January 11, 2021
Sonia with David Zepeda
What does it take to become a world champion? David from Mexico exposes his secrets of success!
Sonia interviews 6 time world Latin dance champion, David Zepeda from Mexico. He talks about how he went from a young dancer working at a vacation resort to a non-stop sought-after world champion! Good looks are not enough! He left the comfort of living with his parents and studying to follow his dream of becoming the best dancer in the world. With no support and no money, he jumped in with 2 feet! His road to success has not been easy…the lessons learned along the way shaped his entire life.
Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!
David Zepeda is a professional dancer, specializing in Latin dances and is Salsa On2 World Champion and World Latin Dance Cup.
Born and raised in Puebla, Mexico, David grew up with a love for music and dance. With rhythm flowing in his veins, he chose dance as his profession and committed himself to mastering as many forms of dance that his feet could handle. Among them are ballet, modern, jazz, Latin rhythms, acrobatics, African rhythms and hip-hop.
His dance career began when he landed lead roles in Mexico’s finest resorts as a dancer under the direction of renowned choreographers. Then, David discovered salsa. He quickly fell in love with its rich history and passionate expression. While still a major dancer in his country’s resorts, David decided to broaden his experience and lent his skills and expertise to various dance schools. When David stepped into Canada as a guest instructor and choreographer, his career went international.
His unique approach takes movement out of the box and pushes past a conventional dance vocabulary. As a choreographer, he has put his style into musicals and full length shows at resorts and casinos in his native Mexico. He travels internationally for coaching and showcases.
David lives in Mexico and Montreal where he teaches and coaches.
View Episode Transcript
WHAT’S OK: You are welcome to share an excerpt from the episode transcript (up to 500 words but not more) in media articles, in a non-commercial article or blog post, and/or on a personal social media account for non-commercial purposes, provided that you include proper attribution and link back to the podcast URL. For the sake of clarity, media outlets with advertising models are permitted to use excerpts from the transcript per the above.
WHAT’S NOT OK: No one is authorized to copy any portion of the podcast content or use Sonia Kyriacou’s name, image or likeness for any commercial purpose or use, including without limitation inclusion in any books, e-books, book summaries or synopses, or on a commercial website or social media site (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) that offers or promotes your or another’s products or services. For the sake of clarity, media outlets are permitted to use photos of Sonia Kyriacou from her Media Kit page.
Sonia Kyriacou. (Host). (2021, January 11). Sonia with David Zepeda – What does it take to become a world champion? David from Mexico exposes his secrets of success! [Audio podcast episode]. In Choreograph Your Life with Sonia Kyriacou. Parcast. http://soniakyriacou.com/david-zepeda-what-does-it-take-to-become-a-world-champion/
Welcome to the “choreograph your life” Podcast, where we dig deep into the journey of people’s pursuit of their passion for dance. Join us as our host and guests discuss their dance journeys, the business of dance, obstacles they face, and even lessons learned along the way. Now, here’s your host, Sonia Kyriacou.
Sonia Kyriacou 0:30
All right, guys, today, I’m super excited to be interviewing my next guest. He is a six time world Latin champion. He is on the judging panel of the most prestigious competition in the world. And he is a very sought after teacher and choreographer. Please welcome David Zepeda.
David Zepeda 0:49
Hello, guys, how are you doing today? Thank you Sonia so much for having me today. I’m so excited for this amazing interview. And I can’t wait to answer all your questions.
Sonia Kyriacou 1:00
I am so excited to be interviewing you, David. So I have a few questions. Let’s start off firstly, with where you were born. You are born in Puebla, Mexico, I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly. And you started your dance career in ballet, modern jazz, hip hop, some acrobatics, and of course, Latin. Your first job as a dancer was in a resort, so I can just imagine you like at the resort when people come and they’re like, “Hola como estas?”. So this was, I believe, your first job as a dancer. So my first question to you, David is, in Mexico, when you were just starting to dance, did you feel encouraged and supported to follow your path and your passion?
