Many dancers and dance teachers would like to know how they could grow as professionals in the competitive world of dance. They would also love to know how to get hired at international dance congresses and even how to get paid more for their caching. And the truth is that there is no single strategy, no one who has the key to achieving it.
However, there are people who by working hard, moving their keys well and setting their goals have achieved this.
This is what happened to dancer Alex Alberola a few years ago and today he is a renowned sensual bachata teacher, international dancer, dance festival organizer and judge in some of the best bachata competitions around the world.
But, well, he better tell us in the next interview that the go&dance team has done to Alex Alberola and tell us what his tricks and recommendations are for promising young artists can succeed in the world of dance, if you wish.
Who is Alex Alberola and why did you start dancing?
I'm Alex Alberola, I started dancing ballroom dances when I was 15 years old, motivated after watching the movie Dirty Dancing (this must be the story of many dancers).
I started out socially to have fun and do something different, but then my coach told me I saw artistic skills and started training me to compete.
Then I changed schools, continued learning, competing and winning several dance championships, until I broke my inner meniscus and decided to stop the competitive world.
Later, I realized that I needed to keep dancing, so a couple of years later, I started learning Cuban salsa at the Ball Passió school in Cerdanyola. I saw right away that I needed more and started learning Salsa L.A. with Salsa del Barrio to spend later with Adrian and Anita. At the same time, I started learning Salsa On2 with Emiliano Sosa. One thing led to another, and a few months later I was picked up for Adrian and Anita's first company. And that's where I met my first Bachata couple, Noemi Perez. With her, we started a project of Bachata Sensual and from that moment everything changed.
We were the forerunners of sensual bachata in Catalonia, we worked hard, won some competitions and started to travel abroad.
Tell us some strange or funny anecdote that you have lived in some international bachata congress...
In all these years I have lived many experiences as a dancer. But I remember a while ago at a congress (which I'm not going to name), where we were and artists of the stature of Adrian and Anita, where there were only 20 or 25 attendees.
We were more dance teachers than assistants at this congress!
We danced in a grandstand in an empty sports hall for 20 people and of course, we took it with humor because of the surrealism of the situation. XD.
Why do you think it's good for people to learn to dance? and what, for Alex Alberola, is the best thing about dancing?
Learning to dance has very positive effects on people's lives. In addition to the obvious benefits such as dancing exercise, the disconnection it causes you from daily life and the release of stress, there is the whole social issue.
Dance is socialization in its purest form!
For me, this last part is the best part of dancing, people get to know each other, go out dancing in small groups, have dinner together every week, plan weekends, and create a cohesion between people who dance that doesn't exist in other worlds.
In addition, dancing rejuvenates and helps to raise your self-esteem. I highly recommend it to anyone.
Tell us a virtue and a defect of Alex Alberola
Virtue: I try to be very professional in what I do, and with some exceptions, I always achieve the goals I set for myself.
Defect: I am too trusting with some artists, organizers, etc.... Whenever I can I try to help (that's my philosophy) and sometimes people don't respond as expected. But it still happens to me, I don't learn with time... hehe.
Alex, you're a sensual bachata teacher, judge, festival organizer, dancer, how do you get around to everything?
It's a big question, sometimes I don't even know myself. But this has been a process and it has been coming gradually.
When I started to travel frequently on weekends to work as a bachata teacher at different international congresses, I left my main job (Telecommunications Engineer) to dedicate myself exclusively to dance.
He then taught classes every day of the week for several hours and traveled away every weekend. After working for months without resting for any day, I started leaving the Monday and Friday classes, later I left the Tuesday classes, etc....
Right now I manage my time as best I can, but some days I'd really need 48 hours a day to complete all the projects I'd like to do for you.
What would you recommend a couple of young dancers to succeed in the world of dance?
Consistency, hard work, high goals and a lot of respect.
In the end, to succeed in this world is never because of one thing, but because of a mixture of several things.
Like, for example, that you are a good dancer, that you are a good instructor, that you have won a championship, that you speak English (if you go out of Spain to work), that you work your brand and your digital presence (social networks and web), that you rehearse and train a lot, that you make contacts, etc....
The sum of all this and how professional you are will determine your future in this world.
Do you think it's important to work on an artist's brand to succeed? Would you give any advice to someone starting out?
Working the brand of professional dancer and visibility is the most important thing. It was clear to me from the beginning when I started and I was still nobody.
From the beginning I invested money in my brand, I made a photo book, a website, business cards, t-shirts, wrote a professional letter of introduction to send to dance congresses in several languages, created social media channels, etc....
After doing all this and demonstrating that I was a professional at what I did, more things came along, DVD´s instructional, shoe and clothing sponsors, online bachata classes, etc....
Today I still don't understand why some people don't understand that you have to invest minimally in certain things to give them a professional look.
That's the first image, your cover letter, what your students and/or fans will see and what the organizers will see. Then, of course, you have to be a real pro at your job to keep them counting on you.
This recommendation has been made to many dancers over the years, and fortunately today many dancers have become "professionalized".
Finally, tell us a little about your current projects (dance congresses, collaborations, web...)
Currently I am still very active traveling every weekend with my current dance partner, Laura Garcia Rubia and teaching bachata during the week at El Manisero de la Salsa dance school.
I usually use a few weeks a year to go on Tour to countries outside Europe that require more time.
For example, in the summer of 2017 I was living in Korea for 3 months as I was called to try to start the Sensual Bachata in Korea.
After those 3 fantastic months I couldn't be more satisfied.
We got many new bachateros, better and more bachata sessions, and a fervor to follow all the bachateros artists and learn more about this wonderful dance.
Here you can see Alex Alberola dancing bachata sensual in Seul, Korea.
Really, what I experienced in Korea is one of the most rewarding things in my work.
Every time I go to a country where there is almost no bachata, and I see that I can do my bit to push the bachata scene to grow, I get excited.
You start to see how in a matter of months everything changes, people are very grateful and they look radiant and that is precisely what makes sense of what I do.
I am also fortunate enough to attend countries where exclusive Bachata competitions and generic dance competitions such as the Latin Dance World Cup are organized, where I am called to be part of the jury. For me, it is a great honour and a responsibility.
And finally, I am always open to new collaborations to continue promoting dance and above all bachata all over the world.
I know that there is a lot to do and there are still many people in the world who are unaware of the benefits of dancing, but I know that it is a matter of effort, of all the promoters of dance making more noise and convincing people who are unaware of this world to try it, to start dancing, to take bachata lessons and to discover a fantastic new world.
Dreamer? Maybe, but I enjoy doing it!
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