Originally from Cuba, the Mambo is enjoyed throughout the world at both the social and competitive dance levels. The mambo is a favorite of ballroom audiences because of its high energy level and infectious rhythms. Popularized in recent years by singers such as Ricky Martin, the Mambo is fascinating and diverse.
The feel of the Mambo is based mostly on forward and backward movements. The basic components of the dance include rock steps and side steps, with occasional points, kicks and flicks of the feet. Important to Mambo is the distinctive hip movement, hence the meaning of the word mambo: "shake it."
Some say the Mambo is a flirtacious, sensual dance, sometimes almost raunchy. Mambo dancers appear quite passionate and seem to express that passion with the movements of their hips. Exaggerated hip movements combined with long, flowing movements and sharp, quick steps contribute to the sensuous feel of the Mambo.