David Zepeda 1:49
Well, you know, it was at the beginning, it was a little bit hard, because obviously my mom, you know, like, she cares about her son right? So she wants me to finish my career, go to university, you know, like the traditional path that you got to finish university if you want to get a good job. And now I know these things. So at the beginning, it was hard because she really wanted to finish university, so that I can have a better future. So when I told her that, not just my mom, my dad as well, when I told him that I wanted to become a professional dancer, it was a little hard for them to understand me, because they just they would just worry about me, right? So like, why dancing is not a career dancing, you know, like, it’s, you’re not going to be good if if you just leave for dancing. So it was hard, but I kind of convinced them at some point. And I told them, let me try one year, you know, when I went to when I went to the hotel the first time. So tell them, let me try one year, and see how it is and depending on how things going, I’ll go back to university.
Sonia Kyriacou 2:57
And okay. Yeah, so they agreed to that compromise. And so when you first had that job at the resort, were you also in school, or you were just working at the resort?
David Zepeda 3:08
No, I was in school, I was in Puebla city at that moment. And in order to get this job, it was in a different city. So I definitely had to quit my university, move to another city.
Sonia Kyriacou 3:21
Wow! So that was your first your first kind of, let’s say, major compromise, to pursue your passion and to you know, really follow what you love. You have to convince your household, your parents who love you dearly and want the best for you. And then you also had to leave the stability of your education. And now both feet in into a resort job, right? What doesn’t? For most people on the outside that don’t understand dancing, or people that are passionate, they see that as like this crazy trade off. Like, why would you go work in a resort and just doing this like, Oh, hello, welcome and dance with strangers all day long? Meanwhile, you have the stability of your home and your education. Right? It doesn’t make sense to most people. Yeah. They probably thought you were nuts. Right? Yeah. Now now after this happened. How long were you working at this resort?
David Zepeda 4:17
If I recall properly, I stayed there for three years. That was the first one.
Sonia Kyriacou 4:22
Wow. Yeah. So three whole years dancing. Was it like seven days a week?
David Zepeda 4:26
We had one day off? Yeah.
Sonia Kyriacou 4:32
Your body could rest for one day. Yeah, that’s the other thing I find about dancers that get these contracts is they end up being worked really hard in the sense like there’s very little personal time and very little rest time. So your output of energy is is high and it’s constant. And, you know, you got to think about like, well, are you is your body doing okay, is your mental state okay? So I find that dancers when they’re pursuing their passion and They want to achieve a goal, they have to give up a lot of their, let’s say, sanity, but kind of like, you know what, it doesn’t matter if I’m tired, it doesn’t matter if my feet hurt, it doesn’t matter like you kind of almost mind over matter through things you don’t worry about your physical state or, or even money for that point because you’re so dedicated to pursuing your passion and you’ll do whatever it takes. So that’s that’s commendable. So then, after this happened, did you then travel? Did you then go… you left Mexico?
David Zepeda 5:36
Well, yeah, yeah, I stay like three years. And then I met a family from Canada. Because, you know, you get to know so many people. And I get I met this family, amazing family. And I get to know them. And they, I tell them, oh I want to go to Canada one day. And they were like, Well, you know what, if you want to come you’re welcome. We can you know, you can stay with us. We’re so so nice. So they offer their home. And they say, okay, you know, I’m gonna take your word, and one day, I’m going to go to Canada and visit you guys. So that’s when the first time I went to Calgary. I remember it was 2017 at that moment.
Sonia Kyriacou 6:14
So this family lived in Calgary.
David Zepeda 6:18
They live in Calgary. Yes, they live in Calgary. And at this moment, you know, I was still like working in resort. But I just wanted to explore more things. And that’s when I decided to go to Canada. And since I have someone already that I know that I could stay with then why not?
