Today there was a tornado close to where I was. I probably should have sought shelter but I was numb from an internal storm and lulled by a false sense of security. In a few minutes the storm cleared taking with it the darkness and the rain. The fact that I had a lesson at the studio in a few hours gave me joy, and sure enough when I ascended the stairs to Daza Dance I started breathing differently -it’s like I found a window in time where I could release pain. When you enter the studio you are not just a student, you are someone who is loved and appreciated and everyone is genuinely excited to see you. Mario, Maxi, and Antonio always greet me in a way that humbles me. It’s wonderful to know that I am not just someone who dances in the studio, but that they like me and are happy to have me there.

There is tape on the wall as stars are about to be placed for the next showcase. I am always thrilled to see my name up on the wall! For this Showcase I will be doing a Foxtrot to the song “One” from A Chorus Line. When I start my class with Antonio my only goal is to throw myself into every movement and have fun! In no time as we go through the rhythm dances I am feeling like myself again. When we get to the Foxtrot Antonio is trying to draw more energy out of me. He is continuing to raise the bar to make me the best dancer I can be. I can’t wait to get started on the showcase routine and further master the dance that makes me work the hardest .Antonio said “The Holy Spirit will not make you get in position- you have to do the work!” Truer words were never spoken- in dance as in life when you put in the hard work you are able to embrace the miracles that propel you forward.

Today Antonio wants me to focus on is walking – just simple walking and I walk back and forth through the studio. By now I know this is connected to deeper purpose- to continue to build my confidence and as I continue to walk I can feel strength growing inside me. I leave the studio calming the storm in my spirit and fully realizing the power I have in creating my story – I know that I alone am the one who will decide what is written.

By: Kamaria George (12/03/2016)


Today is a perfect day, the weather is calm and peaceful just like how I feel. I am picking up the pace as I am so excited to get to Daza Dance the place where I feel most inspired. Mario and Maxi are hard at work creating and studying dance moves, they greet me flow right back into an intense concentration. I feel so much inspiration as they continue to create. Hearing them talk through rhythms helps my thoughts flow, and I have some time before class so I begin to brainstorm about the future.

Antonio comes in and gives me a hug and then goes to collaborate with Mario and MaxiLater Antonio and I start class and we start with a Waltz. Antonio is continuing changing up on usual the sequence of moves on me breaking me of my habit of anticipating instead of staying in the moment. When we get to foxtrot I have to watch my arms as I have a tendency to press them down when in closed dance position, which makes me very heavy, kind of like a 600 lb. sack of potatoes. I take note and concentrate on keeping form with my arms.  As we do the Tango my face is so severe, but Antonio tells me to soften it. It is so hard to stay in character and I am laughing so hard it takes extra energy to try to remain composed. When we get to Rumba I am incorporating the notes my dance from two weeks ago Antonio is smiling.  

Finally we get to Cha- Cha and I incorporate my notes from last week. I get the Chase Turn, and as I am doing it correctly I realize it’s called a Chase Turn because we look like we are chasing each other. Antonio gives me a blank stare and laughs because we have been working on the step on and off for several months and I am just now figuring it out. It feels wonderful to finally get this step, I feel like I just won Ms. America, and I want to do a victory walk down Peachtree Street and wave at people! We continue to practice cha-cha to cement this in my mind. Antonio then talks about the correlation between Latin and African dance and he shows me a couple dance of steps using isolations which reminds me of doing Dunham technique from modern dance. 

At the end of class Antonio and Maxi meet with me to talk about my future in dance and we are on the same page. I will have a more structured program starting in January and will have an opportunity to become a type of dancer I have always wanted to be. I am so humbled as I look and see that they both truly want to work with me, and I am bursting with excitement as I know I will not only become a better dancer, but the life lessons I continue to learn during class will help me become the best version of myself. I leave the studio smiling from the inside out and so expectant about the year to come.

By: Kamaria George (11/28/2016)


...It is with great sadness that we have to say good bye to Masha Chubenko from our #DazaDance family. Although I am feeling great emptiness and nostalgic in my heart, I feel happy that she is content, satisfied, and confident with her decision to leave. 

