In the late 1940′s Havana, Cuba had one of the most popular resorts for North Americans especially those residing along the East Coast. All of the most famous American dance bands and outstanding Latin bands in Cuba played at the casinos. Some of the bands combined the American Jazz beat with the Cuban Rumba rhythm which created a new rhythm called the Mambo. A dance was developed to the new mambo rhythm which was danced on the off beat rather than the traditional downbeat. There were three versions of the Mambo one of them was called the “Catch” which evolved the three quick changes of weighting and two slow steps. By the 1950′s this dance was comprised of many variations of the basic footwork. This style became very popular and was renamed Cha Cha.
The Cha Cha is a non-progressive, lively, fun dance, which uses a “ball flat” action and keeps the body over the feet. The hips and legs are used to produce a strong, rhythmical movement that compliments the music. This dance has closed positions as well as single handhold and double handhold movements. Because of this dance’s easy adaptation of modern music, the Cha Cha is probably the most popular of the Latin dances.