My experience with one of the greats – Frankie
A few summers ago, I was pushed by my salsa instructor to venture out to New York City to take salsa lessons from some of the best salsa dancers in the world. He wanted me to get out of my comfort zone and experience something that was just a 40-minute drive from where we were in CT. I was hesitant at first but then decided to go into New York to try it out.
So one Saturday afternoon in July, after some recommendations from my salsa instructor, and countless hours of research on the “Tube,” I walked into this crowded dance studio in Manhattan. I knew that I was getting ready to participate in a different atmosphere from what I was use to in CT. You can see that there was a mixture of beautiful salsa dancing people from all different parts of the world waiting patiently for the class to get started. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like where I was taking class before you didn’t get people from different walks of life—it was just on a much smaller scale. Here I was, not knowing a soul I found myself venturing into an unfamiliar place—still not confident in my dancing, about to take a class with one of the most famous Salsa dancers in the world.
While waiting for the class to begin I had immediately noticed the instructor, who was about 5’8” tall, thin build, with a crew-cut dark hair. He was preparing the music for the class. I was a bit intimidated at first, who wouldn’t be. I was coming from a salsa class that at most had 10 people on a good day, to a class that had nearly 50. My nerves calm down a bit once he started the class by doing the basic salsa step to warm up. He continued on by teaching a shine routine for 30 minutes and then went on to partner work for the remaining 30 minutes of class. It was such a great experience to be able to be there in NYC taking a class from “Mr. Afro-Latin Funk” himself Frankie Martinez. I continued to take a few more classes that summer, it was an awesome time and also very entertaining. Frankie is a bit of a jokester, so he will work in some funny comments while he’s teaching, which is great to get people to relax and have a good time. He’s definitely one of the funniest salsa instructors I’ve ever had.
If your ever in the New York City area stop by the You Should Be Dancing studios to take one of his classes. He offers everything from shines, spinning, partner work and body isolation classes. His body isolation class is by far one of the best classes in the area. If you want to really “feel” the music I highly recommend it. If you decide to take that class be sure to wear your best workout clothes because you will work up a sweat.
Last, and certainly not least, if you ever get the chance to check out the Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company perform—do so. You will be impressed at how Frankie and his team are able to take salsa dancing and transform it into an enlightening performance art form.
Share and Enjoy
- February 9, 2012 - Jimmy Sabater – A Salsa Music Legend
- February 16, 2012 - Are you a “lots of patterns” kinda salsa dancer or not?