How a latin ballroom competitor and full time lawyer achieved meaningful salsa and mambo results while balancing her work life balance

Meet Olia, a full-time lawyer who took her very first salsa lesson with us and now trains and competes at the highest amateur levels.
Federico Abis
May 30, 2023
How a latin ballroom competitor and full time lawyer achieved meaningful salsa and mambo results while balancing her work life balance

Interview transcript


I was a ballroom Latin dancer for many years, I came to Salsa in my thirties from a pretty structured and competitive environment.

When you started to think about focusing on Mambo, why was it important for you to dedicate energy towards this?

Shortly after I started mambo, it was like a light bulb went on in my head and in my body. I really wanted to understand the dance style and do it justice.

How long did it take you to decide to make the switch to Dance Mambo?

I started my salsa journey in this school from the very beginning. I kind of feel like we've grown up together.

Prior to joining, what were some of the doubts that popped up for you?

I was pretty nervous about picking up and transitioning to a new dance style, I wasn't sure if the format was going to suit how I learn because I come from a world of private lessons and individual training and I'm a pretty slow learner. I was quite nervous that the sort of class environment would potentially be quite boring and ineffective.

What was the magnet, or the reason that attracted you to Dance Mambo? (above all the other options you had out there)

What attracted me to Dance Mambo is the quality of instruction here. The guys really know what they're talking about, what they're teaching. They're always learning and developing themselves, and also, this is a safe space to learn. I am challenged here as much as I want to be, but always in a very supportive and healthy way.

What was one unexpected aspect of joining Dance Mambo that you noticed after starting to attend the classes?

I didn't expect the friendships that I made here, some of my closest people are Dance Mambo people. I also didn't expect to be dancing on international stages, but here I am.

What were the results you got out of your experience?

The results…  Well, I feel like I know my way around the social dance floor; whether that's in Sydney, London, Singapore, Milan, or New York while also performing and growing through every new choreography project. I was also part of a team that won a national championship and I really feel that delivering a good quality show is an achievement in itself.

What has this done for you personally and in terms of dancing Mambo?

The biggest thing that this has done for me, I think, is to enable me to balance the pure joy of movement to music, learning, developing, and improving all the time. I can have fun while taking this thing really seriously. I've developed more confidence as a dancer than I have ever had. Learning here has given me the tools to express myself through this dance style.

If you were to jump in a time machine and go and talk to your past self before joining Dance Mambo, what would you tell yourself? What words of wisdom would you give yourself based on this experience?

If I could go back in time I would tell myself to put all doubts aside and trust the learning process. it's okay to suck when you're learning something new, that's how you learn and grow.

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