Joe’s background is in the original UK street dance scene of the 1980’s when he was a member of a hip-hop and breakdancing team that performed across the UK. After his dad died in 1979, he became the man of the family and learned the art of social dancing (waltz, quicktep, social foxtrot) from dancing with his mum and older sisters at the many family parties. It was his dads collection of big band jazz and classic soul that started a life-long interest in all forms of Jazz, Funk and Soul as well as latin classics played on original instruments.
Part of a very ethnically diverse gang of school friends (nicknamed The United Nations by others) he developed an interest in different forms of ethnic dancing including the Greek Dancing and Sega dancing (from Mauritius). He also developed a promotional partnership with best friend Michael Armoogum with whom he Dj’d at events and clubs right across London and the South East as well as learning his promotional skills.
While studying for his degree at Manchester University he was introduced to the martial and healing arts of Wing Chun, Tai Chi and Qi Gong which he studied in all for 7years. He also met up with friends who convinced him to study for a PhD in Medical Chemistry (towards an Antisense Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and related conditions) at Imperial College where he took over the administration of the multiple computer networks in his department.
After leaving Imperial College in 1992 he decided to move into computing and went to QMW to study for a MSc in IT. It was here that he met and made friends with a Chilean waiter called Roberto who showed him his first basic steps in Salsa and took him to Bar Salsa which had then just opened.
Joe did not dance salsa at all however until 1995 when his friends took him out to the re-opening of Salsa Palladium at which he was dared to ask 25 different women to dance. He had great fun that night but his lack of skill (he was only able to do the basic steps that Roberto had taught him) made him determined to learn salsa. But he would have to wait until the end of 1997 before he could do this, when his best friend Waldemar (a Polish dancer) took him out to a Salsa Rapido night at Smithfields in London. It was there that they met and befriended Esther and Sarah, with whom ultimately Joe learned to dance. Through the guidance of these two girls he soon made progress and developed his skills as a leader and learned the different basic techniques of what is now known as Miami/Puerto Rican style salsa.
A few months later a chance meeting on the dancefloor introduced him to Nelson Batista (the Godfather of UK Salsa – a name Joe gave him) and a business partnership was formed between Nelson and the recently formed Latin8. Joe used the proceeds of running his Computer Consultancy, DJD, to finance many projects and in 2000 he developed one of his most successful projects and the UK’s biggest clubnight – the SCALA BANK HOLIDAY ALL-NIGHTERS.
Despite this success, Joe was still searching for someone from whom he could learn formally about the dance and the music we all love and in 2000 his chance came when he was asked to run The Bacardi UK Salsa Congress 2000. In the lead up to this event he organised a 2 week UK tour for Mr Eddie Torres and took time off work to taxi Eddie around the country. During this time they became good friends and Eddie stories and tales about salsa history played a massive part in Joe’s dance education. From that point on Joe became a dedicated fan and student of Eddie’s. Whenever possible Joe travels out to New York to study with Eddie or (better still brings him out here to work with us).
In the last few years, Joe has worked hard with his team to develop both his and their skills as dancers and teachers and the result has been some of the UK’s best dancers and most popular teachers. As well as festivals in the UK including Pontins, The Salsa Explosion Festival and numerous other weekenders Joe and his team have travelled abroad extensively for work and have taught already in:
Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norther Ireland and Ireland, Denmark and they are booked to visit India, Greece, Australia and Seattle & NY.
(these are just a selection of comments)
“We have been learning salsa at congresses (all over Europe) and many of the teachers were not too professional. During the first workshop you were teaching I was thinking – this is the teacher that I want to learn with.” message from Elena – Salsasisters (Lithuania)
“you and your friends weer reallt good .hope some day i can be like that. and if you want to visit Sweden some day just mail me” message from Simon Utas (Russia)
“I’m really looking forward to next salsaweekend where you are going to teach again. Your class was one of the best I have ever attended…..Yes you did a great job at Uddevalla. Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) was so pleased with you. You taught us dance and how to cooperate - true partnerwork.” message from Bettina Andersen (Sweden)
Joe is my favourite because he’s the best at explaining. He would be a great teacher of anything because he communicates exceptionally well. He’s constantly aware of how everyone in the class is doing, and he understands how to modify or add to his explanations whenever any of his students face any difficulties. Each of Joe’s classes focuses on learning a specific technique, and how/when to use it, as opposed to copying and trying to remember an elaborate turn pattern without necessarily understanding what you’re doing. Joe helps to create dancers who can freely pull off moves as they choose and actively dance with the music, as opposed to those who use/respond to memorised sequences and only use the music as a guide for when to step. website post on www.londonsalsa.co.uk
Many thanks to Joe and the other members of the Latin Collective (all very high quality teachers) for making a small part of my life a whole lot better. website post on www.londonsalsa.co.uk
Even though there are no words to describe the excellence of Joe Davids personality and teaching methodology, the tittle of this forum topic also says it all really. But to add to that, it is greatly appreciated that he and his demonstration partner/female dance instructors integrate themselves as part of the class group in the middle or at the end of the teaching period to dance a song or two with you - and have even gone out of their way to dance with you after classes also!! This is proper Latin Collective Team’s dedication & friendliness, which is so vital for all their family of students (just as he calls us )!!! website post on www.londonsalsa.co.uk
Joe is an absolutely awesome teacher who knows exactly how to break things down to make even the most goddam complicated sequence seem as easy as shaking hands. He also treats every one of his students as an individual (even the ones with multiple left feet) and patiently dedicates time to correcting mistakes and praising improvement. His classes are well orgainsed and well structured…website post on www.londonsalsa.co.uk
You and Niki have been largely responsible for the success of Salsa School 06………..Mike of Salsa School 06 http://salsa.afterhours.ie/Salsa-School.asp
you are the best male teacher for knowing and doing the followers-footwork;- thought I should pass the compliment on………………….Sean Jennings, London