Anthony Mezas of Aruba Dance Studios has a big dream: putting Aruba on the list of countries with big dance cultures like Puerto Rico, Cuba and Colombia. “We have the dancing in us, but we have to progress.” And tourists also play a big role in his dream.
Mezas wants to give the tourists ‘another adventure’. “Many go off road with ATV’s. But I know that a lot are also into dancing. Like Cuba organizes dance vacations, why can’t we do that here.” Already he receives emails from travel agencies asking for dance workshops for their clients. He is planning to offer packages for tourists who want to explore Aruba including a couple of hours of dance lessons. So you get the chance to learn bachata,salsa, merengue, kizomba and even tango.
“But also traditional folklore dances of Aruba like the danza and our version of the waltz. I work with instructors from other dance schools established here already for many years and I also do workshops with people from abroad. This way I would like to create a dance community.”
He doesn’t see Aruba Dance Studios as a traditional dance school. In his mind it is and has to become a place for pupils, dancers, dance instructors and aficionado’s coming together. An exchange knowledge, experience and ofcourse fun. “This concept is nothing new. You have studio’s like this in other countries with a big dance culture. Like even in Holland where I lived a couple of years, I experienced a big dance community. They organize for example dance congresses and people paying 300 euro just to attend a weekend. The participants are very fanatic, they come with their special outfits, dance shoes, very dedicated.”
Even Curaçao is on a higher dance level, he thinks. The end of this month there’s is a big salsa congress with instructors from everywhere, including Aruba. “So here on Aruba we have to catch up. But first we need a solid base before we can organize something big like that.”
Social dancing nights
Mezas tries to create this ‘solid base’ with organizing ‘social dance nights’ every Friday night at Casibari Cafe. With a live band, because live bands are more popular on Aruba then DJ’s for dancing, he explains. He, and also with other dancers, teaches guests dance steps or just try to convince them to hit the floor. Dancers also meet each other to exchange experiences.
Entrance is free and for specifics: Facebook/ArubaDanceStudios.