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Cha cha cha
Date Issued: 2005-09-17
Postage Value: 37 cents

Commemorative issue
Let's dance
Cha cha cha

The Cha Cha Cha is a derivitive of two Latin American dances; the Peurto Rican Danzonette and the Cuban Danzon. However, the Cha Cha Cha distinguishes itself from all the other Latin dances by a vocal trademark; namely voices singing in unison with no vibrato. This new dance craze was created and introduced in the United States by Minon Mondajar in 1949...Tempo wise the Cha Cha Cha is diversified, savory and inviting in its various forms...Bolaro Cha Cha Cha, Mambo Cha Cha Cha, Danzon Cha Cha Cha and perhaps even a Samba Cha Cha Cha...brass, strings or reeds are used melodically and in rhythms against a solid Latin rhythm section with voices in unison predominating throughout."

The charanga orchestras in Cuba were quick to catch on and intrepret and refine the new styles of music developing in North America. In 1951 Cuban violinists Enrique Jorrin developed a beat with a medium rhythm that was very recognisable and not too frenetic. His idea was, that music be created so anyone could dance to it. With a defining beat and Arthur Murray's simplified steps, Cha Cha with it's characteristic hiccup on the fourth beat, became an enormously popular night club dance throughout the 1950s and up until the 1960s when it was dethroned by the pachanga and then the boogaloo (see Ricky Martin's 1999 video clip for Livin' La Vida Loca). Around this time, the DJs in the Latin Night Clubs would sing out salsa, salsa. Spice it up! Spice it up! The Salsa became the vogue. Salsa the dance is to Mambo, what Rock'a'Billy is to Rock'n'Roll. Salsa tends to be faster and more dramatic than Mambo, with the result that an extra step (a tap) was added to the Mambo to stop the dancer from moving off the beat.
 

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