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Meet Henry Salazar of The Artwork Dance Academy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Henry Salazar.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The reason I started dancing was because my sister was a dancer, so I decided to take up dancing as well when I was eight years old. However, not long after, I took a three years break because my sister and I encountered problems at the studio we were a part of. Thankfully, my mom has always been the type of mother who encouraged us to stay productive so that we would stay out of trouble. This helped me discover my passion for dance.

I have been blessed with the opportunity to compete in various local and international competitions, many of which I have had the honor of winning. Thanks to those accomplishments, my dance journey has become a successful one and filled with countless experiences. I have experienced life-changing events such as traveling to different parts of the world, teaching dance, becoming a world/ International champion and becoming the owner of my own company- The Artwork Dance Academy. Through my dancing community, I have been able to meet people from different parts of the world who have been supportive of my journey. I have been able to get this far thanks to not only the lessons I learned from detrimental experiences but also the people who have supported me and believed in me throughout my journey.

Has it been a smooth road?
I never had it easy growing up. I did not have a fatherly figure growing up, nor did I have a mother son connection with my mom. Most of the time my mom was working two jobs to provide for my sister and me, and therefore we would rarely see her. I began accepting the fact that my father could not beat his alcohol and cigarette addiction. My sister was the only person left whom I could possibly have a connection with, yet instead of connecting she tried finding ways to escape our reality. While others in my place would have attempted to escape their reality as my sister did, I tried to find a way for my hardships to serve as a catalyst to shape me into someone better. I attempted to see the good in my situation. My dad unconsciously proved that dreams can become a reality by owning his own restaurant since he has been a chef for a long time. I understood that there could be some positivity if I searched for it.

Through all this turmoil, I found dance. Dance helped me overcome this sense of solitude. Dance kept pushing me to become a stronger more self-confident person, a wiser person, and a survivor of my daily obstacles. Dance allowed me to understand that I could serve as an inspiration for other kids going through similar or worse circumstances. Dance had a strong impact on me to the point that I started to believe in myself when I felt no one did. I want others to experience the same feeling as I did. I want them to understand that dance not only serves as entertainment but also as a way for them to internally grow. My childhood was anything but easy, but dance gave me the strength to come out of my shell and see the world in a more optimistic way. When I dance, I dance to be happy and make others happy from watching me, but most importantly for that one kid out in the audience waiting to get inspired and see how happy they can be by dancing.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Artwork Dance Academy – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a professional dancer who specializes in choreographing and Latin dancing. I am most known for salsa dancing because I have focused on that dance style for the past three years. However, I have not only been exposed to dancing Latin rhythms but also international dancing such as Bhangra, Bellydancing, Festejo, Flamenco and Caporales. As previously mentioned, I opened up my own company, and I am proud to not only be the CEO of my company but also starting this brand at the age of 16. I am one of the youngest entrepreneurs for dance out there but have managed to be a full-time student and dancer. I aspire to major in Business Administration Entrepreneurship which will aid me to build a community center focused on kids. This would also provide another home for kids to get their mindsets changed so they become an asset and not a liability. I want to show these kids that drugs, gangs, violence and other temporary acts of relief isn’t the way to solving their issues.

Any predictions for the industry over the next few years?
I dearly care about the salsa industry since that is my specialty, but it has sadly started drifting apart more and more as the years go by. Most importantly, the Los Angeles salsa scene has dropped from being one of the best and the dancers have stopped supporting each other. The LA salsa scene has become so divided that it’s rare to see everyone cheer for each other and to welcome any new ideas when being brought to the dance floor. It is scary for new people when entering this scene as they are scared of being judged in this community. It saddens me that I know many people who prefer not to perform because they don’t want to be judged nor but down.

Unfortunately, the dance style that a dancer dances even further divides the LA salsa scene. The biggest controversy going on in the Los Angeles salsa scene is the misconception that if you Dance Salsa On2 you are therefore better than all of those who dance On1; however, that is completely false. When one goes to an event to either perform or to social dance it is not as fun as it used to be because it has become competition on who dances the best which unfortunately takes the fun away from dancing. But with that being said, if this salsa community doesn’t change this egotistical part of dancing I feel that in 5-10 years, the only thing left will be memories.

Pricing:

  • Single Class Pass $15
  • Five Class Pass $60
  • Ten Class Pass $110
  • Private Lessons Varies $80-$120

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Picture Credit to Christopher Alvarez & Denis Boisvert

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