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, and 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 enlisted in the U.S. Marines in 2000.

During his time at Camp Lejeune, Betto started Afro Latin dance classes for service members and their dependents at MCAS New River Enlisted Club and the Jacksonville USO in 2001. He also started attending Montas Lounge in Durham, NC, when he was quickly asked to teach lessons there. The classes were so popular that he was asked to teach and perform throughout other parts of North Carolina. He was honorably discharged and medically retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 2004, because of a car accident, in which he almost lost his life. He moved Raleigh in 2004 as soon as he was done with his duty, and 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 Afro 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 and understanding through his mentor Dr. David Garcia, Professor of Ethnomusicology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  As well as continue researching about the music and dance through his travels to Cuba and becoming a mentee of Maestra Marisol Blanco.

Apart of teaching dance and entertaining the public through performances, Betto has also been a leader in the community by promoting and educating people about the Latin culture.  He has been an example to follow in public responsibility in the dance community, organizing fundraising events and disaster relief collections gathering tons of goods for victims in Ecuador, Haiti and Puerto Rico.  Also being a spokesperson in different panels about the deep historical contribution of Latin people in the U.S. through music and dance.  Also his proactiveness has led him to initiate the creation of a non-profit organization to promote safety and diversity in the Latin dance community.  AALDA, the African and Afro-Latin Dance Association, which will coordinate and support efforts from Latin dance companies, instructors and event organizers across North Carolina.


In the past few years, Betto has taken his efforts of spreading his love and knowledge for Latin dance to academia, the private and public sector in NC.  Creating educational programs, lectures and demonstrations for schools at all levels, from elementary school to Universities.  The intention is to help the students develop their appreciation for Latin culture by exposing them to the percussion instruments and rhythms, as well as the dance and their history, while drawing parallels of the evolution of these elements in Latin America and the U.S.  Betto has also been hired by many big corporations in RTP to present and educate their employees in the rich history of Latin music and dance.   Betto has been invited as a speaker and presenter for the Veterans Affairs Hospital (Durham and Fayetteville), talking to disabled veterans about his personal story and entertaining them with his talents.  Recently Betto had the honor to conduct a “Lunch-and-Learn Webinar” for the North Carolina Office of State Human Resources, which was casted to Human Resources Offices across the state.

Betto has an Associate Degree in Arts and Sciences, as well as a Bachelor Degree in Business Management.  Betto is also an independently researcher of Latin dance and music, a journey of over 15 years under the mentorship of a few leading experts in the field.

Some 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, Cary 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 Afro Latin dance and music.  Betto also is the recipient of 25th Latino Diamante Award 2020 Edition for his work and contributions in the area of “Arts and Culture” in North Carolina.

Since Betto founded Mambo Dinamico he has transformed it into a premiere Afro Latin dance company that provides instruction, performances, and choreographies both nationally and internationally.  The dance company feels absolutely blessed to have been able to serve more than 50,000 students since its beginning.   Betto feels lucky that his love of dance turned into a lifelong career, and thankful everyday for his students and audiences that make it all possible.

Mambo Dinamico Classes This Week

Cancelled until further Notice

Tuesday, March 10th
Cancelled until further Notice

Social: 9pm-Midnight

Thursday, March 12th
Cancelled until further Notice

Friday, March 13th
Cancelled until further Notice

Saturday, March 14th
Cancelled until further Notice

Please check our Calendar for the next class.
Take any of our classes for $15 drop-ins or use your “Mambo Card.”

Visit our Salsa and Bachata Syllabus page for more details.

All our lessons are taught at:
Carmen’s Cuban Cafe
108 Factory Shops Rd
Morrisville, NC.

About Mambo Dinamico

Mambo Dinamico’s mission is to promote community and spread cultural awareness through Latin dance.  Our learn-with-
no-pressure approach makes our lessons fun and comfortable. You will not only learn to dance,
but also about the culture, history and music to compliment your experience.

Under the direction of Norberto “Betto” Herrera, Mambo Dinamico has been spreading the love for salsa and mambo dancing in North Carolina since February 2002. Since its foundation, the company’s main objective has been to welcome people from all cultures into the world of Afro Latin dance.

Mambo Dinamico’s determination for teaching Afro Latin dance has transformed the dance scene in the Southeast.  Being the first mambo dance company in the South, Mambo Dinamico sets the standard whether they are social dancing, performing, instructing, or producing events. Mambo Dinamico’s impact in the dance scene is very evident, since various studios in the United States and abroad have adopted its instruction methodology.

