Ballroom Dance > Mambo HELP please :]

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by MissAlyssa, Aug 2, 2003.

  1. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    here's the scoop..

    I've been working on my mambo patterns/style/technique/and styling lately [my first time doing mambo] and I'm having trouble staying on beat because it's difficult for me to hear the beat I'm supposed to be on [in the music]. I'm not sure if it's because I'm used to doing salsa which is pretty similar but has a different beat.

    Any suggestions would be great THANKS :D
  2. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    MissAlyssa...I moved this topic to the Ballroom Forum since, I assume, you are talking about American Rhythm mambo, correct?
  3. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    NOTE: This thread is about ballroom style mambo as danced in the American Rhythm category, it is not about "NY2" mambo!

    MissAlyssa...As far as any difficulties you may be having with finding the beat, first I'd double check that the music in question really is a "mambo," i.e. has an accent on the "2." Every time I see Tony Meredith we end up bemoaning the mismatched music often played as mambo at a variety of ballroom venues.

    As far as the dancing itself, do you have any experience with International style rumba? If so then the basic counts are the same, even if the tempi and foot patterns are not. 2, 3 = rock step, 4 = "paused" or "held" step with weight transfer continuing through 1 (i.e. QQS timing).

    Is that of any help?
  4. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Most of the music has this pattern:
    tat, tat, tat, boom
    Boom is the 4
    Count aloud over and over. You'll get it. :D
  5. Roxanne

    Roxanne New Member

    Hi Alyssa

    I believe the first thing that should be asked is do you have a problem finding the "1" beat in other types of music? When I teach my students I always start with easier music to identify the 1 -2 -3 -4 . I find it easiet in club type songs because the beats are very pronounced.

    Once you can identify the "1" beat, you know you have to start on the "2" beat. So, for the Mambo, your step is rock-step-step covering the 2 -3 -4 then holding the 1. Sometimes counting it quick-quick-slow-ly helps, allowing the "ly" to cover the 1 beat. (2 syllable word so each syllable would take up a beat).

    I have never tried to teach timing online before but I hope that helps. Its pretty difficult to try to explain. :D Again, I would recommend trying to get the timing and rhythm of Mambo down first to a song that you can definately hear and identify the beats. Once you can do that, then try it to the faster more difficult to hear, Mambo music.

    Let me know if that helps
  6. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    Yes, I can recognise the beats in every other dance except mambo. I'm pretty sure I'm using the right music [a senior dance instructor gave me the cd]. I know the dance and what I'm supposed to do on what beat the problem is just hearing the beat in the mambo music. I'm going to try the tat tat tat boom suggestion next time I dance it. Thank you guys for the suggestions! Thanks for moving my topic to the right place :]
  7. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Mambo Magic Pill

    1)The best way To get that Mambo beat breaking on 'Two' is to learn the
    Cha-Cha first;
    2) Before you start, you must find the Down beat in the music which is
    always the loudest or most prominent beat of a four quarte beat bar of music.
    Any one with little musical background can help you to identify the Down
    beat using a medium Mambo or Cha Cha record. You must learn the identify
    that Down beat before you try anything else.
    3) Once You can hear and recognize the down beat begun the following count
    starting on any Down beat, " 1, 2, 3 ,4&1, 2, 3 , 4&1, 2, 3, 4&1, 2, 3, 4&1
    4) Now using the same count, starting with any down beat, count 1, 2, 3, CHA
    CHA CHA 2, 3 - CHA CHA CHA 2, 3 - CHA CHA CHA 2, 3 etc.
    5) Once you have that count down in sync with music, first do the CHA CHA
    CHA steps as small; side steps and do a forward or backward rock steps like
    in Swing on the counts 2, 3.
    6) When you have the CHA CHA down pat, all you have to do is hold the CHA
    CHA CHA's in place with feet together and do the alternating rock steps on
    the same 2, 3's
    Keep it simple and you'll get it within the Magic number of 15 minutes.
    Black Sheep
  8. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Joe...As best I can tell she's not having any trouble finding the 2 in cha cha! I understand the musical link between the two--both musically and historically—but I've had the same problem so understand that it’s a bird of a different feather. I always dance cha on 2 (ballroom and club both), but also find it quite difficult to break on the 2 in much of what passes as mambo music in the ballroom world.

    Alyssa....One suggestion (and something I did when I competed in Mambo) is to just build in a prep step on 1 and then proceed from there. That way my initial movement can come on a beat that I can pick up without trouble and, as long as my timing remains fairly intact, I just proceed on 2 from there on out.
  9. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    Re: Mambo Magic Pill

    hey thanks for the suggestion but I already know cha cha :/
  10. MissAlyssa

    MissAlyssa New Member

    heeeeeeeey, a prep step is an awesome idea! what do you use for your prep? I think I'm going to tap or something easy.
  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I keep it simple too :arrow: a side step (on the "off" foot) on 1 so that I can then break on the 2.
  12. Black Sheep

    Black Sheep New Member

    Posted: Tue Jul 29, 2003 9:21 pm Post subject: Mambo side steps

    A similar question was asked as yours and my suggestion then holds true for your ' Mambo Problem' now. It may help you.
    I have had a long love affair with the original Puerto Rican style Mambo! Mambo since 1949.

    When first learning the Mambo, it is easier to use that side step on the 'One count.
    In Cha Cha which has the same rhythmic breaks as in Mambo, the three side steps are executed on the 4 & 1 counts, counted 'Cha Cha Cha and with the break forward or backward on the Two count.
    Eventually those side steps in Mambo can be substituted for many variations of foot or body moves."
    Black Sheep, your friendly dance instructer.

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