The COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has grounded flights around the world; closed schools; crowded hospitals; emptied shops, streets, parks, and highways; and ghost-towned entire towns and cities. Libraries. Parks. Restaurants. Concert arenas. Everything is empty.
It has also brought our dance floor to an unhappy, record-skipping halt.
For dancers, this is a keenly felt loss because social dancing favours close contact and not physical distancing. It promotes diversity and encourages public gatherings instead of total isolation. Social dancing goes against the measures which have to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus and as a result The Salsa Club is taking a brief hiatus from its operations in an effort to help efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
But the music has not stopped. It has merely slowed down.
It is hoped in the coming days that a solution to the virus’s spread will be found, and that, in time, the world can look back on this strange and confusing time as one in which everyone collectively pulled together to work towards a better future for the oldest, weakest, and poorest among us.
While some doomsayers are scrambling for their underground bunkers, dancers know this deep and fundamental truth of the universe: this is not how the world ends—not with a bang, not with a whimper, and definitely not with a cough or a sneeze. When the end times truly come, the world will be dancing.
And since we are not dancing then this cannot be the end.
Here are five crossover cha-cha songs to move to (alone) while dancing communities the world over wait for the good times to come around again.
I Need To Know—Marc Anthony
This popular classic from one of Latin America’s most famous singer was a radio staple in the early 2000s and remains a commanding authority on any dance floor today.
Smooth—Carlos Santana featuring Rob Thomas
There was a time when it was impossible to go anywhere in the world without hearing “Smooth”. Though those times have now passed, this Carlos Santana classic deserves a listen every once in a while.
Now, like any other, is a good time to put it on spin.
Clocks—Coldplay & Rhythm Del Mundo
It is uncertain who remixed this song. Many sources say it is Rhythm Del Mundo. Others say it is an unreleased project from the Buena Vista Social Club. Either way, this song brings two great elements together in a seamless blend of rhythm and melody: Coldplay’s iconic “Clocks” and the Latin rhythm of cha-cha.
Sade’s “Smooth Operator” is a song that wears its mantle as a classic and iconic song without brooking any arguments. On top of being one of the best pop songs to be released in the 1980s, it also doubles up as a good cha-cha song in 2020.
The Bloom—Wale & Stokey Williams
Cha-cha is not one would associate with Wale, the US rapper. But if one excavates “The Bloom’s” rhythm, there is a rich cha-cha tempo running through the song and, once captured, provides the basis for a fun and unlikely dance.