STACEY LOPEZ Interview

by Silvana “La Flaca”

Milan, Italy, during Salsa Congress at PalaVobis, 6/16/02

Mp3 interview
MP3


intervista a Stacey Lopez
DANCING ON TWO AND ON ONE

Silvana
What do you think about dancing on two or on one?

Stacey
Ok. I respect the way that everybody feels the music! You see: the thing is that not everybody feels the music the same way! There's people who feel the music on one, there's people who feel the music on two, people... I use to dance. I've learned to dance... feeling the music. And I used to dance on three! My grandmother, she used to dance... and she danced on four! So... I learned to dance what is called "the count", you know: one-two-three-four. And I used to dance on three!
Now: in terms of... whatever you want to dance, it's (?), because you dance what you feel! Me, I danced on two. It happened that I danced on two because I began dancing professionally with the bands. I used to dance for Tito Puente!





Silvana
Oh, yeah?

Stacey
And with Tito Puente you had to dance on two! Because you had to follow the beat of the conga.

Silvana
... your first teacher was Tito Puente?

Stacey
No no. My first professional performance was for Tito Puente.

Silvana
Oh, yes; ok...

Stacey
So: in order to dance with him, you had to dance on two! Then I kept on going and doing shows with bands, and with the bands, everybody plays and follows the clave with him! So, in order for me to dance on clave, I had to dance on two.

Silvana
Ok...

Stacey
But it's because... the musicians, they play on clave. Conga: play on clave; montuno: everybody follows the clave. Me, as a dancer, I had to do on clave also.

Silvana
Because... yesterday, you taught us hearing the conga...

Stacey
Yeah. The conga. Ppum-p. Primarily...

Silvana
It's easier, the conga...

Stacey
It's easier, for sure. Do you remember the times of... the... the... of the jazz? In the States, when they brought in the Cuban rhythm, and they integrated the Cuban rhythm into the big jazz bands... what they integrated, was the conga...

Silvana
Yes yes...

Stacey
... cucum-cump, with Chano Pozo and Dizzie Gillespie. So, which means eveybody knows: begin following the rhythm of the conga and the conga is the clave: cucun-p ppp pp - and that pp is on the clave.

Silvana
Ok, thank you.

ARE THERE SALSA STYLES?

Silvana
And... what do you think about dancing in Portorican Style or Cuban Style, or... do you think there are styles?

Stacey
S s: it's the same thing. It's the rhythm of the heart. Whatever style you want to dance, and you go out there and you are enjoying, it will be the style. I see the dance as a way of being healthy, as a way of keeping yourself young and preventing... sickness.

Silvana
A style of life...

Stacey
... so, if you want to do it, you can do it under Portorican style, you can do it under Cuban Style, or LA... Whatever style you want to do it, just DO IT. Whatever style you want, enjoy it.

Silvana
Ahahah... But... are there styles, really, or styles... are just...

Stacey
Oh, yeah! Oh... no no no, because... Everybody... because... has different feeling... They developed all styles... I have a style that's... Me, because I dance very romantic, I'm very (?), and I like to (?) I don't love two thousand turns, I can be one turn and (?) approach to the lady. And there's people and they like to do lot of turns, there's people and they like to do (?), and they like to do jumps. And that's up to them! And I have a lot of respect for all them.

Silvana
But, for styles... do you think styles are continuing or maybe... we have... So: you, respect the styles.

Stacey
Yeah.

SALSA OR MAMBO?

Silvana
You teach mambo, or salsa... what do you think you are dancing... you are teaching?

Stacey
Don't confuse the mambo and the salsa.

Silvana
Ok. What is the difference? This is the most important thing...

Stacey
Ok: when you look at the basic step... the basic step... every basic step: for mambo, for son, for guaracha, for salsa... it's all the same.

Silvana
Which one... the basic step...???

Stacey
The basic step!!! One-two-three/five-six-seven...

Silvana
Ah, ok: the count!

Stacey
The count is all the same!

Silvana
The base... for mambo, for instance, maybe is... (note: in order to show Mr Lopez what I meant, I danced the back/forward base I call mambo base!)

Stacey
And for salsa? (!)

Silvana
... it's the same!

Stacey
The same! Ok? Thank you! Ahahaha...

Silvana
Ok! (laughing a lot)

Stacey
You see? It's all the same! The people just likes to put names on it: but it's all the same!

IS THERE A SALSA PORTORICANA?

Silvana
Because we speak about salsa portoricana and mambo. Are two things or... is there a salsa portoricana, in order with you?

Stacey
Ok. In my opinion...

Silvana
You are from Puerto Rico?

Stacey
I am from Portorico. I want someboby comes and say to me what is salsa portoricana.

Silvana
Ahahaha...

Stacey
... five turns? Ok. What's salsa from... LA: five drops? Ok. What's salsa from New York: lots of steps? Ok. So... I do them all.

Silvana
Ahahahaha! Ok: I understand.

Stacey
You see?

Silvana
Ok.

Stacey
Because for me, I don't believe in... I just believe... not salsa, not mambo... the roots are the SON.

WHAT ABOUT MAMBO?

Silvana
... the roots are the son...

Stacey
Are the son, yes. So, and from there everything comes up, everything spreads up: and they begin changing, doing mambo and this... mambo... do you know what the mambo is? The mambo is a part of the music...

Silvana
Yes, the last part of the son!

Stacey
It can be in the middle. When the musicians go in the mambo, aahh... they begin jamming... That's what the beautiful that the mambo is. But, people used to call mambo because in the era of Machito and Tito Puente people used to dance mambo, because lots of the music was just instrumental: "Tatata-ratattaraara.'Mambo Inn'** gaggaragaggaraaa" and there was no singing! Then, once the people began singing and there was SALSA, because they wanted to put some voice into it, and that's the only difference I can see.

Silvana
Ah, ok.

Stacey
It's all the same; just... so, when you dance, it's all the same.

Silvana
Ok: thank you very much, Sir.

Stacey
A pleasure!

**
Note: It's a standard by Mario Bauz.



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Italian interview

Copyright 2002 by Silvana “La Flaca”
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