Westie Spotlight: Leo Si

When the band breaks up, just keep dancing! Leo shares how he was introduced to West Coast Swing.

Tell us who you are and have you always been a dancer?

I’m Leo. I’m originally from Brazil, born and raised. As an official nerd and former president of the computer club in college, I used to be as close to dancing as Kansas City is close to Beijing. Through a sequence of miracles, that changed and now I’m quite involved in it.

What was your first encounter with dance, and how did that lead you to West Coast Swing?

I used to play drums in a band. The bass player had a crush on my sister and started dating her. He invited us both to try out dancing. I protested saying I absolutely hated dancing

What was your first encounter with dance, and how did that lead you to West Coast Swing?

My complaints were useless and we ended up going. It was a west coast swing night. I actually enjoyed it. Weeks later he broke up with my sister, the singer had a fight with the guitar player, and the band was no more. I continued on dancing.

Do you have a favorite highlight moment (or two) within your progression as a WSC dancer?

My favorite moment was at Midwest Westie Fest when I made my first J&J finals. I couldn’t stop thinking: “What in the world am I doing here?”, though it was quite exciting. My second best moment was accidentally getting elbowed on the nose while doing a poorly performed whip with an inside turn. I got a free nose job and learned a lot that night.

Leo Si dancing West Coast Swing

What motivates you to keep coming back to the WCS classes, socials, and events?

The community. We have a vibrant assortment of characters. It’s also a great deal to have hours of exercise for just ten bucks.

What goals do you have for your dance journey?

To try and take over the world, Pinky. But I’ll settle for a novice point or two.

What would you say to someone to encourage them to try West Coast Swing?

Try it. It is a great combination of exercise, music, and skill. Also, it keeps you sane and is cheaper than therapy (as long as you don’t keep buying dance shoes).

Do you have any special thanks to anyone who has helped you grow as a dancer?

Special thanks go to (in alphabetical order): Ariel Peck, Elizabeth Kuhns, Jesse Lopez, and Kris Haney. You all have a lot of patience.


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