How to Dance the Mambo

The History of the Mambo

In the late 1800s and early 1900s Cubas national dance was the danzon. In the 1900s composer and cellist, Oresta Lopez created a type of danzon fused with Cuban rhythms and African beats. The piece was called the mambo. Mambo means conversation with the Gods. The Mambo had a continuous beat, and it was made popular by Prado Perez. Loud brass and drums characterized Perez's style of mambo. It became popular in the U.S. during the 1950s when Perez marketed his sound there, and he became known as the Mambo King.

Mambo Dance Steps

The mambo is easier then it might look. It is simply composed of a series of forwards and backwards movements. Just remember that the woman always goes the opposite of the man. The woman goes backwards if the man goes forwards and vice versa. The follwoing instructions are very basic, the video shows an example of the mambo with a few more complicated steps.

  1. For the forward movement, slide the left foot forward, putting weight on that leg. Don't move the right foot.
  2. Rock back on the right foot, putting weight on it. Don't move the right foot.
  3. Step back and close. Slide the left foot backwards, shifting weight onto left leg.
  4. Start to slide right foot backwards preparing for the next step.
  5. Do the backwards movement, which is just the opposite, with the right foot starting backwards.
  6. Remember to sway hips.
  7. That's all there is to it!

Learn the Mambo - from Ballroom Dance Channel on Vimeo.

Research for this page was gathered from: eSSORTMENT and Mambo Mania .