DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHA CHA, RUMBA, SALSA, BACHATA

Updated: May 30, 2020

We have so many beginner students asking us what are differences between these popular Latin dances. We decided to write some basic explanation clearing some of the mystery around Cha Cha, Salsa, Rumba and Bachata. The majority of these styles are enjoyed by social dancers in Latin clubs all around the world. They are usually performed to authentic latin music or sometimes to more modern pop music. Sensual, electrifying and sexy are words that often associated with these dances and thats why so many people are drawn to them.


What is Cha Cha


Characteristics: Playful, staccato music, slick, energetic.


Music: Cha Cha is danced in 4/4 timing. Most of the time is counted as "1-2-3-Cha-Cha" where 1,2,3 represent the full beats and the Cha Cha's are half beats. Sometimes we can count this dance as "1-2-3-4-and" or "cha-cha-cha-2-3". This dance style can be danced to authentic Cuban Music or modern Latin Pop. It has steady but yet energetic beat.


Origin: This dance style originated in Cuba. It became popular in the United States and around the world in the late 50s and it's still one of the most popular Latin dances today. Most people are familiar with the Ballroom dance version used at dance competitions in the International Latin or American Rhythm divisions or they might've seen it on Dancing With The Stars.