ITS NOT THE WORDS THAT MOVE THEM, IT’S THE DRIVE THEY FEEL WHEN THE BEAT OF THE AFRICAN DRUM PLAYS, THE PIANO KICKS IN WITH A JIVE, CLAVE KEEPS THE HEART BEAT, CYMBALS CALLING THE HEAD WHIPS, BASE CALLING COUNTER SHOULDER MOVEMENTS TO THE CONGA SWAYING HIPS, SIDE TO SIDE, TIMBALES CREATING THAT HEATED ENERGY FOR FOOTWORK. THIS IS NOT SALSA. WE CALL THIS MAMBO!
The original mambo dance was known for its freedom and complicated foot steps. Mambo Dancers were very in tuned with the music, foot work moving to the fast pace of the timbales, the music interpreted their movement. No rules, no restricted structure, complete freedom of movement on the dance floor. Mambo music was invented in 1930s, developed from “Danzon” a country dance of England/France to Cuba, and also heavily influenced by the Jazz musicians of its time. During the late 1940s, Perez Prado came up with the style of dance for Mambo, marketing his music as “mambo.” After New York he traveled to Mexico. In Mexico his music was adopted by artist such as the famous Tongolele, Rosa Carmina and Adalberto Martinez, most accompanying him in live performances and television shows. The style Prado invented in the 40’s is completely different to what we consider mambo today. Mambo contained no basic step, compared to our structured New York Style Salsa/ Mambo On2. Mambo was described as “feeling the music,” which was not accepted by dance instructors. Instructors considered mambo to be undisciplined, taking dance to an extreme. To put together a synchronized routine for mambo dancers was nearly impossible, there was nothing to build on, no structure.
This very problem was one of the reasons why Salsa/ Mambo On2 was created. Thanks to Mr.Eddie Torres, with a little inspiration from the great Tito Puente, today we have a structured dance, and timing. In the 60’s the term “Salsa” was associated with a style of dance that was a collaboration of the Mambo, Rumba, Són, Montuno, Guaracha, Cha, cha, cha, Merengue, Guajira, Cumbia and influenced by many other roots, cultures and meanings. For short, Salsa evolved as one of the many Latin and Afro-Caribbean dances. New York City is the origin of the term “Salsa.” Song writer Ignacio Pinero was the first to use the word “Salsa” in one of his hit songs “Echale Salsita.” According to his colleagues, Pinero was inspired by a meal that lacked flavor, a meal in need of Salsa. In the 70’s Eddie Torres, created a structure to what we now call Salsa/Mambo On2. Eddie Torres always had the talent of dancing, a talent that was noticed by the King of Mambo Tito Puente, who told Eddie that he could dance, but wanted him to break the dance down, building format and applying timing to his moves. Tito was driven with soul, it was the dancers energy that made his music, his goal for Eddie, was to create a way the dancers and musicians could be in unison when it came to timing. Subsequently Eddie returned to Tito with a format to his dancing that allowed Eddie to perform with Tito. On2 was built for performance purposes, never with the intention of becoming one of the most popular styles of dance that reached every continent. Producer Ralf Mercado was responsible for promoting the perfect marriage between Eddie “The Mambo King” and Tito Puente “El Rey De Timbal”, giving Salsa/Mambo On2 dancers the opportunity to perform internationally with the Salsa music played by Tito Puente and other world renowned artist.