Modus Vivendi Team has been crowned Australia Team Bachata Champions for two years in a row (2009 and 2010). We had the opportunity to meet the man leading and directing this successful team: Nestor Manuelian. Nestor is a popular figure in the dance scene in Australia. Get to know him more, where he finds his inspirations, his training and his Bachata moves!

Juan: Nestor, first of all, congratulations of winning the Australian Bachata Team Champions title 2 years in a row! how long you have been dancing? and when did you start dancing Bachata?

I have been dancing for 9 years now, I started with Salsa then Bachata and now Zouk….I started Bachata about 6 – 7 years ago and have been teaching it all around the world since then.

Juan: Everybody says that your Bachata is very cheeky 🙂 how do you classify your Bachata style? Is there something you focus the most?

Cheeky and funky…. that’s what I get, I guess its cause my focus is to put my personality in it. I love a good joke and laugh and also love having fun. I don’t focus on a creation of a style, just comes out of enjoyment, I guess. That’s what dancing is all about right?

Juan: Dancing is about enjoyment, you are correct, Nestor! Especially with Bachata :). Now, how do you see Bachata in Australia? in the world?

I have seen Bachata grow from 2 couples on the dance floor in Sydney to full dance floors at every Latin club in Australia; from one Bachata workshop at the LA Salsa Congress to 2 Bachata Festivals in LA; from people been too scared to dance it in Asia, to having 4 different Bachata festivals in the region.

Bachata in my eyes has become so popular for 2 main reasons: Promoters who love the music just as much as the dance and the performers and instructors taking it to every corner of the globe.

It’s evident in the many styles that exist today of Bachata music and dance that the style has evolved for the better because it is now easily accessible to any walks of life, not just some.

The genre now even have artist like AVENTURA who are selling out concerts more than greats like Marc Anthony, Shakira and more, due to their new funky Urban style.

Juan: And where do you get your inspiration for your fun and sexy choreographies?

My inspiration for choreographies comes from a love of pleasing the masses. For me, I have worked with several partners and all have influenced me in one way or the other.

The fantastic dancers around the world have also inspired me. They inspired me to become unique as artist rather than the same as everyone else. I know that from one choreography to the next one, people don’t know what to expect from us apart from two things: ENRGY AND FUN!!!

Juan: All your choreographies have lots of energy and fun, indeed! I’m sure training a winning team is not an easy task. Tell us, what is a standard training session for the Modus Vivendi team? Any funny anecdotes to share?

Yes, i have been fortunate enough that we have been very successful with our teams. I run not only the Modus Vivendi teams but train the Latin Dance Australia couples as well.

In the past two years, Modus Vivendi have won 3 out of 2 divisions and placing 2nd and 3rd in the two years running also in Bachata Competitions:

  • 1st and 2nd in Pro Division of NSW State titles 2010
  • NSW Teams State Champions 2010
  • NSW Amateur Champions 2010
  • 2 x Australian Amateur Champions (2009 and 2010)
  • 2 x Australian Team Champions (2009 and 2010)
  • 2 x 2nd and 3rd in Pro division (2009 and 2010)
  • Sydney’s Best Social Dancers – Bachata Series Winners (2010)

Our training schedule is based around learning the choreography, perfecting and understanding what we do and then of course having fun with it.

I encourage all my couples to enter in the couple divisions and I assist them where needed to make sure that we continue to be the most successful Bachata company in Australia.

Juan: Any tips from the Bachateros out there?

Yeah, I suggest just having fun, dont limit yourslef to one style; learn every style, and then dance to your heart’s content. The best dancers are those that are versatile and can dance with anyone. We teach and encourage that in our classes and hope that everyone else will take the same approach.

Juan: And final questions, if people want to Bachata from you, where can they find you?

To learn Bachata from us you can join our workshops as we are globetrotting around the world or come to our studio at LATIN DANCE AUSTRALIA. We teach 4 Bachata classes a week and have over 100 students doing Bachata alone, not to mention the styles that we teach like Salsa, Samba, Zumba and more….

Our head Bachata Instructors are: Katrina Quintal, Mitch Bilic, Ellicia Mcdonald and myself.

Our classes are structured for you learn how to dance all Traditional, Modern, Dominican styles or what we call simply… BACHATA 😉

Come join us



Images courtesy of VIVA MAGAZINE – Organizers of the Australia Bachata Championships