Sonia Kyriacou 6:35
Okay, that now now that it kind of clears it up for me as to why you chose Canada. Because when you’re a dancer, and you’re kind of up and coming and you want to train, you usually think New York, Los Angeles, you know, you usually think of a mecca of dancing. You don’t really think of Canada? Latin dance, people don’t think Canada, they’re like, No, nobody could dance up there. Right? They don’t they don’t imagine it to be a country where you can develop as a dancer. So that’s fascinating. So it’s kind of like your your destiny was coming to get you. Right? It’s working out nicely! Yeah. So you come
to Canada, and you are with this family. And now you know, so that’s the next, I guess big sacrifice. Your parents must have thought? Are you nuts? Like why are you going to Canada? Right? Is that what they said?
David Zepeda 7:25
Yes. Like they were again? Like, why are you Why? What’s your plan? You know? Because they know, I told them that I made this family, but they’re like, do you really know them? And I say, Mom, that’s fine. You know, they’re good people. But again, they were like, why are you going to do in Canada? You know, like, you don’t have a career. And you will be working as dancer? Are you going to work as a dancer over there to like, well, I’m gonna try everything, you know, just want to see!
Sonia Kyriacou 7:56
That’s wonderful. So you sacrifice again, the safety and security of your job as a dancer. And now you’re jumping into this household of people that you just met at the resort and you’re taking a chance to discover what Canada can offer you.
David Zepeda 8:10
Sonia Kyriacou 8:11
That’s awesome. Okay, so then you show up in Canada and explain a little bit how did you connect from being in this family’s home? To dancing and to I don’t know, studio or training, like how was how did that happen?
David Zepeda 8:26
Interesting. Well, before moving to Canada, at this point, I was dancing Salsa a little bit. Like I was just learning the basic steps, you know, because I was dancing other stuff. You know, in resort, we danced different kind of styles, but Salsa, I was just learning. And then when I moved to Canada, I had this already, I love Salsa already. So as soon as I get to Canada, I start looking researching for dance studios. So I come up with these studios that are like, so I’ll go and visit them and and I talked to them and then I decided to stay with one of them. And you say like why Canada right? You would be surprised that’s what I learned the most at the beginning.
Sonia Kyriacou 9:11
Wow. That’s crazy!
That’s amazing. It breaks all the stereotypes. I love it.
Unknown Speaker 9:18
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Like I had a great great teachers over there. Dave, Earne and Alexandra Sell, they helped me so much with my improvement in Salsa. I remember that.
Sonia Kyriacou 9:30
And so after you did this training, and you saw like, okay, I feel good here. Canada’s serving you well, what made you decide to pursue competition world?
David Zepeda 9:42
It’s a good question… I always like competing. You know, it’s I always have this feeling of an idea of competition makes you push your limits you know like, makes you always work harder because you want to prove it could be many reasons. I want to prove for myself All right, it’s not a proof for other people. It’s just for myself, like a challenge myself. And I believe competition always gave me that push, like, I need to work harder if I want to be the best. So that’s what I always love competition and since I started dancing. And then when I say, Okay, this is what I want to do Salsa dancer when I transition from hotel dancing, and I started learning Salsa, and I loved it. I say, Okay, I want to be the one number one in the world, and I want to put everything on it. And I want to, and yeah, and I’m gonna, you know, like, prove it to myself!
Sonia Kyriacou 10:35
So you. So you took a decision. You said, I’m going into the world of competition, and I’m going to be the champion.
David Zepeda 10:43
Yeah. Yeah. I said, I, I visioned my I picture myself for it from the beginning, what I wanted to be what I wanted to accomplish.
Sonia Kyriacou 10:53
That’s fascinating. So if you so I’m going to read go back a little bit just to like, understand where this came from inside of you. Like, how did this develop this desire to reach the top, and literally not let anything get in your way and go against everything that would seem logical OR safe or secure, and pursue this passion you have for Latin dance, and to tell yourself to put yourself in the mindset of I’m going to win. That’s it. I’ve made a decision. I’m going to be the champion. What do you think it was? Was there a trigger? Was there someone you met? Was there a course that you took? Was there a dancer you watched and said, Oh, that’s my idol. Like, what do you think inside of you triggered to say, this is it? This is what I’m pursuing?
