Dance shoes and Prince charming..

Posted by katiesea on July 27, 2010
The most comfortable heels you'll ever wear!! - The most comfortable heels ever!!

Finding the right shoe to dance the night away is like finding that prince charming…. you have to kiss a lot of frogs or in this case, try on a lot of pairs before you find the right one! Fortunately, there are some tips that I will share to help make this process a little easier.

Sure, 3-inch salsa shoes look great! I know for a fact that walking in heels causes your back to arch and your chest to thrust forward, giving you that sexy come-hither stance but in the long run, high heels could leave us without a healthy leg to stand on!

When I first began salsa dancing, I committed the typical mistake of buying my dancing shoes online. Sure, there were well priced, but my feet surely suffered because of my thriftiness. First of all, you do not know if the shoe will be true to your size and being a perfect size 6 all my life, I never knew how important this was until I was dancing non-stop for three to five hours. I cannot tell you how many pairs of shoes I sent back. Many times the shoes were too wide or the pretty little straps that attracted me in the first place were designed in such a way that my pinky toe hung out of the shoe. This not only caused blisters, but it also made for an unappealing look as I strutted into the club. Here are a few reasons why being measured in person or trying on shoes prior to purchase is beneficial:

1 – Your feet swell after you are on them for about an hour, so you need to allow enough room for that swelling in your fitting. Your feet also swell during the day so imagine wearing shoes to salsa class or to the club after wearing heels to work all day?

2 – Straps may be too long (you can trip on them) or too short (makes the shoe too tight and cause swelling faster). Also consider using jazz shoes or jazz boots instead of heels when you are taking classes. Although not as esthetically appealing, they can prevent a lot of foot and back damage.

3 – Every shoe manufacturer has different sizes of heels. While some may say 3 inches, they could actually be 3.5 inches. High heels can also create long-term problems for our feet. Statistics show that 43 million Americans today experience painful foot problems—such as hammertoes, calluses, and bunions—and high-heeled women comprise the vast majority of them. For every five women in the U.S., one suffers from aching feet as a result of donning heels to impress partners or colleagues. Remember that “High” is a relative term. Try to set your limit to two inches. The guy you’re dancing with can tell how tall you are so that extra inch heel is not worth the damage you can cause to your back and feet! Besides, the shorter you are, the better he can spin you!!

4 – Buy shoes with leather insoles to keep the foot from slipping and use insoles for support. I recommend Spenco Insoles ( If you suffer from flat feet, wearing heels can actually help shape your arches but limit your feet to one to two inch heels. You can also try Spenco’s  Arch Cushions to help support arches and flat feet while in heel.

5 – The last and probably most important tip is STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH! Make sure you stretch the muscles in the back of your leg before and after putting your shoes on (before and after class or social dancing). Pelvic tilts and calf stretches will minimize any muscle cramping and shortening and increase your dancing stamina (meaning you can dance in your shoes longer). Check some simple stretches for dancers on YouTube.

The best thing to do for your feet is to find a local distributor who will measure your feet. Believe me, I didn’t believe this until I tried it. Mambo Dallas distributes SoulDancer shoes from that can be measured in person to assure the perfect fit! They also carry fashionable unisex dance sneakers that are kind to your feet. If you are interested in jazz boots, I recommend you check out Capezio’s.

I understand that heels are not something one simply wears on their feet, but that shoes represent a passion, hobby, personal expression, source of authority, sexual independence, feminine culture, femininity, psychologically empowering, and joy. Although the salsa scene proactively endorses the use of the high heel, especially hot pink or leopard salsa shoes, we need to be reminded (often) that they are not worth the expense of our own physical health, therefore, search for the perfect shoe for you!

By JandersOn2

Categories: Uncategorized

On1, On2, Cuban, What is the difference and what does it matter?

