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Videos of the Week
Written by Allan Tabilas   
Monday, 14 January 2008

Videos of the Week

Monday, December 23, 2008 - Iran Castillo

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature Iran Castillo from San Diego. A creative and unique dancer, Iran is well known for his extremely intricate on2 patterns at salsa congresses. He also has a dance company called Son y Pasos. Additionally, Iran and Salsamentary dancer Cristel Beijkirch have perhaps the most popular salsa video on youtube with over two million hits.

Iran Castillo, Steve Meyer, and Laura Mendoza

Sexy Salsa Divas with Iran Castillo & Ariel Perez

Son y Pasos






Monday, December 1, 2008 - Pretty Boys and Girls

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature one of the world's premiere dance teams, Pretty Boys and Girls, from the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded by Ricardo Sanchez and Michelle Castro, the team has taught and performed in many countries around the globe. In 2005, they became the world champions in the team division of the World Salsa Championships, and placed 2nd in 2006. Among their alumni from their professional group and semipro group (Rising Stars) are Sheila Zepeda and Isidro Corona, who placed in the top 10 of the on1 division in 2005 and 2006.

Additionally, Pretty Boys and Girls, or PB&G, promote the successful San Francisco Salsa Congress, which just celebrated its 7th year this past November!

Pretty Boys & Girls interview - Ricardo, Michelle, Danny, & Elisa with
Mario "B" Gonzales, Dr. Marissa Yanez, Emily Alabi, and Karel Flores

Pretty Boys and Girls (Jose, Ariel, Danny, and Elisa) at the 2007 Salsa Summer Splash

Ricardo Sanchez, Soren, Cristian, & Stephanie

Rising Stars, Pretty Boys & Girls' Semipro team



Monday, November 10, 2008 - Lee Wright and Shelley Cook

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature two of the London's brightest stars, Lee Wright and Shelley Cook. We were fortunate to meet the dance couple at the 2006 World Salsa Championships, where they competed in the on2 division, and made a very brief cameo appearance in our documentary, Salsamentary (Chapter 9). (They placed 2nd at the 2006 UK Salsa Championships). Not only are they very talented, Lee and Shelley are two of the nicest people you will meet in or out of the salsa scene.

Tragically, Lee Wright recently passed away in a car accident. Our condolences goes to Lee's friends and family in this tragic time. Lee has touched hundreds of lives with his kind heart and free spirit. Please leave your regards and support at Shelley's Facebook page or Lee's MySpace Page. Thanks to Mel C and Steve at Salsa-Central for the interview, workshop and performance videos.

Lee Wright and Shelley Cook social cha-cha

Lee and Shelley interview with Mel C from Salsa-Central

Lee & Shelley performance at the London Latinfest 2007 (Salsa-Central)

Lee & Shelley workshop at the Latinfest 2007 (Salsa-Central)



Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - Yamulee Dance Company, pt2

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

In part two of this series with the Yamulee Dance Company, we feature one of best and most casual interviews with Yamulee (Osmar, Jessica, Ahmed, and Karel) at the 2006 World Salsa Championships, a performance from 2006 with Candy Mena, Massiel Guerra, and Ahmed Zakaria, a social dance with Osmar Perrones and Laura from Descarga Caribe, and a cha-cha with Kelvin Hernandez and Karel Flores.

Yamulee (Ahmed, Candy, Massiel) at the 2006 Salsa Dura Festival

Osmar, Jessica, Karel, & Ahmed at the 2006 World Salsa Championships

Kelvin and Karel at the 2007 NY Salsa Festival

Osmar and Laura at the 2006 World Salsa Championships



Tuesday, October 20, 2008 - Yamulee Dance Company, pt1

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature the Yamulee Dance Company (part 1 of 3). Led by Osmar Perrones, the company recently celebrated their 5th anniversary in the Bronx, NY. They are among the world's premiere salsa groups and are veterans of many congresses. In 2006, they were chosen with Karisma Dancers and Al and Karla Espinoza as the showcase dancers for the 2006 World Salsa Championships.

