Cha Cha Music 101! All the basics you need to know about cha cha music, from counting, musicality and song examples. 


Cha Cha Music


Counting the Basic Rhythm:1,2,3, 4 & 1  (the “4&1” is the cha cha cha part)


Time Signature:

4/4  (4 beats per bar of music)


 Strong accent on count 1, secondary accent on count 4

Beat Value:

count 1= 1 beat, count 2=1 beat, count 3=1 beat, count 4=half beat, count “and”=half beat



International Cha Cha    Pro & Amateur    Pro-Am

Beats per Minute              124                        124

American Cha Cha           Pro & Amateur    Pro-Am

Beats per Minute              120                        120 

*NDCA approved tempi


Song Examples:

Vintage Cha Cha – “Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White” by Perez Prado

Latin Cha Cha – “Oye Como Va” by Tito Puente

Contemporary Cha Cha – “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke



The style for both the Latin American and American Cha Cha music is the same. It is can be characterized by either Latin style rhythms and percussion or contemporary pop-style dance music, making this dance a versatile interpretation for both traditional Latin music and also popular club music. There is a difference between the tempos of the International and American style cha chas, with the International style being danced a faster speed.  Cha Cha is a fun, cheeky dance which plays to the rhythmical and upbeat music it is danced to. On the basic step, count 4 is syncopated, but other counts may be syncopated depending on the pattern to create speed and dynamic rhythm.

Opt In Image
Hey Dancers! We've Got Your Back!
Love this content? Sign up now for email updates (it's FREE!)

we respect your privacy and will never share your information! Unsubscribe at any time.