An Interview with Mario B – New Jersey

Mario Justo GonzalezJJ: First and Foremost I would like to thank you for taking time out to do this virtual interview with me. I have always admired your dancing, being that I am not the smallest person in the world. I would honestly say that I’ve received the most inspiration from you and Thomas G. I can relate to your size, yet your levels of dancing are amazing! It gives me something to aspire towards. How did you get to your current level of Mambo?

MB: I got to my current level from turning negative energy to positive energy. You see, when I first started I was made fun of & NOT given the normal Welcoming treatment. Because of my height, weight, & the fact I don’t look Hispanic, cause we do live in a stereotypical world…It was an amazing uphill battle. With all of the negative energy I accumulated, it made me an extremely stronger person & I now had a point to prove that size, shape, color nor race can deny any one of being who they want to be! I was on a mission! Now, I guess by reviewing my bio & resume from my website I accomplished my goals & I made my point!

JJ: Your style of dancing is very unique, from your turn patterns to your freestyle. What recommendations do you offer towards becoming a unique-overall dancer?

MB: Take what ever you learn from class or workshops & reverse it. Now you have either two turn patterns or two floor shines. You never want to look like the next man…Be Unique! The best recommendation I can make is to be yourself & create your own personality. It’s a GREAT honor to want to look like your idol or instructor because of their inspiration to your dancing but “Be a leader & NOT a follower!” We have enough cloned dancers in the scene, we don’t need anymore!

JJ: You have been to many places. I know because I have seen you on many salsa tapes 🙂 Among your salsa travel, which place is most memorable?

MB: Of course your first travel rather it be domestic or international will always be most memorable. I would have to say that all of my travels have been memorable & will always be a great experience for me.

JJ: Coming from the NY/NJ area you are exposed to the best on a regular basis. Which Mambo scene outside of the NY/NJ area has impressed you the most?

MB: The Mambo scene outside of the (NY/NJ) that has impressed me most was Italy & the UK. They RESPECT the dance just as much as we do if not more. Just because we are the HOME of the Mambo we (NY/NJ) dancers take it for granted of what we have! After what I experienced in those two countries we (NY/NJ) need to wake up & smell the coffee before these other countries pass us up. The dancers now are much healthier, faster, younger, in greater shape & are absorbing the dance On1 or On2 style like a sponge.

JJ: La Voz del Mambo recently took a poll and you were considered to be one the most creative leads on the scene? In your opinion, what allows an individual to remain creative and what outside influences have contributed to your creativity?

MB: First, I would like to take this opportunity to THANK everyone who voted for me & I am extremely appreciated. My creativity comes from just having an open mind & experimenting. My theory is…”If a turnpattern is leadable, Then it’s reversible” With that note for every one turnpattern, you now have two by reversing it. It’s just little things like that I take in to consideration.

JJ: What is the most interesting thing about you, outside of Salsa?

MB: I would have to say my open mind & personality. I enjoy making people laugh & putting a memorable smile on everyone’s face. Continuing to remain HUMBLE & keeping it REAL!

JJ: What made you give La Voz del Mambo an opportunity to interview you during the initial phases, when La Voz was just an idea?

MB: Everyone has a goal & a dream in life. If by supporting that goal or dream gets them closer to an accomplishment, then I want to be a part of fulfilling that life time.

JJ: Any additional comments you would like to share?

MB: Once again thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences with other Salsa/Mambo lovers & I wish you much success with this project. PLEASE remember that Timing is everything, feel the music, it’s all about having fun & Don’t move to the music…Let the music move you! Que Viva La Salsa/Mambo “On2”

Mario B.