Dance Spotlight – Jairo Andres Rojas

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Jairo Andres Rojas is featured in this edition of Dance Spotlight! He is a dance instructor based in Dallas (Denton) and is Co-Founder of Salsa with Jo (along with Johan Andres Rojas). Jairo is a popular instructor in the area and has had a great impact on the Dallas dance community. He was nominated by Oscar Aloyo. Oscar said, “Jairo has brought so many people together.  It’s definitely a family and it’s incredibly humbling to be in his presence. What he’s built in the dance community has truly been inspirational and I’m very grateful that people like him are in the dance community. You can’t go wrong with Jo if you’re looking for a group to join. I met my wife through Jo!” Check out fun and interesting facts about Jairo including his favorite dance moment and a video detailing the history of Salsa with Jo.

What (or who) originally inspired you to try Latin dancing? OR What are your first memories of latin dancing?

I’m for Cali, Colombia and I didn’t like to dance at all while I was leaving there. My family moved to Denton, TX when I was 16 (2006).  There was this lady who was an amazing dancer at the high school I went to, and she organized a multicultural club through diversity of dance. Me being Colombian, I didn’t want people to ask me where I was from and say, ‘Oh you must know how to dance salsa!’ I didn’t want to answer no and feel ashamed, so I decided to give it a try and loved it!

Describe a moment in your dance life that made you feel proud?

When I started teaching lessons at a studio. We used to do lessons at a storage room in a restaurant! Also, when I performed for the first time with my dance team at one of my events in 2016.

Social Dance Pet Peeves?

In general, people who have the wrong attitude while dancing, not enjoying themselves, looking away, no connection, teaching while dancing, hygiene (including myself; not having extra shirts when you are sweaty) as well.

You’ve run a very successful latin dance business for several years (since 2015). What is the most rewarding aspect of teaching latin dance?

Well thank you for that! Honestly hearing people say thank you for hosting classes and events. Also, watching my students grow from barely doing a basic to dancing at socials and having a great time.

What goals do you have for your dance business (Salsa with Jo)?

Having our own dance studio with other business incorporated like a bakery, and clothing and shoes store.  The ultimate goal is to host events, socials, rentals, etc. I’d also like to offer a training system for the students who would like to become instructors. I want to continue to grow the dance community so everyone can collaborate with each other and feel welcomed.

What makes a social dance fun for you?

Being able to enjoy myself while dancing with anybody of any level of dancing, or with dancers from other studios without being judged or discouraged.

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

It’s hard to pick only three songs (laughs).

Favorite dance video you’d like to share?

I’m sharing this video because it has several clips of how we started. The history of salsa with Jo in one 18 minute video. We created this video during the pandemic while everything was still locked down. We wanted to stay connected with our community during this hard times and for them to get to know us more.

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