SaddleBrooke Ballroom Dance Club – I love cha cha

Steve Holdener

When you hear a great cha-cha (which is also known as cha-cha-cha) your blood gets going and your body starts flowing to the beat of a dance of Cuban origin. According to Wikipedia the cha-cha was “danced to the music of the same name introduced by Cuban composer and violinist Enrique Jorrín in 1953. This rhythm was developed from the danzón (the official musical genre and dance of Cuba) by syncopation (a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm) of the fourth beat. The name is onomatopoeic (i.e., it phonetically imitates, resembles or suggests the source of the sound that it describes), derived from the rhythm of the güiro (scraper) and the shuffling of the dancers’ feet. The ballroom style of dancing the cha-cha-chá comes from studies made by dance teacher Monsieur Pierre (Pierre Zurcher-Margolle), who partnered Doris Lavelle. Pierre, then from London, visited Cuba in 1952 to find out how and what Cubans were dancing at the time. He noted that this new dance had a split fourth beat and to dance it one started on the second beat, not the first. He brought this dance idea to England and eventually created what is now known as ballroom cha-cha-cha.”

“Cha-cha-cha may be danced to authentic Cuban music or to Latin Pop or Latin Rock. The music for the international ballroom cha-cha-cha is energetic and with a steady beat. The Cuban cha-cha-chá is more sensual and may involve complex polyrhythms.”

A favorite cha-cha tune of mine is In These Shoes? by Bette Midler from her Bette album. Also the group Santana recorded excellent cha-cha tunes such as Oye Como Va and Smooth.

Our dance club provides a forum via our monthly dinner/dances at HOA 1 in the Vistas Dining Room with the adjacent Vermilion Room dance floor on the first Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. as well as weekly open dances/practices on Sunday afternoons (4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at MountainView Ballroom) and Wednesday afternoons (4:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Vermilion Room). We have wonderful music provided by great DJs who play excellent dance music.

The Ballroom Dance Club is planning five separate dinner/dances for 2014/2015, starting with November 14 and December 27, 2014; then on to January 16, March 20 and April 11, 2015. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendars for the end of this year and the winter/spring months of 2015.

You are very welcome to join us and meet new and old friends and share in the joy of dancing at our first Tuesday gatherings at the SaddleBrooke Clubhouse as well as the weekly open dances/practices. You are invited to visit the new Facebook page that we share with Let’s Dance (just type Let’s Dance in the search box on Facebook). Please feel free to share your own favorite dance story or ballroom tune; you can write me at [email protected].