The cha-cha-cha music genre is a playful dance that requires small steps and lots of hip motion maintained throughout the dance. The basic unit of the music is a sequence of four beats. Dancers participating in the music count up to four beats and split the fourth beat into two pairs, thus making five steps within the four beats.
The cha-cha-cha music incorporates Cuban motion dance steps that involve moving the hips up and down while bending and straightening the knees. The dancers move the arms slightly in opposition to the knees to complement the music and synchronize each movement as they dance in pairs. Cha-cha-cha music producers create beats using electronic drum kits or traditional percussion instruments such as the conga.
The tempo for cha-cha-cha music is 120 to 132 beats per minute. The basic pattern involves the lead, mostly a man, taking a forward step with the left foot while retaining some weight on the right then alternating leg positions with a swing of the hips at the end of each step. The dancers commence the first step on the second beat of the music and keep shifting weight from one leg to another between beats. They only move their feet on the first, second and fourth beats while changing feet half way through the first and second beats, on the third beat and halfway through the fourth and first beat.