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The Cha Cha
Posted by TipToePride
12/21/2012  9:59:00 AM
Regarding the count, why does the count start with a 2 ?
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by nloftofan1
12/22/2012  12:42:00 PM
Historically (I think) Cha-Cha developed from Mambo, which breaks on the 2 beat. Musically (an instructor pointed out) there is a difference between starting a movement on the downbeat (1) and the upbeat (2). That's the reason why Mambo and Salsa look different even though many of the steps are the same. Breaking on the downbeat makes it look more "laid back." Breaking on the upbeat makes it look "sharper" (more "upbeat").

Technically, the rhythm (slows and quicks) is the same but the timing (which beat of the music a movement starts on) is different. The instructor I mentioned demonstrated this by dancing a simple Waltz box, but stepping forward on the 2 beat instead of the 1 beat. And he was right; it looked different.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by hitman1981
12/22/2012  3:14:00 PM
You can start with 1. It's called a prepatory step. Rumba is the same way, where in international style you do a prep step on 4-1, and start on beat 2. American style rumba starts on beat 1. Cha cha is the same in both.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by socialdancer
12/23/2012  4:32:00 AM
It's all down to the music. There should be an obvious split beat which is where the chasse fits. Everything then falls into place around that.

Cha Cha music has that split on beat 4, so it goes 1,2,3,4&. This makes the last step of the chasse on beat 1, and we break forward or back on beat 2.


Cha Cha Cha music (note the extra cha) splits beat 3 thus 1,2,3&4 which puts the chasse at the end of the bar and the break now comes on beat 1.

This gives a rather flat interpretation, counting 1,2,cha-cha-cha

If you can find some real music and place more hip emphasis on the last step of the chasse you get a much more exciting dance, counted (1)2,3,cha-cha-ONE.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by nloftofan1
12/25/2012  7:32:00 AM
The count doesn't start with a 2. That's the point that a local instructor (NOT the instructor I mentioned in a separate post, who concentrated on the difference [and the relationship] between rhythm and timing) makes. This instructor's view is summed up in the statement that the dance is the Cha-Cha, not (as you often hear) the "Cha-Cha-Cha."

Again, it has to do with the music. A measure starts (obviously) with the "1" beat, and in the case of the basic movement the dancers take a side step on this beat. The measure ends with a chasse (4-&). The next step is a side step, taken on the 1 beat of the next measure. Her view is that thinking of the combination (chasse followed by side step) as "cha-cha-cha" is wrong, and leads to sloppy dancing.

More fuel for the fire.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by BioSimon
12/25/2012  7:55:00 AM
In the International technique, the dance is called the Cha Cha Cha (three syllables).

The Laird Technique of Latin Dancing (2003) states that the first two steps of the Cha Cha Cha Chasse are danced on 4 &, while the last step of the Chasse coincides with beat 1 of the next bar of music.

Further, the dance is supposed to be started on beat 1.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by nloftofan1
12/26/2012  7:33:00 AM
The ISTD calls the dance "Cha-Cha":

http://www.wright-house.com/dance/istd-international-latin-syllabus-ballroom-dance.html
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by terence2
12/30/2012  5:53:00 AM


The origin of Cha Cha, is Guajira ( breaks on "1" ) and also danced in mambo,old school, called triple Mambo .Guajira is also a dance in its own right .

Latin music ( Son Rhythms ) are quite specific in their intent, and Guajiras, to many, may sound like Cha Cha,to which one may dance Cha Cha.. but.. the Cha Cha composition only has one syncop. action which " joins " 2 bars together, if you will as in 4and 1.

The syncop. in Guajira, is included in the same bar.. 1,2,3and4. There is frequently a 2nd syncop. , that is not as dominant on the 2nd bar .

The commencement of Cha Cha, differs between the Amer. style and Intern.
Amer. style commences its break, back, as opposed to the Intern. styles Fwd break. Both are " prepped " on 1 .

Chas back break beginning, is using the same format, as Mambo and Bolero ,in the Amer.style dances.

If you want to hear what a classic Guajira sounds like, check out " Guantanamera ".. there are numerous recordings ( believed to be the most recorded song in the genre ).
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by O.Z.
1/1/2013  4:18:00 PM
BioSimon Cha Cha Cha was altered to Cha Cha several years ago. Must have been at the very least ten years ago.
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by terence2
1/3/2013  7:37:00 AM


Its just semantics..
Re: The Cha Cha
Posted by BioSimon
1/4/2013  1:02:00 PM
Thanks for this piece of info! :)

What I was merely trying to state is that the Cha Cha Cha (with three syllables) is the very same dance.

Greetings and a Happy New Year to everyone!
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