Authors Posts by DancePlanetDaily



Looking for a great deal on either the Los Angeles or Miami Aventura Dance Cruises? Mention the promo code “LDCAVENTURA” when booking your cabin and receive a $50 discount on the purchase price!  Save that $50 for a nice ‘colorful’ drink or an excursion!

Below are some promo vids for the respective cruises.

For more information and to book your cruise visit!


There are several styles of bachata: Traditional Dominican, Moderna, and Sensual to name a few. Bachata Sensual seems to be the dominate style…at least according to YouTube audience preferences. Daniel Sanchez and Desire Guidonet are an extremely popular Bachata sensual duo from Spain and they dominated the list.  Check out the top 5 Bachata (dance) videos of 2016 by view count.

#1 Daniel Sanchez & Desire Guidonet (15.8 Million views)

#2 Daniel Sanchez & Desire Guidonet (2.8 Million views)

#3 Jorge “Ataca” Burgos & Tanja “La Alemana” Kensinger (2.6 Million views)

#4 Daniel Sanchez & Desire Guidonet  (1.7 Million views)

#5 Daniel Sanchez & Desire Guidonet (1.1 Million views)


Sara Lopez is the queen of Kizomba…at least from a social media perspective.  Her videos get HUGE numbers of views and (at the time this article was written) her Facebook fan page had 138, 965 likes. That’s a ton for anyone in the latin dance scene…

Here are her top 5 YouTube vids by viewcount for 2016!

#1 – 4.6 million views

#2 – 735K views

#3 – 425K views

#4 – 387K views

#5 – 177K views


A “TED Talk” is a video created from a presentation at the main TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference or one of the satellite events. In his TEDx Talk entitled “A Brave New Salsa Dancing World” dance instructor  Rob Castellucci explains how salsa changed his life in an engaging story of heartbreak, exploration and personal growth. h…he also proposes to his girlfriend during the talk! Rob also hosts a regular podcast on LatinDanceCommunity Podcast. Check out this great TEDx Talk!


The latin dance community can be an uncomfortable and intimidating place for non-dancers. These feelings certainly can cause friction in a relationship or marriage. I think many of us have known dancers who suddenly drop from the scene or “need to take a break” because the person they’re in a relationship with doesn’t like their hobby/dance lifestyle.

Melissa West-Koistila is a dancer from Ohio who gives her thoughts on the subject in her article, “When Your Non-Dancing Spouse Doesn’t Support Your Dance Life”.

It’s a good article. Enjoy.


Back before Jennifer Lopez became a singing and acting sensation…she was a dancer. From 1991-1993 she was part of the “Fly Girls”, a dance crew that performed between skits of the hit 90s sketch comedy show “In Living Color”.  The show was the brain child of comedian Keenen Ivory Wayans.

The clip below is from the Keenen Ivory Wayans show waaaaaay back in 1997.  So, yes kiddos there was salsa dancing pre-2000. In that year Lopez starred in the movie, Selena, which helped launch her career to new heights and transformed Jennifer Lopez the dancer into J-Lo the megastar. The dancing starts are 1:00 and ends about 1:45.  In the clip Lopez dances with Albert Torres. For those of you who frequent the Salsa Congress scene you may recognize Torres’ name as he is the organizer of the popular World Latin Dance Cup and many other latin congresses around the globe.



There are tons of podcasts dedicated to latin music floating around the internet.

There are very few, to my knowledge, in which the primary focus is talking about latin dance topics.  If you’re into salsa, bachata, kizomba, etc talk then the podcast hosted by salsero Rob Castellucci might be for you! He frequently has guest hosts on to get other opinions.

Rob discusses all things latin dance including such fun/educational/interesting topics as:

  • The good and bad of salsa congresses
  • The future of salsa dance technology
  • The pros and cons of recording turn patterns
  • How to measure your improvement as a salsa dancer
  • Interviews with dance instructors
  • Interviews with musicians
  • And more…

I know he has an interview with Christian Tumalan of Pacific Mambo Orchestra (PMO) coming up soon. PMO is based in San Francisco, CA and won a Grammy for Best Tropical Album last year beating out the likes of Marc Anthony.

The podcast is available at, ITunes, and Stitcher.

In the show below Rob discusses technology and its impact on the future of Salsa.

Check it out :).


If you’re a webmaster then you probably check your statistics periodically just to see how your site is doing.  You also check your “Search Engine Terms” to see what keywords people are using to check your site. Topics surrounding Albir Rojas and Sara Lopez are frequent searches that bring people to Dance Planet Daily, and this question apparently is OFTEN asked in search engines: Are Albir and Sara a couple? (or dating).

So, I just want to say for the benefit of everyone interested (as well as Albir and Sara) that they are NOT a couple and haven’t been a dance couple for a while. The once popular Kizomba duo were dance partners for four years until September, 2013.

Sara Panero is Albir’s primary dance partner as of 2016.

Reda Becili became Sara’s new dance partner in February, 2015.

