite song to dance cha cha to? Come and share it with us by entering it in the comments box below. I'd love to publicise a visitor chart of top tunes if I get enough.



Salsa Dancers Latin Dances Cha Cha Cha