The Mambo is a passionate, flirtatious, and sexy Latin dance. Mambo means “shake it”—and that’s just what Mambo dancers do. An exaggerated hip movement defines this dance, along with long, flowing forward and backward movements, sharp quick steps, rock steps and side steps, points, kicks, and flicks of the feet.
Originating from Havana, Cuba in the 1930s, the Mambo became a popular dance in the U.S. in the 1940s – 1950s, when Cuban music merged with American Jazz and Swing. The Mambo was instrumental in the development of several other popular Latin dances, including the Salsa and the Cha Cha.
There are a variety of Mambo rhythms, all based on the clave rhythm used in Afro-Cuban music. The rhythms are set by a variety of percussion instruments, including bongo and conga drums, timbales, maracas, and cowbells. Piano, bass, strings (guitar and violin), and winds (trumpets, saxophones, and trombones) are also common in Mambo music. The Mambo uses a 4/4 beat and its tempo covers a wide range—from 32 beats per minute to 56 beats per minute. It is a high-energy dance that is performed both socially and competitively.
Are you ready to shake it? Schedule a Mambo lesson today at the Arthur Murray Dance Studios in Charlotte and Lake Norman, NC.