Cha Cha evolved from a version of Cuban Mambo called “Triple Mambo”. As music always dictates the dance, triple steps were inserted between the forward and back breaks when a slower version of Mambo music was played. Reportedly, Cha Cha got its name from the sound of women’s shoes shuffling across the floor.
Cha Cha was introduced to the US in the early 1950’s and promptly sparked a dance craze. Enrique Jorrin, a Cuban violinist, is attributed with creating the first Cha Chas song. After arriving in the US, the traditional violins and flutes were often exchanged for big band instruments such as trumpet, trombone and saxophone.
Cha Cha is lively and fun. A non progressive dance, it emphasizes Cuban motion and rhythm expressed throughout the body.