The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

HUMANS OF BELLAIRE – Joseph Hernandez

Photo provided by Joseph Hernandez

“I started dancing when I was 4, and the one that inspired me was my dad. He’s the one that taught me every single step in every single dance. I’m from Nicaragua so I actually started out dancing punta, bachata, cumbia. [My dad] inspires me because he is just himself when he dances. He will dance to whatever you put on. If you put Taylor Swift, he will dance to it. He doesn’t care how he dances, he just dances. I’m like him in this way. I will dance to anything because it is fun.

One time, after seeing a production perform at a disco, my brother and I came up with the idea of starting our own production company. I told my brother, ‘Imagine we make our own production and go viral.’ So we started watching the Mexican dances and…trying to get the rhythm down. I learned the rhythm by watching other people dance. From there, I started practicing by myself with a pillow, trying to get better and improve my steps.

We first collaborated with EM productions; they are the ones who really helped us start. My brother and I saw them perform and they inspired new ideas for our production company.

At the beginning, we only had three boys: me, my brother and our friend. We did our first performances at quinceañeras for free because we didn’t know a lot of moves and were not experienced enough. We learned by going to the discos and watching other productions perform. I remember Huapango fest was the first big event that we performed in. We were against JD’S production, EM production and High Class production. All of their performances were amazing. At least 5,000 people attended, and there were a lot of Hispanics, but most were Mexicans. Unsurprisingly, we got last place because it was the three of us versus other productions that had a lot more people, but it was definitely worth it.

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Huanpango fest was also the first time that we were announced. This was a stepping stone for getting Southwest Boys Production Company out there on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook so people could know our name.

After a few months, Southwest Boys hosted our first tryouts and when 10 people came out, we took whoever showed up. That was a big step up. It helped us start getting booked for quinceañeras. We started off charging low prices for our packages, from $50 to $500. Two months ago, we had tryouts again and, luckily, it worked out well. Now, we have 35 guys and 25 girls, models and supplies. We have almost everything we could ask for, and we offer the best bundles.

One of my favorite memories as a group was when we competed against the Modernos dance group. They were really not that good, but they still wanted to go against us. They were talking themselves up, but, in the end, we won. I didn’t want to get that cocky with them because [they] could have surprised us with anything, but, in the end, people liked us more.

Now, we have a lot more clients, and they contact me through almost every single platform you can think of. One time, this girl even contacted me through our TikTok account, asking about the packages. Once I get an interested client, my assistant helps me manage the schedule and plan out the days. I’m a choreographer, so is my brother and [so are] a few others. I like having different people in certain spots to help me do the choreography so it won’t only be me.

Our studio is being built. We just need more investment to get finished up, but for right now we practice at Bayland Park. I am excited for the upcoming Huapango fest again because now people know our name. It has been a long journey and the only thing I can say is never give up on what you seek, and never take anything for granted.”

For more about Southwest Boys, follow the Instagram: @southwest_boys.production and Tiktok: @s_w_b.p.

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