He was always up beat, always with a smile on his face.
He didn't win the most trophies or claim the most titles but he had the biggest heart on the dance floor.
As a gifted dancer, teacher, competitor and friend, he had a fan club as long as your leg.
James "Jimmy" Garcia will be missed by thousands.
At age 18 he was perfecting the Hustle. He became one of the original members of "The Hustle Kings," a wonderful dance troupe out of Brooklyn, NY. This high energy dance troupe performed and traveled all over.
His original dance partner & wife, Laura, was also his business partner and they opened a Dale's Dance studio franchise.
Jimmy and various partners competed at all the Ballroom events including: Stardust Ball, NJ State Open, Ohio Star Ball, USBC's, American Star Ball.....
He loved and excelled in International Latin. Jimmy studied under Bill Davies and developed and trained numerous winning students.
In 1985, Jimmy started a three year teaching engagement at Fred Astair's Studio in Manhattan. Then he and close friend, Fernando Cox, started their own dance business, "First Place Dancers Inc."
Jimmy competed nationally in the Pro-am divisions with his students. Top honors and scholarships were won by many of his students including, Penny Binn and Dr. Lea Davidson.
Jimmy loved the world of dance. He was out going and a great communicator. He also was actively involved in applying make-up for his students at the major competitions.
Long time dance partner and friend, Diane Nardone remembers competing and performing with Jimmy and The Hustle Kings. " He was a wonderful dancer and a caring human being, he always had a big smile as he would light up a room. He enjoyed making others laugh."
His passion for dancing was never more apparent then this past April. While competing in Long Island, he became very sick, but he insisted on continuing in the competitions with his students.
Just three weeks ago he developed complications and had to be hospitalized.
Jimmy turned 43 years old this past October.
This is a great loss for the dance community at large.
He will be missed by all those he touched during his
short time here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family & friends.