Alien Ramirez – The Best Salsa Dancer Alive Today

I’m not going to lie.  I’m a huge fan of the Cuban born dancer, Alien Ramirez.  You could probably tell from the provocative blog title.  I’m also not going to pretend that I’ve been dancing salsa for 30 years (actually, around 15 years) or that I’ve witnessed all the greats of salsa social dance (YouTube certainly helps), but much like a casual fan could tell Michael Jordan was really good at basketball  – I can tell that Alien should be considered one of the best, if not the best.  Her ability to interpret the music and create art through dance is a joy to watch.

Alien has won several latin dance championships and has garnered a lot of accolades, but I think what sets her apart are her social dance skills. There are plenty of YouTube videos of Alien dancing – but I will present a few of my favorites. Watch for the syncopated steps, subtle hip movements, not-so-subtle hip movements, appropriate body rolls, leg sweeps, effortless improvisation and, most importantly, the joy she exudes while dancing!  Do you have any favorite dancers? If so, who?

Alien and Oliver Pineda in 2012.

The video has over 1 million views for a reason as it’s an absolute master class on salsa musicality and improvisation. They both shine and it doesn’t get much better than this.


Alien and Daniel in 2015.

There are so many magical elements in this video; the way she plays with instruments, particularly the trumpets, her leg movements prior to and during cross body leads (0:48 is subtly awesome), her shoulder syncopation with the congas and her finger syncopation with the piano at 3:57 when she touches his chin – as if she’s playing the piano.  And that move at 2:11, when she surprises Daniel! Genius. Yes, I’m sure she knows the song very well – but she still has to execute these moves all while staying in time and connected to Daniel.

Alien and Juan Matos in 2015.

My favorite thing about this dance isn’t the actual dance itself – it’s Alien’s presence and personality.  Even when Juan becomes self-indulgent and disregards their connection – Alien is still connected to the dance and feeling the music and the moment.  I love that about her.  She’s always engaged and having a good time.

Alien and David Zepeda in 2017.

A wonderfully fun and playful social dance.

Alien solo performance in 2019.

I think it’s brilliant. Alien showing her mastery of musicality (even without any ‘music’) and incorporating several dance styles into her performance.

2 Comments

  • David Sander says:

    I’ve danced with Alien, she visited Pittsburgh in 2016 for a teaching weekend by Jeff and Coleen Shirley. At the time she had 22 World Championships listed.
    At the time I had eleven years of social salsa experience and drilled regularly to to a timing CD to over come my mistakes. This eventually included random step combinations and attention to a clean, precise form.

    I have to mention a 2012 dance with Magna Gopal. Because she improvises freely and is fun to have around, I recognized from her that my developed combinations were too long so I worked on improvising to short combinations and experimenting with different steps. Her inspiration was critical to my skilled dance with Alien.

    I walked into The Cabaret in Pittsburgh on a Friday night and picked up a dance with an unfamiliar Latina in jeans. This was Alien. I didn’t know she was an exceptional social dancer. She did not know that I had developed a dozen different Salsa movements not taught anywhere. I had wondered for the week how to telegraph my next movement by various handholds. Not taught anywhere is my pass through On5 method of four step combinations which I use in regular social dancing.
    So we start the dance and I find she has wonderful technical skills and good timing. She ends in a good position and doesn’t get out of position. I do an unusual double turn, back break on four and half cross body with an outside turn behind my back which Alien finishes precisely in position. Her 360 turn is tight and gorgeous. Other combinations are more difficult but there isn’t space to describe them here. At the end of the dance she says Gracias! Its the first time anyone has followed all of my improvised combinations the first time, a treasured memory.

    More incredibly I go to the Saturday dance at Los Sabrosos and warm up with regular dancers for 40 minutes. Alien is sitting in the back with a former World Champion, double National Champion, and all the best dancers from Pittsburgh. I walk back and offer her a dance. She has been waiting to be asked to dance. There is a huge smile as she gets up immediately and walks to the floor with me.
    (To be completed)

    • golatindance says:

      Thanks for your comment, David! It’s nice to get confirmation that you had a pleasant experience dancing with Alien! And, I agree, Magna Gopal is also a great dancer as well.

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