Unofficial dance nickname – “Danger!” It’s a long, funny story. Ask him about it sometime!
Steven Wong first started salsa dance lessons back at UCLA as an undergrad. Recounting, “It just seemed like something that would be fun to do. However, with two left feet and without a sense of rhythm, I gave up soon after. After I started working in the ‘real world’, I had a bit more time and wanted to give it a real shot. Atomic was great since the instructors and people were friendly and encouraging. Corey’s the best”!
Currently, he’s mostly dancing Brazilian Zouk because he finds the dance to be so graceful and beautiful to watch. Adding, “It was one of those… What is that?! Where I can go learn this? moments of discovery.”
Born and raised in East LA, the community he grew up in was a mixture of Chinese and Mexican immigrants. He can’t say that had any direct influence on his desire to pick up latin dance, but is glad that he did.
On how his personality traits and professional background contribute to his approach to dance, Steven explains, “I think my curious nature led me to a background in science and I apply it in the way I approach dance. Sometimes it feels too technical, but I feel the need to understand it beyond ‘feel the music’ since that is not always natural to me. Sometimes that bites me in the butt when I need to also just relax and enjoy the moment.”
Dancing for six years now and untrained, Steven has gone on to assist teaching one of the beginner/intermediate bachata teams and was part of the RhythmicFusion dance team. He’s also taught a few beginner drop-in classes. “It was really fun to teach and share what I’ve learned and hopefully helped others find a passion for dance. I’ve been taking a break from salsa and bachata but would be interested in teaching again.”
He has also been a part of dance teams and shares how transformative they’ve been in his life. Stating, “For me, joining a dance team was a platform to learn more technique since classes sometimes go over information rather quickly 30-45 minutes. It’s kind of like a group private and the consistency of learning a routine helped. Plus, at the end of a ‘season’, you get to showcase what you’ve learned and see how you’ve grown. I would recommend it for anyone to try at least once.”
Steven’s ultimate dream is to be able to travel all the time. Expounding “I’ve been traveling more in the past couple of years and I really enjoy experiencing different cultures and their foods. Side note: it’s also really fun to be able to dance around the world and find a community wherever you are.”
On what he says to those who think that going out dancing is only for twenty-somethings, Steven quips back, “Not true! I think everyone who dances just wants to have fun. The best part is that you can find a genre of dance for every genre of music.”
Dance has positively impacted Steven’s life by helping him become less reserved and self-conscious. He admits to being shy around new groups of people. And also confesses that it used to take him a while to open up and be engaging with people. But since realizing that it’s more about just having fun, his general outlook reflects that now.
Steven’s favorite thing about dancing at ATOMIC is the instructors and how the ATOMIC community is so welcoming and encouraging. Adding, “It’s really the best environment for learning a new dance, especially if you feel a bit shy. Plus, there’s soooooo much space. It’s perfect for practicing what you learned in class without having to worry about bumping into the next couple.”
DID YOU KNOW?
A guilty pleasure : “I try to be healthy but I can never resist fried foods.”
Something people would be surprised to learn about you : “Usually, the thing that surprises people is that I do latin dances.”
Three adjectives that best describe you? “Curious. Over-thinker. Dedicated.”
A dance style you might like to try : Wants to get into WCS. Has taken a couple of classes but hasn’t been committed enough.
Other hobbies : Craft beers and food.