Carlos Cinta playing the guïraVoor Nederlandse versie klik: Carlos Cinta Interview II Nederlands

A few weeks ago we posted the first part of our interview with El Unico Bachatero Carlos Cinta. This means it’s time for part two! We asked Carlos why he teaches without a partner, what his favorite songs are and how he went from teaching in his grandparents’ basement to being one of the most famous Bachateros in the world. Enjoy!

I personally find that good Bachata moves and dancing with confidence can turn an average looking man into a very attractive one. Do you think dancing is a good way for people to become more social, less shy and more comfortable around the other sex?

I think dancing is a great way to break down the social barriers. It’s not the only solution, but its a baby step. There isn’t very much verbal communication. Your interaction only lasts about 4 minutes hahaha, maybe crack a joke or two; and then its over. No obligations to keep the conversation going and pretend to be interested. If the person liked it, try it again and see if you get a second dance. Who knows…. many people have met their spouse on the dance floor or in a dance class. Dancing can also help people become more comfortable with interacting with many different random strangers of all backgrounds. I think that’s good for breaking down different stereotypes.

Can you share some of your favorite Bachata songs with us? Or maybe a favorite artist?

I have too many favorite songs to be able to narrow down just a couple hahaha. It also depends on my mood that I’m in that particular day. Some of my favorite artists are Joan soriano, Luis vargas, Antony Santos, Frank Reyes, Romeo Santos, Eto, Esteban Mariano, JR, Zacarias Ferreira, Joe Veras, Raulin Rodriguez,Loisaidas, Luis Miguel Del Amargue, El Chaval, Ramon Torres, Robin Cariño, etc. There are also many other artists that I’m forgetting that have some good songs too. There is so much good music out there and so many artists in the Dominican Republic that we have never heard of like El Gavilan, Felix Cumbe, El Zoro Negro, Toni Tomas, etc. that have great songs, but not the proper promotion to get their music out. I think if DJ’s had more freedom to play a wider variety of music, it would benefit both the artist and the dancers. Unfortunately sometimes DJ’s are held under tight restrictions of what they are allowed to play at certain events. It could also be that they just don’t know the different artists that are out there so they just play what is commercial. I know that the commercial music has to be played also, but it’s ok to throw in a different artist from time to time. Imagine if all we did was eat cheese pizza forever. We would have no idea how good pepperoni pizza tastes … or Hawaiian pizza, or meat lovers, or veggie supreme, etc.

Carlos English Quote 8I feel DJ’s have a responsibility to educate the people on the good music that is out there. Some may say that the people need to do their own homework to find artists; yes this is true to some degree, but most of the people wouldn’t know where to begin to look… BUT, as a DJ, your job is to know the MUSIC! You don’t ask a librarian about music do you? No… you ask them about good books. You don’t ask a chef about exercises do you? No, you ask them about good recipes. DJ’s should CONTINUE TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK AND LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE.

Are there any other Bachata dancers, male or female, that you admire and why?

OOOOOOO BOY…… there are A LOT of Bachata dancers I admire hahahh…. Everyone is unique in their own way and I have a deep respect for them. Many of them have formal training so for me it is fascinating to watch them dance because I have some what of an understanding of the technique that is involved in what they are doing. Almost ALL of my favorite dancers to dance with are people that nobody has ever “heard of” because they aren’t instructors. They are “regular” people that just love to dance. There is no flash to their style, but they JAM when the music comes on! It’s fun for me! When I dance with them, I’m more the “student in awe” because they are such good dancers AND FOLLOWS.

They don’t over power the dance by trying to be an individual. They understand when its time to follow and when they have the freedom to be “an individual” with in the dance. Its just an amazing experience for me. If I have to name a few of the women that are my favorite, in no particular order, Denell (Dom Repub/usa), Cathy (Puerto Rico), Stephanie (Dom Repub/usa), Rosemary (Dom Repub/usa), Dasha (Russia/usa), Ouardia (France), Sabiha (France), Tatyana (France), Joanna (France). I’m sure I’m forgetting some people, so now I’m going to be in lots of trouble hahaha. But again, these are the ones I enjoy dancing WITH the most.

