Nancy Alonso was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York of Puerto Rican parents. Nancy grew up in the New York City during the height of the Salsa era and witnessed history in the making. She saw all the famous singers and musicians, danced to their music and even danced with Eddie Palmieri when she was 12 years old at the Brooklyn Casino.
She moved to the Washington D.C. area in the 1980's. Nancy co-owned and operated a mobile DJ service known as "The Dynamic Duo DJ's". Her skills and expertise as a music programmer allowed her to crack into the professional DJ boys club. Nancy was given the stage name DJ ISIS (I Spin In Style) and made dance club history in DC. As DJ ISIS, Nancy played in some of the DC area’s popular and exclusive clubs including Numbers, Chicago, The Georgetown Library, Anastasia's and The Pisces Club among others.
Nancy and Henry are The Champions of WAVA's Disco Dance Contest. This $1000 prize dance contest was the highlight of the largest halloween party (1988) ever held in DC. It was held at the Post Office Pavilion and attended by over 1000 people. Nancy and Henry hustled their way into the history books as this was the last disco\hustle dance event of its kind in the DC area. WAVA was later sold and the format changed. (bye bye disco station!)
In the late 80’s she concentrated more on Salsa. Nancy brought her knowledge of classic salsa and blended it with contemporary music. Nancy pioneered spinning Salsa Dura at several Salsa clubs in Washington DC area including South Beach and Chelsea's and gained popularity among musicians and latin music lovers for her music programming talent. In 1992 she made her mark at “Havana Café” in Clarendon Virginia, where she was given artistic license to play hard core Salsa and Cuban music. Havana Café became the first hot spot for Salsa in Virginia and was the inspiration for the Salsa scene in the Washington DC area.
Nancy's music programing skills and expert knowledge of Salsa and Afro-Cuban music led her to becoming the host of the Monday night "Latin Flavor" show on WPFW 89.3 FM (www.wpfw.org) in May of 1999. Nancy's format concentrates on classic salsa as well as Latin jazz and contemporary groups whose repertoire of music more closely represents Afro-Cuban rhythms and New York-style Salsa. She also features local musicians and conducts interviews whenever musicians come to the Washington area from New York, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, Miami and elsewhere.
Nancy has received many thanks and is the recipient of many awards for her dedication and devotion to the music. Nancy was voted SalsaMetro’s “Best Salsa DJ Of The Year”.
Nancy is the 2010 recipient of The Jose Ruiz Lifetime Achievement Award for her service to the latin community and dedication to latin music.
Nancy was given the title "Thr First Lady of Salsa in Washington DC" by her peers.
Nancy is active as a speaker at Hispanic Heritage Month events, special guest DJ and as an MC for events throughout the DC metropolitan area including the Smithsonian Institute's Jazz Cafe and 4th of July on the mall. Nancy recently added Salsa Club Promoter to her many titles when she launched Nancy Alonso's Salsa Empire in the winter of 2013. To date Nancy has successfully promoted Salsa Empire as the best place to dance to Salsa dura in the DMV, Washington DC Maryland and Virginia.
Nancy celebrated 15 years on the air at a party at Salsa Empire on May 10, 2015. This party was attended by local, international celebrities and over 300 of her fans at the Empire Nightclub in Spriingfield, VA.
In 2018, Nancy Alonso said goodbye to WPFW after 18 years on air to take on the position of Program Director at Salsa Empire Radio, an internet radio station broadcasting from the DC area to the world. Nancy is still on the air on Salsa Empire Radio. The host of Nancy Alonso The Salsa Dura Show and other shows such as The Havana Cafe Radio Hour.
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