Behind-the-Scenes Spotlight: Tom Vasquez
While Tom Vasquez has moved on to follow other pursuits, his efforts will long be felt and appreciated among the Yes Dance community. “He was an essential part of making it happen,” says Yes Dance founder Monica Dabos. “We needed a DJ, he was a DJ. We needed a flyer, he made a flyer. From Instagram to YouTube videos to photos and much more, Tom gave of his time and skills. “He stepped up,” Monica says, “and he did it for a long time.”
While Tom Vasquez has moved on to follow other pursuits, his efforts will long be felt and appreciated among the Yes Dance community. “He was an essential part of making it happen,” says Yes Dance founder Monica Dabos. “We needed a DJ, he was a DJ. We needed a flyer, he made a flyer. He stepped up,” Monica says, “and he did it for a long time.
“Tom was a regular Yes Dance student when he realized we were using a boom box and didn’t have a DJ. He figured out how to get speakers, lights, and a soundboard. He became our DJ. Then he noticed that we didn’t have a huge Facebook presence, so he started taking pictures and putting them on FB. Next came videos, flyers, and swag to share with the community. He’s always been full of great ideas to celebrate not only the dancers but also the members of the larger community. He became the director of public relations. He did that for several years without fail, and he did it all voluntarily. He has been a cornerstone to getting us where we are right now. We will miss him, and the Yes Dance community will remember with gratefulness all that he did.”
YD. How did you become involved with Yes Dance?
Tom. I was invited to attend a monthly salsa bash (back when it was Yes You Can Dance and we met at the Ayni Gallery) and became hooked by the friendly atmosphere. I began attending classes but was immediately drafted by Monica to help set up the room. Because of the way Victor and Monica treated everyone who walked in, I knew this was a special organization and felt a need to give back. After a while, Monica expressed a need for assistance with advertising on Facebook and the (much simpler) website, so I used my contacts in the advertising and social media world to learn how to assist with these functions. By the time the studio was ready to open, I had learned to strategize our advertising campaign to take us from a word-of-mouth organization to the first-found result on Google.Y
YD. How has this community changed or influenced your life?
Tom. I find a purpose in what I do that I don’t find in other interests or jobs. Being willing to tailor my skills to the needs of the studio and seeing the impact, immediate or otherwise, that it has on guests, lets me know that rewards come in many forms and what makes them meaningful is to simply appreciate them.
YD. What are your other interests and hobbies besides dance?
Tom. I’ve become a Marvel movie geek over the past few years, and my Star Wars geekdom has begun to burn brighter in recent times as well. When I’m not working one of my three jobs, I go to karaoke. I had a passion for hiking that I want to reignite, and my goal is to get the most out of my season pass to Magic Mountain this year. Because road trips are fun!