• Dream superpower : To visit any part of the world in an instant via teleportation.
  • If Nestor could download a dance style into his brain it would be Lindy hop because it looks so fun.
  • Soccer is the only sport he watches, and he plays soccer on a Sunday recreational league.
  • Guilty pleasure : Sweets



Engineer by day, soccer enthusiast by night, Nestor Godinez, might seem like an unlikely dancer to some. When in reality, he is one of numerous engineers, doctors and other scientific minds who find themselves drawn to the brain boosting potential of dance.


Nestor was born in Santa Ana and spent his whole life in Orange County. Although his family is from Mexico and likes to dance to Latin music at parties, Nestor didn’t follow suit until college, where he tried dance classes for the first time. “Being of Latin descent, I wanted to learn a Latin dance,” he explains. However he abruptly stopped early on and didn’t start dancing again until a decade later while on a trip to Europe. There he met a girl who inspired him to start dancing again. Upon returning home to the U.S. he signed up for classes at ATOMIC and has continued dancing since.

Nestor admits that he’s just a casual dancer who isn’t competitive or driven about dancing. So a primary motivation for him to keep it up now is simply not to forget all that he’s learned over the years. While he doesn’t go out as much as he used to, he still enjoys the scene, and mainly for the people. He finds ATOMIC patrons to be nice, and enjoys hanging out with them. The relationships he’s formed have positively impacted his life, explaining, “I have made friends that will be friends for a long time.  Some of them have stopped dancing and gotten married, and now we hangout as couples. Some still dance and I enjoy still seeing them out on the dance floor.” Proving that ballroom bonds are made to last and dance friends are forever!


In addition to the lifelong friendships he’s made, Nestor’s favorite thing about dancing at ATOMIC is the friendly, open crowd, and the flexibly casual dresscode (so that he’s not obligated to dress up). Nestor emphasizes that he believes that the dancers here aren’t stuck up, adding, “For example in clubs I’ve had partners back lead entire songs or even give criticism during a dance)!”

Just like with friendships, Nestor (and millions of others) assert that it would’ve been easier to make romantic connections through dance than without it. Luckily he doesn’t have to worry about that as he’s been off the market for some time. On relationships, Nestor shares, “I have been in a relationship and married for the majority of the time that I have been dancing. My wife has been very supportive and never stopped me. So although she is good at Mexican banda dancing and knows a little bachata, she doesn’t like salsa. And now that she lives here I have chosen to go out dancing less to spend more time with her. On the contrary, Nestor likes salsa dance more than the music and likes bachata music more than the dance, but is liking the dance more with time.

In response to those who don’t consider dance to be a sport, this cerebral soccer player counters that while “I don’t consider it a sport for me personally, it is athletic for those who are on dance teams because those leads do lifts and quick tempo songs with fast moving footwork and spins. I do consider dancing to be athletic for followers in salsa because they are asked to spin a lot, whereas to be honest, for the casual dancer who leads and is in decent shape, it is not very athletic or tiring.

And to those who believe that dance is not a “manly” thing to do Nestor counters, “Partner dancing is inherently ‘manly’ in how it was invented. Leads tend to be exclusively male and followers are almost exclusively female. The leads dictate most of what occurs during a dance and communicate what the follower does. Although I don’t feel that promoting dance in this way is beneficial and would reinforce the differing degrees of misogyny that is inherent in all males in society.  Furthermore, there are too many guys that can be pervy in the dance community, and it scares away women in my opinion.” But the good outweigh the bad.


Despite not dancing socially too often these days, Nestor encourages others to dance because it’s fun and a great way to make friendships that endure long outside of the ballroom. Other benefits that he has experienced as a result of dancing are that he’s grown more confident and less shy, from being essentially forced to meet new people to ask to dance – something he’s now thankful for.




  • People would be surprised to learn that despite seeming shy, that Nestor admits to being talkative once he warms up to people.
  • Is a fan of the local LA and US National soccer teams.
  • Interests : Involved with the American Society of Civil Engineer OC younger member group. Is a past President & has won awards for his involvement.
  • Fav. dance music: Romeo Santos – Fav. dance styles: salsa & bachata.
  • Admits to hurting his feet by dancing with improper shoes, so dancers take note!