Yamulee at the Yamulee 5th anniversary

Yamulee at the 2007 Punta Cana Salsa Congress

Ahmed, Osmar, Karel, and Destinee at the Yamulee 5th anniversary

Karel and Pablo



Thursday, September 25, 2008 - Lee Rios and Maria Falcon

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature Lee Rios and Maria Falcon from San Antonio. They have represented Texas both at national and international events with a classic and elegant style of choreography. Lee Rios is also one of salsa's greatest comedians and improv actors as well. We were sad to learn that (Shaka Brown) announced at the 2008 DC Salsa congress that they were no longer performing together.

Below are a collection of videos where you get to learn a little bit about the dance couple, and watch their classic performances.

Lee Rios and Maria Falcon at the 2008 DC Salsa Congress

Lee Rios and Maria Falcon at the 2006 DC Salsa Congress

Zeke Ruvalcaba and Maria Falcon

Lee Rios and Cristel Beijkirch

Lee Rios and Maria Falcon

Lee Rios and Maria Falcon interview at the 2007 Texas Congress



Monday, August 24, 2008 - Rogelio Moreno and Salsabor y Cache

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature Rogelio Moreno and Salsabor y Cache from Los Angeles. This talented dancer and choreographer was one of the early pioneers of the LA style of salsa dancing, and has been featured in many TV shows and movies.

Salsabor y Cache

Rogelio Moreno & Megan Edner

Rogelio Moreno & Megan Edner interview with Joe Figueroa

Salsabor y Cache at the 2007 Salsa Summer Splash





Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - Salsa Heat (Orlando, Florida)

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature Salsa Heat from Orlando, Florida. Serving the Central Florida community, the dance studio itself has six locations in and outside of Orlando. The studio teaches several styles of dances, and has student and pro teams. Its professional dance team is led by Julissa Cruz and Benjamin Cartagena.

The dance school, student team, and its two instructors, Julissa Cruz and Andres Echevarria, were the subject of the first Salsa Dancing Reality Show documentary by Millo Aldea (SalsaDynasty.com), available on iTunes as a video podcast. Sadly, Andres Echevarria passed away in early July. He touched perhaps thousands of lives as an instructor, and was likely watched by thousands from the Salsa Dancing Reality Show. Our condolences goes to Andres' family and friends.

Jareau and Shaka from iMambo.tv created a video eulogy for Andres on youtube, and Troy Anthony held a salsa show tribute to his friend at his social in Houston, Texas. Millo Aldea also wrote an article about Andres on SalsaDynasty. We highly suggest watching the Salsa Reality Show to get to know, as best as one can, such a special person.

The professional dance team of Salsa Heat finished in the top 10 of the team division at the 2007 World Salsa Championships. Two of its members, Jonathan Platero and Yahaira Sierra, also placed in the top 10 of the cabaret division of the 2006 World Salsa Championships. Jonathan Platero also competed with Sophia Luna and placed in the top 10 of the on1 division at the 2007 WSC.

Salsa Heat at the 2007 World Salsa Championships (top 10 finalist - team division)

Salsa Heat at the 2007 Philly Jam Event - Julissa Cruz, Andres Echevarria, and Benjamin Cartagena

Jonathan Platero & Yahaira Sierra, Salsa Heat (2006 World Salsa Championships Cabaret top 10 finalist)

Benjamin Cartagena and Julissa Cruz (Salsa Heat professional team) social dance at the 2007 Philly Jam





Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - Francisco Vasquez and Luis Vasquez

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature two dancers who helped pioneer the on1 LA salsa style of dancing, with incredible tricks, dips, spins, - Francisco Vasquez and Luis Vasquez. Along with brother Johnny Vasquez, Francisco formed the group Los Rumberos. Luis was one of the founding members of Salsa Brava. The three brothers helped popularize the flashy and electrifying LA on1 style, and have traveled all over the world. Johnny is mainly in Italy and Europe currently with partner Stephanie Stephenson (y su Aztecas).