Masha was our very first female instructor when we decided to open our Buckhead location. We both needed to learn a lot... but we were always able to work things out because we understood and value each other. 

Masha is a young woman with amazing dreams that definitely need to be fulfilled because she deserves it. I know very well all the things that she has gone through in order to get to this point, so I can only wish her the best and the most because she truly deserves it. I am sure that once this times of pain, and discomfort pass, we will be able to connect again...

Relationships are never easy... especially when you are this close to someone. Sometimes you hurt, sometimes you cry, sometimes you forgive and sometimes you move on. The cycle is closed for now , but it does not mean it will be like that for ever. I appreciate all the hard-work, tears, blood, hours of training and studying, investments, meetings, conversations and experiences she put into our company.

Those who know us, are aware that Masha and I had a close relationship beyond a boss-employee relation... she was always like my little sister. I mentored her, protected her, and helped her out in every possible way I could throughout all these years. 

I hope that Masha can look back at Daza Dance as a place that provided her with many good memories that will stick in her mind and heart for a long time. At the end of the day learning from our experiences and be grateful for what we have been given is what makes us better people... Masha will always be remembered as a symbol of our studio.

Beyond the hardship and the pain, I know that she never meant do me wrong. I truly believe that we are created to do and to be GOOD and our mistakes do not define who we really are. 

I wish you the best Mashka and thank you for everything you did for us during this almost seven years!

Sincerely... ANTONIO DAZA


The Ocean is a place of serenity to me; I can spend hours there walking the beach; the waves are a constant reminder of the flow of breath that brings me peace. Today I am making a conscience effort to slow down as I reflect on the week. My spirit begins to calm, and I am filled with gratitude for this year. The many wonderful experiences I have had this year have been exponential; it has been a year of breaking through shyness and fear and reclaiming my destiny. I am so grateful to Antonio for helping me to grow in confidence and helping me to believe that nothing is impossible. If you have a dream and a vision you can accomplish anything with diligence, perseverance, and heart.

Today in class as we are going through all the dance styles. I am loving my waltz and though I have to work to stay on my side in Tango, I am happy with my smooth dances today. I need to increase the energy in my Foxtrot -now that I can do the steps without falling down its time to add energy.  (Ha-ha!) My journey through Foxtrot is one of my proudest because this is the dance I have to practice the hardest. When I first started to learn Foxtrot if I didn’t practice every day I would crash and burn. Now I have committed the rhythm to heart and I am continuing to perfect this dance.

We get to Salsa and I am giggling and wild. I am remembering how I felt when I danced as a child; how carefree and full of energy I was and I am all over the place. Since I am streamlining all of my movements for technical perfection, however, the challenge is to learn to control my explosive, boundless energy, which will make me unstoppable. Antonio is having to reel me back in as my turns are getting sloppy, but I am having fun. I do take his words to heart, however, and my Salsa improves drastically.

When we get to the Cha – Cha I realize there will be no more faking it till I make it with Chase Turns! I don't know what made me think I could get anything past Antonio, even with his back turned he had an almost supernatural ability to know exactly what I am doing at all times.  As I am attempting a chase turn he gives me “the look” that lets me know he saw everything -and goes to get my friend, the large green exercise ball. To perfect my form I was kicking underneath the ball. As he broke the step down into movable parts I am encouraged to slow down and take each fragment moment by moment. Antonio was impressed with the way I applied myself and says it was my best class in 3 months, and that he was proud that I was able to correct myself and he didn’t need to correct me. To hear those words meant a lot to me, especially knowing that if Antonio is giving me a complement, it is real. I love that I a continuing to improve, and I look forward to continuing my metamorphosis in body, soul, and spirit through my journey at Daza Dance.