Adam Taub
Adam Taub

For the men… the guy that has the most influence in my Bachata is Adam Taub. HANDS DOWN HE IS THE SMOOTHEST DANCER ON THE PLANET hahahahah. Adam is very important in the Bachata world because he approaches the dance through the historical point of view. He does many presentations around the globe on the history and the evolution of the music and dance. He interviews many of the legendary Bachata artists and provides this behind the scenes information in his workshop presentations. As I stated in an earlier question, to fully understand the dance, I believe that it is important that you have a good understanding of the culture of those people. How they grew up, what times were like for them, what inspired them, etc. The history is very important. Adam in my master sansei for this understanding hahahaha. He doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit he deserves. His dancing isn’t the flashiest, but wow is he sssmmmoooottthhhhh like silk. The things he teaches make people think, they give understanding…AGAIN, things that you can’t “see”. But the people that attend his class are much more educated when they come out. ADAM FOR PRESIDENT!!! hahaha

You told me you don’t have a female partner teaching with you because you need someone who can really teach and you have high standards. Isn’t it difficult teaching without a partner, or are all your figures designed so that all women can follow without further instructions? Do you pay attention to lady styling?

It is a lot easier to teach with a partner, but I guess I’m used to teaching alone. The majority of what I teach is a mental challenge. I like to challenge my students to think and UNDERSTAND what they are doing and why they are doing it. I focus on the musicality, instruments, how to feel, timing, partner connection techniques, footwork, etc. Those things are the hardest to learn/do. They are the little details that “you can’t see”. When you watch a couple dance, you can’t “see” how good the frame connection is. You can’t ‘see’ if they understand when the rhythms are going to change in the music. For the most part, all we can see are ‘the moves’.

But ‘the moves’ are only one element of everything that is involved in the dance. Timing, musicality, connection, etc…. what about all those other VERY important elements? In my opinion, they are neglected. I don’t think there are many instructors that actually fully understand them, therefore how could they teach it. This is why many students don’t understand those elements; because they weren’t taught it. They are only taught ‘moves and tricks’. THE FOUNDATION IS MISSING! Their house is build with straw and sand instead of concrete. So i choose to focus on the foundation and the moves they can get from anyone else. I feel that in a class, students are there to learn. Sometimes there are questions, they want to see good examples, etc. In the style that I do, its not easy to move like a caribbean woman.

Carlos English Quote 9If the leader is a good lead, ANYBODY can follow what they do. But when it comes to movement, and not moves, the ladies will usually have more questions than the men do. men usually just want to learn ‘moves’, and the ladies usually are more interested in ‘movement’. Many of the great dancers that I dance with ‘grew up’dancing in the house. They can dance like a champion, but they don’t know how to “explain” how they are moving. They say, “just do this” hahahah. And for a student in class that is paying to learn how to move like the instructor, “just do this” isn’t a good explanation. For some people its natural, but for many others, it’s very difficult.

So my goal is to find a woman, that dances the style that I dance, that knows how to INSTRUCT their movement. Until then I will be alone. There are many GREAT women instructors out there that I can teach with… but its a different style. So the term ‘ladies styling’, in my opinion, IN THE STYLE THAT I TEACH, doesn’t apply. It’s not about the hair caresses, or the fingers or the hand modeling, or body rolls; its about the movement and feeling. You can tell right away as soon as you walk on the dance floor who is caribbean/has caribbean influence and learned in the street; and who learned in the studio.. just by how they move their bodies. The easier the dance looks, the harder it is to do.

How did you go from teaching in your grandparents’ basement to traveling the world?

I honestly have no idea how I went from teaching in my grandparents basement to now traveling the world hahaha… There’s a line in one of 50 Cent’s songs and he says; “this is God’s plan homie, this ain’t mine”. Sometimes when I sit back and think of how things used to be and how many different turns my life has taken, the little voice in my head always plays that song hahaha. This is the only explanation I can think of. If it were up to me, I would be on a professional american football team right now but I guess that wasn’t the plan that He had for me. I never had any desire to become a dancer. So all I can say is that this is His plan, not mine hahaha.

