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Cha-cha-cha

    Cha-cha-cha as a music genre was invented at the Silver Star Club in Havana, Cuba early in the 1950’s by Enrique Jorrín, violinist and composer with Orquesta América and it stands as proof that the relationship between musicians and dancers is a symbiosis.

    Jorrín noticed that some dancers were having difficulty with the fast pace of some of his son, danzón and mambo numbers, so he created slower, less syncopated and more melodic versions of his best hits. The resulting music had wider appeal, especially with the casual dancing crowd. But then he noticed that the more serious dancers found the music too slow and were syncopating the end of the bars in order to fill the time by doing a triple step. The orchestra followed the dancer’s footwork and added extra percussions to give birth to the cha-cha-cha sound.

    Just like the Mambo a decade earlier, Cha-cha-cha came to North America from Cuba via Mexico, where all the Latin Orchestras went to make a name for themselves. Mambo orchestras adopted it and it became an international hit. Cha-cha-cha has enjoyed periodic upsurges in popularity since the 1950’s.

    As a dance, Cha-cha-cha is lively, punchy, elegant and especially fun. Given its similarities with both swing and salsa, it is very easy to learn. Although purists enjoy the vintage Cuban sound, many dancers enjoy the fusion of cha-cha-cha with latin pop and even with rock arrangements.