Who of you remember your first sighting of Johnny Castle, played by Patrick Swayze, in the cult classic “Dirty Dancing”? Jennifer Grey’s “Baby’s” expression mirrored all of ours as we watched Johnny and Penny Johnson, played by Cynthia Rhodes, expertly execute the Mambo!

The Mambo is one of the Latin American dances that we teach at Dancemore

It usually pops up on the teaching schedule for the months of March and September; where it is paired with the Viennese Waltz.

This dance’s origins trace back to the 1940s in Cuba and Mexico and began as a response to a music genre with the same name. As the Mambo gained popularity and spread across the world it evolved into the dance that we know, love and see on TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing with the Stars.

In fitting with the Latin American dances, this dance is vibrant and playful. Fluid body movements capture the typical provocative style of this region’s dances, and culture. Danced to a 4/4 beat, to the untrained eye it appears to be a salsa because of the similar characteristics, but breaks on the two. The distinctive hip movement occurs when the dancer shifts their weight from one step to the next.

A spirited and compelling dance that quickly becomes a favourite amongst our students and fills the dance floor at our socials.

Enjoy the distinctive style of the Mambo as demonstrated by Candy and Ryan da Silva in the video below.

We hope that this list of songs inspires your home practice.

Apple Music – Mambo

Spotify – Mambo

If you would like to learn how to do the Mambo and other Latin American dances, we offer group dance classes and private lessons. Get in touch now to book your first class!