For those in South Florida, keep your eyes open for this local dancer and fitness instructor. You might see him dancing on the stage, or you might find him giving a fitness class in one of his original programs.
What’s your claim-to-fame?
I consider myself as an artist. I don’t see why I would put myself in a box, when I can conquer more than one thing.
Where did you grow up?
Well, I lived in Italy until I was 18. But then as soon as I reached the age where I could leave that little close-minded village where I grew up, I moved to Rome for a couple of years. And since I had even bigger dreams, I moved to London. I first lived in Richmond, where my university was, and then I moved to Paddington. Yes, where the Paddington Bear is from (laughs).
What’s something special about London that isn’t common knowledge?
That it’s the most multicultural city in Europe, with more than 250 nationalities.
What do you miss about London?
I guess what I miss the most is that it’s close to Italy, and, therefore, close to my family, which I love and miss very much.
How long have you lived in South Florida?
I’ve lived in Florida for the past five years.
Why did you move here?
Well, my dream was always to come to America to follow the American Dream. The main reason that I moved here was so that I could launch my two fitness programs: Bounce DanceFit and BADASS.
What part of South Florida do you live in?
I live in South Beach, just four blocks away from the beach.
What do you like most about living here?
Well, after living in London for so long, I was desperate for some sun (laughs). So, I would say that the weather, and the fact that I don’t need a winter wardrobe anymore, are my two favorite things about living here.
If you had to live somewhere else other than here, where would you live?
I would probably like to give it a try in Los Angeles.
Where do you hang out in South Florida?
In Wynwood or South Beach.
Which one of your old jobs least prepared you for what you do now?
Well, I’ve done a few jobs that didn’t add up to what I’m doing now. I worked in a magazine store, I was a barber, I worked in a bar, and I was a waiter. But those jobs did teach me the value of money and how to work hard to get what you want.
What kind of dance do you use in your fitness programs?
I’m the creator of two fitness programs: Bounce DanceFit and BADASS. Bounce DanceFit incorporates basic street-dance steps and styles. Whereas BADASS is a mix of easy dance moves and combat. Both are cardio classes, and both are a fun way to bust some moves and burn calories.
How did you come up with these programs?
While I was still at university, I also had to work to provide for myself, because I didn’t have financial support from my family. So, I taught dance classes in gyms. I would just teach my own style, and I would make up my own choreography. And when the gyms started giving me more and more classes, I thought to myself, “what If I let the other instructors teach my choreography that people love some much?” And then everything just followed through from there.
What does Bounce DanceFit stand for?
Bounce is actually a street dance move. So, because I incorporate street dance steps, I used the word “bounce.” And then I added “DanceFit,” so it would be clear that it’s a dance fitness class.
What kind of dance did you study?
I studied ballet and contemporary.
Who’s your favorite dancer?
That would have to be the incredible Michael Jackson.
Are you a fan of Zumba and its founder, Beto Perez?
I do know Beto Perez, and yes, I do love all Latin rhythms.
Do you have a studio?
I don’t have a studio, as I mainly travel to different countries and cities to train instructors how to teach my programs.
What are the challenges of fitness clientele?
I guess it’s the idea of a perfect body that society promotes. Fitness is important for better health, and it has so many amazing benefits. Fitness isn’t just for a certain body type or size. Everyone should enjoy fitness, because it makes you feel good, if nothing else.
Do you think that there’s too much emphasis on image in South Florida?
Well, yes, there’s a bit of a pressure here, especially if you’re living in a beach city, where it’s hot most of the year, and people are almost naked. So, yes, living here can make you very conscientious of your body.
What’s the best dancing gig that you ever did?
That would be when I performed a contemporary duet at the Royal Opera in London that I choregraphed myself.
Sophie’s Choice: if you had to choose between teaching or dancing, which one would choose?
I would definitely want to be on stage performing rather than backstage.
What’s the strangest thing that ever happened to you onstage?
I went completely blank, and I didn’t remember the steps, but I still saw my body moving and doing the choreography flawlessly.
Is there anything else that you’d like to say?
I would like to tell people to follow their dreams, and don’t let a few obstacles hold you down. Take chances, and each time you fall, bounce right back up stronger than before.
Where can we see you?
You can see my fitness programs on my YouTube channel, which is called Franco Conquista. You can also find me on Instagram at FrankConti08.