Cha Cha Cha – May 2016
So here is the latest update from our classes – the Cha Cha Cha. Apologies for the delay, but those of you that have seen me in class recently will know that I’ve been under the weather. My time away from the dance floor has been spent either asleep or tending to a poorly wife or poorly daughter who appears to have given us her cold!
Our latest dance is a fancy, fun and frivolous number from Cuba. It has its roots in the back streets of Havana and as with almost all Latin American dances, it has African influences too. Some of the dances that we learn in class are steeped in history and nostalgia, but the Cha Cha Cha is a relative ‘new kid on the block’ only becoming a thing since the early 50s. It basically came to be because the Mambo was too difficult! The Mambo had been around for a while and was proving a popular choice for dance fans however the music was busy and frenetic with a beat that challenged even the best of Havana’s party goers. A clever little fella who played the violin in a dance band (don’t hear many of those in a Cha Cha Cha these days!) noticed that people were struggling so he came up with a new, simpler rhythm that made the beat clearer to dance to.
When this new ‘sound’ was played, the dancers came up with their own fancy steps to the music, which seemed to include a triple step and VOILA! the Cha Cha Cha was born! It became an instant hit and soon spread across the rest of the Americas and to Europe too. So you could say that the dance was named by the dancers feet… Those are some clever Cuban heels.
When we start a new Absolute Beginners course the first dance we cover is always the Cha Cha Cha as we feel it symbolises what we do perfectly. First and foremost, it’s a bit of fun; the music is not only lively but also pretty varied as well with nice traditional tracks from Tito Puente or Santana for example or funky, modern options like Blurred Lines and Uptown Funk! The steps are pretty straight forward too, with a nice repetitive ‘step-step-cha-cha-cha’ relentlessly recurring through-out the dance, so really once you’ve grasped that basic pattern the dance is learnt and the fun can commence!
Now the routine below isn’t quite as straight forward as the basic moves we teach you at the beginning of your Cha Cha Cha career, but you can certainly see how the majority of the moves are all part of the same family. If of course you find the Cha Cha Cha too difficult, you do have an option. Remove the ‘Cha Cha Cha’ and you’re then left with a much more manageable, but all over more romantic, Rumba! But that’s not on the agenda for at least a couple more weeks…
The next dance I shall be telling you all about will be the dramatic and sultry Tango – which you can currently catch in our classes for another week or so…. (If you’re after our Absolute Beginner routine click HERE and if you’re after the ‘other’ Beginners Plus Cha Cha Cha routine, please click HERE)