Amanda Brown is featured in this edition of Dance Spotlight! Amanda lives in Fort Worth, Texas and is an instructor at Dance Makers of Texas. Amanda is an influential dancer in the Dallas/Fort Worth latin dance community and she organizes the popular Pura Fort Worth social. She was nominated by Jason Haynes.
Check out some fun facts and information on Amanda including her thoughts on women in leadership roles within the DFW latin dance community!
Want to nominate someone to be in the Dance Spotlight? Contact us!
Where are you from?
I was born in Dallas and raised in Fort Worth.
What are your first memories of latin dancing? (Family? Friends? A class?)
My first memories of Latin dancing are from when I was a little girl around seven years old. My dad and uncles are from Mexico and I would dance cumbia and merengue with them. I danced salsa and bachata for the first time when I was 24 years old.
You suffered a severe knee injury while dancing! What tips would you give to other dance instructors on how to handle and cope with injuries that keep you from dancing?
Yes, I recently tore my ACL in my right knee while teaching a dance trick to my students. I just had knee surgery to repair the damage. I was told I wouldn’t be able to dance for five months! This was very hard news to hear since dance is not only my passion but also my only job.
I learned how to work around it by teaching couples only and using verbal communication and visual demonstrations to explain to the students. I would definitely recommend my fellow dance instructors to not only take care of their bodies by stretching a lot but also make sure your visual teaching skills are just as good as your verbal teaching skills. It has definitely taken lots of determination on my part.
Dance Pet Peeve: (Hygiene, No connection, People who teach while dancing, etc)
My dance pet peeve is people who don’t connect with the person they are dancing with. I believe that’s a huge part of partner dancing. If you’re not connected you might as well be dancing by yourself.
Also, simple manners such as asking politely for the dance and saying thank you with a smile. I love to see a man escort a lady on and off the dance floor. I always teach these important manners to my students.
I’ve noticed a trend in DFW that more woman seem to be taking the lead and organizing socials and workshops. Yourself, Elisa Cano, Patricia ‘Calirumba’, Cindy Vanessa Benitez, Alyssa Ibanez, and Chanel May (among others) are women who I regularly see organizing/promoting events. This didn’t seem to be the case 5-10 years ago. As a woman, why is it important to have strong female leadership in the DFW latin dance community?
Yes, over the last few years there has been a trend in woman taking lead roles in the DFW dance scene. I love seeing my fellow woman dance instructors take on these roles. I believe all of us ladies respect, promote and encourage each other. I’ve noticed it’s not competitive and we genuinely want to see each other succeed. I think this will only continue in the future and it will help encourage other ladies in the DFW dance scene to not be afraid to take lead roles, and feel it’s OK to not always have a male partner to lead them. We as woman can do it also.
What’s your favorite style of partner dance and why? (Salsa? Bachata? Kizomba? Perhaps another?)
My favorite style of partner dancing is cha cha. There is just something so special about dancing to this rhythm and beat. It makes me feel fierce and smooth all at the same time. The music is so funky and I can’t help but to move my body when I hear cha cha music. A very close second would be Salsa On2 for the same reasons.
What are your current favorite songs to dance to? Top two or three…
My favorite Latin songs always change but right now they are:
- “Que Lio” by Hector Lavoe. It’s really groovy and is a classic.
- “Buscando la Verdad” by Ricky Campanelli.