Francisco Vasquez, Stephanie Stephenson and Cindy Stephenson interview with Cesar & Natasha

Francisco Vasquez, Ruby Karen, Edwin Rivera, Runique, Stephanie & Cindy Stephenson performance

Soren Barahona,Stephanie Stephenson, Cristian Oviedo, Ricardo Sanchez, and Alphonso

Luis Vasquez and Melissa Fernandez - Mas Salsa Brava performance in Puerto Rico 2004





Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - Toronto and Montreal salseros, part 3 - Mas Mambo and Saltimambo

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature two dancers from Toronto's Mas Mambo dancers, Mark-Anthony Sheppard and Gustavo Patzan, and Montreal's Saltimambo dancers, Edson Vallon and Steve.

Mark-Anthony Sheppard (Mas Mambo) & Madeline (Visual Impact)

Gustavo Patzan (Mas Mambo) & Charlotte (Masacote Dancers)

Edson Vallon (Saltimambo) & Sandy

Steve (Saltimambo) & Eva



Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - Toronto and Montreal salseros, part 2 - Roberto Arenas & Marie-Josee Strazzero, Victor Contreras & Katia Morales

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we feature two couples from Montreal. Roberto Arenas & Marie-Josee Strazzero from the Chilital Dance Company (Roberto hails from Chili, Marie-Josee has roots from Italy and Russia) placed 3rd and 2nd at the 2005 and 2007 World Salsa Championships in the on1 division, respectively. Victor Contreras & Katia Morales from the Comomango Dance Company were the 2007 on2 Canada Salsa Champions, and semifinalists at the 2007 World Salsa Championships. Victor was part of the San Tropez dance team (led by Sonia Kyriacou and Morris) that placed 3rd at the 2005 World Salsa Championships in the team division.

Roberto Arenas & Marie-Josee Strazzero social dance at the 2007 LA Salsa Congress

Roberto Arenas & Marie-Josee Strazzero interview with Albert Torres at the 2007 Canada Salsa Congress

Victor Contreras & Katia Morales social dance at the 2007 World Salsa Championships

Victor Contreras & Katia Morales interview with Sonia Kyriacou and Guesley Chery

Roberto & Marie-Josee 2007 WSC semifinals performance

Victor & Katia 2007 WSC semifinals performance



Thursday, June 5, 2008 - Toronto and Montreal salseros, part 1 - Guesley Chery and Jennifer Aucoin

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

Our neighbors up north in Canada has an immense amount of talented salsa dancers and performers. Some are world class competitors such as Roberto Arenas, Jr. and Marie-Josee Strazzero and San Tropez Dancers from Montreal.

This week we feature Montreal's Guesley Chery and Toronto's Jennifer Aucoin. Guesley is not only a performer with Saltimambo dancers, but is also the founder of Salstar clothing. He's a great performer, an incredible social dancer, and one of the nicest guys you'll meet. Jennifer is director of the Steps Dance Studio in Toronto, and is the organizer of the Canada Salsa Congress.

Guesley Chery and Sihem social dance

Guesley Chery interview

Jennifer Aucoin and Ibi Reguiera social dance

Jennifer Aucoin interview with Al Espinoza



Thursday, May 15, 2008 - Art in Motion, part 2

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

In part two of this feature with Art in Motion, we feature three performances from 2005-2007, and a social cha-cha dance with Noel and Jessica Rodriguez.

Art in Motion - "Baila Como Es"

Art in Motion - "Perla Morena"

Noel Rodriguez and Jessica Moya social dance

Art in Motion



Monday, May 5, 2008 - Art in Motion, part 1

Over the past two years, we have accumulated a large variety of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, Santo Rico, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

Originally started from members of Barbara Capaldi's Atrium Studio professional group, Salseros Unidos, Art in Motion has established themselves as Philadelphia and South Jersey's most renowed salsa team. The original members included Salsamentary (a documentary) member and 2006 on1 3rd place winner, Darlin Garcia, Mirka Ibbarondo, Mike Andino, Jessica Moya, Alex and Liliana Alvarado,Rona LeBlanc, and Ed, aka "Butter". Between 2003 and 2004, Art in Motion traveled to salsa congresses throughout North America, sometimes out of their own pocket. With experience gained at several large events, the team is now asked to perform around the globe. Their routines are characterized by elegant, creative choreography and musicality.

