An Interview with Sasha Jimenez (Boston) by Johnny Johnson

Sasha JimenezJohnny: Greetings Sasha, thank you for granting La Voz Del Mambo an opportunity to interview you. I was first exposed to your tremendous talents during one of Hacha Y Machete’s dance routines. Although I thought you were a great dancer, I was not blown away until Victor told me how old you were. At first I thought he was kidding, but when I realized he was serious, I gained a new perspective on your talent. I am amazed that you as good as you are at the age of 14. For those who may be unaware, how did you get into performing salsa?

Sasha: I began performing at the age of 11. I danced in a teen Salsa group, who’s purpose was to keep teens off the streets, drugs, and early pregnancies. About 2 years later, I met Burju and Victor and the rest of the Hacha Crew, and became a member shortly thereafter.

Johnny: Your dance technique is very mature. How did you reach this point of dance maturity, so early?

Sasha: Well, Burju worked with me a lot. Especially knowing that I was an On1 Dancer when I began. Our styles were quite different, but with lots of practice and determination, I eventually picked up what she was teaching.

Johnny: I would like to commend you on your academic achievements. Amongst your hectic practice schedule and travel, you’ve still managed to be an honor roll student. You will be entering high school this year. How do you foresee your tremendous dance talents having an affect on your high school experience?

Sasha: Thank You Johnny. Honestly, I don’t believe that traveling and my practice schedule will affect my school work at all. School always comes first. As long as I do all the make-up work I missed, and study hard, I’ll be fine. I mean, I think I’ve done a good job so far. If I keep doing what I’m doing, I’ll pull through just fine.

Johnny: What are some of your activities outside of salsa dancing?

Sahsa: Other than dancing, I play basketball and soccer. I acutally joined a Summer Soccer league for my new high school. I also do kick boxing.

Johnny: Most teenagers have not had the opportunity to travel and perform as much as you have. Where are some of the places that you have traveled to perform? How has these experiences affected you?

Sasha: With Hacha I’ve traveled to places like Italy and London, and now just recently to Los Angeles for the West Coast Salsa Congress (which by the way was absolutely fabulous!) I’ve also traveled to Rhode Island, Canada, New York and Florida.

Other than that, I’ve performed at local places in Boston. Traveling to these places has affected me, because when we travel, our relationship as a group builds. We also get to visit historical landmarks, and get a feel for the cities, and meet the beautiful people for there. Eating foods from different places is also a plus. Traveling has even helped me with my school work!

Johnny: Who are some of your favorite dancers and performers?

Sahsa: My favorite female dancer right now is Burju. She is so amazing. She has been my inspiration. I also like Emily Alabi(from SF). It’s hard to believe that she’s 15! My favorite male dancer is Juan Matos. He is so incredible. I also love Frankie Martinez.

Johnny: Where would you like to see yourself 5 years from now, in regards to salsa and life in general?

Sahsa: Well, 5 years from now, I’ll be entering college to study and prepare for my career as a doctor. I know that I’ll definitely still be dancing (with Hacha). I would hope to still be traveling, and meeting new people in salsa congresses/festivals (etc.)from all over the world.

Johnny: Any additional comments:

Sahsa: Well Johnny, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to interview me for LVM. It was truly an honor. I hope to hear from you soon…and I’ll see you on the dance floor!!!

Sasha Jimenez