Definition of cha-cha in US English:


(also cha-cha-cha)


  • 1A ballroom dance with small steps and swaying hip movements, performed to a Latin American rhythm.

    ‘his feet begin to move in an unmistakable cha-cha’
    • ‘Well, I'm gonna sing all the songs in Spanish, and then I'm gonna do the cha-cha-cha.’
    • ‘One gentleman even stayed after class to show me the classical version of a cha-cha-cha because, never having taken traditional ballroom dancing, I didn't know.’
    • ‘Panico, the dancer from Naples who has been wrapping herself around Maradona's new body through tangos, waltzes, two-steps and cha-cha-chas, arrived in Argentina to learn that she and Diego had had their last dance.’
    • ‘Salsa is still relatively new compared to other Latin American dances such as the cha-cha-cha or the samba, and as such is still in the process of evolving.’
    • ‘After all, he was also mastering the cha-cha, and he had been acting in local films since he was six years old, sometimes alongside his father.’
    • ‘Mamba, cha-cha, salsa, rumba, timba and bolero are but a few of the exotic flavours the Afro-Cuban All Stars have sampled from the Latin dance menu.’
    • ‘The next hour is spent dancing the tango, the waltz the rumba, the cha-cha and jive.’
    • ‘As a result, my tomboy daughter has become a fan of Latin and shimmies around in sparkly silver sandals doing the cha-cha-cha annoyingly better than me.’
    • ‘However, ballroom dancing also includes the higher impact tango, fox-trot, cha-cha, and samba.’
    • ‘Dance instructors are available at parties to teach the waltz and the cha-cha.’
    • ‘We practiced the cha-cha, quickstep, jive and samba, all of which are coming along quite well.’
    • ‘For the mambo, cha-cha, merengue, and the traditional rhythmic dance the son, each dancer moved vigorously yet effortlessly, even as the tempo changed.’
    • ‘Now he's dressed as a lion, dancing the cha-cha onstage.’
    • ‘Looking on from my now four-year-old expertise, I watch with pride the basic steps of swing, cha-cha, rhumba, waltz, tango and other dances, and I feel like a new mother whose baby is learning to walk.’
    • ‘Brown, who has been a member of the Australian Ballet and the Sydney Dance Company, has taken extra dance classes in the cha-cha and mambo to make sure he does justice to Patrick Swayze's hip movements, made famous in the film.’
    • ‘Latin dance - mambo, cha-cha, rumba, samba, tango, and so on - are Afro-Euro forms defined by the coming together of black, brown, and white peoples in the Americas.’
    • ‘Dances like the rumba and cha-cha are very sexy, and offer a great opportunity for a couple to learn to move together well.’
    • ‘In this narrative concept, couples and singles play out relationships through qualities inherent in the dances - the flirty rhythms of cha-cha or the tense architecture of the tango, for instance.’
    • ‘But after just a few months doing the rumba and the cha-cha together, he went a step further and proposed to Austrian-born Babette.’
    • ‘During the past school year, the company performed the Argentine tango and the cha-cha to ‘Dance With Me’ by Debelah Morgan.’
    1. 1.1 Music for or in the rhythm of a cha-cha.
      • ‘They launched into a cha-cha-cha, which I had no idea of how to dance.’
      • ‘I did some Coca-Cola ads for South America and they wanted a tango, samba and cha-cha-cha music, and all of the basic ideas came from CDs I'd worked on for WMN.’
      • ‘Sergeant Garcia harmoniously combines salsa, son, cha-cha, ska, rumba and reggae when he brings his spicy and invigorating mix of the best Cuban and Jamaican beats to the Brewery Arts Centre, in Kendal, on Saturday from 8.30 pm.’
      • ‘The first hour or so is usually slower cha-cha music to give dancers a chance to warm up and allow beginners to practice at a comfortable speed.’
      • ‘‘There was a gramophone playing the cha-cha-cha,’ he recalls, ‘and two of our teachers were there.’’
      • ‘But this weekend perhaps, the return of television favourite Come Dancing will help more people discover - or rediscover - a pastime that involves half a million devotees, stepping-out every week to tangos and cha-cha-chas.’
      • ‘It is probably more than a coincidence that I first met Thornton before our scheduled interview in an antique store where she was engrossed in an almost visible reverie among the stereoscopic slides, Chinese checkers and cha-cha albums.’
      • ‘He was very famous in the '50s and '60s - doing cha-cha-chas and boleros orchestrally.’
      • ‘Damon's dark outline is by a large stereo, which he promptly flips on to an upbeat cha-cha tune and turns.’
      • ‘They both led bands in the 1980s Paris punk scene, and both now make genre-defying albums that combine radical street politics with an infectious cocktail of salsa, hip-hop, reggae, cha-cha-cha, ska and much else besides.’
      • ‘It wasn't so hard for women to ask each other to dance back in the day when the city's bars played cha-cha-chas and Big Band.’
      • ‘Suddenly, smoothly, the Wurlitzer floats up to the stage and the dance gets going with a bouncy cha-cha-cha.’
      • ‘You know, computers are getting so clever that they seem a bit like those pianos where you push a button and it plays the rumba, then a cha-cha and so on.’


[no object]
  • Dance the cha-cha.

    ‘she cha-chas around in gold lamé pajamas’
    • ‘I am proud to relate that in the 15 minutes of tuition, before they started pulling out stop-order forms, I learnt to cha-cha.’
    • ‘The owner-couple say their patrons or rather ‘all those who enjoy dancing’ are welcome to jive, waltz, cha-cha, or simply groove to evergreen numbers.’
    • ‘Sandwiched in between are a group of beautiful young things who mambo, salsa and cha-cha their way through countless costume changes in a bid to inject some fiesta spirit into the proceedings.’
    • ‘‘You mean,’ I said, trying not to laugh, ‘that you don't cha-cha, boogie, or swing?’’
    • ‘Learn how to rumba, foxtrot, cha-cha and waltz and be the envy of all your friends at the next wedding you go to.’


1950s: Latin American Spanish.