In part one of this post, we feature two of Art in Motion's earliest performances from 2004, "Malanga Brava" and the Statues routine. In addition, we have an interview from the 2007 Philly Jam with Darlin, Jessica, Uriel, Elizabeth, Kathleen, Brittney, and Noel, and a social dance with founding members / alumni Alex Alvarado and Liliana Alvarado. Alex and Lili are one of two dance couples who eventually married!

Art in Motion - "Malanga Brava" performance

Art in Motion interview

Art in Motion - "Statues" from the 2004 Puerto Rico Salsa Congress

Alex and Lili Alvarado social dance




Wednesday, April 9, 2008 - Majesty in Motion, part 2

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

In this second part, we feature several social dances from members of Majesty in Motion - Chino, Esteban, and the beautiful Jennifer Stein and Serena.



Anthony Persaud (Addicted2Salsa) and Jennifer Stein (Majesty) at the 2007 Salsa Summer Splash



Orlando (Bay Area, California) and Serena (Majesty) at the 2007 World Salsa Championships



Chino (Majesty) and Raquel at the 2007 San Diego Salsa Festival



Esteban (Majesty) and Amelia (Sexy Salsa Divas



Wednesday, April 3, 2008 - Majesty in Motion, part 1

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week, we feature one of San Diego's finest groups, Majesty in Motion. Started by David Stein, the dance company has pro and student teams. David's first love of dancing includes breakdancing (editor's note: Allan loves bboying too), and skateboarding. Collectively as a team, they have traveled around the world and are among the West Coast's best on2 groups (California has much on2 flavor). Additionally, David and Steve Meyer make up the group White Boy Wonders. Here's a snippet of David Stein#39;s bio -

David has been dancing salsa for over 8 years now, however he has been dancing since he was just a kid. He entered many talent shows and was an avid break-dancer throughout high school. He joined a group called O.T.B, (Out to Break). People called him "Dancing Dave". He is a skateboarder and been featured in skate videos, and skate magazines. Growing up it was all about extreme sports and break-dancing. He has worked for a skate shop for over three years, and wanted a change. One day while looking for a job, he came across an ad in the paper for "Dance Instructors Needed-Will Train". There he was trained in latin ballroom dancing and he did that for 8 months. During that time he developed a great passion for salsa and met Stephen Gallardo and Josie Velsasco. They all teamed up and decided to move on to the next level starting San Diego's first dance company Salsa Y Fuego .


Interview with Majesty in Motion at the 2007 Salsa Summer Splash



Majesty in Motion performance





Monday, March 16, 2008 - The Cobo Brothers, part 2

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

In part 2 of this post, we feature two social dances with James Cobo (one salsa chaser, one cha-cha dance), and two other social dances with Will Pagan and Bernardo. Will has trained with the Milton and James in North Carolina, and Bernardo dances with the Cobo Brothers team.



James Cobo and Mong



Will Pagan and Karen Aguilar



Bernardo and Mariella (Yamulee)



James Cobo (cha-cha)





Tuesday, March 11, 2008 - The Cobo Brothers, part 1

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

Have you ever seen Milton or James Cobo at a salsa congress or festival social dancing? Both have very eye-catching styles of dancing, traveling around their partner with incredible smoothness. I wouldn't be surprised if they've been asked to dance with the same lady more than twice a night ("they got mad skills"). Known as the Cobo Brothers, their partnerwork and styling is in demand throughout the world. We saw them in Chicago this past February, but unfortunately didn't get an opportunity to conduct an interview. So we'll make up for it in a social dance and performance from the 2004 Puerto Rico Salsa Congress.

Here are snippets of their bios from their website.

Milton found his true passion in dancing Salsa after he graduated from college (Rutgers University, with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering) and moved to North Carolina with his brother (James), at the age of 22. With his brother by his side, Milton was able to overcome many obstacles, and take his dancing to a professional level. He spent the first 3 months learning from videotapes and practicing with his brother, starting "On 1", and eventually developed his ability to dance "On 2". Since day one, Milton’s dancing had a strong NY influence, but living in North Carolina enabled him to develop a unique sophisticated funk. Although he initially concentrated on mastering the technique of leading, he eventually began focusing on his footwork and body movement as well.
James has inspired many around the world with workshops and performances at international events since 2001. As an experienced Mambo and Cha-Cha-Cha dancer, James has ongoing training in Jazz, Samba, and Afro - Cuban. With a desire to continue to grow as a dancer, James is focused on refining his talent and inspiring many for years to come.




