Natalie Maniscalco, CEO and founder of Salseek.com, a digital magazine showcasing all things salsa, says she’s wanted to learn how to dance salsa “probably from the first time I saw the movie Dirty Dancing.” Personally, I think my first encounter with the big world of sexy Latin American dance styles was via a screening of the film Lambada in the basement during a birthday party in 6th or 7th grade (if I recall correctly).
Since then though, I have shied away from partnering up and showing any salsa moves I have picked up over the years, because A: I have a problem with letting a man lead (we could analyze the deeper meanings of this in several blog posts) and B: I’ve found the salsa scene quite intimidating (anyone who has stepped into a salsa night at a club in Barcelona or NYC and has seen the competition caliber dancing going on knows what I mean).
Luckily for salsa virgins and vets alike, Natalie had a stick-to-itiveness that I seem to lack in the salsa arena. She even took it a step further by applying her extensive background in PR to the salsa moves she picked up from classes taken at a Brooklyn studio to launch a website in the summer of 2010. Salseek.com contains information on schools (Natalie even offers to give personal recommendations if you contact her with your location and budget), classes and events in major cities like New York and Miami; photography by Chasi Annexy; interviews with salsa scenesters thanks to Tony Austin and crew of EnLa Escena TV; contributions from Rafael Herrera, a documentary filmmaker; and the upcoming comical column “The Salsa Chronicles” where Jayne Cooperman willshare her moments of prevailation and pit-falling as she turns salsera.
Meet Natalie, the Salseek.com staff and enjoy the warmer temperatures in the city (it is supposed to reach 60 degrees on Friday) at Salseek.com’s launch party February 18, 2011 at Hudson Terrace (a luxurious NYC rooftop bar/lounge and event space). This sizzling soiree “will feature live music by the legendary Grammy nominated New Swing Sextet and world salsa DJ Henry Knowles,” shares Natalie and she adds, “We will have two fantastic salsa performances by DanceOn2 studio choreographed by world renowned dancer and instructor Melanie Torres, who is also the daughter of the Mambo King Eddie Torres.” Also, have a look through the website to see what other events are coming up, including the 1st Annual Big Apple Salsa Festival in March, a multi-day festival of workshops, performances, concert series and dancing.
Salseek(.com) and you shall find a group of passionate salsa supporters dedicated to helping others interested in the dance form and culture (professionals and nervous newbies) move effortlessly on the salsa dancefloor.