By: Kamaria George (11/21/2016)


Exactness! This word is ringing in my head from my rehearsals for showcase, and is one of the focus points of my instruction now. The more I perfect my steps and execute them with boldness the clearer my communication will be with Antonio. Communication has to be the single greatest thing to master in partner dancing. As you dance together you become familiar with the other person, the way they move, and how to complement their movements. You also learn to be fluid and flexible in the moment to be open to change when it happens. When your movements are clear even if you are wrong your partner can help you get back on track. When your movements are timid and indecisive it is difficult for your partner to read where you are. On Wednesday after warming up with all the dances we spent some time concentration on a turn in Rumba and how to shift my weight. The turn was broken down into several parts, and each section had to be correct to the smallest detail. The perfect opportunity to practice this step was on Friday with the social party. I always come a few minutes early, and today Antonio, Maxi, and I were having fun listening to music and dancing around. The song “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” from the movie. Dirty Dancing comes on and Maxi motions for me to run to him and we do a crazy lift over his head - then tries to run to me jokingly for me to lift him up  and I step out of the way and start laughing. My song from the Showcase “La Camisa Negra” starts to play and Maxi grabs me up and we go through the whole routine. The steps are still fresh in my mind and Maxi and I just chill and have fun going through my routine together.

Finally people start arriving, there are old and new students and a group from the Ballroom Dance Club at The College of North Georgia. I love when the students come as they bring such an infusion of energy!! I remember first meeting Carly, one of the Leaders of the Club When we took Popular Social 8 together at Daza Dance and she was talking about starting the club, now it is vibrant and thriving. We have a great group tonight and I am really excited. I am so excited to see Paige and Bonnie, usually I don’t see them until the parties I also made a new friend with Azita and this was her first party!

Cha-cha is the dance of the night and even though we are practicing the basic step and turn I am using it as an opportunity to perfect my form, and tonight I have decided to focus on making sure I am communicating clearly.  After a short break and catching up with several of my fellow students, my first dance of the night was cha-cha with Mario. Mario threw some challenging moves my way, I just relaxed and followed. I always love to see how full of joy Mario is when he dances, and his joy makes me smile. Later we would do a happy bouncy foxtrot. Of all the dances the FoxTrot is my most improved dance. As I was gliding around the floor with Mario I was reflecting on how hard I had practiced these steps and now it was paying off.

With Callie I danced the East Coast Swing and Rumba. What can I say? I am always ready for East Coast Swing, I also danced the Rumba with Callie I love to watch how elegant she is when she dances and how she finishes each step with grace. 

With Maxi I danced Salsa- now that he knows I like to spin he had me spinning all over the ballroom!! We practiced the free turn so many times I was almost dizzy and I loved it. We also danced the Tango, my favorite part of Tango is the Tango Face! I love being intense and angry and executing steps to dramatic music. Maxi and Antonio kept teasing me about my Tango Face and making me laugh!  With Antonio I danced a dreamy Waltz, and I was remembering what a challenge it was to remember even small details like closing my feet when I first started. I am seeing myself continue to improve which makes me proud. We also danced a vibrant East Coast Swing he changed the order on me a couple of times keeping me on my toes, and he threw in an extra shoulder check just to see if I was paying attention – and I was! As the evening was drawing to a close my favorite dance of the night was absolutely the Rumba Antonio and danced together to the Song Hero by Mariah Carey. Being able to dance to that song was almost an out of body experience. It was so fitting because every lyric of song is what Antonio is helping to bring out in me; because of him I am beginning to live my life on the other side of fear. Taking the leap of Faith to come to Daza Dance was the best decision I ever made, and being able to give my all in pursuit of my passion has made me more complete.

The group and line dances are always a highlight of the evening, we had a group Merengue where everyone was dancing in a circle, The Bachata Line dance and of course the Samba Line dance that closes the evening. I have become so confident in these dances now they are almost like second nature. When The Samba Line Dance ends I have a second wind but, alas, it is time to say farewell. I am feeling very calm and peaceful and ready to take on any challenge life may throw at me.

By: Kamaria George (11/16/2016)


The Daza Dance Family came together once again for Colors of the Kaleidoscope, a celebration of diversity and unity transcending race and culture. This theme truly reflected the spirit of our school as we all came together through the common ground of dance to create something beautiful.