David Zepeda 11:41
Well, actually, yes, I was when I was in in Calgary. I was with a friend and he just who were watching this competition, I remember it was on ESPN? I don’t know you remember this? Like?
Sonia Kyriacou 11:54
Of course! I was there.
David Zepeda 11:56
Oh, my God seriously?
Sonia Kyriacou 11:58
What year was that what year was that?
David Zepeda 12:00
Two thousand seven. When I went to Calgary
Sonia Kyriacou 12:04
David Zepeda 12:05
Long time ago, yeah yeah
Sonia Kyriacou 12:06
Okay, and who was competing? Who was in that competition?
David Zepeda 12:11
I remember the one that caught my attention was on the “on 2” division because I was watching that division. It was Oliver Pineda and Luda Kroiter.
Sonia Kyriacou 12:20
David Zepeda 12:23
Yes, Junior and Emily, and John Narvaez. They were like the top? The top three that I remember.
Sonia Kyriacou 12:32
Wow. That’s incredible.
That is the year I was there. We were competing in the troupe division. And yeah, I was watching that was competition. So it was it was an incredible. You know, I feel a little bit sad that that didn’t continue. Because we had such a big momentum at that point to have Latin dance competitions seen in a in a, let’s say, in a grander scale, where you have cameras and a stadium and people and this was happening in Las Vegas. So this was like a huge competition. And you know, Albert Torres, was the one with his team of people, I think they were called “Salsa Seven”, that that put the energy and efforts into creating this big platform for us. And so, again, anything that happens in the dance world, you know, especially Latin dance, sometimes doesn’t get fully supported or seen at the same level of importance, as, let’s say, a ballroom competition, you know, even in the Olympics, like ballroom competitions tried to become an Olympic sport, and they didn’t accept it. So it’s a little bit sad that dancers are not seen as athletes because you truly are like, if I watch your videos or your competitions, or even seeing you train, it’s crazy what you need to be able to accomplish to you know, have a flawless performance like I you have strength, flexibility, balance, mental focus. You’re lifting your partner in the air, so you’re doing acrobatics, and aerials, where you both your lives if it doesn’t go well, like it’s an incredible variety of things that are that you need to be able to execute what what you do on a competition level. So it’s crazy the World Championships at what was the name of those again, it was the wasn’t the ESPN World Championships,
David Zepeda 13:27
Sonia Kyriacou 14:43
Something like this. Right? That was the name of it. Yeah. So I was in that I thought, wow, this is it. It’s going to bring us to the next level that you know what we do is going to be so highly respected, but I think they only did two years.
David Zepeda 14:56
I think yeah, I think they did two years
Sonia Kyriacou 14:59
and then it stopped which is sad
So this is where you saw and got your major inspiration. And then you said, That’s me. I’m gonna be there. I’m gonna win.
David Zepeda 15:09
And that was my biggest drive! Like, I want to be there. I want to see myself on TV, you know and be winning. That was my trigger. Yeah. Awesome. Competition. Yeah.
Sonia Kyriacou 15:19
Awesome. That’s amazing. And so after that happened, you started working towards this goal of competing and I do remember that you had come to the Montreal Salsa Convention. I think in was it 2012? I’m not exactly sure what year and you did your first competition.
David Zepeda 15:38
Yeah, that was my first ever, like, first time that I competed ever. That was my first one. Yeah, I think it was 2008, isn’t it?
Sonia Kyriacou 15:49
Um, I’m not sure because hold on a second. The Montreal Salsa Conventions’ first year was in 2005. So you might be right. You might be right. It might be earlier.
David Zepeda 16:02
It was right after one year that I was training in Calgary, or something like that.
