Originally published on SalsaNewYork on 5/01
month we interview NJ Mambo Instructor & Performer
Greg has been around the NY/NJ Mambo scene for several years now. He
usually is a very low key kind of guy who you see having a good time
dancing in some corner of a club's dance floor. Greg is all about
harmony and peace and his main philosophy is to always have a good time
while dancing. Like Joyce Blint
last month, this will be Greg's first real exposure to the NY internet
mambo scene. -Manny
How long have you been mambo dancing
and what got you into the Mambo dance scene?
I have been dancing mambo for
5years, and I got into it because I saw some
friends of mine dancing at a club, and it look so nice and elegant. I
always danced, but this was something I thought I would be good at.
Who do you consider to be your mambo mentors?
My instructors when I first started were Ismael
Otero and Robert Martinez
from New Jersey
Which are your favorite Salsa Bands?
I like a lot of people. I'm more of an old school fan. I like Sonora
Poncena, Fania, Jose Alberto El Canario, and I really love the Latin
In your opinion, What does it take to learn a dance routine?
To learn a choreograph routine you really have to focus and be
capable of doing
Name your favorite on-stage performance?
Some of my performances have been with singers such as Frankie
Pacheco, Ray Sepulveda, and Fania All Stars at Madison Square Garden
What did you feel when you first performed live on stage?
My first performance was nerve racking, because I had never performed in
front of a lot of people as far as dancing goes. Since I played football
college I was use to performing in front of 85,000 people every
dancing was a little different, so I had to make the adjustment. I love
What do you like about being a dance choreographer?
I like putting together a routine, because I get satisfaction from the
result. I like working with other dancers when putting a routine
but the one thing I stress over and over again
is to make sure we have fun
while dancing - that is really what it's about anyway.
What do you like about performing with a live band?
Again, I like doing performance to the Latin Jazz, because you can
every instruments in the song. All the big bands you can really make it
easier for a mambo dancer, because you can hear every instruments and
appreciate each musician. Clave, Clave, Clave!
What advice would you give those
just getting into mambo? How can they
work at getting better at dancing?
I would tell someone who is just starting to learn the mambo to make
sure that they understand the history behind the music, and to have a
time dancing, that is what is all about. Never get caught up in
How best could you describe your way of dancing? of teaching? and of
I would say that my style of dancing is more of a jazzy style and being
dynamic, but at the same time I can get down with the fast mambo as
like to communicate with my partner as well, which is one of the most
important things in dancing.
What would you like to see happen to mambo within the next few
next decade? within your lifetime?
What I would like to see with the mambo since it is an art form, I would
like to see it on Broadway. I also would
like to see some of the negative
attitudes that I have been seeing diminished. We as mambo dancers need
respect one another, and leave
the attitude at home. That's why it is
important to understand the history and music of the mambo. People
danced way back in time, because it was the only thing that they had,
way of really expressing themselves and their culture. So I hope we can
expressing feelings through our dancing and keep it fun.