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Cyber-Interview of the Month: David Negley
-by Manny Siverio 
Originally published on SalsaNewYork on 9/01

This Month we interview NY Mambo Instructor David Negley. David has been part of the NY Mambo scene for several years now. He and I have had the pleasure to travel, perform and teach together at different times during our mutual mambo career. He has performed at the first New York Congreso Mundial de la Salsa and was Addie Diaz's assistance instructor for almost three years before on going out on his own (with her blessings). People will always find him smiling and laughing the night away on the dance floor. Bottom line, David loves to dance and it shows on his face. This will be his second exposure in SalsaNewYork (his instructor listing was the first). 

SNY: How long have you been dancing mambo and what got you into it?
[Negley, David]  About 7 years now.  Where did the time go?  It seems like only yesterday that I was wondering struggling with the basic!

SNY: Where did you originally learn how to dance mambo and who was (were) your mentors?
[Negley, David]  I originally started at Sandra Cameron Dance Studio but I took lessons all over NY because I had a constantly changing schedule. Then I found a real home at Jimmy Anton's and eventually wound up at Nelson Flores.  Jimmy and Nelson were big influences.

SNY: How long have you been teaching mambo and what made you decide to teach  mambo?
[Negley, David]  I've been teaching about 3 years.  People kept asking Lillian and I why we didn't teach, so we taught some workshops.  Then Addie Diaz asked me to assist her and things just kept going from there.

SNY: What do you like most about teaching?
[Negley, David]  I love to see people learn and make progress.  It's also helped my own dancing because you really have to break things down and think about them.

SNY: Why do you think people come to learn from you?
[Negley, David] I suppose they like the way you dance to start with. Then, hopefully after they come to your class, they feel like you are good at conveying what you want them to learn.  I think they can also tell that I really enjoy teaching and that I want them to learn.

SNY: Are most of your students men or women? and why is that?
[Negley, David]  We have a pretty equal mix. That's really we're after--it's good when everyone has a partner.

SNY: What is the hardest thing you find about teaching?
[Negley, David]  Probably to get the students to let go of their inhibitions and just enjoy the process of learning.

SNY: Do you still like to go to clubs and dance socially?
[Negley, David]  I still enjoy going out to the clubs and dancing socially.  It's always great to get together with the Mambo "family", practice new steps and learn from others.

SNY: How about performing? Do you still perform and who have you performed for or with?
[Negley, David]  Not currently performing, although we still do occasional gigs. I have performed with Sandra Cameron's Student Dancers, Jimmy Anton Dancers, Nelson Flores Student Dancers, Curvos Pellogrosas in Washington DC and at the Copa as well performances with my wife Lillian in Norway, Miami and the NYC area.

SNY: Name your favorite on stage performance?
[Negley, David]  My favorite was performing at the Copa in NYC as a member of Curvos Pellogrosas.

SNY: What got you into performing and what was your first time on stage?
[Negley, David]  Nelson Flores pushed me to perform at Side Street about 3 years ago.

SNY: What did you feel when you first performed live on stage?
[Negley, David]  I was scared as hell.

SNY: What advice would you give those just getting into mambo? How can they work at getting better at dancing?
[Negley, David]  Practice, practice, practice.  Get out on the floor anywhere you can--including classes and socially.  Don't worry about getting turned down in the beginning.  It's part of the process--just look for someone else who will say yes.

SNY: How best could you describe your way of dancing? of teaching? and of performing?
[Negley, David]  I like challenging turns and moves that look stylish--not rushed,  and that follows through in my teaching.  I'd much rather see someone do a simple turn very well rather than a more complicated turn poorly.  I try to make sure everyone has a good set of basics before I let them move on and we work on the basics in every class.  I like
performances with creativity and a theme--something beyond turn, turn, turn, shine, shine, shine.

SNY: What is the best way for someone interested in learning mambo can get in contact with you?
[Negley, David] Check our website at www.justmambo.com.

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