Sonia Kyriacou 16:07
Okay. So so you come over here, and then you did your first competition, and then you went back home? Did you win at that competition? What was your position?
David Zepeda 16:20
No, I don’t remember that? I think not. I didn’t I didn’t place in that competition..
Sonia Kyriacou 16:28
Okay, that’s okay. It was your first one.
David Zepeda 16:31
Yeah, I know, I was happy. You know, I was very happy to see all these guys. And you know, like really good talent in Montreal, so like, wow, I was just like, super happy, very, very happy, you know, to to meet all these great dancers. And even though we didn’t place anything, but we were really happy with, because we did our best. So I mean, I was happy. I was happy.
Sonia Kyriacou 16:52
And so after that, tell us the story of how did you then end up in Montreal?
David Zepeda 16:57
I got invited one after the other. You know, that’s after I went back to Calgary, then I went back to Mexico. That’s when I met my dance partner, Paulina. After that, yeah, and then everything started as a partnership. So then we got invited to Quebec festival. That was the second time we came to Canada and it was already as the artists who got the new invited as artists in Quebec. And, and then I spent few days in Montreal, as well. And I really loved Montreal. So it was like this, one of the cities that I want to live in. And I always had that in mind, you know, I wanted to, you know, like, I would love to live in Montreal. But then I went back to Mexico, because at the time I was with, with Paulina training. We were competing in Mexico, which is like national competition. And then I got this invitation for from a dance studio to start teaching in Montreal. So that was like, Oh, that’s, you know, that’s something that I was waiting for, because I love Montreal. And, and then again, I have to sacrifice many things. Which was one of the reason one of them is leaving Paulina, because she could not come at that time to Montreal. So like, Oh, you know, it’s something that I believe that I could have improved and do better. But at the same time, I had already meet my dance partner Polina. So it’s very difficult decision to Okay, I’m going to go to Montreal I know there’s going to be new things, open new doors, but I need to sacrifice something again. And so I thought about it a lot. And at the end, I decided to come to Montreal. Because I knew it was going to be something better and you know, an improvement. So it was hard.
Sonia Kyriacou 18:43
That’s incredible. You know, the more I hear your story, the more I realize how you did not compromise or give in to comfort, you didn’t allow yourself to stay comfortable and secure. You always wanted to be on that edge of like, okay, what’s next for me? What can I do to bring my dancing to the next level? So you clearly don’t stay in comfort zones very long. Right?
David Zepeda 19:14
Yes. Yeah, exactly. And because I saw that, that I could improve my, my dancing and bring it to the next level. That’s why I say okay, I’m, you know, I’m willing to do it. So it’s very important to do that. Like, when I feel like I’m in my comfort zone, then I need to do something that
Sonia Kyriacou 19:32
That’s amazing. Yeah, that’s amazing that you can identify that. Tell me in these up until this point, what would you say was your biggest stumbling block? Is there something that ever blocked you or that you felt was in your way?
David Zepeda 19:49
When it comes to dancing, right? I would say that, at the beginning, it was more financial struggling because you know, you have to spend a lot of money, what not a lot of money. But if you want to become better, you need training, you need coaches. And for that you need to spend money. And at this time, you know, I was having a just teaching but not making a lot of money, which is, you know, like paying my expenses. And it was hard for me to pay for my coaches and take different trainings and different classes. And that was the hardest part, the struggle that I would have at that moment.
Sonia Kyriacou 20:31
Okay, so this financial stumbling block, which I’m assuming kind of may have been present, all these transitions you spoke about because you know, going from, you know, living under the roof of your parents to, you know, I’m assuming you were living at the resort, and then after that, going to this family in Canada, and then after that, you know, going back to Mexico, and discovering, you know, finding your partner, and then moving to Canada with probably did you have any money, you just came like, kind of like, Hey, no, I’m just taking this risk. It’s me and my suitcase…was it like that?
David Zepeda 21:10
It wasn’t exactly like that but I was very limited, I would say.
