Interview with Ana and Joel Massicot – Boston, MA

Ana Joel MasacoteJohnny: First and foremost, thank you for granting La Voz del Mambothe opportunity to interview you. I was exposed to your tremendous talents at the NC Mini Congress. Your routine was fabulous! How would you describe your experience of performing as a married couple? What are the pros? Are there any Cons?

Ana: First, we would also like to thank you, Johnny, for giving us the opportunity to be a part of your interviews. To answer your question, working with Joel has been a truly wonderful experience. Being able to work together, travel together, and share our love for this music while at the same time sharing our love for each other is an experience like none other.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not all fun and games. We’ve had our share of disagreements, but it’s all been a learning process. The longer we work together, the more we understand the balance between the two of us and the smoother things go during practice and performance. Performing as a couple does not work for everyone, but if you learn to listen to each other, you can make it work, and believe me, the pros far outweigh the cons.

Joel: The experience is grrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!!!!!!!!

Johnny: How did you guys meet? What type of effect has salsa had your relationship?

Joel: In December of 2001, I had scheduled a trip with a friend to go to NY from LA, and that friend never picked me up at the airport. So, I hopped around NYC to different socials and parties, and I ended up in Bernard’s social.

Ana: I was visiting NY for the weekend with a couple friends from a rueda group I used to be in, and we decided to visit Bernard’s that night. I saw Joel dance, and I wanted to dance with him, but he didn’t ask me, so I had to work up the nerve to ask HIM to dance.

Joel: I was just chilling..I was just on the side…I was just relaxing by myself….

Ana: …Joel always tells me that he was just about to ask me. I just like to tease him about it. Anyway, to make a long story short, he asked for my number, and the rest is history. We actually have the story on our site, including how Joel proposed to me, and our marriage soon after.

Joel: I think salsa’s just one of the many things we had in common. We basically get to do everything together because of salsa. Musically, we’re both part of the same band in Boston. I guess it also allows us to combine our artistic view of things when it comes to performing. It was because of salsa that we met.

Ana: Salsa has brought us together, in more ways than one.

Johnny: Individually, how do you get started with salsa? Who were some of your instructors? Which do you enjoy most: teaching, performing or social dancing?

Ana Joel MassicotJoel: I started dancing back in the Virgin Islands. I was raised up around Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Cubans, and my girlfriend at the time, a Puerto Rican, got me started by exposing me to her culture. Once I left the island to join the military, whatever state I ended up, I always looked for salsa clubs.

After my basic training in the army and one year at home in the islands, I ended up in DC, and knowing that music was my career, I wanted to get into playing salsa as well, so I started to go out looking for live music at clubs. That’s how I met Ricardo and Alba from DC Salseros, and I danced with them for 2 years of my time in DC. In 2000, I decided to transfer into the Marine Corps.

After my training, I ended up in CA, where I had the opportunity to join the Seaon Stylist Dance Company, which I danced with for 2 ½ years. Up until I joined Seaon, most of my learning ability was by observation and going out to different clubs. When I got to Seaon’s, he gave me a lot of technique and fine-tuned my dancing.

Now I’m doing my own thing. I enjoy social dancing the most. I like the spontaneous feel of just going in and being able to vibe off the music and do stuff according to how the music makes you feel.

Ana: My sister was actually the one who got me into salsa when I was 15. She went to a salsa club and told me I had to go with her the next time. Now, I was born and raised in Dallas, and there were no salsa socials there at the time. There were hardly any salsa clubs as it was, and you had to be over 18 to get in, in most cases 21.

It was really funny because we went from borrowing invitations to get into quinceaneras to borrowing IDs to get into the salsa clubs. Then, in 2000, I graduated from school as valedictorian, so my sister gave me a trip to the LA Congress, which we’d recently heard about, as a present.

Joel: This was funny that we both went to that Congress and didn’t know that we were minutes away from our future-to-be.

Ana: Seriously! Well, after that Congress, I was really hooked. I practiced almost every day when I returned to Dallas, and when I moved to Boston for college, I got into the MIT rueda group and started teaching with a company called JAM’NASTICS.

Whenever I had the opportunity to do so, I’d take a trip to NY and take a private with an instructor, so I ended up taking a private with Thomas, Gina, Candy, Nydia, and Seaon to focus on my technique. Then I would practice in front of a mirror on my own until I got it.

Thus, I’d say that I predominantly taught myself by watching and practicing, with guidance from different instructors along the way. As for the last question, I too enjoy social dancing the most. I still get butterflies when I go out dancing because I just can’t wait to step out on that floor. I can let all my stress out, forget about my worries, and just relax for a change.

Johnny: What can we expect from Masacot Entertainment in the near future? Do you guys have any plans to expand? Have you considered doing any performance collaborations with other groups?

Ana Joel MassicotBoth: We want to be able to collaborate with different groups, but it’s pretty hard to schedule practices, knowing how busy others and we are. This being my last year at school doesn’t make it any easier. It’s something we have planned for some time to do and are in the process of doing, but it’s happening slowly. In terms of the company, we are expanding as we speak.

Ana: We’re nowhere near our full vision of the company, which we’ve actually been planning for 2 ½ years now. We’ve recently started up the dance portion of the company, and we’re really excited about it, but it won’t debut until next year.

Joel: In terms of expectations, expect the unexpected. Just know that it will be something different…Something Big…

Johnny: Any additional comments:

Ana and Joel: Just a thank you for all who took the time to read this, and a BIG SHOUT OUT to our Boston Salsa Family! Oh, one more thing…We’ve recently started up a new Friday Salsa Night in Boston at a wonderful location with a wonderful lineup of performers. We’ve closed for the holidays, but we’re re-opening in February. If anyone’s in town and wants to drop by, let us know!

Ana and Joel Massicot
Masacote Entertainment