Interview with Troy Anthony – New Orleans, LA Johnny: First and foremost, I would like to thank you for taking time out to interview with LaVoz De Mambo. You are hands downs, one of the nicest individuals on the salsa scene. The salsa/mambo community needs more individuals like you. I was first exposed to your tremendous talent at the Chicago in 2003. Your style is very unique and admired by many. You have taken it upon yourself to make Salsa a thriving culture in the city of New Orleans. How did you get started with Salsa? What made you take on the task of building a reputable salsa scene in New Orleans? What obstacles have you faced during this process?
Troy: I love Salsa/Mambo, Cha-Cha etc… The music makes me come alive. The connection of souls for example is a major factor. For me, being able to touch so many people with dance is awesome. New Orleans is a great city with huge contributions to Afro-Caribbean music. Its well known that those Afro-Cubans of years past picked up skills an influence on their visits to the N-O. New Orleans is the birth place of Jazz. Latin Jazz is just Jazz with an untainted Afro feel (the drum).
The hardest hurdle to clear – is the ignorance of some people. The people that confuse the word “Spanish.” The ones who tell you don’t need to take dance classes because they’re “Spanish”. What does speaking Spanish have to do with dancing. *If you Ain’t from Spain – You Ain’t Spanish.* At one point, most called this music Afro-Cuban. Afro anything is *Black*. We dance to the Rhythm not the words. It’s crazy that everybody is putting Orisha movements in their routines now. Are we finally realizing our roots?
Johnny: You are a very well-rounded dancer, proficient in dancing salsa On1 and On2. What are the major differences between the two styles in your opinion? Do you have a preference?
Troy: I love On1 & On2 equally. The fact that I teach mostly On1 is a strong reason for my dancing mostly On1. Understanding both On1-On2 helps considerably for each. My instructional video is On1 with Georgette & I repeating each move On2
Johnny: You travel a lot and have great relationships with many dancers and promoters. Who are some of your favorite individuals on the Salsa scene?
Troy: Male dancers: My favorite is Andres from Boston, a really nice person and I think he’s the best out there. My crew consist of Juan Matos, Sekou McMiller, Ismael Otero, and Gordon Neil. We set it off. As for female dancers: Of course, my favorite is Georgette (lead, follow On1-On2). My favorites are Griselle Ponce, Magna Gopal, and Maricza Valetin. My favorite salsa cities? Boston, Bermuda, Portland. The key towards maintaining great relationships on the salsa scene is to stay in contact!