Sonia Kyriacou 21:15
Okay, so, so, so the financial thing, but you found your way around it? I mean, you found a way to make it work?
David Zepeda 21:23
Oh, yeah, absolutely. That’s the thing, when once you have something in your mind, you will find a way to make it happen. Regardless, if it’s difficult, you’re going to find a way. So I thought this was only one job. So was you know, like doing different stuff here and there to to get that, you know, money. So then I can put that into my training and increase my level of dancing. So, yeah, it’s not, you know, it’s not an issue when you really want it.
Sonia Kyriacou 21:52
Okay, so now if you, if you take this kind of drive that you have that you don’t allow any, let’s say, conditions to influence your decision, so whether it’s money or people that say don’t go or, you know, any condition at all, you you seem to be the type of dancer that is so passionate that you find a way to clear space, get rid of the, you know, stumbling blocks, get rid of, you know, clear the path and go. And that’s an incredible skill, because it’s not just in your dancing. You know, I’m going to assume you do this in your personal life you do this kind of it translates into everything you do. Like there’s no, there’s no stopping David Zepeda! Right. And so let’s fast forward a little bit to now we see you and your partner Paulina on the top stages, you became six time world champion, I’m assuming with her yes?
David Zepeda 22:51
Sonia Kyriacou 22:51
Okay. And and now you’re gaining that recognition, people know who you are, you start getting invited to the biggest events around the world, you’re traveling, you’re making more money. Tell us a little bit about that part of your career, where you now feel like wow, the sacrifices paid off, I made it tell us how you felt about that?
David Zepeda 23:16
Well, when we got to this point, like the transition from, you know, from not having money, and then sometimes we actually when we travel, we had to pay for our own expenses, to get this recognition, right to build our reputation as a dancer, right? So we had to go through this process, which we have to pay for our own expenses, or like our own hotels and stuff like that. So we were okay with that, because we knew that sometimes we had to do that we have to start from zero right to to build that reputation, so that they can put you in a better standard and status. So when that happened, that’s when we started winning the competition like the first year. And that’s when we start getting invited. And of course, then offer to pay all the expenses plus fee. So we felt really, really good, right? Because that will feel okay. It was worth everything we did you know like it that’s when he pays back, like all the info that you put in there like wow, okay, we made it because now we’re traveling and we’re getting paid for that.
Sonia Kyriacou 24:21
So the investment the investment was worth it
David Zepeda 24:24
Exactly! The investment was very worth it.
Sonia Kyriacou 24:26
That’s a great success story. And so moving now forward into the next chapter of your dance career, let’s say the next five to 10 years you know, what do you envision like what what is new in your in your path?
David Zepeda 24:45
Well, right now that I’m that I retire as a competitor right now, when I started judging the competition, then my vision totally changed. And now I focus more on training people, creating an educating people that wants to compete. And, and that’s my main goal right now to share the knowledge that I that I got in 10 years, let’s say, to put together and then offer to those the really want to become champions. Now that those are really committed, and they’re willing to sacrifice things. I want to give them this information that I got in 10 years, I want to put it you know, like in a small package, and deliver to people to help people to become champions. That’s my main goal.
Sonia Kyriacou 25:35
So the student becomes the teacher.
David Zepeda 25:38
Sonia Kyriacou 25:40
One very important point. Why? Why did you decide your competition life is over?
David Zepeda 25:46
Oh, okay. So this is something that also how do you know if we did it in the right moment? Sometimes, because we felt like we had this momentum, right? Like, we were winning next six times in a row. So we feel good. But at some point, I had a discussion with Paulina, and we say, Okay, what do we want? What else? Because we accomplished, you know, what we wanted, right? And, and we’re like, Okay, I think, for us, that was enough. So we say, Okay, now we can concentrate in something else. Okay, then it’s time to do something different. You know, like, for example, focus more, because when you are competing, that’s what I do. You really need to focus and put your mind and everything on competition. So in order for us to do something different, we had to stop the competition, and then try, you know, do other stuff.