Posted by katiesea on March 1, 2010

If you’re a beginner dancer and are trying to figure out which style to try first it, the answer is simply: it doesn’t really matter. If you’re an experienced dancer in either of these styles, learning the other style opens doors to meet and dance with more people throughout the world. You may even find out you like the new style better than the old! My favorite comparison is that of an English speaker learning a Latin language like Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, etc. If you learn Portuguese you will have the opportunity to communicate with about 200 million more people. If you then learn Spanish you can have another 300 million people to talk with. Which one is better? Wrong question, they are different but serve the same purpose. Which one should I learn first? Maybe the one that is used in the area you plan to visit in your travels, or maybe the one that sounds better to you. Once you know one of them, learning a second is much easier because of their common background.

So where do people dance On1 or On2? There are On1 and On2 dancers all over the world! Here in the US, On1 was popularized in Los Angeles with the Vasquez Brothers, and On2 in New York with Eddie Torres’s famous time step. We won’t get into the Palladium Mambo for the sake of simplicity. In Dallas, TX there is a slight majority of On1 dancers but On2 is a quickly growing trend. In fact, the best On1 dancers of Dallas have tended to learn On2 and transfer all of their On1 moves to the new timing. Some just still prefer On1.

What do you mean by new timing?

Ok, so here comes the explanation of the difference between the two styles:

The main difference is when you step (start dancing or moving) with respect to the music. The On1 dancers move (or break forward) on the first beat of the music, while the On2 dancers break on the second beat. That’s it!

Now people can go into a more complex explanation of the cadence, and the conga, and the way that the ancestors use to dance to the beats of the drums back in Africa but you know what? They weren’t there and dance changes with time and with people (just like Salsa has evolved to have these distinct timing styles), so I’m going to keep this explanation as simple as possible.

Both On1 and On2 are slot (or line) dances meaning that you’re not going to cross in between the slot (space) where another couple is dancing. You’re going to stay in your slot. In contrast, Cuban (or Miami) style salsa has the couple dancing in circles around each other and can travel across the dance floor.

Now if you go to Latin America and try to dance salsa with them, they tend to dance on the core beats (odd beats of the music) but not necessarily On1 or On2. In fact Cuban dancers (as per my experience dancing in Miami for 5 years) tend to dance on the 3rd or the 7th beat of the music. Why? Because sometime the music strongest accent comes on the third or the seventh beat and that’s when they decide and feel like they should move.

If I dance On1 can I dance with an On2 dancer and vice versa? Yes, but it will be rocky!! Each of you will have a tendency to go back to your style. To make it smooth, both dancers must agree the timing at which they want to dance. In general, it is considered nice etiquette for the lead to ask the follower which timing they prefer to dance in (-before you start dancing of course!). So guys, the pressure is on us to know both timings and make the lady feel good dancing their favorite style. The same happens with Cuban dancers trying to dance with On1 or On2 dancers (- hey, it’s happened to me).

How can I tell if someone is dancing On1 or On2? You can tell by looking. Another big difference of these two styles is the direction in which they start moving. On1 leads move forward with their left foot on the first beat of the music, where the On2 leads will step backwards with their right foot on the second beat of the music. There are some things better explained in conversation and dancing so I promise to upload soon a video talking about this very topic and showing the counts slowly (and dancing). J

See you on the dance floor!!!

~ Frederic & Katie


Categories: Uncategorized

Dance Etiquette 101 (Leads Take it easy!!)

Posted by katiesea on February 28, 2010

He just smacked me in the head!!  ~ Disgruntled Follow, names may be changed for protection of their identity!

You’ve been going to classes and club dancing consistently. Your moves are now crowd pleasers and people admire the arsenal and complexity of what you do. That’s all great, but leaders, TAKE IT EASY!!!! No one is impressed when you hit a lady in the head or you drop her on the floor.

The dance floor is not a level playing field. If your dance partner makes a mistake, it’s the lead who looks like a fool when there are accidents in the dance floor. Yes guys, even if she trips by herself you’re supposed to catch her!! I didn’t say it’s fair, it’s just the way it is.

But how? When you invite a lady to dance you’re asking her to allow you to share same space and purpose for a few short minutes. If you’ve never dance with her before, make sure to start VERY slowly and progress into more complex moves. I tend to start with a simple cross body lead and right turn. With just that, I can gage the speed and complexity of moves I can try with her.

