An Interview with Alfredo Piceno – Atlanta, GA

Alfredo PicenoJJ: You have had a major influence on the Atlanta Salsa Scene. What are some of your Salsa highlights as an Instructor, Performer, and Director?

AP: As an instructor, I feel that I had a huge role in raising the competitive level here in the Atlanta market. I see my students grow in their dancing and it makes me proud, almost like a father watching their children grow to become better.

The best feeling is seeing our students out on the dance floor practicing what they have learned, and having a great time. As a performer, introducing Atlanta to flashy choreography and LA style tricks helped create a new need or desire to learn Salsa in the Atlanta Market. It makes me proud that I contributed in building the Salsa scene that we experience today.

As a Director of Salsambo Productions, there have been many highlights with different generations of dancers. I took non-dancers and turned them into professional dancers. Most of which are instructing and performing today. My greatest highlight would be that I have seen some of Atlanta’s best dancers take their first steps.

JJ: Salsambo Dance Co. achieved a lot of success and notoriety. What keeps you motivated to strike for the next level? What can ene expect from Salsambo in the future?

AP: motivation is new dancers with the hunger to learn. Each generation of dancers helps raise the bar of competition and quality. It is this desire to learn that motivates me to choreograph more complex routines and create better events.

Alfredo Piceno SalsamboThe Salsa scene should expect to see more of Salsambo. Salsambo’s project list has more than tripled since the beginning of the year. The Salsa Contests and Dinner Show is just the beginning. We are an active part of Community Outreach. You can expect to see a kid’s performance group in the near future.

JJ: Although you have had success as a director of a dance company, how would you describe your experience of working with Francisco Vasquez and performing with Los Rumberos?

AP: All I can say is that I have become what I am today because of my experience and training with Francisco Vasquez and Los Rumberos. I am grateful for the time that I had with the company. I really miss those days.

JJ: During your time in Atlanta, have you seen growth on the Salsa scene? What do you feel is the key to growth on the Salsa Scene in Atlanta, GA?

AP: Atlanta has experienced a great growth. Atlanta has changed from a social level to a more competitive and aggressive level. The Salsa Scene here is developing rapidly. I feel confident that the Atlanta quality is not to far from LA or NY. The key to this success is to continually raise expectations.

Two things are very important. First, the positive competition of Instructors is good in creating a better Salsa scene – it pushes dancers to not only do more, but to do their best. Secondly and most importantly, as long as we see a continued support & hunger to learn from students, Atlanta will continue to progress in bettering the Atlanta Salsa Scene.

JJ: Any additional comments:

AP: I want to thank Atlanta for all of the support from day one until now. Without you, Salsambo would not have grown into what it is today. I wish I could name every person I am thankful to but there are just so many. Thank you for considering me for your publication. I am flattered that you chose to interview me.

Alfredo Piceno