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Student Spotlight:

Nick Hotz

Salsa and Bachata Student

Nick, who once referred to himself as "plywood" due to his lack of dance experience and skills, has transformed into a dedicated student dancer at Movers and Shakers Dance Academy. He values the friendships formed through classes and the helpful practice sessions that boost his confidence on the dance floor.  

Nick shares his dance journey through the following interview questions.

Nick Hotz

1. How would you describe the differences between salsa and bachata dancing (now that you’ve taken classes in both)? 

Bachata is a very sensual dance that requires a good sense of musicality and a lot of practice to remember the many different patterns that make up the dance. The music itself is much more rhythmic, which makes it friendly for remixes of popular songs and easier to stay on beat while dancing. Salsa feels like more of a party dance. Movements are generally faster, but foundations build on each other, so even as a beginner you can get a sense of how the moves learned early on link together to create more complex moves. 


2. What's your favorite salsa or bachata song to dance to, and what makes it so special for you? 


Ariela (dance instructor) was a huge fan of Prince Royce. You could put him on for hours and never run out of beginner-friendly bachata songs. My favorite is “El Amor Que Perdimos” because it’s very rhythmic and one that my girlfriend and I put on often when practicing new moves. 


3. How would you describe the atmosphere and community at Movers and Shakers Dance Academy? Is there a difference between the salsa and bachata students? 


This community is AWESOME! Movers and Shakers truly is a family that supports each other in dancing and creates long-lasting friendships. Danny (Academy Director) and the staff go to huge lengths to foster community through outside social events, practices, and by just providing a friendly and inviting atmosphere during class.  


I haven't experienced much difference between the salsa and bachata communities, though salsa classes tend to be larger, ideal for meeting lots of new people, while bachata classes are more intimate. 


4. What was your relationship with salsa and/or bachata before you decided to take classes? 


Before starting with Movers and Shakers, I had no experience dancing whatsoever. I was probably closer to “plywood” than dancer, and was very nervous the first few sessions. However, the academy’s instructors and community quickly put my mind at ease. 


5. When you've felt like you couldn't keep up with the pace of a class, what steps did you take to catch up and feel more comfortable? 

Practice, practice, practice! You need to get the feeling of the movement in your body. Once you’ve done it successfully once, it’s easier to have the confidence and understanding to execute again in the future. Friday practices are hugely helpful in getting you comfortable for social dancing in a low-stress and fun environment. 

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