Spotlight - Nick Lotiere
His YouTube videos are becoming legendary, as thousands of curious enthusiasts view the "back in the day"excitement.
Leading some of the finest dancers on the map, he was born to perform.
Nick "Dominick"Lotiere ruled the dance floor.
Not everyone had their eyes set on sparkling trophies. Some dancers just treasured the opportunity to perform. Nick did all of that and more. When the lights went up and all eyes were fixated on him, Nick was at his best. His YouTube videos have garnered more hits than just about all other hustle videos.
As a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Nick was engulfed in dancing. Both his parents loved touch dancing. His father was a lindy-hopper. His mother championed cha-cha and won competitions held at the Copacabana, in NYC. In 1975, when Nick was just 11, Debbie a friend, would come to his house and teach him the newest club steps. The following year, Nick would venture out to the ultimate, real night club experience. Although he was only 13, he already felt at home. In 1977, before Saturday Night Fever tore up the movie theaters, Nick was already frequenting ˜2001 Odyssey in Brooklyn. He became his high school "Disco Champ?, trophy and all, by executing the rope hustle and Bus Stop. Dressed in polyester and nylon, Nick was recognized as the local disco king. When he turned 16 years old, he accepted a position with ˜New York Hustle dance studios as a teacher trainee. Having the opportunity to learn and develop under the studio owners, Jeff & Donna Shelly, had a huge impact on him. Hanging with fellow teachers he would metamorphous at night time as they would descend on night clubs and studio hop after work. This is where he would befriend many of the dance icons including John Merisier, Diane Nardone, Artie Phillips and Maria Torres. His social dance schedule was packed with choices that included; Monday night dancing at Desire in Brooklyn or Alexis Dance Studio in the city. Tuesday nights were the Penthouse in Brooklyn or Flavors in Queens, Wednesdays was Jasmines or Sticks in NYC, Thursdays was Dariens Dance Studio in Brooklyn “ the only place to be, Fridays & Saturdays were either Fantasy Island in Brooklyn, Roseland, Inferno or La Bomba in NYC and Sundays were either Jasmines or the Ice Palace in NYC. He instilled not only an enormous quantity of time into his dancing but the highest level of quality. Dancing was becoming his life. His next professional teaching stop was Dales Dance Studio, where he not only taught on staff but also became a member of the 3rd generation ˜Hustle Kings. The dance troop was well received and performed throughout the region. "The Fabulous Hustle Kings"was made up of Diane Nardone, (who also choreographed), John Merisier, Lisa Nunziella, Maria Torres and Melvin Curry "the mastermind who created some of the famous arm movements still used today,"explains Nick. The Hustle Kings were one of many troops that performed in the NY area. The Disco Dance Dimensions, Ralph Lew Carnival, Dance Connection and the NY Hustle Dancers were other well respected troops, but the Hustle Kings specialized in club dancing. With some of the finest dancers in the country they entertained at night clubs, studios and private parties. Sadly, the troop disbanded in the summer of 1980, subsequently Nick see-sawed back to ˜New York Hustle studio to work. Six months later, Nick re-engaged with Dales studio where he partnered on a professional level for the first time with Diane Nardone. Together they competed at various contests including Zacharys, Constitution Challenge Cabaret and other local contests where they either placed first or received top contender honors. Nick continued to explore other styles of dance when he selected a staff position at Fred Astaire Dance Studios in NYC in 1982. (He would eventually own his own Fred Astaire franchise) where he worked with the late/ great Artie Phillips and Maria Torres. Dancing virtually every night, the three of them became inseparable. Laughing and enjoying themselves as they absorbed the attention they received as they mastered and monopolized the dance floor. "They use to call Artie ˜Dennis the Menace and I was known as Dennis Jr.,"recalls Nick. Along with two of his diva partners, Maria Torres and Diane Nardone, Nick would continue to perform and compete in contests. Not a big fan of tricks and lifts, Nick wasnt a regular in competitions but when he did elect to participate, he rocked the house. With great success on the dance floor, in the fall of 1983, it was time for Nick to pack his bags and welcome a new exploration and challenge that would take him to the west coast, Southern California. He strategically selected this area since the top talents in the International Latin competitions resided there. At this point in time he began studying under Latin Champions Ron Montez (the voice of PBS Ballroom) and Liz Curtis. Nick once again excelled in his new endeavors as a National Finalist at the USDC in American Style Ballroom , Fred Astaire Regional Latin Champion and Top Teacher and Arthur Murray Regional Top Teacher honors.
Ballroom , Fred Astaire Regional Latin Champion and Top Teacher and Arthur Murray Regional Top Teacher honors.
For twenty five years Nicks childhood dreams became a reality. He had been teaching dance, which was his passion.
In 2002, Nick decided to take a dance hiatus. He would continue to teach on the side, but directed his focus on his career as a PC Technician.
Today, Nick is an avid DJ, performing at parties and events. His commitment to dancing is not over. He still has fond memories of dancing with Karen Lynn Gorney, on the stage at Radio City, for the 25th anniversary of Saturday Night Fever, where he taught the Bus Stop to a full house at Roseland (for the after party) and franchising his own Fred Astaire Studio in Stamford, Connecticut.
Nick started dancing and teaching at a very young age. Although he was years younger than his peers, in the hustle circle, he was respected and admired by all those in the dance community. Whether he was leading his partner with great control and finesse or following with such style and fluidity, all eyes turned to Nick. Not only was he technically sound but he could light up the room with his energy and charisma. His contributions were many but his journey is not over. Look for more excitement and creativity from Nick in the near future.
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