HELL’S KITCHEN, Manhattan (PIX11) — A fun, New York-style mambo class represents the best of National Dance Day and Hispanic Heritage Month.
At the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Manhattan Saturday, Katharine Jimenez led a packed studio of enthusiastic mambo dancers. Jimenez, an Ailey extension director, began taking lessons at the theater 20 years ago when she was just 6 years old. And now she’s the leader of this New York-style mambo.
“New York-style mambo is originally called salsa,” Jimenez told PIX11 News. “It’s such a beautiful dance style.”
Originally from Cuba, the mambo is now being danced throughout the world because of its high energy and infectious rhythms. New York-style mambo had its beginnings at the world-famous Palladium Ballroom.
“The Palladium was on 53rd Street,” Jimenez told PIX11 News. “And on Sundays, for matinees, you had three big bands, Tito Puente.”
New Yorkers enjoyed a free 90-minute workshop that was open to all levels, the first in-person session since the pandemic. The class was also streamed online.
Frank Hernandez, a mambo dancer who is also parent liaison at Alvin Ailey, told PIX11 News, “It’s New York, it’s the Bronx, the Boogie Down Bronx.”
The official mambo classes, which are not free, are taught on Fridays and Saturdays. For the full dance schedule visit Alvinailey.org.