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Rodrigo Jimenez 

Latin dance instructor

Rodrigo Jimenez has harbored a passion for dance his entire life, performing professionally throughout Europe, South America, and the United States. As an owner of a dance company, Jimenez still finds time to teach with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

Originally from Chile, Jimenez moved to the United States at age 15 and lived all over the country before settling in Charlotte in 2003. Currently, he's teaching salsa, Argentine Tango and other Latin dances at his dance studio, "Charlotte Salsa."

Of all the dances that Jimenez performs, Flamenco is his favorite. "When someone plays flamenco music, my whole body starts to shake and it fills with a want of movements and zapateados [a Spanish phrase for rhythmic stomping and tapping of the heels] that is very hard to still."

Jimenez's studio doesn't just offer Latin dances, but incorporates various international dances including Gypsy Russian, Zumba and Belly Dancing.

Jimenez was once seriously injured during a performance when another dancer accidentally hit him with a machete. "Bleeding, I managed to finish the dance, and as soon as I got off stage, I actually saw what happened ... I was carried out and rushed to the emergency room and got 35 stitches in my right hand."

When he's not at his studio, Jimenez is teaching salsa and Latin dance at Morehead Street Tavern, Charlotte Yoga and Latorre's Club.

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