Herrera and Yanisbel Sanchez Salsa Web Interview!
So you won
the contest with $2000 dollars…how did that make you feel?
We feel very happy because it was
an outstanding opportunity to bring all the winners together for
a grand finale and in addition to that everyone did a wonderful
other competitions have you done? We
have competed in many different competitions, some of which include
Musico Mania, Club Mystique, Club Taj, Club St. Croix, Bermunda
Bar, just to name a few in which we have won first place.
We have also competed in television programs such as, Jugando
con Fernando, Sabado Gigante, also winning first place.
In last year’s Hustle and Salsa Competition, we were awarded
got you interested competing?
Who encouraged you?
HH: For me competing is a self-challenge that helps me surpass
the goal, which have previously earmarked for myself.
I stated competing in Cuba when I was 10 years old, influenced
by my parents and teachers who were competitors and winners in
their own right.
YS: Through competition I can demonstrate
my hard work and dedication to the style that I have been perfecting
since I was a child. My
parents and sister are extraordinary dancers and have always played
a large part in my great interest for dancing.
are you originally from? Both
Yanisbel and I were born in Havana, Cuba.
long have you lived in Miami?
HH: I first arrived from Cuba in
1991; my first two years were spent in New York, the rest have
been in Miami.
YS: I arrived here from Cuba in 1989 and have lived in Miami ever
Do you do
anything else besides dance?
(Hobbies, website, etc…)
HH: I enjoy racing motorcycles
thus Salsa Racing, I love to play basketball and baseball
and play dominos. I
am also a Salsa Web correspondent, and I am constantly updating
the DJ’s and Club listing pages.
YS: My hobbies include listening to music and singing.
I also love to play volleyball.
old were you when you became interested in dance?
HH: I have been interested
in dancing since before I can remember.
However, I began dancing when I was 8 years old in many
different school shows.
YS: I was also 8 years old when I first began to show interest
were your mentors / instructor(s) when you first started dancing?
HH: My first and most
impacting mentors when I first began to dance were my parents.
My teacher in school also played a very large part in my
admiration for dancing.
YS: My parents were
both remarkable dancers and were the persons that introduced me
to my first steps.
other forms of dance or types of dances do you dance?
Besides salsa we both dance Rumba,
Guaguancó, Cha- Cha- Cha, Mambo (Cuban Style), Danson, Son, and
us a little bit about your style. We
have a style that is very dynamic and has a lot of synergy.
We enjoy the music and at the same time demonstrate and
maintain our Cuban tradition.
you currently perform?
We are always performing!
We have competed in Miami, Florida as well as different
states and countries: some of which include Dallas, Texas, North
Carolina, New York, and also in Paris, France.
We have also done many demonstrations in some of Florida’s
hottest nightclubs, including Bongos, Power Studios, and Mangos.
do you find most satisfying about salsa? I
believe that salsa has played a very large part in bringing together
many different nationalities.
We have met various people from all parts of the world.
impresses you about the Salsa scene in Miami? The
salsa scene in Miami has expanded beyond my belief.
There are many different schools available to those who
are interested in becoming a part of the “Salsa World”.
is your future plans for dancing? We
plan to continue performing as much as possible.
April 20, 2001 we have been asked to please return to Paris,
France. July 7-14,
2001 we will also participate in a cruise around the Mediterranean.
In November, we were also invited to Dallas, Texas for
a salsa workshop. We
will continue working on the performances that Salsa Racing is
looking forward to. We
plan to help those who need assistance is learning to dance for
as long as we can.
you think the Los Angeles style of dancing has affected Miami
style, and visa versa? I
believe that neither of the two styles has affected the other.
I do think that we can combine the two styles as long as
we keep our rhythm and flavor.
you had to choose anywhere in the United States you’d like to
live other than Miami, where would that be, and why?
We have travel to many different
places and met many different people that have supported us 100%,
but in Miami we have our family and friends, which we choose to
Thanx guys and Best of Luck, from
and Yanisbel Sanchez
Salsa Power Interview!