Cobo Brothers freestyle performance



Milton Cobo and Samantha Erskine social dance





Tuesday, February 26, 2008 - Puerto Rico's Alberto Muriel and Igrid Rivera, and Chicago's Urban Vibe

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

In mid February, we had the pleasure of attending the 7th annual 2008 Chicago Salsa Congress. The windy city has immense talent locally, and brings from Puerto Rico as well. This week we feature Puerto Rico's Alberto Muriel and Ingrid Rivera, and Chicago's Urban Vibe.

Only 20 and 16 respectively, Alberto Muriel and Ingrid Rivera finished 8th in the on2 division, in just their first major competition! This is quite an accomplishment, as the dance couple beat over 20 couples, some of them veterans in the competition scene.

Urban Vibe is a collection of Chicago's finest dancers, an all-star ensemble from a number of Chicago groups, including members from Latin Rhythms and Mambofodadaz. The directors are Jorge Alvarez and Pablo Rivera. The group represented Chicago in the team division of the 2007 World Salsa Championships.



Alberto Muriel and Ingrid Rivera interview



Alberto Muriel and Ingrid Rivera performance



Urban Vibe interview



Urban Vibe performance





Tuesday, February 12, 2008 - Santo Rico Dance Company, part 3

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

With more than 10 years under their belt, Santo Rico has solidified their placement as one of the best groups in the world. They dance with such passion that their style is immediately infectious to viewers. Their choreography is classic and visually rich.

In part 3 of this post, we feature two of the current Santo Rico pro dancers, Danny and Liz. We also feature an interview with Santo Rico alumna Stracy Diaz, a veteran of several dance groups. Finally, we end with a 2005 performance from Xibicion Santo Rico, the semi-pro group.




Danny & Nancy at the 2007 LA Salsa Congress



Liz interview at the 2007 David Melendez Party



Stracy Diaz interview at the 2006 SOS 3rd Annivesary



Xibicion Santo Rico at the 2005 Pa'lante Party





Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - Santo Rico Dance Company, part 2

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroitor, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

With more than 10 years under their belt, Santo Rico has solidified their placement as one of the best groups in the world. They dance with such passion that their style is immediately infectious to viewers. Their choreography is classic and visually rich.

Students rush to their workshops for a glimpse of what Thomas Guerrero and crew can dish out (we know we have at several congresses).

(Harry Sanabria) I remember watching Santo Rico perform for the first time at Jennifer Aucoin's Canada Salsa Congress in 2003. Santo Rico and alumni members Mario B and Ivona brought the house down with a 70's themed routine (think Austin Powers-esque). Ivona was sexy as usual and the men had a look of fun and enjoyment (who knew Mario B could rock a wig).

Even after years of demonstrating their talent around the world , Santo Rico finds new ways to reinvent themselves. Santo Rico in collaboration with Ahtoy Wonpat-Borja and Daniel Enskat from Baila Society has started providing lessons over the web for its subscribers. So if your not able to run to the Santo Rico Studio in Spanish Harlem or hit a workshop at your local congress be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.




Interview with Daniel and Santo Rico's Ahtoy from Baila Society



Ahtoy and Kelvin social dance from the 2006 All Star Salsa Cruise



Interview with Benjamin and Carmen from Santo Rico with Mario B



Social dance with Stephen and Santo Rico's Carmen





Tuesday, January 29, 2008 - Santo Rico Dance Company, part 1

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Santo Rico, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week we profile a few videos of the Santo Rico Dance Company. We have over 10 videos of the dance company members, so for part 1 of this post, we feature a small sampling. "Remembering the past, embracing the present, shaping the future, 5 continents, 20 countries, over 10,000 students, entertaining thousands worldwide." - www.santorico.com

Do you remember the first time you saw Santo Rico? While we have seen them at several events such as the NY Congress, we first had the opportunity to capture the pro team at the 2006 Salsa Dura festival. (We captured Xibicion Santo Rico in 2005).

