Archive for the ‘Articles’ Topic

New York International Salsa Congress Review

Posted on October 27th, 2008 by by Dany J

Let’s talk about what makes the 2008 NY Salsa Congress different from previous years. The director of the congress, John “Choco” Knight, has truly developed the 2008 NY Salsa Congress into a well-marketed all-week event. The schedule is so full of back-to-back attractions – workshops, afternoon socials, afternoon shows, and night shows, night socials – that it is difficult to find free time to rest, eat or sleep during the congress. Before the congress even started, there was plenty of dancing at pre-parties during the week all over New York City.

It has hard to estimate the number of people that participated in each evening social. I do not think that anyone kept track. Suffice it to say that it was crowded! I could have danced every song if I wanted to. Let’s assume that I danced about 100 songs during the whole congress (6 songs per hour x 4 hours x 4 nights = 96 songs). Out of those dance partners, I can only remember one girl saying that she didn’t want to dance. Those are good odds! The point is that everyone wanted to dance, and there was a lot of everyone.

Our favorite professional dancers/instructors were easy to spot also. They were usually found in the middle of a circle of observers.

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Saturday and Sunday night performances were amazingly spectacular, so many to list. Two acts that stood out from the rest were Jayson Molina’s kids group and Maykel Fonts solo performance.

Every year, Jayson Molina showcases a mega routine composed of very young Salsa dancers. The most charismatic kid (the one with spiky hair) in that performance looked no older than 6 years old!

The Cha Cha performance of Cuban-born dancer Maykel Read the rest of this entry »

Cachao, Mambo’s Inventor, Dies at 89 – NY Times

Posted on September 12th, 2008 by by Dany J

FYI, some good history reading. I found this NY Times article about the life of Israel Cachao López, the inventor of Mambo. This article should fill a lot of gaps in our understanding of the development of this music genre and dance.

Cachao, Mambo’s Inventor, Dies at 89

Published: March 24, 2008

Correction Appended

Israel Cachao López, the Cuban bassist and composer who was a pioneer of the mambo, died on Saturday in Coral Gables, Fla. He was 89 and lived in Coral Gables.

The cause was complications resulting from kidney failure, said Nelson Albareda, whose company, Eventus, was his manager.

Cachao, as he was universally known, transformed the rhythm of Cuban music when he and his brother, the pianist and cellist Orestes López, extended and accelerated the final section of the stately Cuban danzón into the mambo. “My brother and I would say to each other, ‘Mambea, mambea ahí,’ which meant to add swing to that part,” he said in a 2006 interview with The Miami Herald. The springy mambo bass lines Cachao created in the late 1930’s — simultaneously driving and playful — became a foundation of modern Cuban music, of the salsa that grew out of it, and also of Latin-influenced rock ’n’ roll and rhythm-and-blues. For much of the 20th century, Cachao’s innovations set the world dancing.

In the late 1950’s, he brought another breakthrough to Read the rest of this entry »

So You Think You Can’t Salsa? – NY Times

Posted on August 29th, 2008 by by Dany J

Flash News! Extra! Extra! The Scarlet Mambo team and yours truly were quoted/mentioned in an article, So You Think You Can’t Salsa? in the New York Times.

“Salsa has its own networks. At clubs and socials, dancers promote their events. Camila Danielle Sanchez, 25, who was at the Chelsea social, teaches in Highland Park, N.J., near New Brunswick, where she and her partner, Dany Joshua, also host a salsa night called “Scarlet Mambo.” “If you look at the fliers,” Mr. Joshua said, “the dancers are organized. It’s a lot of ‘I’ll come support you,’ and a lot of ‘you come support me.’ Everything revolves around certain Web sites, and a MySpace and a Facebook effect has also taken place. It used to be rude to hand out fliers; now when it ends you’ll see everyone hand them out.”

(Read Complete Article):
So You Think You Can’t Salsa?

Published: August 29, 2008
Read the rest of this entry »

Mambo Tuesdays at 46 Lounge

Posted on June 22nd, 2008 by by Dany J

46 LoungeNew York City is the mecca for Salsa dancers because of the quality and quantity of venues. Everyone knows that, but New Jersey now has a new Salsa venue that measures up to any dance social in the city. 46 Lounge, located in Totowa, New Jersey, hosts Mambo Tuesdays. It is hard to beat the services of this salsa spot. A mere $5 cover buys a dinner buffet, a Salsa class, and 5 hours of Salsa music for dancers by DJ Ray Colon.

And this is only the beginning. Let’s face it. It is not always about the money. The dance floor, in dancer’s dream condition, is surrounded by a trendy lounge setting. The perfect balance of dim and accent lights sets the mood for an afterwork drink, or to unwind in a relaxed, upscale, underground Salsa party.

Seasoned professional dancers are easily drawn to this venue. On the random Tuesday night that I attended in early June there was no shortage of Salsa pros. Real quick, let’s see: Magna Gopal, Griselle Ponce, Pzzass Dancers, Marcus Nieves and Kimberly, Bernie and gang from Plan B, etc etc.

Enough said? Good. Mark it on your calendar and support this Salsa event!

Why Salsa Shines are Good for you

Posted on June 5th, 2008 by by Dany J

Hopefully this short article (and video) will persuade you to spend some time on your shines.

Beginner dancers usually shy away from learning Salsa shines (footwork) because they do not understand their practicality or value. The following video is an example of improvisational fluidity.

Why Salsa shines are good for you:

  1. Improve your timing – If you get lost in the middle of a turn pattern, you will be able to get back into the beat more easily.
  2. Improve your body movement – If you want to dance salsa like a fish swims in water, shines are a perfect way to loosen your body and look more “latin”.
  3. Expand your spinning abilities. – It is more difficult to spin by yourself that to have a partner spin you. If you can spin in shines, then you can spin twice as much in partner work.