Here is part #4 of my interview with Ana Tinajero Massicot, Co-founder/Artistic Director of Masacote Entertainment, a very popular salsa dance school and performance troupe.

SG – “Are there any obstacles you can remember experiencing in your salsa development and how did you overcome these obstacles?”

ATM – “Where do I start?! I was a broke college student…lol So, I didn’t have much money for classes and such. What I would do is save up as much as possible to take a private once in a blue moon so I could get some individual attention and find out what I really needed to focus on. Then, I would practice the heck out of what I was told to do. This won’t always work for everyone as you have to have a lot of discipline to make it worthwhile, but it definitely helped me.

Time was also a problem. MIT was very demanding, so I had little time to do much else but study and bury myself in my work. Every chance I could get to come up for air, I’d take it. I had to get good at prioritizing. I believe if you really want to do something, you find a way to make it work, no excuses. That’s why I have no sympathy when someone tells me they don’t have the time to practice. You have to make the time.

SG – “What does salsa mean to you and how has it changed your life?”
ATM – “In truth, I’m actually a very shy person unless I know you. I don’t talk much in public unless I’m forced to, but I’ve found myself being more open and much more confident as I’ve improved in my dancing. Salsa has a way of helping you let go of inhibitions.

I’m still very self-conscious about a lot of things, but we all have our insecurities, and I just learn to work through them.

SG – “What are some of your salsa goals for 2008?”
ATM – “Joel and I are working on some big productions. There’s the Fantagious CD Release & Theater production coming up May 16th ( WE’RE REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! It is going to be different from any other dance event or show you’ve been to before. I know there’s a lot of people from Toronto planning to join us. That is taking a lot of prep work.

We have another production to work on after that which we want to finish in a couple years, and I have a couple other projects to embark on before the end of this one, including my first solo, which I’ve been wanting to do since 2004 but wanted to wait till the right time. I’ll be working on that this year. Hopefully you guys will like it :)”

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