Spotlight Feature: Carl Adrian, San Diego Bachata Dance Instructor


Carl Adrian is an amazing Bachata dance instructor, as well as an extraordinary individual for conquering life’s trials and tribulations from his own walk of life.

Carl was born to an Irish father and Salvadoran mother, and was raised in the west part of LA for the first 12 years of his life; then moved to San Diego at age 16.

Growing up, he says, was pretty tough because of his skin color and mixed heritage–especially having a near death experiences with a Crip Gang and Mexican Gang in Mexico. However, he says that those experiences have made him a better person: teaching him to never hate anyone, while gaining a unique perspective on life and discrimination issues. Also as a young adult he joined the military, which he served five years honorably. He is a combat vet and has left the service as a sergeant (E-5)–he’s very proud of his military accomplishments.

He came across Bachata music when he was dating a Colombian, who at the time introduced him to this music. From the first time he heard it, he instantly became addicted. He sought out all kinds of Bachata music but his passion could not be satisfied so easily. So he started looking for people to teach him how to dance to it. After 2 years of social dancing at the clubs, the club manager approached him and offered the job to him. “I never applied, they just gave me the job; I just got lucky,” he says. He now does what he loves and even gets paid for it.
Here are his few words of success from his trials and tribulations in life:
“Do not align yourself with an ethnicity simply because you share the same color of skin. And pursue a passion, not a career, that you would do for free. Once you identify that, find a way to turn it into a profession and get paid for it. You will learn that it won’t matter how much you got paid, you just love the job because it is rewarding. And life takes on its own happiness when you wake up everyday and look forward to work on something that you love. It’s not work for you, it’s a passion and you can’t wait to do it all over again the next day!”
Carl Adrian has a 10 year old son, who is the center of his universe, and speaks Spanish while learning Russian. Carl teaches Bachata classes every Wednesday at the Onyx Room and gives free lessons too!

“Thank you Carl and I love your weekly classes especially when I am in San Diego. Your humor and lessons are never dry. Because of that, I always have a new step in my ‘dancing library.’ I always look forward to your classes whenever I am in San Diego. Keep doing what you’re doing, and I hope to interview you soon!”


If you wish to contact Carl for private Bachata lessons in San Diego, you can contact him via

Facebook Page:


Phone: (619) 279-4646

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