My guest today is an award-winning dancer, dance scholar, and one of the world’s leading experts on the history of salsa dancing.
Juliet McMains has a PhD in Dance Theory and History from the University of California at Riverside, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Dance Program at the University of Washington in Seattle.
As a salsa teacher, Juliet incorporates history lessons into her technique classes, educating students about the history of salsa music and dance, tracing both back to the Mambo Era, which you’ll learn about in this episode. Juliet is also the author of Spinning Mambo into Salsa: Caribbean Dance in Global Commerce.
As a budding salsa dancer myself, I wanted to speak to my guest today to better understand the history behind the world’s most popular partnered dance form, to learn about the men and women who made it popular as well as find out how one goes about writing a history of dance.
Above all, in a time when salsa dancing has never been more popular around the world, I wanted to know: where did modern salsa dancing come from, and where is it going?
I hope enjoy sitting in on my chat with the dancer and dance historian, Juliet McMains.
Mentioned in this episode:
- Juliet’s book, Spinning Mambo into Salsa
- “La Murga” by Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe (Amazon / iTunes)
- “Mambo No. 8” by Perez Prado (Amazon / iTunes)
- An example of New York Style “on-2” dancing
- An example of LA-style “on-1” dancing
- “La Banda” by Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe (Amazon / iTunes)
- PBS documentary on the history of Fania records, and Latin music in the US