Mambo Dinamico is very proud to have trained all of their dancers from their very first basic step to their performance on a world stage.  Mambo Dinamico Dancers have inspired and entertained audiences in local, regional, national and international events, from New York to Florida, North Carolina to Arizona, to all the way around the world in Japan.

Apart from adult lessons, Mambo Dinamico also offers culturally guided educational presentations tailored to schools and businesses. The company has had the privilege to work with all school districts in the area from elementary to high school level. A large number of companies in the Triangle Research Park have used Mambo Dinamico’s services during their business functions and employees’ activities for entertainment and cultural awareness.

Mambo Dinamico Dancers have been appeared in news segments for Univision 40 and WRAL. Also they have been featured in the weekly television show HOLA-NC. Also you might have found them in special appearances and interviews in documentaries like “Spanish Voices.”

Our dancers and students are easily recognized on the dance floor.  They are the ones having a great time, always keeping a friendly and positive attitude towards dancers of all levels while showing them a great time during each dance.

Why Learn with Mambo Dinamico?

Learn to dance with our easy to follow instruction. No partner needed and no long-term commitment.

Start learning today.  Our flexible program allows you to start at any time since we have introductory lessons weekly.  Also take advantage of our “Mambo Cards“, which offers discounts and free entrance to our social.

With our program you will learn at your own pace, in a comfortable and fun atmosphere, but we’ll make sure to keep you challenged.

Mambo Dinamico Dance Company’s instructors have years of experience training dancers and teaching people about the culture and etiquette of latin dancing.

All our lessons are taught at Carmen’s Cuban Cafe, 108 Factory Shops Rd in Morrisville, NC –  a convenient location for everyone in the Triangle Area.


Here is what some of our students have to say about our lessons:

Good schools teach people how to dance. Excellent schools give purpose to the skills and expose what it means to “BE” a dancer. Thanks to Mambo Dinamico for raising the level of dance in our community.

Robert Holley

Every time I’ve seen these guys, be it performing and or giving workshops they have been awesome. Wish they would come to DC more.

Luis Morales

I can’t say enough about Betto and Mambo Dinamico. If your desire is to become a great dancer I recommend you seek out Mambo Dinamico!

JuanCarlos Bueno

Taking salsa and shine lessons with Betto is fun, NOT competitive and joyless like some other dance companies I’ve studied with.

Gay Camille Grace Sprague

I don’t like it I LOVE it 🙂

Deepika Bhargava

I loved the way you broke down musicality. I grew up with music and instruments and dancing, but make a point to attend any musicality class/workshop to continue learning. You have shared some of the most important points and ways to understand what we hear and dance to all the time. LOVED IT!!! Wish there were more opportunities in the Florida area for dancers (regardless of level of dancer) to learn more about musicality. Thank you so much for pouring your heart into what you teach.

Beate Connette

Mambo Dinamico’s musicality workshop has consistently been one of the top-rated workshops by our attendees. For three years in a row, our attendees have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the musical components that make up salsa and afro-cuban rhythms while getting an understanding of how different dance steps fit into the whole picture. They can’t get enough of it.

Boston Salsa Festival Organizing Committee

Get your Mambo Card today and join us for classes.

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.


Do I need a partner?
No, about 80% of our students come by themselves.  We exchange partners very frequently during our lessons, so you will have a chance to dance with everyone.

When do I start?
You can start today, or whenever the next class is available.  Please check our calendar.  Our classes are held on a drop-in basis, so you don’t have to wait for a new session to start.

Do I need to pre-register?
No, our classes are open to the public on a first-come-first-served basis. A registration form will be handed to you on your first class, and you won’t have to fill one out again for the rest of your dance experience.

How much do the lessons cost?
Walk-in prices are $15 per lesson. We also offer discounted packages for our group lessons:  8 classes for $80, or a combo package of 1 private + 6 group lessons for $100. Please visit our shop for more information.

What kinds of payments are accepted?
We accept cash, checks, credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) or debit cards.

Where are the classes?
All our classes take place at Carmen’s Cuban Cafe:
108 Factory Shops Rd
Morrisville, NC 27560

When are the classes?
—Level 1 and 2 – Tuesday at 7pm.
—Level 3 – Mondays at 7:30pm.
—Level 4 – Saturdays at 1:00pm.
—Level 1 and 2 – Thursday at 7pm.
—Level 3 – Fridays at 7:30pm

Check our calendar for more detailed information.

How much experience do I need to take the lessons?
To start with our dance program, you need no experience at all.  Our beginner lessons are crafted to walk people through the basics and give them a good foundation for the next levels.

