The interview with Johnny Vazquez (25 years) I had on 4th of December 2004 in Novotel Wuppertal-Varresbeck during the 1st international Salsa Festival NRW.
Salsa4all.com I heard with six years you began to dance. Is this true, or when and why did you start to dance?
Johnny Vazquez: That’s not the whole truth. As you know you dance in Mexico a lot with the family and in school. Well, with six years I began to dance norteños, cumbia, banda and quebradita in Guadalajara (Mexico).
Salsa4all.com When did you go to L.A.?
Johnny Vazquez: With 14 years I left Guadalajara to live in L.A., and now I live in Valencia (Spain).
Salsa4all.com How is life in Valencia? Don’t you miss L.A. or Mexico at times?
Johnny Vazquez: Of course I do. But in Spain is my job, and there’s a lot of work. Sometimes I don’t know what I miss more. One part of my family lives in L.A., the other part in Mexico.
Salsa4all.com And why did you finally start to dance salsa?
Johnny Vazquez: Because of my brothers. Francisco and Luis have just begun to dance and they have been very successfully. I never was interested in learning it. I wanted to become a soccer player, that was my dream. I played in the college team in L.A., and I always wanted to do this professionally. It was funny at this time. Whenever I went to a salsa party, where have been pupils of my brothers, they thought “Wow, there’s another of the Vazquez’ brothers! He is supposed to be a good dancer as well!“. But I couldn’t, and one time a girl left me in the middle of the crowd and said to me, „Dance with me, when you’ll have learned to dance!“. That was hard. At this time, I had 15½-16 years, and Luis began to dance with Jobi. Francisco needed someone to dance with him his shows, so he told me to learn how to dance salsa.
Salsa4all.com That means Francisco was your trainer?
Johnny Vazquez: Yes, and it was hard. You know Francisco. You have to learn quickly, and he was very strict teacher, and he wants to see results soon. I don’t remember how often he was angry, but I’ll never forget my first show then. It took place in the „Sportsmen’s Lodge“ in L.A., and the people have been so enthusiastically, that really pushed me to keep on dancing. One year after this girl left me in the middle of the dancefloor, I won the „Campeón Mundial“.
Salsa4all.com Now you have an own group, your own shows, you do everything yourself. What kind of feeling is this?
Johnny Vazquez: It’s great.
Salsa4all.com I liked you mexican show on the salsa festival in Hamburg this year. What inspires you?
Johnny Vazquez: (laughs) Good question. That’s funny. I love to entertain, to act, not only to dance. Normally I have those ideas while I’m sleeping. I sleep, then I wake up and ask myself “Hey, what kind of idea was that?“, and suddenly the ideas run up my mind. Sometimes I see a chair and a scene in a kind of day dream, and this inspires me to have a new show. I do everything for the group, I have the ideas for the choreos, I even create our costumes.
Salsa4all.com Your partner, where does he come from?
Johnny Vazquez: Ramón Morales? He’s chilango (smiles). ( Chilango is like a nick name for People coming from Mexico City.)
Salsa4all.com Do you want to dance until the end of your life?
Johnny Vazquez: No, five years more, that’s enough for dancing in the scene.
Salsa4all.com Five years??? What do you want to do then?
Johnny Vazquez: (smiles ashamed) I want to become a singer. I want to take lessons to learn how to sing. I want to compose and sing!
Salsa4all.com Who’s your idol?
Johnny Vazquez: I have a lot. Michael Jackson is my biggest idol, he’s a wonderful dancer, singer and actor. My biggest wish is to meet him one time personally. I adore the footwork of Fred Astaire, or the arts of the Nicholas Brothers. Elvis Presley was a splendid entertainer and singer as well. As dancer it’s of course Francisco, he transmitted me a lot.
Salsa4all.com Which kind of music do you like privately?
Johnny Vazquez: (smiles) Mariachi, Música Ranchera…
Salsa4all.com Which singer especially? You have to know that I love this music, especially Alejandro Fernandez.
Johnny Vazquez: Me too. Alejandro Fernandez, but generally this typic mexican folc music. Norteñas, banda… Referring to salsa my favourite singer is Marc Antony. He has an incredible voice.
Salsa4all.com Another private question. What’s your favourite food?
Johnny Vazquez: Camarones a la diabla. ( devil’s shrimps)
Salsa4all.com Okay, back again to salsa. What do you prefer, dancing shows or social dancing?
Johnny Vazquez: I love to dance both. In my shows on stage I try to imitate people I adore as artists. In those moments I try to identify myself with the artists. When I dance socially, then I’m just myself! That’s me!
Salsa4all.com What do you like on festivals?
Johnny Vazquez: To dance social united with the others. When we are all together, one person starts to dance a step, and the others follow, or you dance battles just for fun. It’s like a big family.
Salsa4all.com Are there any congresses you liked especially?
Johnny Vazquez: Yes, especially the congresses f. e. in Madrid or in Murcia (both in Spain). It’s easier in spanish speaking countries, because people speak your language.
Salsa4all.com Do you want to tell the people something?
Johnny Vazquez: Yes, I wish that those of us, who are dancing since a long time, make space for new dancers. And the new ones should always dance with their hearts for the audience. The audience has the inmense power to push you up, they are who support you, who will let you reach the top. And for all dancers, generally I give them the advice to dance with their hearts, the most important thing is WITH the music and above all with humility and modesty. And I want to thank the organizers here in Europe for giving me the great possibility to show my talent to the people here.
Salsa4all.com I hope, that a lot of dancers will remember those last words of you and that your dreams will come true soon, because even as singer you will bring a lot of joy into our lives. Thank you very much for the interview!