snake mambo

Do you like to dance? Even if you don’t, think about trying this dance out.

The Fabulous JH, one of my co-workers, has been teaching a lunchtime “How to Dance” class for the past while. I love to dance but am not very good at following steps – I tend to do more freeform stuff.

So, it was suggested that I try to put together my own dance routine (probably only because everyone was peeved at my disrupting the lesson – although they are all way too kind people to say so.

I made a stab at this and JH added some major modifications. Between the two of us, I think we did a good job.

Hey – does this mean I get to add “choreographer” to my resume, do you think?

The steps below are for a single person in the “lead” role. I’m too lazy to figure out the “follower” role. So, you can either dance this by yourself or just reverse all of the steps for a partner.

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FAQs

What type of music do I need?

The song we used was Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps/Quizas, (but as performed by Edmundo Ros. There are great versions by Perez Prado and Doris Day as well.

Any relatively slow mambo tune (or even a slow samba – sambas are faster than mambos). If you are less enamoured of 50s latin schlock music than I, you have probably still heard Mambo No. 5 which was a big hit when re-released by Lou Bega some years back. Another example is Sway (with me) – my favourite version is performed by Dean Martin but that one has recently been re-released as well.

And here’s another couple of fun tunes, just for kicks:
I came, I saw, I conga’d
Wedding Samba

What else do I need to know right now?

Mambo and samba music employ a 4/4 beat. (1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4). The first step is always taken on beat 2, just to confuse things (this is because historically the dance was developed as a “response” to an initial first beat.

Where can I learn more about mambo and samba?

StreetDance Australia! has a fabulous website on dance in general, and tons of helpful and free info on Latin dancing, including detailed guides on how to do it.

So where are these bloody steps, anyway?

1. BACK
hold
step back with RF
shift weight to LF
step forward with RF

2. FRONT
hold
step forward with LF
shift weight to RF
step back with LF

3. RIGHT
hold
step right with RF
shift weight back to LF
step left with RF

4.LEFT
hold
step left with LF
shift weight back to RF
step right with LF

5. DIAGONAL RIGHT
hold
step front right with RF
shift weight back to LF
step back left with RF

6. DIAGONAL LEFT
hold
step front left with LF
shift weight back to RF
step back right with LF

7. (repeat of #5) DIAGONAL RIGHT
hold
step front right with RF
shift weight back to LF
step back left with RF

8. TURN RIGHT
hold
pivot and step 1/4 turn right with RF
bring LF to meet RF completing 1/4 turn right
tap right foot

9. SIDESTEP RIGHT
hold
step right with RF
shift weight back to LF
step left with RF

10. SIDESTEP LEFT
hold
step right with LF
shift weight back to RF
step right with LF

11. QUARTER TURN RIGHT and SHUFFLE
hold
pivot and step 1/4 right turn forward with RF
step back with LF
step forward with RF

12. SHUFFLE
hold
step forward with LF
step back with RF
step forward with LF

13. FULL TURN
hold
pivot and turn 1/2 circle right with RF
pivot and turn 1/2 circle right with LF
tap RF net to LF

14. SNAKE BACK (“reverse grapevine”)
hold
step behind LF with RF sinuously (moving hips)
step behind RF with LF sinuously (moving hips)
touch toe of RF behind LF

15. SNAKE FORWARD (“forward grapevine”)
hold
swing RF right forward and step in front of LF with RF sinuously (moving hips)
step in front of RF with LF sinuously (moving hips)
touch toe of RF in front of LF

16. FINALE
hold
swing RF 1/4 turn right and step down with RF
bring LF around to meet RF
step on RF in place.

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