Of all the showcases I have participated in this one had a profound significance for me. The first ballroom dance I ever learned was Salsa, so to be able to perform a Salsa routine was in itself a reward. Even the date of the showcase was significant to me. On November 5th of last year I had a Coaching session with Antonio that redirected the course of my life by encouraging me to be a person with tenacity and courage. I came to class feeling defeated and discouraged as I had just started my campaign for Argentina, and my funding goal seemed impossible. Antonio was determined to lift my spirits so he began to speak to me in a language very close to my heart, through the mysteries of faith. We also talked about my goals outside of dancing and I told him I wanted to be a writer. I had been posting a quote from a famous person every day on my Facebook page, and Antonio encouraged me to create and use my use my own quotes. I immediately went home and my first original quote was “let truth silence every lie of fear”. To date I have posted almost 365 original quotes, and my writing eventually developed into these blog posts. By focusing on writing every day I am conscious that I am writing my story which causes me to focus on creating a phenomenal one.

These thoughts were on my mind as I started rehearsals this week. Practice today was a bit more light hearted as Antonio was trying to convince me not to carry myself like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. (my precious hahaha) So I could feel what I looked like he brought out a huge exercise ball and I had to walk with it between my legs. I could barely move and was giggling uncontrollably and Antonio laughed as well. Considering I would be wearing the shortest dress I had ever worn in showcase it was worth taking this advice to heart so I didn’t wind up giving both he and Maxi a heart attack!

I decided to have just have fun in the next run through and not focus so much on the steps -Antonio told me this was the best I've ever done.   We ran through the routine one last time and Antonio said that my routine was perfect!!!- compliments like that do not flow freely him- so I was stunned. I've gotten good, I'm so proud of you but never perfect and I felt as if I was floating. He then told me how proud I was of me and that it didn’t matter what I did the night of the showcase that it was about the person I have become in the process. I felt completely validated! All of my hard work paid off, and I know now when I am focused and determined I can accomplish anything.

Dress rehearsal the next night went by in a blur. Before we started rehearsal Antonio shared with the collective group about how the showcase performance was not a reflection of the dancers we are – it was all about the journey. As always he spoke about the vision of the school and how we are all a family. We went through the evening and I felt numb as I was focusing so hard on my steps. It was beautiful to see all of the videos, especially the instructors video which set the tone and feeling for the evening.

As usual on the day of the showcase I have one of the first hair and make-up calls so after two cups of strong coffee I am good!  It’s always fun to hang out with the ladies as we become bedazzled with glitter and stones- it is a true bonding moment! About midways through the day I started to feel anxious and intense, so I went to the stairwell close by and pulled out my ear buds to listen to my song. Mario came and sat beside me, encouraging me not to be stressed and telling me to forget about performing and enjoy being with everyone. I was trying to blend in but on the inside my anxiety was getting the best of me. Almost as if on cue Ferdinando, one of the performers gave me an uplifting talk about the power of the mind and told me to imagine the best possible outcome. Hearing those words helped me and I began to imagine myself doing things I had not yet done in Salsa. I thought about Callie, Masha, and one of my Favorite Ballroom Dancers who performed at the competition in Argentina Natalia Madiuik and how each of these ladies are regal, confident and have their own special flair.

As the show began Lynn Ragan and Susan Roberson set the standard by each performing two very different routines. First Lynn captivated our minds with thought provoking video and lively quick step routine to the song Mr. Blue Sky in a coral dress with Mario, Maxi and Antonio. She would later do a meditative, graceful Viennese Waltz in a dazzling blue gown to the song Caribbean Blue with Mario. Susan Roberson did a graceful foxtrot with Maxi in an orange dress to the song under an orange sky and a divine Bolero with Mario to the song White Flag in a pastel blue gown. Susan is always raising the bar by doing challenging lifts and splits.  Jaki Levi gave a moving performance to Betty Brown with Mario, Maxi and Antonio. Her joy for dance shone through her every movement, and she was truly divine in her black dress with green accents. She was the perfect person to communicate this message of the importance of living life beneath the surface and a life of truth.

