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The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH)

Cha Cha

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Fred Kelly Information: A dance.

The Cha-cha-chá, or simply Cha-cha in the United States, is a dance of Cuban origin. It is danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in the early 1950s. This rhythm was developed from the danzón-mambo. The name of the dance is an onomatopoeia derived from the shuffling sound of the dancers' feet.

The Cha-cha was brought to the United States by dance teacher Fred Kelly, older brother and first teacher of Gene Kelly. Fred's dance shoes hung on the Wall of Fame at Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom, which gave him credit for introducing the cha-cha to America.

Translation: Sound of shuffling feet

Pronunciation: CHAH chah

Other names: Ha-cha-cha, Cha Cha Cha

Region: United States


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