Teacher Spotlight: Emilio Estevez

Emilio Estevez

Emilio is a DJ and dance instructor based in Philadelphia, PA. Not only has Emilio taught and DJ’d internationally at fusion exchanges, he is also the mastermind behind DJX in Philly. DJX is a fusion organization that hosts two large events: the DJ Experiment in the fall and DJX Summertime outdoors, along with regular monthly fusion parties.
You can find them on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/djx.philly

1. What is your background as a dancer?
I am a Fusion dancer who has 20 years of experience. I started with Lindy Hop in 2000 and since then I have learned Blues, Hip-Hop, House, Tango, Zouk, and a host of other movements from many other genres.

2. How did you discover fusion dancing and why does it appeal to you?
I discovered Fusion dancing before it was called Fusion at an event called JetLag which played world music. Dancers had to figure out how to dance to many different genres of music which created many new opportunities to explore dance. After going to the very first Fusion Exchange, the event validated the dancing that I was interested in and created an identity for the dancing that I was doing.

3. What is your background as a teacher?
I started teaching Lindy Hop, then moved to blues before settling into Fusion.

4. What is your teaching philosophy?
I don’t have a single philosophy because my teaching, like Fusion, continues to change as I learn more dances and express where the dance is moving towards socially. First and foremost is that dance is a conversation where both partners are equals in listening and expressing to the music.

5. What do you enjoy most about teaching to fusion dancers?
The diversity of different dance styles in a class can be inspiring, and it’s fun to see how people can take a single concept and create many different ways to express that concept.

6. What is the most important thing you hope students learn and/or experience in your class?
My immediate goal is to give knowledge to the student that can be used that day. It can be a change of confidence, a new movement, or a new way to control their body. Making sure that the material has the correct pacing and that everyone is having fun helps create a successful class environment.

7. What advice do you have for people who feel stalled in their dance journey?
Go back to the music that literally moves you the most and start there. Practice alone in front of a mirror if possible then work with someone that inspires your dance. Finally, find a teacher and be patient with your growth because change is rarely immediate.