Welcome to Episode 4 of the Salsa Kings LIVE podcast
Today, Salsa Kings is very pleased to bring on very special guest Billy Fajardo. An accomplished dancer and teacher, Billy Fajardo is a multi-dance champion who has over twenty years of experience as a dancer and teacher of dance. He is the owner of the International Hustle Salsa Congress and the owner of the World Salsa Summit. He is one of the most important dancers working in Salsa today.
It is Fajardo himself who decided the topic of ‘From Street to Stage’. Fajardo talks about his inspiration for dance. Beyond the techniques of dancing, he talks about the other things he had to learn to become what he calls a ‘polished professional’, such as costuming and the business of the work. Things like publicists and contracts are often things that we forget about when we go into our dreams. Billy talks about the difference between simply being someone who wants to perform and someone who truly wants to become a professional.
Being a dancer is more than just dancing. Billy talks about the people you need to become truly professional. It needs a full team, from coaches to fellow performers to many others. Oftentime people are falsely advertised as professionals, despite not having a truly professional capacity in the job. This isn’t to criticize their dancing ability, merely to point out that these dancers are not working as true professionals.
Billy also goes on to talk about his inspirational life, beginning with his childhood in the Bronx and how he was raised, going on to explain his fascination with and entry into dance, and his eventual rise to becoming a true polished professional. He continues on with the variety of dance and music that came from multiple locations, from his family to the streets he grew up on. He goes on to explain that his beginning with dance was purely a social activity, done for the love of the craft and the inspirations that caused him to move on from a social dancer to a true professional dancer, as well as about the steps that he took to make that transition. By listening in, you find out the details about the life of a dancing lesson, and learn about the paths into professional dance.
Billy talks about the importance of resilience and dedication. Simply having a talent for dance is not enough. This key advice may be the most important part of the work. Billy’s story is one of perseverance and hope, showing that anyone can be a dancer if they set their mind to it. For those who love the art of dancing, this episode will both educate and inspire you.
“The keyword is being persistent and being able to do it for as long as it takes. Listen, for whoever’s going to start dancing or who wants to have a career, you have to stay a student. No matter what. I have been a student, will be a student, until I die.”