Carlos Cinta is featured in this edition of Dance Spotlight! Carlos is one of the world’s most popular Bachata instructors due to his incredible knowledge, fun-loving personality and teaching style, and his passion for bachata music and culture. He was born in San Francisco, but currently lives in Chicago. He was nominated by Jason Haynes. Check out some fun info. about Carlos including his first memories of bachata, his advice for someone who wants to teach dance and his Super Bowl pick!
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What are your first memories of bachata?
I would go to clubs with the girl I was dating at the time and I didn’t know how to dance bachata. She did. I would see her dancing bachata and I thought that was pretty cool. It went from ‘This is a sweet dance’ to ‘Yo, my man, that’s my girl. Why are you dancing so close?’ I needed to learn how to dance so I could get close to my girl on the dance floor instead of other guys. I was like, ‘Can I get close to my girl too?’
Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems most traveling instructors are male/female combos. Any particular reason(s) why you’ve remained a solo instructor?
There are plenty of women that are great dancers, but the question is if they can teach. I refuse to have someone who can’t teach as my partner because it’s going to make us look bad. There are going to be women/followers asking certain questions and my partner would need to know how to explain proper technique. I think it’s disgusting how follows are being objectified and certain couples are booked for gigs and the female partner never says a word. She’s there for her looks and big backside. I’m not doing that. If I have a partner, she is going to talk just as much as I do.
You’re a DJ as well as a dance instructor. What are your current favorite songs to play at socials/festivals? Top two or three…
I don’t have any particular favorites. Every crowd is different so you have to get a feel for the vibe. Some crowds are more ‘conservative’ while others you can get a little more ‘ratchet’ with them. Songs have different styles and vibes, so it really depends on the crowd. My favorite genre is merengue. Instead of my favorite songs, I’ll give you my favorite genre. I’m sorry, I changed the question. No, I’m not. Ha. What I really love to play for dancers is merengue.
Well that leads right into my next question – you’re a big fan of merengue – why do you think it hasn’t caught on at festivals/events?
Promoters tell their DJ’s not to play it, so DJs don’t play it and students don’t learn the dance or hear the music – therefore nobody likes it. I think a lot of dancers/students don’t have a good feel for what they like. They’re influenced by others saying what they prefer and so they choose not to like merengue as well. It’s like racism in that it’s a learned behavior. Dancers know nothing about the music or culture and it’s portrayed as an easy/stupid dance. Most dancers have never been around a group of people who love the music and enjoy it, so until that changes people will continue to dislike it.
Describe an accomplishment in your dance career that made you proud.
The fact that I’m able to travel the world to share my passion for teaching dance. It’s definitely a blessing. When I first started dancing I never thought about being a teacher or wanting to teach, but it ended up happening. I started locally and then YouTube came along. I put up one video in 2007 and the next thing you know I’m traveling the world. It’s very surreal to me.
What advice would you have for someone who wants to be a professional latin dance instructor?
Be different! Be unique! There are already thousands of teachers who learned from ‘instructor A’ and they all teach the same exact dance style. There are thousands of teachers who learned from ‘instructor B’ and they all look the same. McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s all sell burgers, but they all taste different. If they all tasted the same then we’d only need one burger place. Same thing with the DJs. Everyone wants to play ‘DJ so and so’s’ music. Well that DJ is coming on in one hour, so why are you playing all of this persons music? Play your own stuff. That’s my advice. Be different.
On your Facebook page, someone asked you what are the different steps for the various styles of bachata (dominican, modern, sensual, urban, etc) Part of your answer was, “For me…there is no such thing as all those labels.” Why (for you) are all those labels not important in bachata?
I think most dancers follow those labels because they haven’t had much experience dancing outside of certain festivals or a dance studio environment. I know it may be blasphemous to some, but (in my opinion), the truth is that there aren’t any labels. It’s all just bachata – not this style or that style.
Dance video(s) you’d like to share?
Carlos didn’t have any particular videos – so we picked one for him :). In the video Carlos discusses his Bachata Musicality Training Course. We love this video because it not only features Carlos talking about his training course, but it also gives insight into his fun-loving personality, which is one of the reasons why he’s so beloved in the latin dance world. The Christmas offer has expired…but the course is still available.
Bonus Question. You’re a big football fan. KC versus San Fran in the Super Bowl. Your pick?
I’m going with San Francisco. They have a better defense and Andy Reid (Chiefs coach) always chokes. I’m surprised the Chiefs have made it this far. I was irritated because I picked Tennessee to beat Kansas City in the AFC Championship game. San Francisco all the way.
Click on the flyer below to check out Carlos’ website at ccbachata.com.!
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