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Cha Cha is a fun, sexy and flirtatious party dance, full of energy.

In the 1940's Cha Cha music was created in Cuba by a violinist named Enrique Jerrin.  The sound of the Cha Cha is the origin of it's name.  The dance is a takeoff of the Mambo.  Starting off as a modified Mambo before evolving into its own dance.  In fact, before it was ever called Cha Cha it was called the "Triple Mambo".

Cha Cha really became popular during the 1950's.  Originally the dance was called Cha- Cha-Cha but in the 50's Arthur Murray officially renamed it "Cha Cha" to emphasize that there are only two "quicks" in the basic step. 
 

Timing
Music = 4/4 Timing
Rhythm* = S, S, S, Q, Q (slow, slow, slow, quick, quick)
Counts (TYPE I) =
1-2,3-4,5-6, 7, 8   (accent on the 1) 
Counts (TYPE II) =
1, 2, 3, Cha -Cha   (accent on the 1)
Counts (TYPE III) =
1, 2, 3, 4 & 1   (accent on the 1)

As you can see there are many ways to keep time when you are dancing the Cha Cha.  Try each type of counts and see what works best for you.

*Remember every Slow equals two Quicks; every quick counts as 1 count.
 
Music
Cha Cha music has a medium tempo with a steady beat.  Traditional Cha-Cha music is a mixture of Cuban & African rhythms and the steady beat often sounds like a "cows bell".  Of course today's Cha Cha can be danced to much of our popular music from country to pop.

Examples:
Tito Puente - "Oye Como Va"
Carlos Santana - "Smooth", "Black Magic Woman"
Tom Jones - "Sex Bomb"
Debelah Morgan - "Dance With Me"
 

Styling 
One of the most important styling aspects of the Cha Cha as with many of your Latin dances is Cuban Motion.  Cuban motion is your hip movement which is a result of the alternate bending and straightening of the knees.  You should never have two straight legs or two bent legs at the same time.

As true with other Latin dances be sure to keep your weight over the balls of your feet.  When taking your steps the ball of your foot should contact the floor first, followed by the heel. Cha Cha is one of your faster dances so steps should be kept moderately small and tight.
 

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