It's true name is Afro-Cuban Dance. Latin dances can be very slow and romantic or hot and sexy. Latin Dance is an umbrella term used to describe the Latin-American dances such as the Samba, Cha-Cha, Mambo, Rumba, Merengue, Pachanga, Bolero, Shoeing the mare, Paso Doble, Lambada, Son, Tango etc. (click on the link to see more.)
These dances originally came from Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico, etc. with Spanish, African, Cuban and Vernacular influences. Today, "Latin Mambo" is generally called Salsa (see mambo) by the public with the term "Latin" meaning the Ballroom versions of mambo and "Salsa" meaning the street versions (basically same thing). However, the Salsa umbrella is much more limited to certain dances such as Mambo, Casino Rueda and Merengue.
Most of these dances have been changed heavily into an American version rather than its original. Many other forms of dance and or Steps have integrated into each dance.Bascus introduced Tap and Legomania at the Palladium in New York and Teddy Hill added many steps from the Lindy Hop's Acrobatic steps into the Mambo as well as the Cha Cha. Others incorporating Tap steps, Ballet Arms, and hand getsues, Buck and Wing and Cuban body movement into the dance. Other dancers such as "Killer Joe" Piro and Cuban Pete would add more non latin dance steps into the dance as well, alltho Cuban Pete was really a latin dancer (he did add some Tap,) Killer Joe was not.
Augie and Margo added a great deal to the latin scene with their style, Techniques, Innovations, Tricks and more. Augie and Margo where the cleanest and best performers in the latin night club scene in the 1940s/50's ... these two cats where way ahead of thier time for sure with a style that lasts to this day. Anyway, these new at the time steps would be confused by many dancers of later years not seeing the transitions that happened over the years before them, proclaimning their current version as being the original, and it was somewhat original, an American-Latin original, yes! ... first to do it, usually no. This blending has been going on for many years and is not just confined to salsa, this integration process overall dilutes the latin dance form, but at times may be truly great!.
It is funny to watch them do signature dance steps from other dances and claim it as innovative latin dancing. If it looks like another dance form/step ... it is. In the current Salsa craze (1990's and up), Salseros, eager to be the next star are polluting the dance with even more non Latin dancing integrations that just breaks the flow of the whole dance, just to do that Over the shoulder flip or that thru the legs slide, or the moon walk, and the females doing the same movement (such as a body-wave) 15-30 times over and over in the same 3 minute dance trying to become known for it. However there are some great male and female latin dancers out there doing truly amazing rhythmic feet rhythms, body movements and choreography that sizzles and flows with the music as well who have "real Style" rather than "tricks," and yes, you know who they are when you see them.
'Latin Mambo' (see mambo) basically breaks on count "Two" and 'Salsa Mambo' breaks on count "One," mainly because the untrained dancer wants to start on the first beat rather than the more difficult second beat ... as well as the first beat being much easier to teach (plus here in the USA ... all of our dances start on count 'One' not count 'Two'.) This causes many to be lead to believe it makes no difference which beat to start, but it does. However, whatever beat you decide to use can be just as fun as the other.
Casino Rueda (salsa in the round), is a form of a group round dance, where as the dance is done as a group, forming a circle. Instead of using a caller, one or more people participating in the dance will usually call out the figures, which the whole group will execute at the same time, sometimes a changing or swapping (called Stealing) of partners will take place during the course of the dance.