Salsa Stars in Their Eyes – Ricky Nater & Thalia Jimenez


Going on a special trip usually requires some planning.  Sometimes it takes months of scheduling in advance. Sometimes less, but occasionally opportunities arise where it’s easy to just pick up and go.  For example, I’m sure you wouldn’t mind hopping on a cruise to the Bahamas for the world’s largest Latin dance party at sea on a moment’s notice…

Ricky & Thalia

Oh you think that’s crazy?  It’s not so bad.  Just another typical weekend in the salsa scene for Thalia Jimenez, who booked her passage on the Aventura Dance Cruise 3 days before it’s departure.  Unfortunately, her partner, Ricky Nater, was left on shore, but this wasn’t the first time they’ve attempted to attend a major salsa event on a whim.  R&T3Some of their craziest adventures have involved ridiculously impromptu decisions to travel to congresses, but you’ll have to personally ask them for the details.

Spontaneity is a key quality of this vivacious dance couple.  However, their coming together as a team was more than a matter of improviso.  They both started at the same dance school where Ricky was an instructor.  Thalia was a student and something of a protege considering her young age. After dancing together for some time, a partnership naturally evolved. They decided to branch off to seek their own path in the community with high aspirations, including teaching, traveling and performing at congresses.

With combined backgrounds and training in jazz, tap, and hip-hop, Ricky and Thalia have deemed their salsa style as more of a fusion of all the aforementioned dances.  Their teaching method is strongly structured, yet they manage to create a relaxed and fun environment for their students. Currently, their free lessons take place on Wednesday nights at the beautiful La Vendetta venue in the heart of Hollywood, FL.

Social dancing with these two is a blast as each has their own distinct manner of movement.  If you’re lucky to be lead by Thalia, you’ll notice that her lead is precise, sharp and attacks the music at all the necessary points. Her R&T2follow is pretty darn impressive too.  Ricky, known to be a comedian, is likely to serenade you during a dance, which makes it that much more entertaining. His interpretation of music is as smooth as riding on the sound waves of the song itself. They are regulars at Legends Cafe Pura Salsa Fridays and frequently make their rounds at Puntino, Yuca, and Open Stage in Miami. An off the cuff venture to Orlando for a party or friend’s performance isn’t out of the question either.

Off the dance floor both are experiencing phases of progression and growth. Returning from his military deployment, Ricky is now readjusting to life back home, reviving his dance roots and rediscovering himself.  For a teen, Thalia displays a high level of maturity and is aware that she is a person in development. Both of them have a glass-half-full mentality. Their optimism is helping them move forward in their lives, with their dance goals and to establish their new brand.

Ricky and Thalia are on track for a special journey that not only requires some planning, but perseverance, dedication and the occasional unscripted action.  The future is promising and they’re making it clear that we have two new salsa stars right before our eyes.

Follow Ricky & Thalia:

Twitter: Thalia_Jimenez_

By: Giselle Bodden