Norberto “Betto” Herrera

Norberto “Betto” Herrera is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, where his mother was born and raised. His father was a fisherman from Peru, who fell in love with Betto’s mother during his visit to the port city of Guayaquil.  Sadly, his father, for whom Betto is named, was killed when he was only three years old. Betto is very proud of his heritage and grateful to have grown up surrounded by music and dance. His mother worked hard to immigrate to the United States. She was able to bring Betto and his two younger brothers a few years later.

Betto moved to West New York, New Jersey with his family in 1996 when he was a teenager. His desire to stay in touch with his Latin roots brought him to Ismael Otero, one of the pioneers of mambo and salsa dancing in the area. He studied under Ismael until he joined the military in 2000.

During his time at Camp Lejune, Betto started latin dance classes for service members and their dependents. The classes on base were so popular that he was asked to teach and perform throughout other parts of North Carolina. Even after he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps and moved to Raleigh in 2004, requests for instruction and performances continued.  And so, Mambo Dinamico was founded.

While living in Raleigh Betto continued his dance training in different latin dance styles. He trained in tango techniques with fellow instructor Daniel McClain. He also received mentorship and training from Cuban Master Felix “Pupy” Insua in Afro-Cuban movement and dance. Master Pupy’s knowledge and guidance helped Betto widen his perception towards dance to a larger scale. Because of him, Betto approaches latin dances as a way to create community and spread cultural awareness. In addition to ongoing dance training, Betto continues to expand his music repertoire through his mentor David Garcia, Associate Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina.

Betto4Some highlights of Betto’s dance career include participating in international dance conferences in Washington, D.C.; New York City, NY; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Orlando, FL; Curacao, NA; Tokyo, Japan and many other cities. Betto was also appointed as the head judge of Southeast Salsa Open Dance Competition, as well as in the judging panel for the Peru Salsa Open. He has been featured in publications like Southern Living Magazine, News and Observer, The Independent Weekly, Cary Living Magazine, and LaVoz Del Mambo. Betto has also been interviewed and featured by local channels like Univision 40, WRAL and FOX50. He frequently is used as a subject for scholarly research by professors and students at local universities because of his expertise in latin dance and music.

Since Betto founded Mambo Dinamico he has transformed it into a premiere latin dance company that provides instruction, performances, and choreographies both nationally and internationally.  Mambo Dinamico’s dancers are known for their musicality, energy and unique movements.   Betto feels blessed that his love of dance turned into a lifelong career and thankful everyday for his students and audiences that make it all possible.

Jess Marrano (Arial Yoga)

JessMarranoBorn in Washington D.C. but a native to Athens, GA, Jess Marrano is a mix of Italian and Greek decent. She studied latin dance off and on throughout her high school and early college years until she discovered Wilmington Latin Dance. From there, she continued learning dance as a salsa dancer under Summer Garland McPherson, the director and one of the instructors of Wilmington Latin Dance.

However, upon returning to her hometown in Georgia, Jess discovered another form of dance, one without the use of a floor. Aerial dance is a type of performance in which one or more artists perform acrobatic dances in the air with a hanging apparatus, such as fabrics, trapezes, ropes, and metal hoops, cubes, etc. Jess primarily dances with aerial fabrics, known as silks. Towards the end of her college years she has performed, danced, and taught aerial silks in Wilmington, NC at Wilmington Latin Dance.JessMarrano1

One of her most astounding performances was for the 2015 Wilmington Port City Salsa Splash where Jess danced 40ft on the USS North Carolina Battleship. Jess has studied aerial dance under circus organizations such as, Canopy, Cape Fear Circus Arts, and Cirque du Vol. Now residing in Raleigh, NC, she continues learning latin dance from Norberto Herrera at Mambo Dinamico and instructs people in the art of aerial silks.

Jamila “Puentes” Bridges

Jamila, who was born and raised in High Point, NC has been interested in sports since young. Dancing to the beat of hip hop, she danced nights away during her teenage years. Jamila got interested in salsa during her college years where she and friends would exchange dance steps and hit the local salsa club in Greenville, NC.

Soon after moving to the Raleigh-Durham area in NC she decided to learn Mambo on2 and joined Mambo Dinamico’s classes during the spring of 2006. Her fast improvement led her to earn a spot in Mambo Dinamico’s student team, Mambo Sabroso. Because of Jamila’s dedication, hard work and positive attitude, she was also able to join Mambo Dinamico’s professional performance team within just a couple of months of beginning her training with the company.

According to Jamila, she enjoys being part of the Mambo Dinamico team, which she believes is the greatest latin dance company in North Carolina. Jamila has been training under the supervision of director Betto Herrera, who she considers a very passionate instructor, since she first started her venture into Mambo On2 style. She admires Betto’s dedication, as he caters to the needs of each student, ensuring that they walk out of his class being a better dancer than when first walked in.

Jamila feels happy to have an extended family within the Mambo Dinamico. She believes that this is a group of individuals that genuinely care about each other and she plans on being part of the team for years to come, – not only learning – but also sharing the knowledge that Betto has impressed upon her.

Carly Cusick

14536736_10103795384131780_434755065_o Carly grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where she began dancing tap, jazz, modern, and ballet at a young age.  Her mother was her biggest cheerleader, driving Carly to the studio every day for practice and never missing a recital.

Carly studied Dance Education at Bowling Green State University.  Upon graduation, she moved to Raleigh where she started teaching immediately at Expressions of Worship Dance Studio.  She enjoyed teaching jazz and tap to teenagers, and also started the first modern dance class at the studio.

She moved to Charlotte in 2012, where she began teaching Ballroom and Latin dance, and fell in love with the new style.  At Planet Ballroom she was exposed to new techniques and a new audience; she started teaching adults in private lessons and group classes.  Some of her favorite styles included Waltz, Swing, Tango, Cha cha, and of course… Mambo!

14550723_10103795384351340_696520596_oTampa Florida, her next destination, is where she was able to completely submerge herself into the dance world.  She continued teaching Ballroom and Latin dance at Bayou Dance Club, and even travelled to Miami to earn her Zumba instructor license.  Florida’s lively dance scene gave Carly the opportunity to step out of her role as instructor, and back into the role of student, as she discovered the diversity of social Latin dancing.

Carly made her way back to Raleigh early in 2016, where she branched out as an independent dance instructor. That same year, she joined the student team for Mambo Dinamico Dance Company, and she began dancing professionally with the company in 2017. She has enjoyed teaching, performing, and growing with the company at local and national events. She has also become an ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor, and is currently studying to specialize in Senior Fitness.