New Spanish teacher Avila-Miranda salsas his way into LHS


Daania Adeel

Spanish teacher Antonio Avila- Miranda salsa dances with his partner in a dancing competition.

It’s not easy being new or starting at a new job. But for the new Spanish teacher, Mr. Antonio Avila-Miranda, his first year is off to a strong start. Avila-Miranda’s love of salsa dancing has moved him into his classroom. Many Fridays Avila-Miranda loves to salsa dance with his students.

How Avila-Miranda’s salsa dancing passion started

Avila-Miranda’s love of salsa dancing began in college. “I got into salsa when I was in college…doing my Masters of Arts in Teaching,” said Avila-Miranda. 

One of his friends wasn’t a good dancer and then suddenly he was. This sparked Avila-Miranda’s curiosity and he wanted to know everything about where his friend learned to salsa dance.

“[My friend] told me mixed martial arts [was where he learned],” Avila-Miranda said. “So that’s how [I] started. I first went to a class.” 

 At first, because of his inexperience with salsa, he had to take small steps. “[When] I started, it was really hard at the beginning,” Avila-Miranda emphasized. It was overwhelming for him. But, eventually, he started to enjoy it. In fact, during the second salsa class he took, Avila-Miranda decided to join a salsa team.

Driven by his passion and desire to get better, he eventually performed at the International Salsa Congress in Chicago. Avila-Miranda’s salsa dancing only catapulted from there.

“This summer, I went to Italy, to Milan, to dance with some of the best dancers in the world,” Avila Miranda described his salsa dancing trip. “I went there and I did the salsa training for a week.”

Avila-Miranda described how the salsa training went. “It was really challenging because it was a competition and you had to dance against someone else,” he described. “They will randomly play a song that you will dance for 45 seconds. It was all about musicality, like hearing all of the actions.” He feels his experience dancing in Italy really helped him as a dancer.

“That really helped me as a dancer because when you dance, you express yourself,” he said. “Whenever I have the opportunity to teach people, I do it in my classroom because I teach you Spanish.”

“Whenever I have the opportunity to share, I do it because it makes everyone happy,” Avila-Miranda emphasizes. 

Avila-Miranda’s salsa dancing at LHS

Avila-Miranda has been salsa dancing for about four to five years. This is his first year teaching at LHS. He originally taught at Warren. 

While at Warren, the school asked him to perform and teach in a school event. He feels it is something he’ll always remember.

“[My students were there at the salsa event] and it was just like they got to know me,” Avila-Miranda said. He feels his students seeing him dance allowed himself to be able to express himself, allowing his students to understand and get to know him. “Some of my students were on stage and we danced in front of other people.” His students got to see what he loves to do.

“Now I’m just addicted to it when I hear the beat,” Avila-Miranda said. Avila-Miranda feels salsa dancing allows you to not only express yourself, but he feels it’s also a good kind of challenge. “It’s like [your] dance and [I like] the musicality; you can be creative, you can create your own style.”

He brings this passion for salsa dancing into the classroom. 

“[My students] asked me [to do salsa] a few times on a Friday,” Avila-Miranda said. He feels his students really enjoy getting to dance and learn the moves of salsa.

He feels it’s important to create a safe environment for everyone. Once they have that, the students are ready to participate.

“When they learn the basics and then when I play the music, it’s just fun to see them,” Avila-Miranda said. 

A fun salsa dancing future for LHS

Avila-Miranda predicts lots of fun – and salsa – ahead of him. “I’m just looking forward to [this year],” Avila-Miranda said. “This is my first year here trying to stay on top of everything and whenever I have the chance to teach the teachers and the students, [I go for it].”

If you happen to be near room 130 on a Friday, stop by and experience the salsa dancing joy yourself, learn some salsa moves and enjoy some festive salsa music!