Modern folk dance with ballroom dance steps and latin dance steps

Salsita’s mambo-roll

Steps: salsa and mambo

Quadrille dance (or circle dance with change of partners)

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Music notes in pdf format

Melody (violin, accordion)

Mel + 2 voice

Clarinet A

Clarinet B

Melody line

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Steps and figures





Our sailor has been to Caribbean and was inspired to use rumba steps in a traditional Danish type folk dance.

We dance for the pleasure so you are free to select a relaxed informal hold etc.



Dance description


Start: 4 couples in a quadrille (= square). We use Danish numbering system: head couples C1+C2, side couples C3+C4. C1 have their backs towards the music, and have C1 face C2 as their opposite and have C3 to their right. The corner Lady (L) is to the left side of Gent (G).



Short description:


The dance consists of 4 parts: circle (or variation figures), couple dance with partner, couple dance with all, couple dance with partner:


1        circle of the 4 couples, clockwise, walking steps

2a      2 hand hold: salsa couple dance with own partner, triple steps (chasse) with tap steps, first C1+C2, then C3+C4

2b      all hipsteps: opening towards centre and out; ready for:

3        all "visit" all (= couple dance with all): ¼ turn left and right with triple steps in couples, then forward to next, then next etc.

4a      on opposite place, couple dance with own partner: mambo basic steps, cucaracha steps, L turn, New York, first C1+C2, then C3+C4

4b      figure of eight double hand: L is rolled into L+G arms in front of G side steps, L is rolled out, G is rolled in and out in front of L the same way; first C1+C2, then C3+C4

4c      L roll in and out in G arm (el mojito) first C1+C2, then C3+C4


Then we have the variation figure part instead of circle in part 1: one hand mill for the 4 Ladies, next time for the 4 Gents, then 2 hand mill for L, then for G, then circle with waist clasp for all (= basket), and the last time couple dance with triple steps and mambo steps out into the ballroom.



Description in detail:


bar no

1-8                Circle of the 4 couples, holding hands, clockwise, walking steps.

9-14              C1+C2: couples with 2 hand hold: 2 basic salsa triple steps with tap; then C3+C4.

15                 All: opening: close hold, G and L turn a little away from each other to face centre of quadrille: G ¼ left turn, left foot (lf) cross behind right foot (rf) 1, weight on rf a, lf forward while turn to face L 2. L the same mirror reflected.

16                 In the same way: opening with the back to the quadrille centre.

17                 All: visit all and couple dance salsa triple steps with ¼ left and right turn: first own partner, then next, next, next until own partner on the opposite place. Here in 17: ¼ left turn.

18                 Then ¼ left right turn.

19                 Then we walk to the next walk walk, right shoulder by right shoulder.

20-23            This is repeated 3 times (danced 4 times), reaching the opposite place.

24-25            Mambo basic steps, first C1+C2 until 29 (C3+C4 in repetition).

26-27            Cucaracha steps.

28-29            Mambo basic steps with L turn under L right arm, right turn out and left turn back home.

30-31            Mambo New York presentation, away from the quadrille and towards the quadrille centre.

24-33            Then C3+C4. See the description for dance 24 Mambo Trip.

34                 Figure of eight, first C1+C2: 2-hand all the time: L is rolled into G+L arms in front of G so both face quadrille centre; L now stands a little to the right in front of G with back to G with arms crossed in front of stomach holding G hands, G has left hand in front and right hand around L back.

35                 L steps to the left side in front of G and G steps to the right.

36                 Side steps back again.

37                 Still 2 hand hold: L rolls out again opposite rolling in in 31.

38                 G rolls in in the same way, so G stands in front of L both facing the quadrille centre.

39-41            Side steps to G right and left (L opposite), and G rolls out again (2 hand hold).

34-43            Then C3+C4 figure of eight.

44                 C1+C2: Lady roll: in 2 hand hold G lets L right hand go, G: mambo basic step lf back while L: ½ left turn so L with crossed arms in front and now 2 hand hold L rolled into L+G arms stands close right to G.

45-46            G+L full turn on spot: G: forward rf lf rf, lf rf lf, L backward lf rf lf, rf lf, rf.

47                 L rolls out of G right arm: G releases left hand, rf lf rf away from L, L turns away from G lf rf lf.

44-49            Then C3+C4 Lady roll.


(Figure of eight and Lady roll are typical figures also in jive and other dances).



Circle dance with change of partners


The dance here described above for a quadrille can also be danced in a big circle of all the dancers, so that when we in part 3 dance triple steps with the next partner and the next and the next etc end up with having a new partner (like when walking a chain). In the couple dance parts then all couples dance when it is described for couple C1+C2 as well as for C3+C4 (so no resting breaks). Then there are no variation figures but big circle each time.



Dance steps and dance figures:


Salsa and mambo

Salsa dance has developed from the mambo (Cuba), so the dance figures from mambo are also part of salsa.


Salsa basic steps:

We to 2 in a full bar (with time signature 4/4 alla breve): 1 a 2 a.

Triple steps (side chasse) with tap: G: left foot (lf) to the left 1, right foot (rf) almost over to lf a, lf to the left 2, rf toe is tapped to lf without weight a. Close hold or 2 hand hold and L follows G. Then the same triple steps with tap to the right. Tap can be omitted. We can have ¼ turn while dancing triple steps.


Mambo basic steps:

We count to 2 in a bar: 1 a 2.

G: lf forward 1, weight on rf a, lf back to the close side of rf 2; rf back 1, weight on lf a, rf to the close side of lf 2. L follows G.



G: lf to the side 1, weight on rf a, lf closes to or only moves towards rf 2; and in the same way: rf to the side 1, weight on lf a, rf moves towards lf 2. L follows G.


Alternative dance figures:

I have for this salsa and mambo dance selected some basic dance figures that give an impression of this type interesting dance. Other figures that fit the music can be used. In the beginning it can be relevant to have only basic steps and eventually a few figures. (The principle: it is a predictable dance, so G and L are on more equal terms in deciding).



See also dance 24 "Mambo trip"




After the introduction with simple walking steps, the couple dance has music that note for note fits the dance steps.

Salsa is fast, but can be played slowly while learning the dance.

It is up to the group of musicians how much salsa rhythm you give the music. We consider this dance as a new Danish dance brought with inspiration from far abroad to us, so it is OK if the music now sounds “rather Danish”.

Accordion: 2 + 2 beats pr bar.




These salsa and mambo figures can be seen thoroughly explained (in English) in a relaxed dance by Alonzo (from UK): Learn to dance salsa and meringue (video Copenhagen Main Library).

Cucaracha and many other dance figures are also described in the books by Paul Bottomer: Salsa and in Mambo & Merengue, 1996 and 1997 (Holte Library).

(In e.g. USA videoes and other books the basic steps can be seen placed slightly different from what I describe).