If you’d like to read Albir’s statement concerning the end of their partnership you can read it here: Albir Rojas/Sara Lopez statement.

Below is a video interview with Sara and she spoke on the subject.

We at Dance Planet Daily have no interest in being a dance gossip site, but the question comes up so much that we figured it was time to answer it for the masses who have no direct contact with Albir or Sara.

So…there you have it!


Have you ever thought about why you dance Salsa the way you do?  Perhaps you’ve even wondered who invented the Susie Q? Perhaps not.

Whatever your level of curiosity, there are many dancers who influenced Salsa/Mambo dancing in the early years, and we wanted to highlight some of them.

The roots of Salsa extend from West Africa, through Cuban Son, and Mambo. This blog post is an attempt to recognize a few legends who helped establish Mambo (and subsequently Salsa) as a dance after its rise in popularity in the 1950s.

It is not meant to be an all encompassing history of both the dance and music. If you’d like to share other dancers with us, then please feel free to do so! Hopefully we can help spark a bit of interest in those (much like ourselves) who aren’t dance encyclopedia’s, and are curious to learn about dance history.


Carmela Dante DeFrancesco (1934-2007) and Pedro Aguilar (1927-2009) were two of the first popular Mambo dancers.  Better known as Millie Donay and Cuban Pete, the duo danced at the famed Palladium Ballroom in New York City back in the 1950s.  In 1949 the Palladium began allowing Hispanics to enter the ballroom and it became the Mecca of Mambo in the USA.

In 1952 African-Americans were allowed to join the party and the venue became an intercultural melting pot where all people could celebrate latin dance and music. Donay (Italian) and Pete (Puerto Rican) met at the Palladium in 1952 and they won several dance contests held there.  Donay was a formidable Lindy Hopper and brought many of those techniques to the ‘new’ Mambo that was becoming popular in the NYC.  Donay and another popular dancer of her day (Marilyn Winters) joined together to form the first all-female Mambo performance team. Pete trained as a boxer in his youth, but began using his feet to compete, instead of his fists, after winning a dance contest.  If you’ve ever heard of the ‘Susie Q’ step, credit Cuban Pete for inventing the move.  He was proclaimed ‘greatest mambo dancer alive’ by Life Magazine in 1954. He also trained Antonio Banderas to dance for his role in the movie, “The Mambo Kings” (1992).   Check out the clip below for a video about Donay and Pete.

Augustin Rodriguez and Margo Bartolonei (better known as Augie and Margo) were another influential couple who helped build the foundation of Salsa/Mambo.  Like Cuban Pete and Millie, they got together due to  a dance contest they won. They fused Flamenco dancing and Mambo to give them a style that was uniquely there own, which gave them a different vibe then most other dancers of their time. The duo was incredibly influential in extending Mambo throughout the globe, and bringing it into mainstream consciousness.  As with most talented Mambo dancers of the era, they could often be found dancing at the Palladium…however, they had bigger dreams and aspirations.  They developed dance routines beyond Mambo (such as jazz) and eventually became internationally known.

augie and margoThey performed with such popular acts as Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Tito Rodriguez, and The Tito Puente Orchestra.  They also performed for President Nixon, President Kennedy, and the Queen of England.  They married in 1950, but later divorced. Watch the video below, and you will recognize many of the same elements and tricks from contemporary Mambo performances.   Notice the spin at the end of the clip? The next time you attend a Salsa Congress and see about four couples do the move you will know who originated it!

That leads us to the ‘Mambo King’, Eddie Torres.  Mr. Torres studied the rhythms of the Mambo musicians of the 50s and 60s, and in the 1970s created and perfected the dominate Salsa teaching methodology that still exists today.  If your current instructor doesn’t know who Eddie Torres is…then you may need to consider getting a new teacher.  Below Mr. Torres talks about his dance influences and these individuals had a direct impact on how he danced.  It is a YouTube clip from an interview with Salsa Legends And Masters Academy at Slamanater.comWe have also provided a link to his profile below if you wish to read more about him.  Watch the clip below for some additional Salsa/Mambo history from ‘The Mambo King’ himself.

Dance Planet Daily Eddie Torres profile.

The knowledge from the video below should go into the  ‘Salsa Dancing Bible’, if there was such a thing.  He again talks about his influences, how ‘On2’ was invented, and the importance of finding your own style.


Latin Music USAA must see documentary about the Latin Music genre in the United States (and Salsa, in particular) is ‘Latin Music USA’.  It was a 4-part documentary produced by PBS in 2009.  Watch all four 1-hour episodes as they tie in to each other. There is a WEALTH of information in this documentary.

Highly recommended.  They are available both in Spanish and English.

Click the pic to access the documentary.  

Please feel free to post comments on other dancers who paved the way for Salsa enthusiasts of today, and help their stories and legacy live on.


It’s always uplifting to hear about dancers who are making a real and valuable impact in our dance community.  Jennifer Ables is one such dancer.  She is the Executive Director of Soldiers Who Salsa. It an organization that helps heal veterans “one dance step at a time”.

Check out the great video interview below!