The Arts

February 27, 2013

Sexy Dancing in the Valley

Sabor Vallero 10th Anniversary

Salsa music entered the mainstream in the late 1980s thanks to the popularity of new romantic ballads that substituted the political and social protest lyrics of the past. By the 1990s, salsa had attracted thousands of fans outside of Latin communities, and a salsa fever exploded throughout the United States. The salsa dance fever did not spare Israel and Rosie Coronado, owners of Sabor Vallero Latin Dance Company, who recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of teaching and promoting salsa throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

“Salsa can really get in your blood,” stated Israel. “I was once forced to go to a local Latin dance hall by a Puerto Rican friend. When I saw how salsa was danced, I was blown away; I knew then I had to learn how to dance.”  Rosie was already dancing cumbias, but in 1988, while visiting San Antonio, Rosie watched a couple dancing to the beat of salsa. She noticed the variety of synchronized moves, the togetherness, and the sexiness of salsa. “Cumbia has very limited steps, and couples don’t really dance together,” concluded Rosie.

It was their love of salsa music that brought them together. “I first met Rosie at a local salsa club, and I asked if she could teach me how to dance. She agreed, and gave me her phone number which I lost, so I never called,” said Israel. They found each other again when Rosie was scouting for a dance partner to participate in a dance competition. Israel accepted her invitation and became her student. “Forget everything you know and let’s start from scratch, I said to him – he has been my best student so far,” said Rosie glancing lovingly at Israel.

Once they embarked in dancing, they knew they had to foster this form of dance; that’s when they created Sabor Vallero Dance Company, which loosely translated means the Flavor of the Valley. In the beginning, their love for salsa led them to perform for free. Sometimes they obtained financial support from local businesses, as they persevered to promote Latin music and dance. Today, they are considered the best dance company of the Rio Grande Valley by many dance lovers who flock to weekly dance lessons offered in Brownsville, Harlingen, Mission, and Weslaco, Texas. “We do not have a single studio because we do not want to limit ourselves,” said Israel. “We want to have a presence in every valley city.”  Private lessons are also available.  Sabor Vallero’s lessons are not limited to salsa dance, for a variety of Latin rhythms are offered. Rhythms like mambo, merengue, bachata and even cha-cha-cha are part of their repertoire. Lessons are not limited to any age group either. “We’ve had four year old students all the way to an enthusiastic 92 year old dancer,” both said.

Rosie and Israel are not only talented dancers, but they are great business partners. Rosie is the administrator and marketing person, while Israel is the creative director and choreographer. They have performed in the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rican Congresses where their Matrix inspired choreography earned them rave reviews in their first appearance.

Between performances and dance lessons, Rosie and Israel married and are the proud parents of two young children; Yahir, and Yadiel. Rosie’s second pregnancy was the inspiration for their new DVD series titled Prenatal Latin Dance Volume 1 and 2. “One of my pet peeves has always been that women are treated like they are sick when pregnant – they are not to exercise and they must eat for two; that is simply not true,” said Israel who is also a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists. “Salsa dance is a good alternative to prenatal yoga,” said Rosie, “The best thing about dancing, is that you develop a strong bond with your dancing partner who can be your husband, your sister, your mother, or a close friend. Even better is that after the baby is born, the knowledge stays with you and you can keep dancing,” Rosie stated. Prior to the prenatal DVD series, Sabor Vallero Dance Company produced two instructional dance DVDs titled Cumbia con Sabor Level 1 and 2. These DVDs have sold in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. All DVDs are available online by visiting

One of Sabor Vallero’s goals is to inject diversity and set a presence in the Rio Grande Valley. “The valley is rich in culture but more should be added. We don’t want people to travel outside the valley to enjoy this form of art,” said Israel. Both are aware of the importance of representing the Rio Grande Valley everywhere they go. “When we travel, we are promoting our valley – we are extending an invitation to come to the valley and dance,” both said. The couple is currently seeking 18 to 25 year old dancers to rebuild a professional performing group. “We need people who are willing to give time and practice hard- this is a lot of work,” said Israel. With their 10th anniversary behind them, Sabor Vallero is ready for a new era.

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About the Author

Nydia O
A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.-Maya Angelou. La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" my life in the Rio Grande Valley. From this bi-cultural corner on the tip of Texas, I share my poems and my spiritual and travel experiences. I also blog about the arts, nature and my passion for historic preservation and architecture. But most importantly, let's talk about "la vida" - living our lives - in a vacation state of mind. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


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