Wilton might want to get its dancing shoes on, as one of Spain’s more prominent professional dancers is setting up shop in town next month and wants to get everyone out on the dance floor.

Manuel Trillo, a veteran instructor, competitor and Spanish TV personality, will open the doors to Arosa Ballroom Dance Studio on Saturday, July 1 at 44 Old Ridgefield Rd., on the south side of the Piersall Building.

“The people know me in Spain,” said Trillo, who, in addition to chatting with GOOD Morning Wilton this week, was fielding interviews from across the pond about his new venture.

And while his English — one of seven languages he speaks — comes with a heavy accent, his deep love and passion for dance are readily communicated in his contagious enthusiasm.

Manuel Trillo, the owner of the Arosa Ballroom Dance Studio, is thrilled to be in Wilton. Credit: Jarret Liotta / GOOD Morning Wilton

“This is my inspiration,” he said about pursuing his joy to a high professional level, even after friends and family had discouraged him from taking the risk when he was younger.

Born and raised on the Isla de Arosa, just off the northwest coast of Spain, Trillo had been expected to follow in his family’s fishing business for his life’s work — but he caught on to a different passion.

He was walking past a dance studio one day when he was 19 and got drawn in by the music. When he walked inside, he was dumbstruck by the beauty of what he saw.

“I was in love with dancing,” Trillo remembered, smitten with the movement and majesty of the rhumba in particular.

“I was like, ‘Wow! This is beautiful,'” he said. “‘I want to try that. I want to practice that.'”

Trillo made the decision to pursue his dream.

“I started to dance at 19 years old,” he said. “That’s a little late to start as a dancer … It was not easy.”

“When you tell your family and friends you want to be a professional dancer, they will tell you how crazy you are … But I didn’t listen to anybody. I wanted to do it,” he said.

Over the next four years, he trained locally and then moved to Santiago de Compostela in order to study with more advanced teachers.

“I started training with real coaches and I became a professional,” he said. “I did shows. I did a lot of performances. I did a lot of things to become a professional,” he said.

One day a representative of the Spanish version of television’s “Dancing with the Stars” saw Trillo in action and hired him.

“The director saw me dancing and he (pointed) with his finger. ‘Hey, I want that guy!'” Trillo recalled.

This chance meeting led to two seasons on the show, dancing with the celebrity guests and appearing in households all over the country.

“After that, different TV programs started to call me in Spain and Portugal,” he said. “It was fantastic.”

Over the next several years, Trillo’s journey took him throughout Europe as a professional dancer, combining competitions, shows and teaching opportunities.

“I was dancing in so many countries around the world,” he said. “It was such an incredible experience.”

Trillo was ultimately contacted by the Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which brought him to Norwalk. He became a full-time teacher over the past nine years, hoping for the day when he could open his own studio.

“I love all the dances,” he said. “Rhumba is probably my favorite. I like also the tango. I like also the cha-cha-cha … I like to dance in a couple. This is my inspiration.”

Tanya Green of Washington, D.C., one of Trillo’s periodic performance dance partners, said that with his skill and background he’ll be a smash in Wilton as a dance instructor.

“He makes it a lot of fun to learn to dance,” she said.

“As a teacher and professional he’ll be great,” she said. “He has that outgoing extrovert personality. He’s very friendly … and I think being a Spaniard and bringing that culture into the studio will also be beneficial.”

Trillo, who calls the studio part of his American Dream, intends to open his doors right before July 4th, but plans an official grand opening to follow down the line.

“The studio will be open to teach anybody,” he said, emphasizing that everyone is welcome — all people, all skill levels, all ages, singles or couples — as long as they want to dance.

“You will have so much fun,” he said.

The studio will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and on weekends from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. People will be able to book specific times. For more information, visit the Arosa Ballroom Dance Studio online.

2 replies on “New Ballroom Dance Studio Twirls into Wilton Center”

  1. This is great – I hope it is a big success – having fun in such a wonderful way is what life is about.

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