For anyone that has been to a party with a DJ probably has danced and sung along to the Cha Cha Slide, a group dance that tells the dancers what moves to make next. The directorial number, first recorded by DJ Casper, is one of the most popular group dance songs of the last decade. But what makes this simple straight forward group dance mix such an addictive success?
The answer is simple, literally. The Cha Cha Slide’s success comes with its simplicity. The fact that every person at a party whether it be a 8-year-old girl to her 85-year-old grandfather can follow along to the lyrics of the Cha Cha Slide and dance along. What the Cha Cha slide has done for the world of dance parties, proms, sweet sixteens and anniversary parties has changed the way our culture reacts to group dances in general and what it has done for the environment at any dance party.
Many people have heard of the international hit the Macarena, which became a hit throughout the early 90s. Likewise, for those that have dance along to the latin group dance have also taken part in dancing to numbers like the Electric Slide, and the famous Chicken Dance. For the Cha Cha slide a much wider audience is captured here, seeing as it appeals to dancers of all ages.
What sets apart the appeal of group dance numbers at parties such as the Cha Cha Slide or the Cotton Eye Joe is it’s ability to bring everyone at the party to the dance floor. Everyone has a different style of dance, like a language and tone all their own. As for dance, there are only so many that can hold a beat, or swing their hips to the music just the right way to be considered socially acceptable. However, the Cha Cha Slide takes the pressure of having the most interesting or even just the most acceptable dance moves for you by telling dancers what to do next. The Cha Cha Slide takes the simplest of dance moves such as sliding to the left, the right or doing a criss cross. Any dancer doesn’t have to think about what to do next because they know that they will be told.
On a grander scale the playing of the Cha Cha Slide, or any group dance song for that matter has the ability to bring everyone together at a social gathering. Instantly any current inhibitions, awkward dance moves, or age barrier at a party are removed and allow people to come together and simply have some fun.
While there are a number of different songs and genres also comes those that bring everyone together. If anyone is to study the different styles of taste in music has to also study those songs that bring people all together. In a party setting the ability for these songs to bring together an entire room demonstrates the importance of people feeling comfortable and as though belong. The Cha Cha Slide has an never ending connection to the memories surrounding those birthday parties, sweet sixteens, weddings, anniversary parties and proms where people danced together to those lyrics. Those lyrics of “how low can you go” and “cha cha real slow now” relate to a time and place as well as a general memory of dancing and having fun with those around you.
Through these memories of dancing to the Cha Cha Slide comes the establishment of tradition in American culture. The simplicity of a song such as the Cha Cha Slide can open a spiral of memories that span throughout a person’s childhood. The Cha Cha Slide is establishing the significance of place that a person can return just like everyone else when they make their way to the dance floor upon hearing the first few words. The Cha Cha Slide has established a level of similarity, tradition, and has created many memories for music fans and dancers and non-dancers of all ages.