Sonia Kyriacou 26:42
So expand in a different direction. So what you’re saying is like, if your mind now changes the focus, if you guys decide, you know, we’re not going to focus on being champions, then it makes no sense to compete just to compete, right? You only compete if your mindset is we’re going in to win.
David Zepeda 27:02
Definitely, you have to really have this certainty of why you want to compete, and you had to have the you need to know what is the outcome? You know, like, okay, you competed, and we always compete to win. We were never like, oh, let us compete for fun. We never did that. So it would never be that case for us. So when we say Okay, that’s enough, then we don’t have to compete anymore. That’s when we started focusing on other stuff.
Sonia Kyriacou 27:30
What goes through your mind? Right before you step on the stage to compete? What are the thoughts that come to your mind right before you step on the stage?
David Zepeda 27:39
Excitement, I just say that, like, I just get excited. I just can’t wait. Like, just before I announce our names, I just want to like, be there right away and do it.
Sonia Kyriacou 27:52
Okay, so you have this like, surge of energy and an excitement that you’re like, I’m gonna do this. So you didn’t feel fear? You didn’t feel nervousness, you didn’t feel? Oh my god, I hope nothing goes wrong.
David Zepeda 28:07
Probably it was a little mix of nervousness and excitement. But I would not, I didn’t want to think about nervous I would never think like I’m nervous. I was always thinking I am excited. Like, I would put that in my mind. And that I can control that. Maybe I would I would be nervous, probably like subconsciously, right? But I didn’t want to focus on that word, or fear at all. Nah,
Sonia Kyriacou 28:32
I love that. You, you you. I’m not sure if you agree. But it seems that you’ve been using the law of attraction?
David Zepeda 28:41
It is! I totally believe in law of attraction, whatever you focus on, expands. So if you think that you’re nervous, you’re going to be nervous, do you think you feel you’re going to have fear? I totally believe in that.
Sonia Kyriacou 28:52
That is awesome. The thoughts of a champion. So now, going back to the future, you want to train people, you want to pass down the knowledge. I will say that technical knowledge like you know, put your foot here, you know, transfer your weight at this moment, you know, use your quads or whatever it is you’re going to transition to transfer to a student that is in the physical realm like that is dancing is one thing, but how do you transfer what you have in your mind how you see dance and life and competition, how you have time after time, after time after time, you know, sacrificed so many things to reach your goal. How do you transfer that information?
David Zepeda 29:43
I would say that everybody has to ask themselves like, why do you really want to do it? Like that’s the first thing that you need to ask yourself, why? The what is your tribe? That’s the main thing you need because once you have that clearly, you will know the answer, you will know what you have to do to get there. So by having cleared the reason why you want to do it, you find all the answers on the way.
Sonia Kyriacou 30:15
And would you say that the “why” is something beyond just saying, Oh, I want to be a champion, would you? What is your WHY?
David Zepeda 30:24
Well absolutely like if you’re thinking, Oh, if I asked you, what do you want to be? You know why you want to compete? Well, because I want to be a champion. But I believe there’s always a reason behind that. Okay, why you want to become a champion? So you need to ask yourself very deeply, why you want to become champion? Oh, because I want to travel. Okay, but why is that important for you? Why do you want to travel? But so many things? Right? Like, in my case, I have very clear the “why”. And it depends on everybody, right? What’s the drive? What’s it? What’s the purpose of that? And it was, obviously, because, first of all, I always wanted to prove myself that if I when I decided the moment that I decided to become a dancer, I say I want to become a good one. And the best one if I can. So that was one of the one of the best, the biggest, right? Like when I become to prove myself, also, because I want to provide for my family. So say it, okay, if I became a champion in the world, I will, I will be able to have more opportunities and improve my financial situation, then I am able to provide for my family. So having this strong drive depending on everybody will get you there.
