A Tour in Mamboland 2018



Here is an article reviewing Mamboland. Everything stated within this article is based on Bailemos our way’s own experience, the chitchat interviews that we had with the attendees, and input and feedback received prior to and following the event from friends and acquaintances.

Feel free to jump into specific sections within the article by clicking on the title that interests you. Enjoy!

Why Attend Mamboland

At some point in our lives, we go through a “life-changing experience”. These kinds of experiences contribute to who we become afterward. We develop, change, broaden our viewpoint of different aspects of life and we feel challenged to push ourselves to learn and develop more skills because all of a sudden several windows of growth opportunities appear ahead and the horizon becomes the limit of our full potential. Well, Mamboland is definitely that “dance-life changing experience” every Salsa dancer shall go through.

Who Should Attend Mamboland

If you find yourself answering yes to any 3 of these questions, then Mamboland should be on your “Must Do” list:

  • Are you a social Salsa dancer?
  • Do you enjoy Mambo music?
  • Are you a social Mambo dancer and want to break through to higher levels of performance?
  • Are you an on1 social Salsa dancer and would love to learn all about Mambo from scratch?
  • Are you a Mambo dancer and feel like you are in a state where you need some inspiration to be motivated to challenge yourself?
  • Are you searching for an opportunity to actually learn more and immerse yourself in a style of dance, in addition to having fun dancing and meeting new people and partying all night?
  • Are you hungry for original live Mambo music brought to you right from history?
  • Do you want to share your passion for Mambo with all the Mambo stars brought together in one place, giving you classes, performing shows and social dancing with you?

What to Expect

Mambo, mambo, and more mambo…

A Mambo world created by Mambo artists from dancers to music producers to Mambo passionate people who come together and fill in every corner! You will experience a “state-of-Mambo” where all your senses will be immersed in a mix of Cuban flavor, afro beats, and jazz magic.

A very well organized festival where feedback from attendees are collected during the event and taken into consideration to execute some alterations on the spot that would maintain the positive vibes and enhance the learning experience. A big number of dancers who are hungry to learn more and thirsty to dance around the clock.

Don’t expect to be the best dancer attending this event. There’s always someone better and it is not designed to be a competition arena anyway. It is a challenging event where you get to be motivated to invest more in yourself and be inspired to improve your skills.

Nevertheless, simply show up and bear in mind that you will enroll in a teaching program that will guide you through how to have a wider grasp on Mambo knowledge as well as how to push yourself to train more and eventually attain a new level of social dancing.

Set also high expectations for fun, fun, and more fun! 😀

How to Prepare

Turn your vacation-mode-on button, book your pass, and shop some black outfit because it is chosen to be the signature color of the event.

No need to have years of Mambo dancing experience but if you do well that’s a plus. Have an open-minded mindset that is ready to accept the loads of input that will be presented to you and understand that you are certainly not being judged in any aspect.

Whether you are an instructor of Mambo in your own country, a professional Mambo performer or one of the best social Mambo dancers, trust that the program organizers have designed a curriculum of teaching the style of Mambo and perspective of this art that they teach as part of their educational programs.

The Placement Exam

Rule number 1: Test yourself, don’t compete against others.

For your info: The 4 tracks of which the Mamboland immersion program consisted of for the year 2018 are: Transition track, Main track, Main plus track, Master track. The last 2 tracks had an admission exam where dancers who passed were selected by Adolfo personally to enroll the specified track.

The way many dancers saw it: The challenge is to be selected by Adolfo Indacochea personally to join the Master track.

The way Bailemos our way saw it: The goal is not to be selected for the master track; however, the goal is that you find out your own potential of growth and push yourself to another dimension of your own full capacity. Perfection is unattainable, but growth is. Adolfo is not judging how successful you are the moment he selects you, he is only choosing the tools adequate for your growth at the level which bests fits for you.

Ego pushes you down and never up. Take the challenge not only during the test, however, be inspired to practice all year round to take the test again next year. Bear in mind that both ways you are a winner.

Have a look at the Mambolan-2018 exam:

A big number of dancers took the placement exam for the Master track (estimating around 200 people). Adolfo explained a sequence of footwork and repeated it along the music a few times within 20 minutes duration.

During the session, the dancers were asked to line up and rotate when asked so that each dancer may have his/her chance to be at the beginning of the column because it was impossible for dancers standing all the way in the back to have a full view of Adolfo’s feet. It is worth mentioning that 2 big screens were showing Adolfo as he explained the steps so that everyone can see.

