Meet Dance Instructor, Joel
Meet Your Dance Instructor: Joel
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in a small farming community to a military family in Northern California where there were just as many cows as people. I was an athlete during my school years who loved watching and playing all sorts of sports. In the classroom I was the valedictorian of my High School and attended the University of California, Irvine where I finished with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a minor in Business.
What made you start dancing?
I started dancing because I needed something to help deal with some personal tragedies that happened in my life. One day I think I saw some salsa dancing on TV, probably Sabado Gigante or something, and I wanted to do what they did because it was so awesome and sexy! Once I started I became hooked, and now ill dance ‘til I’m dead.
What style of dance do you do?
I compete in both American Rhythm and American Smooth styles of ballroom dance, which consist of 9 different dances. (Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Bolero, Mambo) (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz) I also like to dance many of the social dances such as Salsa, West Coast Swing, Merengue, Bachata, Blues, Country, and many more.
Do you do any other type of dance other than Ballroom?
I guess outside of partner dancing I enjoy both Hip Hop and Country.
What is it that drives you?
To be honest, I’m a really competitive person. I just want to keep getting better, learning new things and in the process, hopefully win some competitions.
What is the hardest part about dancing?
There are so many hard parts. From finding the time to practice, to being corrected on the most minor of things, or having to re-learn things over again because layers and layers are always added to make my dancing more complete. We can always get better right?
What is your favorite type of dance?
For American rhythm, I love rumba. It’s so simple but passionate and so precise. In regards to American Smooth, it constantly changes but currently, my favorite is Foxtrot. Who doesn’t love a song from the good ole’ American Songbook? On the social floor, West Coast Swing is my bae.
How would you describe your dance style?
Happy and full of emotion.
How would you describe your teaching style?
I am definitely an easygoing instructor who likes to create personal bonds with my students so I can help them reach their goals.
What benefits has dancing given you?
Confidence, good health, new friends, and an outlet.
What have you accomplished?
I am a 2011 Golden State Dancesport Smooth Champion, 2012 Embassy Dancesport Rhythm Champion, a multi time finalist in Dancesport competitions around the nation and a 2014 World Finalist in American Smooth. In a more social setting I’ve finished in the finals of Jack and Jill dances in both Waltz and West Coast Swing.
What is your most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment as a dance teacher was having one of my students qualify for Nationals. The feeling rivals all of my individual dancing achievements.
What other interest do you have other than dancing? (Hobbies, interests)
Outside of dancing, my passions are photography, music, cooking (and eating), surfing, and playing games (both video and table top).
What is important to you?
Family and God
If money didn’t matter, what would you be doing?
Traveling the world, dancing, spending as much time with my family and friends as possible.
What is your favorite:
Color? Green! (Orange is a close 2nd)
Movie? Inconceivable! The Princess Bride. 🙂
Song? “Man in the Mirror”- Michael Jackson
Band/Group/Music Artist? I love Allen Stone, The Str!ke, John Mayer, The Killers, The Beatles, Babyface, and Boyz II Men, Michael Jackson to name a few.
Do you watch any sports? If so which ones and whose your favorite team(s)?
I watch all the sports! For baseball I’m a lifelong supporter of the San Francisco Giants fan, basketball I love my Bulls, football the Raiders, the Sharks in the NHL, and both the LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team in soccer!
What are your favorite pizza toppings?
I love me a pineapple, sausage, and bell pepper pizza.
What is your favorite thing about yourself?
My favorite thing about myself is that I’m willing to try anything or do anything. We only live once! WOLO!
Why are you sooooOooooooo CoOoLlll??
Because the air conditioner is set too low duh!
Anything you want to add?
Thanks Jacqui for doing this interview you’re the best!
Article by Jacqui