Carlos Quote 10Once I started teaching, I couldn’t stop. I enjoy meeting new people and seeing new places and learning about different cultures and different foods. My inner drive and hard headedness to be a perfectionist at things I like to do has pushed me to be different, to offer a different view point on certain topics. I have put in lots of time and hard work and research into this Bachata teaching. It feels good that I am supported by many people all over the globe. The people are what give me the drive to want to become better and better. I feel that if they are going to support my classes and accept me into their communities, the least I can do for them is provide the best possible lessons for them and give them something that they can take home and remember forever.

I don’t ever want to let any of my students down. I would feel bad if someone came to my class and left feeling that they didn’t learn anything. So I do my best to make the classes as entertaining and informational as possible. So I guess the hard work is paying off and by word of mouth, people are hearing about what I do and I get invited to more and more festivals to teach.

You and I have a favorite artist in common, Joan Soriano. How did your collaboration with Joan came about?

Joan Soriano
Joan Soriano

I first heard about Soriano back in 2010. There was a festival and my Bachata guru, Adam Taub, was showing a film documentary called El Duque De La Bachata. It was the documentary on the Bachata artist Joan Soriano. There was something about that film that just touched my heart. After the film, Adam called Joan and put him on speaker phone and he said hello to everyone and thanked everyone for supporting and watching the film about him and then he sang a couple lines of the song Vocales De Amor and everyone went wild hahahha.

In my head I’m thinking; ‘who does that… this guy is really humble and a great person. It’s hard enough to come within 10 meters of all these superstar musicians, and here this guy is, thanking people for supporting his film and singing for free just to make his fans smile and be happy! This guy is great.’ I talked a little with Adam after the film and he told me that Soriano’s manager was local in New York. I think I expressed my interest in wanting to meet him. Then in a festival in August, I was giving my musicality class where I used a lot of Soriano’s music… and AFTER the class… who comes up and introduces themself to me… Soriano’s manager. He was in the class the whole time and I didn’t know it.

It was probably better that I didn’t know because I would have been very nervous knowing that he was watching hahaha… I spoke to the manager for a while and he told me that Joan would be playing in Chicago the next month and invited me to come to the show and meet the band. I think I almost soiled my pants when he said that because I was so excited hahaha. When I met Soriano, we got along from day one. He’s a comedian/practical joker just like I am so we got along like brothers.

As time went on and my relationship grew with Joan and the band and the manager, I felt comfortable approaching them with some of the ideas that I had to help teach the students in my classes. Using his music would be perfect. My friend Tate kept pushing me to come up with an ‘official’ product explaining all the instruments of Bachata and I listened to her advice and approached the manager about it. The rest is history. Now we have a cd, a dvd, and are planning for more in the future.

I heard something really strange about you, something about a ‘shower face’. Tell me about that.

I came up with the term shower face a few years ago. I like to make up words when I teach and this for some reason is one of the ones I’m known for hahahah… BUT … if you want to know what it really means, you have to come to one of my classes or take my online lessons It’s a secret… hahaha.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us and the visitors of Bachata NL?

Carlos CintaI’ld just like to say thank you to Bachata.NL for the interview and thank you to everyone for their support and reading the interview. To the dancers, try not to depend on youtube for your dance moves. Yes you learn cool stuff, but you don’t learn THE TECHNIQUE involved in executing the move. That only comes from actually being in a class environment. Continue to take classes and learn from ALL teachers. This way you can see what works for you and what teaching style fits you best. Don’t be ashamed to ask your teacher questions. Challenge their minds (in a educational type way), this will help you learn! I still ask a million questions when I’m learning something new. It’s how I learn. Also, support each others dance events because this is the only way the Bachata/dance community will grow. If promoters and dance schools, etc. continue to PURPOSELY, emphasis on the word purposely, compete AGAINST each other, it will only divide and hurt the scene in the long run.

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