The Mambo Dance
The mambo dance became very popular in the 1940s and 50s in Cuba, Mexico City, and New York. Invented by Perez Prado the original mambo dance contains no basic steps at all. Most professional dance teachers did not accept the Cuban mambo dance. Cuban dancers would often express mambo as "feeling the music", where the sound and movement slowly merged through the body.
In US, professional dance teachers looked at mambo dance moves as extreme and undisciplined. They felt it was necessary to even out the dance to make it a saleable commodity for the social market. The original version of the mambo dance steps had wild gymnastic moves that simply couldn't be replicated by most casual dancers. The Mambo was thus modified to make it popular in dance studios, resort hotels and night clubs. The modern mambo dance music was made poplar in the 70s by Eddie Torres. He and his contemporaries, as 1st or 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants, their style of the mambo dance was more suited to Salsa music.
The feel of the mambo dance moves is based mostly on forward and backward movements. The basic elements of the dance comprise of rock steps and side steps, with sporadic points, kicks and flicks of the feet. The distinctive hip movement is important to mambo dance steps. The meaning of the word mambo is "shake it.
Today, one comes across "modern Mambo dance:, which has changed a lot from the traditional Mambo dancing that was once popular in the middle of last century. Developed in New York, it has far quicker steps than the original form of Mambo and is generally performed in dancing competitions.
Today, very few people would go for Mambo dance steps on the dance floor. But still, it does need dancing skills and can make an impressive display in competition and exhibitions.