One of my favorite dancers is Oliver Pineda (Latin Motion, Australia) because he is always shows me something new. He’s got great musicality, even on some of his signature fast moves. I had a chance to meet him last year at the Capitol City Salsa Festival; my admiration for him as a dancer grew more when I saw him social dancing. Instead of showing off his skills, speed, and complex patterns, he was so amazingly smooth, gentle and pleasant towards all the ladies that he danced with. That’s right, he smiled throughout the dance even if his dance partner wasn’t an expert like him. What a dancer!! What a gentleman!

Remember that the goal is to have fun and enjoy dancing to the music, rather than to display your latest and greatest accomplishments in the world of salsa moves. So please take it easy, enjoy, and give your follower the dance of her life! Believe me, ladies talk, and their unsolicited compliments are much more valuable than your complex move.

Keep Dancing,
Frederic & Katie

Categories: Uncategorized

Sunday Group Salsa Classes started Oct 25th

Posted by katiesea on October 27, 2009

You are still on time to join. We’ll review the first class material this Sunday Nov 1st. This Sunday will be the last week of the series that beginners can join. Intermediate students are accepted on rolling admission basis (you can come whenver you want/can).

We had a full house on our On1 Intermediate and Beginner classes. See these testimonials: “Had a great time, kinda rusty on my feet but I’m certain I’ll get the hang of it!” and “Great class. The fun continues….” and “Class exceeded expectations; Frederic is an excellent instructor.” What are you waiting for? Come and join us this Sunday at 3pm for intermediate LA Style Salsa, 4pm for Beginners LA Salsa (On1), and 5pm for On2 Salsa.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Mambo Dallas family at the Austin Salsa Fest

Posted by katiesea on October 27, 2009

Best known as the Capitol City Salsa Fest, Austin, was home to an increadible display of talent and flavor. Dancers from all over the world were well represented at the Festival which was a complete success. Dallas was not the exception.See more pictures at the gallery!

Categories: Uncategorized

Mambo Dallas Dance Team will perform at Inca Tonight Oct 27th

Posted by katiesea on October 27, 2009

mambodallasdanceteamatinca_oct27Our Dance team will join the Inca’s Social tonight with a special performance. Custom contest during tonight’s social. Join us at 2662 Josey Ln, Carrolltton, TX. See you there!

Categories: Uncategorized

Watch Latin Music USA Documentary (PBS)

Posted by katiesea on October 20, 2009

Thanks to Jeannette from our Meetup group, we were introduced to this phenomenal documentary of the amazing connection between Latin music and the influences that include Blues, Rock, Jazz, Swing and Afro Cuban rythms. Did you know Salsa was born in New York City? Learn more at:


Latin music USA

Categories: education

Hello world!

Posted by katiesea on September 25, 2009

It’s been a while since our last post. We’ve been hard at work redesigning our website, our blog, our dance team, and of course enjoying the world of Salsa and Latin Dance.

Many things have happened since the July Intensive Training Program and we will start adding some of the stories that our dance family has gone through in the past few months.

Your feedback is of upmost importance to us. Please let us know what you like about the new site, what you’d like to see changed (or what you’d like to see more) on the comments to these blog. Remember to subscribe to our meetup group on or submit your name and email on our front page.

See you on the dance floor!

~ Frederic & KatieMambo Dallas at Uptown Festival

Categories: Uncategorized

Intensive On2 Salsa Program

Posted by katiesea on July 22, 2009

Thank you all for joining us this past Tuesday July 14th, for our open auditions. It was a pleasure to see so many talented dancers wanting to join this program. Great job for everyone. We are contacting everyone personally to give the official invitations. Again, thank you!!

If you could not make this series but you really wanted to join keep your eyes open as we will open a new intensive Salsa series in the fall.

Categories: Uncategorized

Dinner and Dancing Social at Inka Cafe June 30th

Posted by katiesea on July 22, 2009

Thank you for joining us at Inka’s for dinner, a salsa lesson by Roman, and dancing at the best place to dance in Dallas salsa on Tuesday Nights.

Categories: Uncategorized