From the Miami Herald:
An 82-year-old DJ wants to introduce the joys of ballroom dancing to a younger generation.
Miguel Melgar, 82, is on a campaign to bring back ballroom dancing to Miami. He uses this DJ Console for events. When he isn’t spinning tunes, Melgar is playing tennis or tutoring math students.
BY RODOLFO ROMAN
SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD
Sweetwater resident and disc jockey Miguel Melgar started ballroom dancing in New York when he was 15 years old.
More than 60 years later, his passion and love for the art couldn’t be any bigger.
Melgar, 82, is on a mission: He wants to get the next generation to put on their dancing shoes at social clubs and enjoy ballroom dancing while enjoying contemporary music.
“I want to attract a younger crowd through the music I play,” he said.
The electronic engineer received his master’s from the University of Florida and has lived in Sweetwater since 1978. He plays music for ballroom dancing at social clubs, parties and social events.
“I’ve been told that I am the only DJ who dances to his own music,” he said on a recent weekend while playing cha-cha music.
During parties, he brings his DJ console, mixer, power supply, speakers and compact disc player, and he’s assembled his own equipment. Depending on what people want to jam to, he prepares a CD for the events.
He spent roughly $3,000 on his DJ console. He has music of all types, including cha-cha, salsa, swing, polka and much more. To him, price for a gig is not a big deal.
“This is my hobby,” he said. “This is like a guy who smokes, but my habit is this. I don’t worry about expenditures.”
Melgar started his hobby as a disc jockey 17 years ago when he saw attendance at a local Miami Polish social club decline.
He became director of music there and decided to implement a rule that artists and DJ’s could only play contemporary music from 10 p.m. to midnight. When he first started, he saw the club go from 300 people to 70. But when the changes were made, it was a different story.
“The attendance doubled,” he said.
He vowed from then on to lead a campaign to inspire younger generations to enjoy ballroom dance. Melgar, who is also a math tutor, said he wants to get those in their 50s and 60s back on the dance floor.
The active tennis player said he charges reasonable prices and always takes his wife, Mary Melgar, to all of his gigs. She looks forward to dancing with him.
“People always comment about his music, and they say, ‘That was good music,’ ” she said. “We dance together all the time.”
Miguel, whose favorites are swing, cha-cha and Polish polka, has a couple appearances lined up this year, including one in May.
He said the secret to his active life is lots of healthy eating and tennis.