We're here today with Henry Herrera & Yanisbel
Sanchez of Salsa Racing Dance Studios.
Henry & Yani, thank you for taking time out of
your busy schedules to do an interview with us.
SP: We first met back in April of 1999 as competitors
in the International Hustle & Salsa Competition
(held at the Miami Airport Hilton Ballroom). We were
the only Casineros in the ‘Professional Just Salsa’
division remember ?
I remember. We placed third in that competition.
SP: We felt that the
organizers of that event did not adequately enforce
their own rules, and several couples clearly deviated
from them by doing things such as entrances, exits,
lifts, drops, etc., which left other competitors at
a disadvantage. Never the less, you both were able
to persevere and placed third. Congratulations! Your
repertoire includes many intricate turn sequences
and you always dance like you truly enjoy the music.
HH: Thanks. Our style
is influenced by the ‘typical’ Cuban style with a
lot of complicated moves and a lot of rhythm. We feel
the music and we express what we feel while dancing.
SP: It’s great to watch
you two dance together. We're always amazed to watch
you go into those very intricate entrapments and escapes.
If we had to give you a nickname it would probably
be "The Great Houdini," because you are
able to get tangled up and somehow escape with ease!
When and where did you first learn how to dance Casino?
HH: I learned how to
dance salsa-casino in Cuba at the age of 8 or 10 years
old. Even as a little kid, I was calling ‘Rueda’ (turns)
and teaching people from other countries (Germany,
Italy, Spain etc.) and I appeared on several TV programs
in Cuba, such as the ‘Para Bailar’ show and the ‘Que
Siempre Brilla el Sol’ show.
SP: Wow! You were a
salsa dancing prodigy! Yani where did you learn?
YS: I learned how to
dance salsa-casino when I was a little girl. I learned
from my parents by just watching them dance. They
were excellent dancers and some of the most prominent
dancers in Havana, Cuba at the time. My dad started
teaching me little by little and that's how I learned.
But I also believe that to be a good dancer you have
to feel the music and that's not something you can
learn. You really have to feel it …you know?
SP: Absolutely. You
can teach someone the steps but they have to possess
an innate sense of rhythm to really feel the music
inside and transform that passion into dance. Henry,
what’s been going on lately with your school?
HH: Well, we have a
lot of things going on right now. One of the things
that's been keeping our school full of people is that
right now we're doing shows, competitions at clubs
and traveling a lot. We recently did a performance
in Paris, France, and are planning on doing a show
this Saturday at Bayside (at Bayfront park in downtown
Miami for the AIDS WALKATHON). We will also be doing
an exhibition on Saturday, April 7th and conducting
a workshop on Sunday, April 8th at the International
Hustle & Salsa competition (to be held at the
Radisson Hotel in Miami Beach). In May, we are going
to Dallas, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Atlanta,
Paris (again) and also will be on a Mediterranean
cruise. In June, we will be going to Santo Domingo
(for Salsamanía). We are going to be really busy!
SP: We have visited
your website ( www.salsaracing.com
) and noticed several pictures of performances you
have done. One such picture was of a performance that
you did at Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s new club, ‘Bongos’,
at the American Airlines arena in downtown Miami.
You were wearing elaborate costumes and looked like
you were having a great time. You seem to have a great
group of people associated with your school. When
was it established and what makes it special?
HH: Our school was
founded on April 04, 2000. What makes our school special
is the system that we teach, including a lot of complicated
moves and steps... Keeping the Cuban tradition alive.
We are also planning on opening another location on
Sundays and on doing more shows, both in the state
of Florida and abroad. We also are planning on producing
a salsa dance contest at Club Alcazaba in Coral Gables.
We have so many things
coming up. Check us out at www.salsaracing.com
for all of the latest information.
SP: Henry and Yani,
we want to once again thank you for the interview
and wish you both continued success!
HH/YS: Thank you!