It was interesting to see how people picked the same dances and colors and still had different choreography to reflect their strengths and interpreted each dance differently. Natalia Terekhova performed a lively, fun cha-cha routine to Michael Jackson’s Black or White in a sexy white fringe dress. Paige Williams also performed a Cha- Cha to the song Men in Black and looked like an otherworldly goddess in a black dress with chartreuse accents. There were also two Rumba’s that used the color gold, Newcomers Maria Lioce and Ferdinando Martino were simply Dazzling opposite Maxi and Masha to the Theme Golden Eye from the James Bond Movie. Maria and Masha were the epitome of Bond Girls, sophisticated in their Golden animal print dresses carrying out their movements with precision and ease. Cara and Alex Suarez also had the color Gold and performed an Ethereal Rumba to fields of Gold with Callie and Maxi. Callie and Cara sparkled in their soft metallic gowns looking angelic and peaceful. By the end of their dance you felt the beauty of love’s perfection. The Student performance group is in a class by themselves as they do their routines without an instructor. They performed a Cha-Cha to the song Bemba Colera. Colet Falvey, Patrick Falvey, Michaela Harris and Byron Starcher moved through beautiful patterns and variations with Colet and Michaela looking stunning in their black dresses. I could see they were mastering steps that took me several weeks to learn!

When it was finally time for me to take the stage for my Salsa routine the powerful confident performance I had visualized became a reality. Even though the song was La Camisa Negra I was wearing fuchsia. While I was in the moment I knew this was the best showcase performance I had ever done,  and even though it wasn’t as technically perfect as I wanted I had embraced the character and was able to apply some notes from the last rehearsal into my performance. I was so proud of myself! With the short time I was given to learn and execute this routine I had gone beyond my highest expectations and even threw in a couple of turns at the end of the routine on the spur of the moment.

Family representation was back with mother and daughter Regina and Corley Davis. Regina did a sultry tango performance to Blue Monday in a dazzling royal blue gown with Mario. You could tell they had established a beautiful connection.  Regina’s daughter Corley danced a captivating Waltz with Maxi in a beautiful red gown. She and Maxi were flawless together, moving as one throughout the dance floor.

We had a new family Eric Petit, Chelsea Petit  and Melissa Gibson did a sexy West Coast Swing with Maxi to the Hard Rock Song Black Betty. They brought their own personal style in costume from the suspenders and the purple bandannas on the ladies to the fedoras on the men and created something mesmerizing. They not only made this dance their own- they looked phenomenal doing it. The most amazing thing to me was that Eric had never danced before this performance but it looked like he had been dancing all his life. I thought this performance showed the tremendous versatility of ballroom dance and can’t wait to see these performers in future showcases.

The Performance of the night by far was Maxi and Masha’s Samba. All I can say is from the time they stepped on the stage I forgot who I was and became lost in the performance. Masha our Queen of Bachata and Samba had this beautiful champagne colored dress with Swarovski crystals and huge turquoise ostrich feathers that gave her a regal quality as she walked. Maxi was truly in his element I call him the King of Samba and he truly lived up to it.  I don’t know how he had the energy after performing so many different routines but I call Maxi the King of Samba and he lived up to it.

At the end of the evening you could feel that everyone in the room had experienced the joy of dance that was in our hearts. I am truly grateful to have once again be a part of this life changing experience, and now that dance has completely saturated my heart I need to find more opportunities to express myself!

By: Kamaria George (11/05/2016)


I present to you the #AmazingTeam of #Students and #Insturctors at #DazaDance that participated at our last "Colors of the Kaleidoscope" #Showcase on November 5, 2016. We are so proud of you guys... Thank you so much for your love and trust! #Daza#BecomingBetter#Ibelieveinmiracles#Equality#Diversity#BallroomDanceAtlanta#NoHateMario NicolasMaximiliano PanesiMasha ChubenkoCallie Harris Foley
Chelsea and Eric Pettit, Melissa Gibson, Regina Davis, Maria Lioce and Ferdiando Martino, Colet and Patrick Falvey, Corley Davis, Cara and Alex Suarez, Lynne Ragan, Kamaria George, Michaela Harris and, Byron Starcher, Jackie Levi, Natalia Terekhova, Paige Williams, Susan Roberson