I have taken lessons before. Which class/level should I take?
Check our syllabus and our level chart so you can have a better idea where you belong.  If you are still not clear, ask Betto during one of our social dances and he will give you an informal evaluation and recommendation.

What should I wear?
If you are coming to our beginner classes please wear something casual and comfortable.  We have a party soon after the class.  For all our other classes you can wear casual, dance or fitness clothes as you prefer.

What type of shoes should I wear?
Just wear comfortable shoes at the beginning. There is no need to invest in dance shoes for levels 1 and 2. Once you get to levels 3 and 4 we recommend you purchase ballroom shoes. Dance Design in Chapel Hill offers a 20% discount for Mambo Dinamico Students.

What are private lessons?
Private instruction is a private hour-long class with the instructor. You may opt to take it with a dance partner, but it’s not necessary. The price of a private lesson varies from $50 to $100 depending on the instructor.  To schedule a private, please contact one of our staff directly.


Special Event Performances

Spice up your family reunion, birthday party, corporate party, or any social event with our salsa dancers.

Mambo Dinamico offers dance performances for cultural and educational events. Portraying Latin traditions through dance, our goal is to entertain and educate our audiences.

With fun and energetic choreographies, Mambo Dinamico dancers can entertain your guests at any family or social gatherings.  And with a performance+dance class combo, you can keep your guests on their toes dancing all night long.

Workshops, Presentations and Performances for Educational Events

Educational performances, workshops and presentations are also available for schools, community colleges and universities.  The vast knowledge of latin music and dance that Mambo Dinamico possesses sets the group apart from other latin dance companies. With this knowledge, Mambo Dinamico can facilitate a one-hour presentation of latin culture, dance, music history.

Please contact us for more information.

Choreography and Coaching

Mambo Dinamico offers choreography services and coaching for anyone from professional to amateur dancers.  No matter your experience level, we have something that will suit you.

With experience in quinceañera surprise dances, newlywed first dances and corporate team building dance sessions, Mambo Dinamico’s choreographers can find the right moves to surprise all of your guests and audience members.

Mambo Dinamico’s coaches and choreographers also offer coaching for those seasoned performers who are working on perfecting their show.  If you are a performer that needs help with a choreography for a show, our choreographers can help you assemble a unique show to wow even the most demanding of audiences.

Mambo Dinamico Level Chart

To help you distinguish which classes are right for you, we created an overview of 9 levels. Keep in mind that a dancer of one level can have strengths or weaknesses that are characteristic of another.


  • Raw Beginner — If you are taking your first class.  You are just learning your three basic steps and basic turns.
  • Intermediate Beginner — You should know how to lead and follow ‘Cross Body Leads’, left and right turns, and extensions.
  • Advanced Beginner — You should be able to lead and follow ‘In and Outs’, ‘Cross Body Leads’ with turns, double turns, proper spinning prep, double spins and basic shines.


  • Beginning Intermediate — You should be able to get a double spin on your own.  You are leading and following basic patterns and variations in tune with the music.  You continue developing your shines and begin to include them in every dance.
  • Intermediate Intermediate — You begin to flow, connecting turn patterns together with fewer basics in between.  You start adding double turns to your basic moves.  You are now able to lead and follow more challenging partner and foot work and you begin to experiment with styling.
  • Advanced Intermediate — You have a complete understanding of your footwork when leading and following; double turns are no problem and you can change directions from spinning one way to the other with ease.  At this level your own style starts to develop.  You are beginning to experiment with your turn patterns and body movement.


  • Beginning Advanced — You can figure out how to lead or follow any move with ease, your turn pattern footwork is impeccable, you are starting to play more with the music, and you go from one move to the next without thinking about it.  You are able to lead unrehearsed moves.  You follow pretty much everything they throw at you, responding quickly to the lead.  You are able to complete 3 spins consistently.  Your styling is feeling more natural and in tune with the music.  It doesn’t feel awkward to play around with your partner.
  • Intermediate Advanced — You are so in tune with the music, you don’t think about anything else but the music.  There are no secrets left for you. Everything is clear as water.  You have found your personal style and often improvise on shines.  You are able to bring the best out of any lower level dancer. You complete 4 or more spins fairly consistently.
  • Advanced / Professional — You clear the floor every time you and your partner dance.  You are able to put on a show by yourself.  Your understanding of the music is impeccable and you can hit all the changes, accents, pauses, syncopations, slow and fast parts of a song without thinking about it.  You are not listening to the music anymore, but you are part of it.  Your body is another instrument that plays along with the song you are dancing to.  You make spinning look effortless and you consistently complete 5 or more spins with ease.