Math teacher David Herrera not only teaches math and coaches baseball, but also pursues his dance passion outside of school.
For Mr. Herrera, dancing is a way to insert positive energy into his week and relieve stress without being judged. Mr. Herrera dances for fun at Smooth Rhythm Dance Company, which is located in Rocky Hill. The studio has two to three dance teachers that work there and teach many different dance styles, such as, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, salsa, bachata, and merengue. “I’d love it if students and KO supported that business. It is not about being a good dancer. It’s about releasing all the negative energy you have had throughout the day. It’s a no judgment zone,” he said.
Mr. Herrera tries to go to the studio as often as he can despite his busy schedule. “I try to go as much as I can. With coaching baseball, it is pretty time consuming,” he said. “I love dancing, and I want to keep that in my life. It is a good way to escape all the stress that comes with teaching and running a baseball team with Noah Lynd.”
Mr. Herrera said that he has played baseball all of his life and when he went to college, he wanted to do something different, something outside of the realm of sports. So he decided to join one of the competitive dance teams at Boston College, called Phaymus. He was part of the team throughout college and in his sophomore year, he became the choreographer as well. “I was outside of my comfort zone, and I enjoyed it,” he said. Mr. Herrera had never danced competitively before college but has been dancing since he was young. He stopped dancing after college and when he came to Connecticut from Miami, he decided to dance again.
Furthermore, Mr. Herrera went to Tobati, Paraguay this year and took part in the dance competition, where many students and faculty saw him dance. Sophore Marwynn Somridhivej said that Mr. Herrera’s dancing is very powerful and amazing. “It’s impressive, and you can tell that he has been doing it for a while because he is good at it,” he said. Sophomore Nick Traver said that Mr. Herrera’s dancing is absolutely amazing and exhilarating. “When you looked at Mr. Herrera versus all of the other students and teachers, you could just tell he was talented,” he said.
Students that went to Tobati agreed that Mr. Herrera was a talented dancer. Sophomore Ben Zamestein said that Mr. Herrera clearly has background experience and that he is a very good dancer that’s having fun. Freshmen Ian Givens said that Mr. Herrera is a mesmerizing dancer and his talented skills are fun to watch. Sophomore Mai Lin Pomp-Shine said that Mr. Herrera’s dance moves are very distinct and he knows what he is doing.
Sophomore Murphy Kearney said that Mr. Herrera’s dancing helps him connect to his students’ culture because he’s young and knows their music. “In class people ask him to dance, so it gives the students something to be excited about,” she said.
Spanish teacher Ronald Garcia said that Mr. Herrera danced at least 500 percent better than the other KO teachers.
“Mr. Herrera is the best dancer I have ever seen live. With one move, you could see the quality of his dancing ability,” he said. “He’s been training his whole life for that competition.”
Mr. Herrera said that he wants to teach dance at KO, and he wants it to be a club where kids feel like that they can really be themselves and dance without judgement.
“I envision the club being somewhere where dancers of all levels join and find it a good getaway from all the classes and workload,” he said. “I think it is fun; you are also setting a positive example. You need a space where you are happy and you feel that you can be yourself.That is the role I want to take as the dance teacher here.”