Mambo is more closely related to its roots in the Danzon. Danzón is the official musical genre and dance of Cuba and came from the Cuban contradanza, or habanera ('Havana-dance'). A variant called Danzon Mambo became popular due to the 1938 song called, "Mambo", which was a "charanga" (traditional ensemble that plays Cuban dance music).
In the mid-1940s, bandleaders created a dance for a new form of music known as mambo (music), taking its name from the 1938 song. This style was a syncopated, less rigid form of the Danzón, which allowed the dancers to more freely express themselves during the last section, known as the Mambo section. The original ballroom dance which emerged in Cuba and Mexico was related to the Danzón, but faster and less rigid. In the United States, it replaced Rumba as the most fashionable Latin dance. Later on, with the advent of salsa and its more sophisticated dance, a new type of mambo dance was popularized in New York. This form received the name of "Salsa on 2", "Mambo on 2" or our "modern mambo".
Check out this awesome performance by one of our students!