Juan was born in Ecuador, but moved to the US in his teenage years. Living in Chicago for 6+ years, he was a street dancer by heart, until he was properly trained at various dance academies near his home. It was here that Juan was introduced to Bachata, learning in a Multicultural city from various dancers such as the Dominicans, Boricuas, Hispanics, Mexicans & many others. This combined fusion of technique & cultural style is what makes Juan’s dancing so unique.
Juan is responsible for the Bachata craze in Australia as 2004 saw him in a new country & culture when he arrived in Sydney, only to find the dance he was most passionate about was a taboo, never played in nightclubs or taught at dance studios. Inspired as no one else can be with Bachata, Juan started running classes & workshops, as well as promoting Bachata music to various influential DJ’s, Nightclubs & Latin Events. It was from there his fame as ‘El Bachatero’ grew quickly making him the best know Bachata Instructor in Australia & New Zealand – sometimes referred as “The Godfather of Bachata”. From then on, Juan became one of the most influential Bachateros in the world. He has taught hundreds of workshops and performed all over Australia, but throughout the world (New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, HK, France, Holland, USA, New Caledonia and more). Juan is also one of the founders and organizers of the successful ‘Sydney International Bachata Festival’ www.bachatafestival.com.au (founded in 2008) and director of the Byron Latin Fiesta www.byronlatinfiesta.com.au (from 2010).
In 2011, after having a very successful Bachata car eer, Juan, together with his partner Josie Cote decided to open a Latin Dance School in Sydney, Tropical Soul Dance Studio (www.tsdance.com.au). Very quickly, Tropical Soul has become one of the most sought after schools in Sydney and Australia. They have won multiple dancing awards and also the school was nominated as NSW Startup Business for 2013.
Juan’s is the pioneer of the Bachata Moderna style, a style he started developing in 2008. Bachata Moderna is a more stylized style of Bachata were dancers can add different footwork and transitions and yet remain true to Bachata form, maintaining the feeling & emotional elements that makes Bachata what it is. His syllabus and moves are being used around the world (you can read the history of Bachata Moderna on this blog post “More than just Bachata“). With the growth and evolution of Bachata music, Juan has ensured that the dancing evolves as well. Nowadays, Juan is known for teaching “Modern Dominican Bachata“, a fusion between Bachata Moderna and Dominican style.
Juan always focused on showcasing and sharing his love for Bachata, but in 2013/14 he decided to enter various National competitions with his dance partner Shade Zahrai, obtaining some magnificent results:
- 1st Place, NSW Bachata Championships 2013
- 1st Place, AUSTRALIA BACHATA CHAMPION – Australia Latin Open 2014 (Watch the winning freestyle)
Bachata Moderna demo