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American Rhythm

  • Cha Cha

Cha Cha is a ballroom dance as well as historically a street dance, therefore it can take on different stylings.  Our curriculum includes what we believe are the best elements and patterns from both to create an exciting and useful social dance.

It takes its name from the characteristic “cha cha cha” shuffle step in the middle of each pattern. Many patterns are shared with Salsa, Mambo, Swing, and Rumba, but Cha Cha is more rhythmically complex.  The music is in 4/4, but the patterns are usually 8 or more beats.   Although some mistakenly learn the Cha Cha with a break step on 1, the correct way to dance the Cha Cha is to start the break step on the 2nd beat.   Therefore, the dance is counted:  2 3 4&5 6 7 8&1--where the 4&5 and 8&1 is the Cha Cha Cha. Cha Cha is an excellent dance for developing footwork and timing.

  • Rumba

A slower and romantic cousin to Salsa, this Latin dance is perfect for contemporary and classic pop ballads, as well as Latin love songs. Because it is a slower Latin dance, it can be ideal for dancers practicing the distinctive hip and body motion of the Afro-Cuban dances like Salsa, Mambo, and Cha Cha. You’ll see Rumba at Salsa clubs, lounges, weddings, and Ballroom dance events

  • East Coast Swing

Sometimes referred to as Jitterbug or simply as Swing, this is the easiest of the swing dances to learn. It’s also one of the most commonly known dances in America. Because of its popularity and fun energetic music, East Coast Swing should be a staple in your dance repertoire.

Swing has been around since the 1920’s, and has evolved with each decade’s popular music.  With roots in jazz, it is also great for big band, rock n’ roll, and blues music.

  • Bolero

An elegant dance done to slow romantic music, Bolero incorporates steps, patterns, and rhythm of Latin dances with the styling of smooth ballroom.

  • Mambo

A sibling to Salsa, Mambo can be danced to the same music and has similar step patterns. Traditional Mambo was popular in the 1940’s and 50’s and remains popular today as part of Ballroom dance syllabus world-wide. It’s main difference from Salsa is that the break step begins on the 2nd beat of the phrase and there is no weight change on the first and fifth beat of the phrase. A newer style of Mambo, also called NY-Style Mambo, or Salsa on 2, also breaks on the 2nd beat of the phrase but patterns and weight changes happen on beats 1 and 5, where beats 4 and 8 do not have weight changes. This gives the newer style of mambo a more laid-back and deliberate look.

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