Then everyone was asked to sit down to be fair, and groups of 10 took the test together on the same track of music playing all the time (Ran Kan Kan).

The first group included professional dancers and well-known Mambo instructors. It was so humble of them to be taking the exam themselves and that scene of such amazing dancers performing the sequence in such a dazzling way sent a hidden message to all attendees raising the bar of the challenge.

Everyone cheered to those dancers as Adolfo started to select the chosen ones by giving them the black bracelet. Many dancers chose not to do the exam as they felt like they are not up to the level.

Many others took it and were disappointed for not being selected and even claimed it was unfair. However, our hearts were beating with excitement much louder than the beats of the music as each group ran to take their turn and as each dancer jumped with happiness when selected. It is an experience worth living!

Due to the huge number of exam participants and taking into consideration that some might have been tired of their travels and were nervous, a second chance was given to who desired and even a third chance on the next morning (different steps of ‘course), some still failed nevertheless, yet some others did well and made it through. As for more details about how the selection was made by Adolfo check the following video.

The main plus track exam took place also following the same procedures. The main track had no exam for admission and of course, the transition track was designed for on1 social salsa dancers who want to learn the on2 style.

The Immersion Program

Several courses within each level set to tackle all that you need to improve as a dancer, learn all the styles of which Mambo is made of, and have time to actually practice what you learned thus end up at the end of the 2-days intensive program as a replenished version of yourself.

The classes and instructors giving each class are not listed on a schedule that you may have access to. However, the plan is that you just show up in the morning and go through the workshops.

The idea is to actually learn the material given and not just choose a workshop for fun and give up trying the moves. That’s why it is not about selecting the courses you want out of the schedule and attending them like other festivals, instead simply get out of your comfort zone and give your body and mind the chance to break the ice with different styles.

Based on attendees’ feedback, we noticed that for the year 2018, the Main plus and Master Track classes were tackling the desired outcomes in detail and were given by the selection of diversified international artists.

The Main track needs to be improved for the coming years. We noted that the students were of a multiple of levels, thus some were not able to follow the material given yet others felt like they needed more. Moreover, not all artists gave sessions in this track.

The transition level was interesting because musical instruments were used to explain the lessons to the attendees. The number of people in this track was small. Yet, in our opinion, whatever was explained in this track is essential for every Mambo dancer in the world and we are sure that in many countries instructors don’t explain the music and dance to beginners the way it was being explained in this track. All the attendees from all over the world would benefit from attending a general session together at the beginning of the immersion program explaining Mambo music before being divided into the different tracks.

Bailemos team suggestion: Every attendee of the festival shall undergo an exam: like a filtration process, starting from the main track exam and moving up the ladder where only dancers who pass may apply for the main plus track exam and likewise passers may take the Master track exam. Also, the main track may be divided into 2 tracks that may be combined for some of the sessions then separated again for other kinds of sessions.

The Live band Experience & Shows

Listening to Mambo music on CDs is one thing, and attending a live band performance is a totally different experience! Think about it: Mambo is a music genre and dance style. It evolved from generation to generation and formed a culture made of several cultures. How about keeping it alive and keep contributing to its evolution rather than inheriting the music on CDs from the past generations and commercializing its dance routines by mixing them with new dance styles?

The best moments shared by the performers as well as the attendees of Mamboland were those when the stage was literally burning to the beats of the music played by El Chino Y la Diferencia. A shivering feeling came across everybody when the lead singer of Tito Puente’s band, the legend of Mambo Frankie Figueroa brought into the spotlight the past era and mixed it with the present and started singing to the percussions of Tito Puente Jr.

Performers described that dancing their shows on live music was a totally different thing as they could feel the music! Attendees were feeling a real taste of Mambo music. In short, everyone sort of reached a consensus that every single Salsa festival should include a live band performance.

Make sure to check the Mamboland track ft. Frankie and Tito Puente Jr. on iTunes.

The Social Dancing

The scene of having two rooms active with social dancing all of the 3 nights till 4 a.m. was kind of a surprising scene, knowing that those dancers were exhausted having attended all the workshops during the days as part of the intensive immersion program. Usually, festivals are divided into 2 kinds of people: the workshop attendees who go to rest as early as 2 a.m. and the party animals who dance all night and sleep before noon the next day thus missing out on the workshops. Mamboland had attendees (most of the attendees basically) who did both: Party all night and attend all workshops!

The Vision

One statement summarizing the Mamboland vision would be: To bring Mamboland to the entire world!

