Mambo Defined

Mambo Defined

Date added to ADN: Tue, February 21, 2012
Originally Published: Sun, January 01, 2012
by The AccessDance Network (About the Author)

The Mambo is a favorite among the ballroom dances because of its high energy level and contagious rhythms. It is a dance so fascinating and diverse, it is enjoyed throughout the world at both social and competitive levels.

Originally from Cuba, Mambo is a mixture of Afro-Caribbean and Latin American cultures. "Mambo" means "conversations with the gods" and is actually a name for a bantu drum used for ritual purposes. Other accounts say that it believed to have been named after voodoo priests who thought they could send dancers into hypnotic states. It is said to be a spin-off of the English country dance that found its way to Cuba through immigrants. It was called the danza and its beats and movement gradually emerged with Cuban and African rhythms, making it entirely fresh. Mambo was made popular when a famous leader of a band, Prado Perez, popularized his music under the name "mambo". His music contained drum and big bass sound, and involved fast beats. Perez was established as mambo king when he and his team toured the United States marketing his music. Mambo became America's latest craze but the craze didn't last long. However, this dance is enjoying a renewed popularity attributed to Eddie Torres who was a New York dance professional. He launched a crusade to make sure this dance reigns in the ballroom once again.

Mambo is based mostly on forward and backward movements. It includes rock steps
and side steps with occasional points, kicks and flicks of the feet. Distinctive to mambo are its hip movements that are exaggerated together with flowing movements and stylish, fast steps giving the intense feel to this dance. This type of dance uses 4/4 beat. The basic combination is "quick-quick-slow" and the foot moves on the second beat. The weight is transferred to the other foot on the third beat, and returns to the original foot on the fourth.

The rhythm in mambo is played different percussion instruments like maracas and cowbells. The tempo also varies among musicians. It ranges between 32 beats per minute to a tough 56 beats per minute. Popular mambo songs include "Mambo Italiano", "Papa Loves Mambo" and "Mambo No.5" by Hernandez and the Mambo Kings Orchestra.

When you hear the popular song Mambo No.5, do you feel your body dance to the rhythm? Then follow the rhythm of your body by learning mambo. Learn the basics and we'll lead you the way to becoming a pro! Come visit us now and let's mambo!

About the Author:
Providing information for Ballroom Dance Lessons, Activities, Dance Competitions and News of the Dance Industry.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the AccessDance Network. Be aware that imagery is copyrighted and often licensed for use on AccessDance only. Copying of images is strictly prohibited.

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