Meredith & Harold

ROUND DANCING — CHOREOGRAPHED BALLROOM

EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES

MAJOR SECTIONS: Figures | Articles | Links | Alph. Index | Search | Home

BROWSE
Figures in the Smooth Rhythms
Foxtrot
Quickstep
Waltz
Viennese Waltz
International Tango
American Tango
Two Step
Five Count
One Step
Polka
Rhythm
Figures in the Latin Rhythms
Cha Cha
Rumba
Jive
Single Swing
West Coast Swing
Lindy
Hustle
Bolero
Slow Two Step
Mambo
Salsa
Samba
Argentine Tango
Merengue
Paso Doble
Dance Articles
Articles Home

Dance Figures

Dance Rhythms
Lead and Follow
Dance Styling
Fred Astaire Album
Other Sections
Dance Links
Music Clips For Each Rhythm
Instructional Books and Videos from Amazon
Search Site/Web
Sources
Contact Me

Let's Dance the Mambo!

by Irv & Betty Easterday

The Mambo is an outgrowth of the Cuban Rumba, and, like the Rumba and other West Indian dances, uses more of the body in performing the dance than was formerly thought proper.

The characteristic figure in Mambo is really a "Rumba Movement." It consists of placing the foot, no weight, knee bent, followed by straightening the knee and the foot taking the weight. As one knee bends with that hip low, the other straightens with that hip high. It is done on both a slow step and a quick step.

Latin Hip
The leg that is straight has the weight.
The leg with the weight is always straight.

The leading and following is somewhat different from conservative ballroom dancing. The partners are farther apart from each other, and although the man sometimes places his right arm around the woman's waist, in most cases, he holds his partner away from him, her right hand with his left, and sometimes they are completely on their own and away from each other.

The original Mambo started on the fourth beat of the bar, and this syncopation distinguished it from all other West Indian dances. However, in Round Dancing, we begin figures with a "quick" on beat one of each bar. The rhythm of Mambo for Round Dancing then is "quick, quick, slow." In common with all other West Indian dances, all Mambo steps are short and taken on the flat foot, but with delayed weight change, and danced within a small area. Remember, when one knee bends with that hip low, the other knee straightens with the hip high.

Most of the figures are taken from the Rumba syllabus. However, the characteristic hip movement, foot placement, and tempo of music make the Mambo an individual rhythm.




Taken from clinic notes prepared for the Roundalab annual convention, 2005.




dingbat




If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors quarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles by
Jim & Barbara German, ca. 2000-2001
Chris & Terri Cantrell, 2001-2005
Harold & Meredith Sears, 2005-present

Some articles and dance helps by
Sandi & Dan Finch
Gert-Jan & Susie Rotscheid (see Notebook)



Go beyond this site. Good instructional books and videos, both new and used, are available at low prices from Amazon. Find other references on our Sources and Links pages.



Alphabetical Index to
Figures
and Technique
Dance
Figures
Dance
Articles
Dance
Search
Dance
Links
Dance
Home
Glossary of Terms
and Abbreviations
Fred Astaire
Album
Reader
Comments
Dance
Videos & Books
Sources Harold Sears
Home
Online since 2001 İHarold and Meredith Sears, Boulder, CO, harold@rounddancing.net. All rights reserved.