Open Work is the broad term given to Mambo without a partner.
In level 3, practice consists of a short warm-up utilizing pre-arranged combinations of footwork, movements and gestures called "shines." Shines are a training tool used to introduce and refine the basic principles of body mechanics, the possibilities of movement and footwork. At this level and above, they also serve as a base from which the practitioner can cultivate their ability to improvise freely over a set structure.
The instructional portion of this course includes a choreographed sequence used to introduce and apply concepts of movement and musicality. This allows us to explore the possibilities available for our own personal expression.
Open work is practiced to Salsa, Mambo, and Cha Cha Cha music, as well as other Son-based rhythms. It includes movements and patterns from the Puerto Rican Bomba and Plena, Cuban Rumba, Yoruba, West African, and Pachanga disciplines.
In our Practice, the terms beginner, intermediate and advanced have very deep implications. For this reason, we use levels 1, 2, and 3 as designations for the level of understanding we are working with in any given practice session. The level does not imply the practitioner’s rank or acumen, only the level of the material being addressed in the session.
Level 3 requires a thorough understanding of more complex mechanics and the ability to work physically with multiple mechanical and musical progressions. Musical phrasing and "ground-generated movement theory” will be discussed in more depth, with a focus on applying these ideas in the context of movement and expression of sentiment.