Mr. Mambo King – a legend

November 4, 2010 § Leave a comment

Having so much time to kill, while waiting for my baby to come out, I ran into some clips of recent Eddie Torres shows and remembered what a privilege it was to attend his classes a couple of years ago. You believe it when you see it. The name Mambo King does him justice and when you take his pachanga class, you know you’ve been inspired for good.
Even the shows are pure pleasure for the eyes. Though you know it’s not about the story, not about the lifts and tricks, not about the spins and styling… it’s about the groove, the feel, the soul… OK, and his TM costumes ;).
All I can say is “Thank you Mr. Eddie Torres!”

His bio tells us an interesting story on how and why he started dancing. Quoted from his website: “He was merely 12 years old when he caught the dancing bug. Just back in New York after a two year sojourn in Puerto Rico, he developed a puppy-love crush on a girl from the hood. Shyly, he asked her to the movies and she made a counter-offer: why didn’t he come to her house? That Saturday, when Renée opened the door, Eddie was surprised to see a tall, good-looking guy sitting on the couch. Renée whispered apologetically, “He’s my ex-boyfriend. He’s looking to make up with me.” Then, in an attempt to break the tension, she asked Eddie, “Do you know how to Latin?” She wanted to know if he knew how to dance Latin. Fresh from Puerto Rico, his confidence emboldened him. Renée leaned over the record player and dropped the needle on the groove of Eddie Palmieri’s Azucar Pa’ Ti. Not knowing a thing about leading position or about timing, the young suitor started jumping around, then glanced over to collect looks of approval. But his rival on the couch sat clamping his jaw closed, holding back a burst of laughter. Two minutes into the number, Renée retired her inexperienced partner, pulled her ex-boyfriend up and explained in a professorial manner, “Let me show you the way WE do the Latin.” It was plain to see that there was a lot of coordination, plenty of moving together and all sorts of turns. The more they danced, the worse Eddie felt. After the dance demonstration, his love interest pulled him to one side and explained, “He really wants to make up with me.” From that moment, Eddie made himself a promise, “This is never going to happen to me again. I’m going to learn how to dance.”

I’m sure someone can somehow relate to that :). Although his determination led him far. He learned and learned and learned, he worked with Tito Puente, competed, developed NY on2 style of dancing and also started teaching. He did all this in the era when Latin dance was not as popular. That is why I said the nickname Mr. Mambo King does him juste. One can read even more about him on his website.

Below, I am attaching some clips from this years Hamburg salsa festival, which took place in July.

With Melissa Rosado in Remember the time / and yes I do remember the time when I took those classes 🙂

His solo show:

Melissa’s solo show:

And many more…


One of the first, one of the biggest – salsa festival in Hamburg

July 22, 2008 § 3 Comments

I’m totally excited today. Just got back from another crazy dancing weekend. This was a whole new and very precious experience for me. I expected the Hamburg festival to be big (and it was), but you never really know whether that brings quality or mess. I would like to start this review with a very special and inspiring experience:

Meeting Eddie Torres
I’ve only heard of this special guy, a salsa legend may I say, but meeting him and taking his classes was just soooo inspiring. Of course this man knows just about everything there is to know about salsa, but the best thing is, he likes to share all his knowledge. We had 3 classes in a row on Friday afternoon, some sort of special additional classes, plus a few more through the weekend and it seemed we only got a few tips from his broad knowledge. Yet, we worked heard, learned fast and got a few additions just to tape it. I mean it’s unbelievable what a warm, friendly and caring atmosphere those classes had. We did a lot of salsa on2, chacha and one of the coolest experiences – Pachanga!  (never done it before and it’s so much fun) 🙂 

At the end of each class, show program and any chance Eddie Torres got, he gave us some inspiring words, he shared his own experience and good wishes. I especially liked some of his statements, one of them being:

“There’s always been a lot of salsa dancing and never so much chacha. But to me cha-cha is like the bride and salsa the groom. So let’s join bride and groom together and enjoy them both.”
I couldn’t agree more, cause I always felt chacha has an even greater soul than salsa (no offense guys! 😉 )

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