Is The Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition The Most Joy-Inducing Bartender Program Ever?

The bartender community is comprised of innumerable talented individuals, many of whom are just as passionate in pursuits beyond the bar as they are in their craft. Many apply their flair for hospitality to arenas to other physical activities performing arts, fitness and dance.

Recognizing this connection, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to introduce the first ever Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition as a new way for bartenders to stay active in a fun and engaging way is coming to life to celebrate the spirit and talents of the bartender community through the art of dance. Of course, as this is a competition, the dance and physical components are being taken very seriously.


Photo by 52 Chefs

Kicking off with an intense audition process, twenty bartenders earned their spot to commit to a rigorous practice schedule including fitness training multiple times per week for ten weeks. At the end of the program, the Rum Shakers will compete as couples in an epic Grand Finale in Miami.

But wait, there’s more!  The program will take part in a cultural exploration and special Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition showcase in Puerto Rico during Tales on Tour. As the industry moves towards creating more opportunities to incorporate health and wellness, Rum Shaker aims to be a true celebration of physical fitness, teamwork, culture and joy!

To host the inaugural Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition, which was inspired by BACARDÍ’s ad campaign “Do What Moves You?”, the organizers needed to find a location that is rich in diversity, flavorful in culture and also possesses a little of that tropical flair of rum. So naturally, Miami, Florida was chosen as the host city for the Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition (the fact that Miami serves up beach weather in the winter months doesn’t hurt).

Next up, they enlisted the talents of top professional dancers, including some from the Miami Heat and Miami Marlins, to be the Rum Shaker choreographers, judges, coaches and most importantly, mentors to the bartenders.


Photo by 52 Chefs

As you are reading this, the Rum Shakers are training hardcore and having the best time as they become a family in and outside of the dance studio. Stay tuned as these bartenders are in the midst of an epic life journey in dance and taking the wise words of Juan Coronado,BACARDÍ Rum North American Ambassador: as this Tales of the Cocktail Foundation competition sponsored byBACARDÍ kicks off in the Magic City, Coronado exclaims, “let BACARDÍ guide your rhythm!”

Combining the spirit of BACARDÍ Rums, the sultriness of Miami, the fiercest professionals and the pure joy of dance, we have to ask, is the Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition the most joyful bartender competition ever?

Rum Shaker Dance Competition

Clearly, there is a reason that the whole industry is buzzing about Rum Shaker.  So to get the inside scoop, we spoke to of the driving forces behind the Rum Shaker Dance Competition and here is what they had to say:

Elizabeth Costa de Rusch, Director of Advocacy Bacardi USA

We spoke to Elizabeth Costa de Rusch, Director of Advocacy Bacardi USA about BACARDÍ’s sponsorship of the Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition. She explains, “Connecting with bartenders through authentic experiences that truly resonate with them, on both a professional and personal level, has always been a top priority at Bacardi and our approach to advocacy overall.”

“We believe that giving back to the spirits industry is imperative and helping elevate those who are in that community is crucial,” Costa continues. “We, therefore, look to sponsor bartender programs that genuinely contribute to their well-being, while also allowing our brands to come to life. From work-life balance and healthy living to celebrating diversity and heritage, we are able to touch more than just what they prefer to pour behind the bar.

“Programs like BBO’s Bartender Boxing presented by Tequila Cazadores, the Spirit Forward Women’s Empowerment Series, and the upcoming Tales of the Cocktail Foundation’s Great Bar Race presented by Grey Goose are a testament to our unwavering commitment to this community,” says Costa. “And now with our newest sponsorship, the Tales of the Cocktail Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition Presented by BACARDÍ, we are able to motivate those involved both on the dance floor and at their jobs, while also bringing BACARDÍ into the mix and having some fun as well. The perfect recipe for a successful Advocacy program should give back as much as it can to the industry, and that’s what we plan to do across the board at Bacardi.”


Photo by Luis Perez 

Caroline Rosen, Executive Director of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

“Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is pleased to present the Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition as a new way for bartenders to stay active in a fun and engaging way–dancing!” reveals Rosen. “The program is complementary to our Beyond The Bar initiative, which champions promote health and wellness in the hospitality community. We want to inspire the contestants to be more active, not just for the ten-week training period, but we also hope the program will help them instill healthy habits they can sustain for the long haul.”

Stay tuned for updates on the Rum Shaker journey. For more information on the Rum Shaker Bartender Dance Competition, visit 

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