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Cha-cha-cha is a descendent of the early Cuban danzon-mambo.  The mambo section was added to the danzon in the 1940s and features fast elaborate instrumental improvisation.  Enrique Jorrin is credited with creating the cha-cha-cha and legend has it that the name comes from the scrapping sounds of the dancer's feet.  Cha-cha-cha became very popular in the U.S. during the 1959's and continues to be a staple of ballrooms and salsa clubs around the world.

The dance consists of three rapid steps (a.k.a. triple step) and two slower steps on the two beat and three beat.  The couple may dance cha-cha-cha backwards and forwards or from side-to- side. The couple often separates and dances facing each other, often mirroring each others improvisations.

  Modern day salseros have incorporated many swing and ballroom elements into the cha-cha-cha rhythm.


Rebecca Mauleon, The Salsa Guidebook

Frank Figueroa,  Encyclopedia of Latin

                                American Music

Vernon Boggs, Salsiology

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