Teacher Spotlight: Alfredo Melendez

1. What is your background as a dancer?
I have been involved in partner dancing for twenty years. I have danced many styles but focused heavily on Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, Lindy Hop, Salsa, Blues, and Fusion.

2. How did you discover fusion dancing and why does it appeal to you?
I discovered fusion through the blues dance scene when there were fusion sessions at the end of the socials. Working with Flouer Evelyn as my dance partner, we explored the dance and have taught in it since 2012.

3. What is your background as a teacher?
I was recruited as a teacher back in 2001 when my studio expanded to a larger space and wanted to offer more dances. I auditioned, got hired, and over time discovered that I had a strong knack for teaching partner dance.

4. What is your teaching philosophy?
I think the most important thing a dance teacher needs to remember is that your clients should have fun. For most people, dancing is a pastime and not a necessity, but if you share your passion for it in a fun way, then you inspire those clients to keep dance as an important element in their lives.

5. What do you enjoy most about teaching to fusion dancers?
I have found the study and analysis of how and why we make the technical choices that we do when dancing fascinating. From there, sharing what I’ve learned in a way that makes fusion fun for my clients is a great feeling.

6. What is the most important thing you hope students learn and/or experience in your class?
The most important thing I want people to remember is that everyonecan dance! The differences lie in exposure and practice, nothing else.

7. What advice do you have for people who feel stalled in their dance journey?
There are many things you can do to push yourself when you are stalled: you can change focus, change genres, change dance scenes, or just take a break.