Congratulations to all of our #AmazingStudents and their #SuperTalentedInstructors at #DazaDance for bringing us such a fun, entertaining, diverse and professional "COLORS OF THE KALEIDOSCOPE" Showcase. We certainly hope everyone enjoyed their time in our studio, as well as this experience open their minds to the numerous #bennefits of #BallroomDance. We are looking forward to continue bring #Unity#Peace#Acceptance#Diversity#Love, and of course, #Dance to the #Atlanta community. Thank you so much to all of our families, friends, students, instructors, followers, etc etc, that support us and care for us at Daza Dance! Mario NicolasMaximiliano PanesiMasha ChubenkoCallie Harris Foley


I started this week completely drained in many ways and I found it difficult not to be fatigued in rehearsal. The most challenging part of this routine right now applying the confidence and sassiness that Salsa requires. This dance utilizes a focus and energy that I was lacking. As I was rehearsing my routine, I felt like I was just going through the motions. Antonio told me he knew this was not my best work and helped me to reel my energy and refocus. The next and final run through was better, and I felt it.

Later that week was my interview for the production. I always enjoy every opportunity to talk about Daza Dance and what the studio means to me. Each interview gets easier and easier as I am able to communicate more freely. When the class part of the interview began I did East Coast Swing just fine, but for some reason I was making mistakes with the most basic rumba moves. In the Cha-Cha I was having an issue with my chase turns; I looked up and Antonio was on the other side of the room. The exercise was to show me how to make corrections on the spot when things go wrong; I followed him and jumped back into the dance. “There she is” Antonio teased. 

For the next class He had me to count out every movement phrase by phrase fine tuning each step. Today’s life lesson was to focus before moving forward, you can’t just move aimlessly you have to have a plan. As I applied this to my dancing I had more stability in my movement by focusing on which direction I was going before moving there.

Antonio had me to live the word “exactness” for the duration of class, meaning he wants technical excellence, and for me not to get so lost in the character that I lose my precision in movement. While we are practicing I feel like I am almost perfect- but when it comes time to put it with music before everyone in the studio I freeze. Antonio pulls me to the side and we have one of our growth producing moments that cause me to dig deep. As a result I am able pull out a more confident performance for my last run through. I have some work to do before our next rehearsal, but I feel so accomplished today. I am reminded of the Bible verse Luke 12:48 “to whom much is given, much is required”; as I continue meeting and surpassing goals more is being expected of me. I am learning in dance as in life you have to rise and meet the challenge.

By: Kamaria George (10/30/2016)


ATLANTA – James Parham is doing something he never imagined a guy like him, with Parkinson's Disease, would be doing, dancing the Argentine tango.

"As a young child I took ballroom dancing and learned about that much tango,” says the 74-year old retired business professor. “So, I was very interested in doing it."
Each dancer here in the Atlanta VA Medical Center is paired with a partner who doesn't have Parkinson's.

There are caregivers, and spouses, and medical and physical therapy students in the crowd.
Dr. Madeleine Hackney, Ph.D, is both their instructor and the lead researcher.
"I was a professional dancer for 11 years before I went to graduate school,” says Hackney.
Eight years ago, the Atlanta VA research scientist and Assistant Professor at the Emory School of Medicine began adapting Argentine tango for people with movement disorders, like Parkinson's.
She thought dance might be helpful for their symptoms like difficulty walking, tremors and stiffness.

“We think that the music, the partner, the steps will allow them to improve things like gait, and their walking ability, their ability to do more than one thing at a time,” she explains. “And, certainly, their ability to catch themselves if they should trip."

This is James Parham's third tango study since his diagnosis 4 years ago.

"Tango is, how can I say? It's regimented,” Parham says. “You know where you're going and your partner knows where you're going. It's really going to the music. So you're brain and your body is forced to coordinate."

The dancers are medically-evaluated on their motor skills and cognitive function before and after the 12-week program, and then a few months down the road.
Hackney is using MRI to measure the effect this type of dance may have on the brain.
In previous studied, Hackney says, they’ve have been able to document measurable improvements in the dancers' mobility, balance, and gait.

She thinks dancing the tango may also help improve the participants’ spatial recognition, and quality of life. 

"I notice a total difference myself,” says Parham. “It was subtle It wasn't that I stopped shaking or could leap tall buildings in a single bound. But due to the exercise and the choreography of tango, I could tell my balance was a little bit better.

And, James Parham says, he's hooked on the tango.

