"Nace Un Bailarin"…
BY ANGEL RODRIGUEZ
It all started back in 1976, I was fresh out of the Marine Corp and I was teaching Martial Arts.
One of my students asked me to go to a dance club. I danced traditional Salsa and Cha Cha but
never thought of dancing as an art form or a discipline, so moving rhythmically to music wasn't
as exiting to me as full contact fighting. When I shared my opinions on dance with my Martial
Arts Mentor he persuaded me that dancing could improve my physical speed. I soon took to
the dance clubs where I met Isabel Felix (Yogi). Yogi and I became dance partners. We called
ourselves "Fire and Ice" and danced throughout New York City. Isabel and I successfully danced
together for 6 years. One memory that stands out was joining the Harvest Moon Ball and winning
1st place over 250 contestants. Our dancing became more intense as we trained in Adagio with
"Rocco Collabaro" and also trained in Jazz at Phile Black Dance School.
"Fire and Ice" began working with Mr. George Vascone, a life changing experience. George
organized the first Latin dance team "The Latin Synbolics", and seemed to help teach
everyone in New York at one point or another. From George I learned much about performance
line and how to work with a team.
On night while dancing at Alexis the Hustle room was full and the Mambo section was empty it
was there that I met Mr. Eddie Torres. Eddie commented that I was good but would be better if
I learned to dance on 2 (which was dancing at a performer level). I went back to my instructor,
George who said, "You can never learn too much". So Eddie introduced me to clavé and we soon
became friends. Contrary to popular belief a friendship that lasts till today.
I left NY to perform all around the world and finally taught in Orlando Florida at the penthouse.
Freddy Rios, the last of the great Palladium Mambo Legends was one of my instructors, he
taught a different count system and movement theory. I took a long time to learn at the Mambo
Society. Upon my return to New York City I started teaching at the Mambo Society - this holds
a special place in my heart and heart of my wife. We both learned to teach large groups of people
at one time (60 to 70). Once the staff joined in on the class bringing the total to 120 people.
Addie and I have been teaching large crowds ever since.
Razz M' Tazz is a system of dance that Addie and I developed. It is a system that is well-rounded
because it incorporates so much!!
Gene Kelly, Fred Astire, Mikal Barinshikov, Freddy Rios and