17 Feb

Cha Cha Cha

The Cha Cha Cha is a Latin-American dance with 4-beat-count, originally from Cuba.

The dance is a further development of mambo and was introduced by bandleader Enrique Jorrin in 1953. It is considered to have gotten it's name after the pattern of the steps: 2 slow steps followed by 3 quick steps (go-go-cha-cha-cha). The dance came to USA through Mexico and from there on to Europe, where it became very popular. So How did all of this come about?

Ballroom instructors who attended Mambo clubs, especially the Palladium where Mambo stars like Cuban Pete performed virtually every weekend, were invaluable to the standardization and codification of the first Mambo dance steps. Borrowing the idea from the East Coast Swing, the single, double, and triple steps were added between the rock steps of the Mambo as the musicians played one of three main tempos; the Bolero, the Son, or the Guaracha. All three tempos were called Mambo and it was not long until dance studios were selling the new Mambo dance to eager students. Eventually, the triple-step (Guaracha) Mambo basic was renamed the Cha-Cha-Cha.

Fast Facts

  • The Cha Cha is a cheeky, lively and flirtatious dance. It has a catch-me-if-you-can atmosphere, and is light and bubbly.
  • It has a distinctive syncopation where 5 steps are danced to four beats hence the 'One, two, three, cha cha cha' description.
  • The dance is originally from Cuba.
  • The Cha Cha was first called the "Triple Mambo".

C Team JCP 7644

Cha Cha Timetable
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Distinctive Moves

  • Triple steps (chassez) and rock steps are the basic components of the Cha Cha. Since the Cha Cha is derived from the Rumba and Mambo dances, Cuban Motion is an important aspect of this dance as well as maintaining quick compact steps. Cuban Motion describes the hip motion resulting from the alternate bending and straightening of the knees.
  • The dancers should synchronize movements, working in parallel with each other.
  • The New Yorker is a characteristic move, where a dancer steps across their partner and checks to change direction.

Did you know? - The Cha Cha Cha originated in the Mambo and was first called the "Triple Step Mambo".


About Latinissimo

Latinissimo was first founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 specializing in street Latin dance. 2005 Latinissimo relocated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed by World Salsa Champion Giancarlo, Latinissimo as a school has performed, taught and competed across 4 continents, are multiple international and national champions and have produced two World Amateur Salsa Champions.

  • Latinissimo Dance New Zealand
  • 0210 29 88 164
  • Email us HERE
  • Candy Lane Studios, 44 Mt Eden Rd, Auckland
  • Empire Dance Studios, 2 Bond St, Auckland

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