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WHO AM I?

My name is Antonio Daza and I am happy to tell you a little bit about me.

I am originally from a small town in Venezuela named Valencia, located in the north of the country by the Caribbean Sea. It's the industrial city where most of the international companies’ headquarters are located. It's very cosmopolitan and because it has the second-most important port in the country, it has a very unique, fun vibe.

My friends are always saying that I came out of the womb dancing and the reality is not too far from that. I inherited the passion for dance from my parents; my mom and dad were the soul of all the celebrations and gatherings we got invited to. Because of my Latin heritage, social dancing is a big part of my culture. I am the youngest in the family, so I always ended up being all my cousins’ and their friends’ dance partner when there was no other man to dance with. So, I can say without a doubt that I have been social dancing since I could barely walk.

As I started to grow up I did not dance that much. I went through that phase where dancing was not cool, even though I was pretty good at it. Instead, I was always very artistic. My mom would say that the only way to keep me quiet and entertained was by giving me some sheets of paper and some crayons to color with; I loved to draw! While in school, I was always participating in every school play and performance; always asking to read in public or to say the morning prayer.

As a Latin teenager, it is an embarrassment to go to a party with your friends and not ask girls to dance. That was the time when I got interested in dancing again. Even thought it was mostly peer pressure, something started to build inside me. The more I danced, the more I was into it. I began to watch movies and dancing shows on TV all the time... I had found my passion. I dreamt of one day dancing with other professionals. 

That dream never faded. When I went to college to study Graphic Design I found out that one my classmates was a dancer at a very well-known and recognized regional folkloric dance group called Danzas Mariara. We became friends and I shared with him my passion for dancing. As soon as the opportunity presented itself to audition, I was the first one in line. After a couple of tryouts, I made it into the group. I trained and performed with them for a couple of years until it was time to embark on my next venture.

In 2003 I moved to America due to the political, economic and social changes that were going on in Venezuela at that time; my family and I migrated to America looking for a better life and better opportunities. Six months after I arrived in Atlanta I was invited to a social party at a dance studio and shortly after that I began to take ballroom and Latin dance lessons. The studio owners and instructors recognized my dance skills and personality and they asked me if I would be interested in enrolling in their company Teacher Training Program. Of course I did not hesitate and accepted the offer, even though I was not able to say more a handful of words in English. I was a little nervous and scared but I was so in love with ballroom dancing that I decided to take the challenge. What would be the worst thing that can happen?

After a few months of training I finally began my new career as a professional dance instructor. The passion and love I was feeling for my new career gave me the confidence to be able to teach anyone at any age to dance. My students became very important to me, and I have given them my heart and knowledge, always committed 110 percent to their goals. After a few years of working as a dance instructor, it was time to take my life to the next level. I wanted to positively impact more lives as well as build a new community of dancers.

In May 2008, my friend Liz Chester and I opened the largest ballroom dance school in the Southeast. Daza Dance was born, and it quickly became the place to go to ballroom dance in Atlanta due to its beautiful facility as well as the talented group of instructors and staff members. 

In 2010, we decided to take the Daza Dance concept inside the city and opened a second location in Buckhead. Now with two studios, we were attracting all types of clients from almost every part of Atlanta. Both locations were very different but at the same time they both had a great sense of community, love and caring within their own students. I was very proud to see how my vision was becoming a reality in each one of our clients.

In 2012, we closed our Johns Creek location and I kept the Buckhead studio open. Now sole-proprietor of the business, it was my opportunity to grow even more as a businessman and take on a new challenge. Fortunately, I have always been supported by an amazing group of students and staff members who have not only believed in my personal dream of making a positive impact on people's lives through dancing, but have also seen and felt the benefits of dancing in their own lives. 

In 2013, we moved a to brand new facility in a much more central location with more visibility and easier access. We are located on Peachtree Road, which is one of the most famous, and busiest, streets in the city. Major shopping landmarks as well as a lot development surrounds us.

Our new home is a dream studio; from the moment you walk in you will be captivated by its great design and open space. Our new studio is state-of-the-art, with every detail intended to make it attractive to all of our students and guests. More importantly, we wanted it to be a place that reflects the beauty and elegance of ballroom dancing.

Our goal at Daza Dance is to build a great community of dancers as well as continue impacting people’s lives in a positive way. In addition to that, we want our studio to become the place where people from different cultures, races, backgrounds, sexual preferences, religions and political views  are united by the love and passion for dance. We want to bring peace and respect to our world through dance. My staff and I feel the responsibility to instill happiness in everyone who comes across our way and share with them our own stories of how dance has bettered us as individuals over the years.

Our programs have been designed for today’s people who live in a very busy and competitive world. We will make sure to find the best time for you to come and try us out; so don’t wait any longer, and get in contact with us to begin to experience the benefits of dance in your own life. Book your first private lesson and you will be amazed how easy, fun, relaxing and stimulating it is to learn from one of our amazing instructors.

I look forward to seeing you at Daza Dance!