Roberto “Bobby” Gonzalez has been with Arthur Murray since 1981 and has been in love with dancing and teaching since the moment he walked in. He started in a small studio in So Cal and has worked his way and has changed the industriy with his knowledge and dance skills. Bobby is a member of the Arthur Murray National Dance Board and is also the Dance Director of Area 6. As much as he may deny it, we are his second home and most favorite area to visit. Read on to learn more about Bobby!
When did you discover that you wanted to teach dancing as a career?
On my first day of training class. When I walked into the studio, I just loved it – right from the beginning. I was in a studio that was so small – there were only 3 teachers and 2 of them owned the studio – but I just loved it since day 1.
What inspires your dancing?
2 things – the music that I’m hearing at the time and the person that I’m dancing with. So – when I’m dancing, I like to try and express the music and I’d like to have a connection with the person that I’m dancing with. Even if it’s just the box step at a Friday night part, or dancing at a night club, I always try to connect with the person and the music is the medium.
What would your superhero name be and what super power would you have?
Clave Man [Rhythm Man]- because it’s been a life long journey to understand rhythm. My super power would to be cool. That’s it, haha.
What’s your favorite thing to teach students?
Everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. I don’t care if I’m teaching the box, a triple step, a twinkle, countra check, I just LOOOOVE to see when someone gets something – even if it’s just 5% of it, and it’s an “ah-ha!” moment, I don’t care what step it is, or what level it is, if it’s a professional or a brand new student.
What would you like to see more of on the pro/am comp floor?
I really would like to see – and I see it more and more and I want to see it more – but people just having more fun while dancing. Sometimes in competition – you can get into your head that this is a comp and it’s something else. But if you can have fun while you’re dancing that shows up as more freedom in your dancing and I think that if you can have fun and enjoy the dancing, you take more risks and you’re not worried about as much. I think I’d like to see more people relaxing and having more fun while dancing.
What do you feel is your teaching strength?
Making things simple. I love it when I have come across a problem that I’ve never come across before, or if a student is having a really hard time, whether it be talent wise or physical wise; I love it. I get to figure out a way to make them understand what I want them to learn – that’s exciting to me. I teach probably 50 lessons a week and if I taught 50 easy lessons a week, I’d want another job. I love all the different things.
What’s the biggest challenge that you encounter as a coach?
My biggest challenge I encounter as a coach is that sometimes I always look at every student as a potential gold student. The biggest challenge sometimes is getting that person to see that same vision. I don’t care what anybody’s age or ability is when they start – I think everybody could be gold someday.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is that when I go to a studio, especially studios that I go to frequently and I see students progressing and improving on the things that we worked on, on previous lessons. Another favorite thing about my job is competition and watching students dance. If we’ve worked on something and I see a little tiny bit of it shows up in their routine, that’s very rewarding. And, also to me, Arthur Murray is a family. I’m on the road all year and with 100k miles of travel this year, I get to see my friends and family everywhere that I go.
What the most important thing to learn to be a good dancer?
Trying to find a connection to the music. I feel like too many people, especially men, dismiss it, like they think, “I just don’t hear the beat”. But – they just don’t know how to listen to it, or what to listen for. That’s one thing that I love to teach – if I can get them to feel the music, dancing rhythm more than steps. That’s my answer for that question.
What is your favorite food
Mexican Food! Specifically Mexican Breakfast.