"The more fun it is, and the more they enjoy it and feel like they're getting something out of it,” says Hackney. “And maybe it makes them forget about their problems for a minute or two, for an hour. That is what's really going to make a difference."

By: fox5atlanta.com / September 20, 2016

#fox5atlanta, #dazadance, #daza, #becomingbetter, #ballroomdanceatlanta


We would like to invite all of #DazaDance's friends, family and students to our "COLORS OF THE KALEIDOSCOPE" Showcase! This fabulous event is approaching very soon on Saturday, November 5, 2016; doors open at 5:00PM and the show will begin promptly at 6:00PM. We are so excited to have our community of dancers, friends and family enjoy an evening of dance performances and fun in our very own beautiful studio! Get you tickets today because the space is limited. Call us at (404)5375222 or email us at info@dazadance.com. We look forward to see you there! 


Today is my first class with Antonio in two weeks, and I am so excited to see him and show him how hard I have been working! I am still flying high from being able to finish my choreography in such a short amount of time, and my confidence right now is stronger than it has ever been. Both Antonio and Maxi believed for me even when I had doubts, and because I pushed all of my fears and anxieties out of my mind and stepped out on faith I exceeded my expectations. If there’s one thing I am learning from Antonio it is how to set goals; before he verbalizes a goal he has already completed five of six steps. As a result my thought processes are changing, instead of giving reasons why something can’t be done- even when it seems hard I immediately jump into the ocean and learn to swim.

Now that I know the routine it is time to polish, so I am coming to rehearsal with a blank slate. I have been pouring over all of my videos and notes in preparation. We start warming up with one of my favorite dances, the East Coast Swing.  After a happy spirited dance we start choreography, and Maxi is here for the class to help us with the transition.  Maxi helps us both to look good and helps to refine certain steps, and because I have put in the extra work through rehearsal time today is going smoother than I thought it would. Antonio tells me he is proud of me as we go through the showcase routine couple of times. Because he doesn’t want me to just have the choreography memorized and wants me to continue to get better we takes extra time to focus on the free turn at the end of the routine. This turn is important because it is right before my final pose and is one of the important moments I need to take advantage of. We keep practicing it over and over and things get intense. I welcome the intensity as I know from working with Antonio he is pulling the best possible work out of me.  

Finally by the end of class the turn isn’t perfect but I have a road map to continue rehearsing in preparation for Monday. Overall I am happy because usually when I reconnect with Antonio when he returns from traveling it takes a couple of lessons to readjust, but today while there were things to work  on it took only a few minutes to get back on track and I couldn’t be happier; it only gets better now.

By: Kamaria George (10/22/2016)


Una vez más a llegado el momento de volver a casa y dejar esta ciudad mágica de #BuenosAires. No importa cuantas veces venga, siempre me es difícil despedirme de esta comunidad de personas a las que he aprendido a conocer y querer muchísimo a lo largo de estos dos años. 

La calidez y energía positiva que tienen los hace capaz de superar todas las dificultades... no dejen que eso desaparezca. En cada viaje que hago a este país, yo dejo más y más una partecita de mi corazón con ustedes porque en cada viaje es más el cariño que me hacen sentir. 

Su apoyo, confianza y cuidado me motivan y me hacen querer darles todo lo mejor de mi con tal de continuar viéndolos sonrientes, con esas caras llenas de ilusión y con unas ganas irresistibles de crecer día a día. No me cansare de decirles que son una parte muy importante de mi vida y que los quiero muchísimo porque me han hecho valorar muchas cosas que tenía olvidadas, al mismo tiempo que he aprendido a apreciar las pequeñas cosas importantes en la vida y que hacen la diferencia.

#Gracias por continuar aportándole a mi vida "eso" tan especial que solo tenemos nosotros los #latinos y por darme un propósito más para luchar. Gracias por creer en mi y permitirme entrar en sus hogares y corazones con humildad y agradecimiento. Esto no es una despedida, al contrario es una bienvenida a un nuevo ciclo que empieza. Me voy por ahora pero vuelvo muy pronto para seguir caminando junto a ustedes por este camino que se llama La Vida! 

Con mucho amor siempre... Antonio Daza.