Gilbert Saldivar is Jennifer Lopez’s dance captain and has been with JLo for almost 12 years. Tera Perez has been part of Jennifer Lopez’s crew for over three years and serves as her stand-in dance captain.
Both Saldivar and Perez are part of JLo’s new hit TV show on NUVOTV, “A Step Away,” which gives an intimate look at the lives of 10 professional back-up dancers on world tour with Jennifer Lopez. The show’s full series premier on October 3 on NUVOTV at 9 p.m.
EXTRA: Gilbert, what is it like being on the show?
Gilbert Saldivar: It is beautiful and genuine to watch what we go through; we come together on stage, travel all over the world through different countries from city to city and the tall that it takes on being away from families. It is an honor to be part of it.
Tera, what have you learned as a dancer and as a person so far?
Tera Perez: As a person, it made me so much more confident and so much fuller of life. I was dancing for other artists and different projects but I was lucky enough to be part of JLo’s crew.
What is it like dancing for JLo?
Gilbert: For me, I think the biggest honor that a dancer can have is to share things with the artist who works as hard and performs just as hard. When we are on stage, “mama” is going off. Sometimes life happens that may drain you but when we get on stage, nothing is stopping us.
Tera: You feel her energy and it is such an honor. It is an honor to be able to see the limit that the artist brings in you.
What can you tell us about the show?
Gilbert: We follow her (JLo) night after night. I decided to go sober on the road. I allowed myself to be open about it. We all have different journeys.
Tera: It really is a blessing. The one thing that I will say even though you will see a lot of stuff on the road, we love each other so much.
What is it like being a professional dancer?
Gilbert: The physical part is difficult for every individual. You have to keep yourself in top shape if you want to be one of the elite dancers. The personal struggle is being away from your family. You sacrifice a lot.
Tera: I agree. I think life passes you by when you are so wrapped up in your own world. It does take a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of hard work. You dream about your loved ones. You miss them so much. You miss them all the time.
What advice can you give for those that want to be like you?
Tera: Take as many classes as you can. Live your life with as little fear as possible. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Gilbert: I was blessed enough to start a dance studio and do a workshop. What I find myself saying to these kids once you connect to your purpose, when you are performing, every worry in the world goes away. The power of social media allows everyone to be discovered. When there is a will, there is a way. Let it happen naturally.
You can follow Gilbert and Tera on Twitter @GilbertSaldavar and @teraperez.
This post is also available in: Spanish
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