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Cha Cha Cha

History

Cha-cha-cha is the name of a Latin American dance of Cuban origin. The name may also be spelled chachachá. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in 1953. This rhythm was developed from the danzón by a syncopation of the fourth beat. The name is onomatopoeic, derived from the rhythm of the güiro (scraper) and the shuffling of the dancers' feet.

The modern style of dancing the cha-cha-chá derives from studies made by dance teacher Pierre Zurcher Margolie ('Monsieur Pierre'), who partnered Doris Lavelle.[4] [5] Pierre, then from London, visited Cuba in 1952 to find out how and what Cubans were dancing at the time. He noted that this new dance had a split 4th beat, and to dance it one started on the second beat, not the first. He brought this dance idea to England and eventually created what is known now as ballroom cha-cha-cha.[6] The validity of his analysis is well established for that time, and some forms of evidence exist today. First, there is in existence film of Orquesta Jorrin playing to a cha-cha-cha dance contest in Cuba; second, the rhythm of the Benny More classic Santa Isabel de las Lajas written and recorded at about the same time is quite clearly syncopated on the fourth beat. Also, note that the slower bolero-son ("rumba") was always danced on the second beat.

About the Dance

The basic pattern involves the lead (the man) taking a checked forward step with the left foot retaining some weight on the right foot, the knee of the right leg must stay straight and close to the back of the left knee, the left leg having straightened just prior to receiving part weight. This step is taken on the second beat of the bar. Full weight is returned to the right leg on the second step (beat three.) The fourth beat is split in two so the count of the next three steps is 4-and-1. These three steps constitute the cha-cha-cha chasse. A step to the side is taken with the left foot, the right foot is half closed towards the left foot (typically leaving both feet under the hips or perhaps closed together), and finally there is a last step to the left with the left foot. The length of the steps in the chasse depend very much on the effect the dancer is attempting to make.

Class Descriptions

Cha Cha Cha Part II

Learn Social Cha-Cha-Cha CLub Style! Improvers footwork and patterns along with leading techniques and playing with the music.

Cha Cha Cha (Advanced)

Improve technique and incorporate more body movement for flavor. Learn to how to add variation to you patterns you can use all the time!

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