17 Feb

Salsa "On2"

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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!

Salsa "on2" Timetable
Next course Where Cost Register online
Salsa Shines "on2"
Open Level
Wed 30 Oct @ 8:00pm
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
6wk course
Pre-register $120
OR $145 @ door
Salsa "on2" Beg (L1)
Thu 24 Oct @ 7:00pm
Empire Dance Studios
2 Bond Street, Grey Lynn
8wk course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 @ door
Currently not running TBA 8wk course
Pre-register $140
OR $165 @ door

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 believes 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 Salsa. It is smooth, jazzy, elegant and 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 will focus on the basics, fundamentals, the understanding of Mambo's unique timing, musicality and basic lead and following techniques. Improvers will explore the basics further, develop and expand repertoire with interesting and sophisticated turnpatterns. All with the characteristics of Salsa "On2"!