History and Characteristics of Cha Cha
The Cha Cha is an offshoot of the Mambo. In the slow Mambo tempo, there was a distinct sound in the music that people began dancing to, calling the step the “Triple Mambo.” Eventually, it evolved into a separate dance, known today as the Cha Cha.
Cha Cha is defined by its sharp angles and precise foot placements. The dance moves through two tracks on the floor. One track moves in a precise sideward direction. The other track moves in a precise forward and back direction. One of the most common mistakes that dancers tend to make in the Cha Cha is to move diagonally. This makes the dance hard for the lady to follow. Cha Cha dancers remain “grounded” at all times through the dance. This prevents the Cha Cha from looking bouncy like a Polka.
Cha Cha music is defined by a rhythm of 1, 2 and 3, 4 and 1. Most Cha Chas have a very sharp crisp sound. However, there are some Cha Chas that have a smoother, almost Rumba feeling.