Dance Spotlight – Darrien Grays

Photo by Chris Moreno

Darrien Grays is featured in this edition of Dance Spotlight! He lives in DFW and was nominated by Mahshid Rosario-Pourjavad. She said, “He’s attends all the events and is always engaging and brings such a positive energy! And he social dances with EVERYONE!” Check out some fun facts about Darrien including his most memorable dance moment!

Want to nominate someone from your latin dance community? Contact us!

Where are you from?

I was born in Austin and raised in San Antonio. Once I graduated high school my family moved to Long Island, NY while I went to college in Abilene, Texas. However, by the time I graduated both my family and I had became Dallas residents (since 2010).  I’ve been here ever since!

Favorite dancers to watch and/or dance with?

If we are talking worldwide my current favorites to watch are Rodrigo Cortazar, Panigiotis, and Terry and Fadi – but I also rarely watch them.  I have many more favorites locally (Dallas)! I love watching couples like Johan and Alyssa Ibanez and amazing instructors like Jay Styles and Wander Rosario.

My favorite dancer to dance with though… is anyone who has lots of fun when they dance with a big smile!

Favorite socials/places to dance?

Dallas Dance Studio, Clique, Los Comales, Maracas, Stratos, Dancemakers, Los Lupes, Mexican Bar Co., Alpha Midway, Kumbala and Vidorra.

Dance Pet Peeve(s)?

Number one is not having fun! And that goes from experts all the way down to brand new beginners. If you aren’t having fun then it doesn’t matter how awesome or terrible you were. But if you have fun then I’ll forget and forgive pretty much all of the other dancer sins…except for maybe bad B/O and back leading!

Favorite dance performance moment?

San Francisco International Bachata Festival 2011! I know, most people know me as a salsero, but the first team I joined when I moved to Dallas was Roberto Lay’s “Rumba y Fuego” team.  Anyways, we were at tech rehearsal and they loved our routine so much they wanted us to close on Friday night! However, I shortly thereafter found out that a major part of my costume was left back home in Texas! However, as a team we were able to come up with enough items for a costume to make us all look the same (they wouldn’t let me be singled out). We then went to perform the routine and everyone loved it! Its my favorite performance not because it was my best but because it was only able to happen because we all worked together!

What’s one (or two) tips you’ve give to dancers who are thinking about performing?

The first tip I would give is to know “why” you’re performing. Everyone generally has different reasons for going to perform from becoming a better dancer, overcoming stage fright, making new friends, to working on their stage and social dance presence.  Regardless of your why, make sure you know what your why is and make sure to work hard to answer it!

The second tip to go right along with your “why” is to make sure you are having fun! Sometimes you will have to work hard to get to the fun stuff but if you aren’t having fun at all then recheck your “why”!

What are your current favorite songs to dance to? Top two or three…

  1. Mi Lindo Yambu – Sonora Pocena
  2. No Me Acostumbro – Rey Ruiz
  3. Idilio – Willie Colon

Favorite dance video you’d like to share?

I don’t really have recent good ones of me but this is a favorite of mine!