My mother was a social dancer who competed sometimes with her dance instructor from Fred Astaire. So at a very young age, she dragged me to competitions and I watched another guy–a good friend of mine now–kill it, rip it up. And I was like, “I don’t know what that is, but I want to do that.” Sure enough, I started taking dance lessons in Brooklyn before I moved to New Jersey.
Campaigns like #WhenMenDance are uber necessary because men are not, and have never been, thought about when you think about dance. That’s why every male in dance feels like they were alone in the world because they danced. I grew up as a Latin dancer, understanding that men lead and women follow, which defined what masculine and feminine was for me at an early age. It’s different when it comes to other dance styles, like modern, ballet, etc.
For so long, I lived kind of two lives. And it was a point on stage during a modern performance that my heart just started crying. I just felt so emotional. It was one of the most powerful feelings I ever felt. I realized there’s no point in living a double life. This feeling is so powerful.