A surprise announcement was made by Cheyenne on stage during the Mamboland 2018 event: “Mamboland is created to bring together inspiring and incredible dancers. We want to take Mamboland around the world to be able to share it with more people. So in 2019, 2 more cities will be added to Mamboland line-up: The first city is Hangzhou (near Shanghai) in China, where Mamboland will take place the weekend following Mamboland Milano 2019. The second city is because a lot of people from North America wanted to attend Mamboland and where on the waitlist, Montreal in Canada where the event will take place in July 2019.”

So apparently, Mamboland is aiming to grow to create a “Mamboland World” which has several Mambo Capitals in different areas! 😀

About Adolfo

The man who made Mambo dreams come true!

What the world knows about Adolfo is the image of the talented Mambo dancer, who performs with a unique smooth style combining traditional Mambo elements with modern jazz elements. He was influenced greatly by his mentor Mr. Eddy Torres who discovered his talent and potential. He is an international Mambo instructor who tours the world sharing his passion for Mambo with students attending festivals and has his team, the Latin Soul Dancers, who inspire crowds by their amazing choreographies.

Check out Adolfo and Latin Soul Dancers Show at Mamboland:

What we got to know about Adolfo in Mamboland:

A man with a Mambo vision. The idea of Mamboland came to his mind as part of his vision of creating a Mambo movement around the world. He visualized a project which may ignite a universal passion for Mambo. A humble person who is always looking for opportunities to learn more and develop. He accepts feedback and turns it into constructive action on the spot. He has a light sense of humor while teaching and has a way of delivering the message making it seem so easy to grasp no matter how complicated is the step.

Check out what Adolfo had to say about Mamboland and what he meant by his statement: “Back to the Future” in the following interview with Bailemos Our Way team:

About Cheyenne

Who is Cheyenne?

The man behind the success story of Mamboland.

Brief Introduction:

Cheyenne is an entrepreneur, marketing expert and business strategist who is described as the “idea-generating machine”! He has created business strategies for companies entering new markets. He is an expert in events production and has contributed to the success of several dance festivals around the world.

During our meeting with Cheyenne, we literally felt those positive vibes he transmits to anyone listening to him as he explains his project. He knows how to give you a bucket full of thoughts and provoke your curiosity to keep wanting more!

Cheyenne told us the story of how Mamboland was created and what was the core essence of this idea that gave it its competitive advantage. It all started when Adolfo contacted Cheyenne to share his idea and ask for some advice. Cheyenne realized that this was not a regular event. He knew how to deliver inspiration through this events to masses of dancers around the globe. And there you go, Mamboland was born! Only weeks after the event announcement, the event gets fully booked! Enormous numbers of dancers subscribe to the waiting list! Mamboland is taking huge steps towards globalization.

Eventually a thank you message from Bailemos.our way team to Cheyenne for giving us the opportunity to share all about Mamboland on our platform, and a thank you message to both Adolfo & Cheyenne for bringing such an inspiring & motivational event to the worldwide Salsa scene.

Mamboland on Social Media

Something hilarious took place while we were attending Mamboland and we would love to bring it up here: some friends who couldn’t make it to Mamboland this year actually were following all the Instagram stories shared by Mamboland account as well as the attendees of the festival and engaging with live comments and messages. One funny comment we personally received was from a friend who took a screen shot of his Instagram account showing the stories of several attendees and wrote to us:  I’m attending Mamboland for free over social media!

The thing is, Chris, from Mamboland team, did an amazing job by being active and sharing stories and news that were impossible not to be engaged with. The light sense of humor which he used to highlight the information delivered whether he was shedding lights on the Mamboland partners that were present at the Hotel Da Vinci lobby, or leaping stories from the exam sessions and the workshops taking place or even live moments captured at the shows and parties got us all excited to follow what he was doing and even share our own stories and news live!

Check out #Mamboland to view crazy videos and photos shared by attendees during and after the Mamboland weekend was over!

More to Share

Here are some interesting details that caught our attention as well:

Taking videos during workshops was prohibited. Why? Because they wanted attendees to focus on the course given and not think that they might take a video and practice later. That way never works. Furthermore, the organization team promised that a link including all tutorials will be shared with everyone following the event!!! How perfect does that sound yea!!

We still have one thing to add, although said it in a million ways through the article yet we’ll say it upright again, we recommend the Mamboland experience to every single social Salsa dancer 😉

Adolfo Indacochea

DJ alexio - Abanico Records

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