A Renaissance Man in Hammer Pants!

//A Renaissance Man in Hammer Pants!
Solomon Shacter was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up there until he left for Southern California in 1994. Now try saying that mouthful of a towns name five times in a row while chewing gum… or while trying to do anything for that matter! We shouldn’t be surprised that such a Renaissance man came from such a museum rich place!

From the age of 4, Solomon received a classical education in violin, piano and percussion lessons. While this early introduction to music and arts stirred his interest in dance, he struggled to to find much dance (besides ballet and square dancing) in his Canadian farming town of less than 20,000 people. So throughout high school he performed in plays, orchestras and band camps, where he was exposed to other dance styles. He kept this up until fate led him to find Atomic Ballroom.

In early 2014, he and a friend Lucas were at The Ranch, a local country bar, where they observed a large number of ladies waiting all night for someone to dance with. The guys didn’t waste any time and signed up for Country Two Step and Line Dancing classes at ATOMIC Ballroom the following Monday! “ATOMIC Ballroom was an easy choice for us to make because our research showed that they offered the classes we wanted at convenient times, it was located near our current place of work, we could go and learn together as friends, and they would teach us how to dance in social settings,” Solomon explained.

Since first joining ATOMIC, Solomon has become a notable, regular in the scene. Over the past  5 years he has expanded from Country Two step to Salsa, Bachata, Casino Rueda, Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Hip-Hop – “All of which I learned and continue to learn and enjoy at Atomic Ballroom,” Solomon added. He began with group classes with his first ATOMIC instructor, Daniel Klock, then soon discovered the great benefit of private lessons. So he snagged a New Student Special, granting him a 30 minute lesson with Daniel… and officially hooking Solomon and his friend on dance! So much that he goes out dancing 4 to 5 days (every week), and even when he travels for work. Solomon is so dedicated to dance and the studio, that he has performed in 4 ATOMIC showcases since joining. He has performed two shows a day, dancing a total of 5 routines at this past years showcase. He feels elated and validated hearing the cheers from the oversold crowds.

 

The other dancer in the family, Solomon’s 19 year old niece, runs the Lindy Hop community for the entire city of Saskatoon. She and the rest of his loved ones are supportive, and can see how dance has changed him; from increased confidence to improved dancing skills. Speaking of which, Solomon has even informally taught friends and family some of his moves. In addition to demonstrating what he’s learned, he also hopes that they might consider joining him in his whirlwind dance journey as well.

While dance wasn’t always a part of his goals, Solomon admits that he didn’t realize how much confidence it would give him in personal and professional situations. Learning to lead in dance, has helped him become a better leader at work and in other aspects of life! He continued, “It has helped me widen my social circles, add depth to my personal and professional interactions with others, and added a stronger sense of self and confidence. It’s pushed me to perform on stage, (one of the most vulnerable things I have experienced), and given me the ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable in any situation.”

Speaking of being comfortable in any situation, Solomon has become quite a hit at weddings due to the social dance etiquette coaching and years of training he received at ATOMIC. He elaborated that this approach and teaching style is a major difference from other dance studios he has tried, and is unique to ATOMIC Ballroom. The etiquette coaching and unique teaching style also helps him with his ultimate goal which he proudly says, ” Remains old-school and simple – every man should know how to dance/lead well and show his follower the best, most enjoyable time.”

Solomon’s commitment to being a gentlemen on and off the dance floor shows in his dedication to safe, enjoyable partnering, and the relationships he’s formed over the years. While he has formed some brief romantic connections through dance, his focus is on keeping his dance partners safe, ensuring that they have an enjoyable time, and dancing well. He added, “ATOMIC has trained me how to dance well. More importantly, they encourage everyone to make connections through dance and prepare you for different social settings that involve dancing and actively listening.” When asked what he enjoys most about dancing at ATOMIC, he proceeded, “During classes and private lessons, I enjoy the consistent teaching style and passion from all the instructors; the patience, depth of knowledge, humor and the ability to adapt their communication style to reach every student.” He confessed that he knows he has been “spoiled” by all of  the tremendous teaching talents, staff and students at ATOMIC. Further adding, “When I social dance at ATOMIC, I enjoy the feeling of knowing it is a safe place for students who are practicing, making mistakes, and learning. Plus it’s fun to see the same core group of students who have become life-long friends, improve over time as well.”

Would you have guessed?

Q :           Something people would be surprised to learn about you?

A:            “I toured western Canada as part of an A-Circuit 80’s cover band between high school and university.”

 

 

Q.           Your least favorite styles of dance?

A.            West Coast Swing, Balboa and Collegiate Shag

 

 

Q:           Who is your favorite dancer/performer?

A:           “It changes all the time. Believe it or not, it would actually be Care’n Chato – no joke. She has the uncanny ability to give back the exact same amount of momentum you give her during a lead/follow partner dance. She is also a consummate performer and choreographer.”

 

 

By |2019-04-17T07:36:54+00:00April 2nd, 2019|Country Two-Step|0 Comments

About the Author:

Having fearlessly explored every continent, Nneka is multi-lingual and passionate about travel, culture and life. A SDSU alumni, she has worked in KTVU Fox's newsroom, interviewed notable figures and hosted programs for various media outlets. She has also written features for The San Leandro Times and LostGirlsWorld.com. Also a seasoned performer and fitness professional, Nneka holds several fitness certifications, has shared the stage with entertainment icons, and has appeared on various TV Shows. Follow her global adventures in the arts and beyond on IG @nnekaworldtrekker.