Yes, you’ve seen these type of lists on every Salsa/Bachata themed site you’ve ever visited. This will be no different. But why seven dancers instead of ten, you ask? Well, because it’s my list – plus I’m too much of a fan to leave any of them off the post. :).
First, the disclaimer.
Dance (like any art form) is subjective and creating a list that identifies ‘the best’ is practically impossible. However, we all have our preferences and this post will highlight my favorite male Salsa dancers.
Second disclaimer – Eddie “The Mambo King” Torres is the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time). He is the dancer who codified and created the teaching methodology most Salsa/Mambo dancers use today. He is the original bad ass. Everyone else is benefiting from his greatness and striving to duplicate his style. Maria Torres (Eddie’s wife) and June Laberta (a fellow dance instructor) also share a great deal in his success. I HIGHLY encourage you to check out his YouTube channel. There are so many great videos and historical nuggets to witness. He and Delille “Mambo D” Thomas were the 1980s version of Adolfo Indacochea and Frankie Martinez. If you don’t know who the latter two dancers are, please keep reading.
With that said – you may recognize all seven or you may find someone that you haven’t seen dance before. In either case, enjoy. You’ll notice that most of my favorites are dancers who have been in the scene for a while. This list will be in no particular order. Fernando Sosa, Rodrigo Cortazar, Dom Ramark, Johnny Vazquez, Oliver Pinieda and G-Ya could also be on the list…maybe next time. :).
Who are your favorites? Feel free to leave a comment! Check out the Top 6 Female Salsa Dancers.
I love watching Franklin perform. His performances always seem to be very crisp, precise and full of flavor. The video highlights a show with Eddie Torres Jr. It’s one of my absolute favorites. Eddie could easily be on this list as well – but I don’t want to make the list really long!
Terry is one of the more popular salsa instructors/performers in the world and for good reason – he’s a great dancer. I love watching Terry dance, I only wish he’d smile a little more as he’s a supremely nice guy. I’ve met and interviewed him on a few different occasions. There are a ton of videos of Terry social dancing, but I’d like to highlight this performance with Dom Ramark (another one of my favorite dancers).
In my opinion, Adolfo is pound for pound the best dancer of this list. There isn’t anything he can’t do at a master level.
Frankie is not only a great dancer, but he has encyclopedic knowledge of Salsa/Mambo history and culture. He (much like Magna Gopal) is a great ambassador for the latin dance community and dancers can learn a lot from him. You can find lots of videos of Frankie dancing, but I’d like to highlight a video where he discusses different styles of Salsa dancing.
Gordon isn’t just a Mambo or Salsa dancer – he is a legit dancer. The video below is gold. It’s two incredible dancers (Magna Gopal and Gordon) having fun and improvising. I think it’s akin to great athletes working hard on their skills in a gym or a talented musician practicing their instrument, but with no particular song in mind.
I’m a huge fan of Alex and I try to pattern my social dancing technique and persona after him. Why? Because he’s skilled and (…wait for it) he has fun with is partner while dancing! I love watching Alex not only because he’s talented, but because he puts me in a good mood when I watch him dance. He mixes playful tricks and combos that keep his partner engaged, enjoying the dance and smiling. Some leads make it a habit of indulging themselves with flashy footwork and a thousand mechanical turn patterns while partner dancing, instead of sharing moments with their partner. Not Alex. Fadi Fusion is another dancer that I really like because (like Alex) he social dances with his partner and not for them.
Speaking of Fadi, here is a great example of him displaying his amazing talent, but also letting his partner (Jessica Patella) shine. Jessica is a beast of a dancer in her own right.