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SoCal dancer opens studio in Shanghai

May 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's said that music is the universal language. The same can probably be said about dance.Now, one instructor with ties to Southern California is taking his style of dance abroad, opening up the first American dance school in Shanghai.

You might remember Jorge Geronimo, when he taught ABC7's own Phillip Palmer a few dance moves. He was Jane Monreal's dance instructor for eight years, but now he has a new mission to bring ballroom dance to the world stating in Shanghai.

Recently, Jane was in Asia and caught up with her old friend to discuss his new Latin Grooves Dance Studio in Shanghai.

"Is this culture shock for you to be here?," Jane asked her former instructor.

"Actually, not too much because when I was in Los Angeles, I always liked to be around the Chinese community. Alhambra and Monterey Park," said Jorge.

So why did Jorge choose Shanghai to open up a dance studio?

"It's an interesting question because in 2003, when I was in Hong Kong, I really loved Asia so I thought it was a great market for dancing," said Jorge.

After partnering with a local businesswoman, Jorge opened the first American dance studio in Shanghai this past January. But it's not just a studio. There are three floors with sophisticated ballrooms, a restaurant and bar, and a coffee house.

"The Barrels, the restaurant, Latin Grooves Dance Studio, and Vintage Living, which is the café," said Jorge.

Jane and Jorge decided to break in his new dance studio. Jane admits she's always wanted to salsa in Shanghai.

"'Dancing With the Stars' is showing through cable and some people you know have their tapes, which seems to be a, kind of a popular show here," said Jorge.

The Latin dances seem to be the most popular dance styles in Shanghai.

"Yeah, because Latin dances have a lot of freedom," said Jorge.

 

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