Salsa "On2"

When Swing and Cuban music came together it created a fascinating rhythm and in turn created a new sensational dance - The Mambo!

The Mambo could not have been conceived earlier since up to that time, the Cuban and American Jazz were still not wedded. The "Mambo" dance is attributed to Perez Prado who introduced it at La Tropicana night-club in Havana in 1943. Since then other great Latin American band leaders have achieved styles of their own and furthered the Mambo craze.

In the United States it first appeared in New York's Park Plaza Ballroom - a favorite hangout of enthusiastic dancers from Harlem. The Mambo gained its excitement in 1947 at the Palladium and other renowned places such as The China Doll, Havana Madrid and Birdland.

The Mambo dance that was invented by Perez Prado and was popular in the 1940s and 50s Cuba, Mexico City, and New York is completely different to the modern dance that New Yorkers now call 'Mambo', which is also known as "Salsa On2". The original mambo dance contains no breaking steps, no basic steps at all and no strucure which made it very difficult to learn. A modified version of the "Mambo" was presented to the public at dance studios, resort hotels, and at night-clubs in New York and Miami. Success was on the agenda!

2021 Salsa Timetable
Next course Where Cost Register online
Salsa Beginners (L1)
Tue 15 Jun @ 6:30pm
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8 week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door
 Salsa(Level 2)
Tue 15 Jun @ 7:30pm
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8 week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door
Salsa (Level 1)
Thu 15 Jul @ 8:30pm
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8 week course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 cash @ door
Wanna try a class OR
attend casually? No problem!
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
Try a class OR attend casually
$25/pp cash only please

Note Salsa "on2" and Salsa "on1" have the same structure of levels.
Both styles consist of 5 levels while each level varies in length.

Salsa "on2"/Mambo evolution

The modern Mambo dance from New York was popularized in the 70s by Eddie Torres and his contemporaries who were 1st or 2nd generation Puerto Rican immigrants. Since then it has regained popularity due to a number of films featuring the dance. Eddie Torres is a New York dancer and Mambo fanatic who has launched a crusade to make sure the dance reigns in the ballroom once again. Eddie has become the leading exponent of the style and has taught the world to dance the Mambo once again.

Today Mambo dancers all over the world, including us at Latinissimo, are determined to introduce new and current salsa dancers to what we believe is the authentic "night-club" style of mambo dancing. During the 1990's it was increasingly known as "Salsa" but has the breaking step on the 2nd beat (hence the Salsa "on2" name) which is the upbeat of the music.

The Mambo today is as hot as it was in the '50's with many influences, such as African, Cuban, Jazz, Hip-Hop, even some ballet. You'll never run out of steps!


The modernized Mambo will look very similar to Salsa "on1" at first glance. However, as you grow your understanding of the unique "Mambo" timing, you will find the style has a very different dynamics to other Salsa styles. It is smooth, jazzy, elegant and is a more sophisticated way of interpreting Salsa music. However, the Mambo can also be vibrant and energetic depending on the music choice.

The Beginner classes (L1) will focus on the basics, fundamentals, the understanding of Mambo's unique timing, musicality and basic lead/following techniques. L2 will explore the basics further, develop and expand repertoire with interesting partnerwork and a new element we have added to the curriculum is Salsa song structure. This will guide the dancer on how to dance a song and appreciate the close relationship of the dance and music!

Description of levels

Salsa Beginners (level 1) - consists of two(2) 8wk modules - 16 wks to complete the level

At this level you will learn all the key elements and fundamentals of "linear" style salsa (on2). This course is aimed for the student who has little or no experience in salsa. We start from the very beginning with all the salsa basics, rhythm & timing. We will then continue with the fundamentals of partner dancing, basic lead and following techniques, turns and how to put it all together into basic figures and fun easy flowing variations.

Throughout this course, your goal is to learn the basic terminology, understand the 7 fundamental basic salsa steps and be able to lead (if you are the leader) OR be able to follow (if you are the follower) the basic figures and variations taught in the course. The basics taught in this fundamental course are absolutely vital as they will follow you throughout and always be referred to in higher levels.

Pre-requisite: None

Salsa (level 2) - consists of four(4) 8wk modules - 32 wks to complete the level

Beginners PLUS is for those who have completed Level 1 (Beginners Salsa) and feel they are ready to move on, or may have done a salsa beginners course elsewhere and are not sure where they fit in. This course will explore how you can change the look of the basics you have learned in Level 1 without changing the actual basic steps.

Basics boring...?! No way! It is here you will creatively explore the beginners level further and find out how much fun it can really be with the simplicity of the basics and its variations! This course will also give you an even more solid foundation and understanding of the basics and build your confidence to prepare you for Level 3 (Improvers). Please note that this course is not suitable for absolute beginners as it is assumed that you have full understanding of the basic steps and terminology.

Pre-requisite: Salsa Level 1 assessment

Salsa (level 3) - ongoing

In this course you will learn to combine and create variations of the fundamentals taught in the beginners course, taking your salsa dancing to a new level - Improvers. You will learn how to make your dancing flow with simple, fun and interesting concepts and moves.

Basic salsa styling is introduced. By the end of the course, you should be able to dance to slow and normal salsa music, lead and follow improver level combinations and keep the timing while dancing.

Pre-requisite: Salsa Level 2 assessment

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Salsa (level 4) - ongoing

These classes are for dancers who are familiar with and are comfortable with all the steps, turns, partner fundamentals and variations of beginners & improver levels. We will continue with exciting combinations by incorporating even more variations of all the basic fundamentals. You will learn new skills and fundamentals that an intermediate salsa dancers should posses and master.

We will also focus on, and enhance your lead/following technique. New footwork variations working on timing, weight transfer, speed, technique, balance, body movement, arms and more. Also introduction to lead and follow multiple spinning. This level will use all the key aspects of the previous levels to prepare the you for the more challenging variations and shines of advanced (level 5).

Pre-requisite: Salsa Level 3 assessment


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Salsa (level 5) - ongoing

The pace at this level is much higher than any other level due to the fact that we use all previous concepts and knowledge from all other courses. More challenging, but fun variations, styling for men & ladies, execution, shine, multiple spinning, "light n' shade", musicality, breaking the rules without loosing timing and much more. At this level there are no limits, it's advanced, anything goes!

Pre-requisite: Must have full understanding of levels ALL previous levels.

About Latinissimo

Latinissimo was first founded in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 specializing in street Latin dance. 2005 Latinissimo relocated to Auckland, New Zealand.

Directed by World Salsa Champion Giancarlo, Latinissimo as a school has performed, taught and competed across 4 continents, are multiple international and national champions and have produced two World Amateur Salsa Champions.

  • Latinissimo Dance New Zealand
  • 0210 29 88 164
  • Email us HERE
  • Empire Dance Studios, 2 Bond St, Auckland

Auckland Grey Lynn

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Salsa L2 Tuesday 15 Jun @ 7:30pm
Bachata L2 Thursday 17 Jun @ 7:30pm
Bachata Shines Wednesday 23 Jun @ 7:30pm
Mambo Shines Monday 05 Jul @ 7:30pm
Bachata L1 Monday 12 Jul @ 6:30pm
Salsa L1 Thursday 15 Jul @ 8:30pm