Salsa & Mambo Research


Juliet has traveled to Cuba, Puerto Rico, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles to do ethnographic, archival, and oral history research on the evolution of salsa and mambo. She became enamored with the Palladium Era mambo dancers of the 1950s and maintains a website ( chronicling the dancers of the Palladium Era.  

Publications on salsa and mambo:


McMains, Juliet. “Salsa or Tango: Which Latin Dance is Right for You?” Oxford University Press Blog, July 23, 2015.

McMains, Juliet. Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2015.

McMains, Juliet. “Salsa Steps Toward Intercultural Education.” Journal of Dance Education 16, no. 1 (2016): 27–30. (download pdf)

McMains, Juliet. “Mambo.” Encyclopedia entry for Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. New York: Routledge, 2016.

McMains, Juliet. “Hot Latin Dance: Ethnic Identity and Stereotype.” In Oxford Handbook of Dance and Ethnicity, edited by Anthony Shay and Barbara-Sellers Young, 480–500. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2016 (online version 2013). (download pdf)

McMains, Juliet. “Dancing Latin/Latin Dancing: Salsa and DanceSport” In Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader, edited by Julie Malnig, 302–322. Indianapolis: University of Illinois Press, 2008. (download pdf)

McMains, Juliet. “Brownface: Representations of Latin-ness in Dancesport.” Dance Research Journal, 33, no. 2 (2001): 54–71. (download pdf)

Interviews and Publicity:

Shifrin, Vladimir. "Interview with Juliet McMains book author of Spinning Mambo into Salsa." June 2018.

Joseph, Nancy. “Salsa Dance: From Kitchens to Congresses." A&S Perspectives, 18, no. 3 (2007): 22–23.

Kelly, Peter. “Salsa dance, commerce explored in Juliet McMains’ book ‘Spinning Mambo into Salsa.’” UW Today, January 15, 2016.

Stockill, Zachary. “Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Exploring the History of Salsa Dancing with Juliet McMains.” Episode 9 of Travels in Music Podcast.

Taiyab, Nadaa.  “Interview with Juliet McMains.”,  2009.