Fairhill: Dance Director’s Tough-Love Approach Gets Results

Director Hector Serrano instructed his dancers before their performance.

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As the Fuego Dance Company rehearsed for its Susan G. Komen’s Latinas United for the Cure performances, dance director Hector Serrano’s voice reigned supreme.

Director Hector Serrano instructed his dancers.

“Lets go everybody, get your butts in here,” said Serrano, 32. “Don’t make me say it again: From the top!”

“Serrano smirked as he described how he communicates with his dancers.

“I don’t talk to them; I scream at them,” Serrano said.

Nearby dancers chuckled at the response. Serrano’s students know his tough-love teaching style can be demanding, but they understand his passion for dance, and most importantly, for ensuring his students’ well-being.

Serrano said if his dancers do not give it their best, he gets agitated, as he wants to instill appreciation and respect into them.

“I’m very, very picky when it comes to choreography,” Serrano said. “If their parents are going out there and spending all that time and money, I think everybody should look and dance their best.”

The young Feugo dancers perfected their salsa moves.

Alexis Colon, 15, and Taisha Cardona, 20, have danced at Serrano’s Bailando Dance Studio, located at 3632 N. Fifth St., for eight and five years, respectively. Colon said she feels Serrano’s studio enables her to grow as a dancer.

“Dancing is a passion for me,” Colon said. “Dancing is a stress reliever and takes me to another place.”

Cardona agreed and added that being a Feugo dancer keeps the girls out of trouble.

“Being here gives me an opportunity to do a bunch of different activities,” Cardona said. “It keeps me off the streets.”

The dance performances at the Latinas United For the Cure lunch break — in front of nearly 1,000 spectators Philadelphia Marriott Hotel — went smoothly and received loud applause from the audience. Afterward, Serrano smiled and congratulated all his dancers. He explained that the studio’s members are very close.

“We’re a tight-knit family,” Serrano said. “Families argue and scream at each other. But at the end of the day, I make sure that from my little ones all the way up to my teenagers feel special.”

Nearly 1,000 people attended the Susan G. Komen event.

Arianna Santiago, 20, said that it was great the dance was well received, but the studio’s show of support for the cause was the most significant element of the performance.

“As a dancer, I feel it [the Susan G. Komen event] is a great way to show the community that we care about the things that are effecting the community,” Santiago said. “We’re not just a dance team that likes to perform; we always have to remember where we came from, and that’s home.”

Serrano beamed with pride at the response.

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