The basic footwork in Mambo is almost identical to Salsa, but with a few key differences. Taking its cue from the music, which has more of an elastic snap to it than Salsa, Mambo dancers hesitate just a bit, stepping on the “2” and “6” counts instead of the “1” and “5” counts, as they would with traditional Salsa.
There’s also more emphasis and energy in the delayed step. It’s one-TWO-three-four, five-SIX-seven-eight, vs. the Salsa’s eight-count, with a more fluid one-two-three-stop-five-six-seven-stop rhythm.
It takes a little practice to get the timing just right, and it’s probably better to learn basic Salsa first before taking on the Mambo.
Once you get there, however, the payoff is a stylishly off-beat, syncopated and snappy variation of the Salsa dance steps your already know.
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