Sonia Kyriacou 31:40
Yes. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said knowing your why is what you’re going to go back to when you when you hit those plateaus or those difficult moments or, you know, the stumbling blocks when you remember your “why” you can move mountains. Yes?
David Zepeda 32:00
Sonia Kyriacou 32:00
And I think what you’ve done successfully, which is amazing. I want I want our audience to know that now you have a YouTube channel.
David Zepeda 32:12
Sonia Kyriacou 32:14
Where you’re exposing the secrets of the champions yes?
David Zepeda 32:18
Sonia Kyriacou 32:19
And you have a Facebook page and you’re also on Twitter. And so if people decide to follow you, let’s say an aspiring dancer wants to follow David Zepeda and see his journey and get inspired by you. What would they learn via your YouTube channel? What What would they receive as as training or inspiration from you?
David Zepeda 32:44
Like I mentioned before, like basically what I’m doing is trying to put the knowledge that I that I got in 10 years or the whole, let’s say my whole career as a dancer, and trying to put that together so that I can give advice and tips to show them their journey in order to in order so they can get better results. And faster if they implement what I you know what I teach. So I came up with this idea because you know, nowadays, there’s so many classes online about dancing, which is really good, you know, which is really good for the community. But I don’t see often this kind of information, for example of how to train, you know, like, especially about mindset, which I believe this is a I would say the most important thing to become a successful person. Like if you have the right mindset, anything and everything is possible. So I focus more on that in my training. That’s why it’s it’s like a more educational program. It’s not about teaching how to dance, I focus more on the mindset of what you need to do in order to get there.
Sonia Kyriacou 33:57
That’s a great, great thing that you’re doing. And thank you so much for that because I do believe that guidance and at a higher level of dancing, especially when people decide to compete is actually even more important, you know, you need guidance throughout your your dance journey, you know, you want to take lessons you want to, you know, whether it’s like you start off as a recreational dancer, and then you discover that, oh my god, I love this so much I want to pursue it. Maybe you want to become a teacher or a studio owner or an organizer of a festival. But then there are those that are, you know, in the position to want to compete. And then you know, they kind of need that path like where’s the map like what do I do first, second, third, fourth, to become as successful as David Zepeda. So I think this is a wonderful contribution to the dance community. I think anybody out there listening that wants to challenge themselves and and surpass what their perceived limits are, should go down the road of competition because of what they could learn because of what it teaching yourself as not just as a as a dancer but as a person. You know dealing with the highs and lows dealing with the the pain of practicing and the bruises and the people telling you you’re crazy. You’re you’re wasting your time, you know, you’re never going to earn enough money and all those like, you know, stumbling blocks that usually a lot of dancers just crumble, they’re like, No, I can’t do this. It’s true. It’s too hard. It hurts. It’s painful. You know, my mom says no, or my husband says forget it, or whatever it is. and pushing through is not just about pushing through and, and winning a cup. You know, it’s about who you become in that process.
David Zepeda 35:41
That means more than is more than the trophy.
Sonia Kyriacou 35:43
The trophy is just to drink the champagne. That’s what it’s for.
David Zepeda 35:52
Put something and just celebrate with that cup.
Sonia Kyriacou 35:55
That’s all it is!
Yeah, it’s a plastic cup, folks. You know, in case you’re wondering…
Well thank you so much for your time with us today was such a pleasure to you know, find out more about what you went through your journey and how you pursued your passion without apology. I’m very, very glad that we have this moment to talk about it and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. And, you know, check him out guys go on his Facebook, YouTube and Twitter David Zepeda, and find out more about his future plans and get inspired!
David Zepeda 36:30
Thank you so much for having me, Sonia. I had a really good time. And thank you everybody who’s watching this and I hope you get some useful information. Stay safe and take care guys.
Sonia Kyriacou 36:43
I’m sure they will.
Thanks for listening. Find Sonia on Instagram at SONIAKYRI and on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter at Sonia Kyriacou. Check back weekly for new episodes. Until the next time, keep dancing.