The Cha Cha Cha originated in Cuba in the early 1950s and refers to a style of ballroom dancing included in DanceSport categories of competition. The Cha Cha Cha can be danced in either the International Latin Style or the American Rhythm Style. This dance was derived from the Rumba and the Mambo.
The Cha Cha Cha is danced to the music introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in the early 1950s. This rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo. The name “Cha Cha Cha” is onomatopoetic, derived from the shuffling sound of the dancers’ feet. The word imitates the sound of the steps, the rendering of the two quick steps on the split 4th beat (4 and), followed by another slow step on beat 1. The Cha Cha Cha count within the bar is 2, 3, 4, and 1, or slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. The movement starts on the 2nd beat of the bar and finishes on the 1st beat of the next bar – contratiempo Cubano. The Cha Cha Cha is danced to authentic Cuban music, although in ballroom competitions, it is often danced to Latin Pop or Latin Rock. The music for the International Style Cha Cha Cha is energetic and has a steady beat. The Cuban Cha Cha Cha is more sensual and may involve complex poly-rhythms.