New York's DJ Rumbero held the Salsa Dura Festival in Bensalem, PA at Sonya Elmore's La Luna Dance Studio in April 2006. We were hanging out at the tech rehearsal, waiting to conduct some interviews. Picture some of NY's finest talent at the studio, including Karisma, Yamulee, and Santo Rico. Thomas Guerrero and his group kindly let us record his practice and conduct an interview. We were absolutely blown away by this tech rehearsal (in fact, this is our most popular video on our site). The Santo Rico interview is perhaps our most favorite interview, conducted by Alex Alvarado.

Alex interviewed the following couples: Thomas and Liz, Danny and Pierina, Benjamin and Carmen, and Kike and Ahtoy. Celebrating their 10th anniversary in 2006, the group (main studio in Spanish Harlem) is in demand throughout the world. Their dynamic style is a mix of turns, shines, acting, turns, and even more turns! Here's a small snippet from their website's history section:

Santo Rico is a dance company performing primarily Mambo dancing, which has become a way of life in Latin communities like Washington Heights, the Bronx and other communities throughout the City of New York. The history of Santo Rico dates back to 1995. The name of the dance company is derived from the initial members of the group being half from Santo Domingo [(Santo) and half from Puerto Rico (Rico), hence the name "Santo Rico".

Santo Rico was initially formed by Wilton Beltre, a 32 year old Dominican native, who expressed his love for dancing by displaying his street style of dancing Mambo/Salsa in local nightclubs in New York City. Prior to forming Santo Rico, Wilton received dancing instruction from the well renowned Eddie Torres. This gave him professionalism and grace and ultimately led to the development of a unique style. During his stint with Mr. Torres, Wilton excelled and brought his dancing ability to such a high level that he became one of the most outstanding members of The Eddie Torres Dance Company, which led to his traveling abroad with Eddie Torres' dance company and performing in England.

This week, we feature our most popular video, the Santo Rico tech rehearsal, the main group's interview, and several others.




Santo Rico interview with Alex Alvarado



Santo Rico rehearsal



Thomas and Aline social dance



Liz and Vittico social dance





Monday, January 14, 2008 - iMambo.tv

Over the past one and a half years, we have accumulated a wealth of videos, from interviews, highlights, social dances, and performances. We have been entertained by the likes of Al "Liquid Silver" Espinoza, Santo Rico, Tropical Gem, and many others. Each week (or two) we will profile a selection of videos, ranging from the very popular to the rarely seen.

This week, we profile a pioneer of Internet salsa video - iMambo.tv. Imagine a world without Youtube. What would you have? You had a number of salsa websites like Justsalsa.com and Salsafoto.com at the original Puerto Rico salsa congresses. However, from a video standpoint, there were few options. From what we gather, iMambo.tv was started by Jareau Almeyda in early 2002. Here is a snippet of their early Mission Statement:

This site is dedicated to documenting and preserving the essence of Salsa / Mambo as it is danced today.

From taking those first dance steps at home with Mom & Dad, to taking your first steps in a dance school, from NY to Japan; Salsa/Mambo has become a way of life for many Latinos and non Latinos alike. We intend to capture this love and passion on video, and rebroadcast it for the world to see.

As does life, the dance scene changes... It evolves and grows; decays and dies. As the years go on, this site will continue to document our dance, it's people, venues and activities.

We'd like to contribute our grain of sand to this sea of memories; one where moments are lived, treasured, and soon thereafter, forgotten. Our goal is to capture those moments of immensely profound self expression, and store them forever. So each and every one of us can look back and say... "Wow. That was me; having a great time, with great people."


Well put. iMambo.tv has grown to a large portal with their video gallery, message board, online store, and current salsa events. So below are some interviews and social dances of both Jareau Almeyda and Shaka Brown, who tirelessly broadcast you to the entire world.



Interview with Jareau and Magna at the 2006 DC Congress



Interview with Shaka at the 2006 All Star Salsa Cruise



Jareau and Elaine social dance at the 2006 Salsa Dura Festival



Shaka and Luce (ClaveKazi) at the 2006 All Star Salsa Cruise

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