Rum Shakers Los Angeles Transformed 18 Bartenders into Superstar Dancers

The Rum Shakers bartender dance program has captured the hearts of the industry with its vibrant energy and positive message encouraging all to “do what moves you” through the expression of dance. Sponsored by BACARDÍ and presented by Tales of the Cocktail, Rum Shaker was inspired by the brand’s “Do What Moves You’ campaign as well as the shared goal of encouraging bartenders to find healthy balance in their lives through dance and teamwork.  After a successful kick-off in Miami, the program moved to the West Coast to experience how the Los Angeles bartender community shakes it by enlisting eighteen new bartenders into the Rum Shakers family.

Rum Shakers Los Angeles

Both live and video auditions were held to select the Rum Shakers Los Angeles crew whom all came from all various backgrounds and experience levels in dance, but they all had the common thread of passion and positivity. After three months of training up to three times per week on both group and couples dance routines, the bartender dancers competed in a spectacular finale in front of nearly 500 friends, family and fans. Guests were on their feet dancing and cheering throughout the event while they enjoyed ten show-stopping routines by the Rum Shakers.

Judges voted DanyLiz and Dylan the ultimate winners but the Rum Shakers Los Angeles journey did not end after the show, the crew will all head down to Tales on Tour in Puerto Rico to tour Casa BACARDÍ along with the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation.  The bonds that the entire Rum Shakers Los Angeles group created will undoubtedly transcend this program as they have shared in a truly transformative experience. We will undoubtedly find them rum shaking both behind the bar and on dancefloors from now on encouraging everyone to “do what moves you.”

The Team Behind Rum Shakers Los Angeles

Elizabeth Costa de Rusch, Director of Advocacy at Bacardi U.S.A.

We think it’s a great way to bring the spirit of our brand to life in ways that are both fun and add value to bartenders lives.  It’s important that we support the bartending community with programs that promote all aspects of health and wellness. Rum Shakers is incredibly fostering inclusivity across cultures and bartender skill level. It’s inspiring to see industry friends make life transformations through dance and see the remarkably tight friendships being developed.

We have been thrilled with the strong momentum and positive feedback from the very beginning and we are starting to hear about other cities wanting to participate. I love to see the gratitude from the bartender dancers and to witness how this program is bringing health, joy and friendships into their lives. The relationships being developed among the groups are so positive, inclusive, supportive and now we are seeing Rum Shakers from different cities start to support each other. Personally, I would love to see Rum Shakers expand globally and also to more consumer or influencer audiences – to spread the joy of dance and inspire a healthy and fun lifestyle through dance across the globe.

Caroline Rosen, President of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation

Our Beyond the Bar programming is dedicated to taking care of the whole bartender including their physical health. Rum Shakers motivates the contestants to be more active, not just for the competition period, but also gives them tools to be more active in the future. We are thrilled to be able to support Rum Shakers as they instill sustainable, healthy habits.

Rum Shakers Los Angeles Champions – DanyLiz Rijos & Dylan Synder

DanyLiz Rijos

Rum Shakers has gave me the opportunity to incorporate so many of my passions; dance, music, fitness, creativity and family. And I got to experience all those things together with my L.A. Bartender Community.  Some of the most unforgettable memories of my life were created during dance rehearsals, in the classroom and on stage with these people who all remain very important to me.  I’m extremely proud of every single member of my Rum Shakers family and am so thankful we had this experience because we are bartenders. We are all still very close and have become a great support system,  I am personally staying very active after Rum Shakers and you can catch me still dancing pretty much anywhere.

I’m forever grateful to BACARDÍ and Tales of the Cocktail for this journey and program. Now, I can’t wait to meet my Miami and New York Rum Shakers family and keep promoting overall health, wellness and fellowship within the bartender world that can often be both  physically and mentally challenging.

Dylan Snyder

When I first auditioned for Rum Shakers, I truly had no idea what I was getting myself involved into.  All I knew was that I liked to dance and I wanted to get back into better shape, since I hadn’t properly taken care of my body physically since high school. hadn’t gotten in shape since honestly high school. Funny enough, I was so convinced after auditions that I was not going to be in that I told everyone I didn’t. Then, I was so excited to be part of it and after only first week, I already fell in love with my fellow Rum Shakers.  Sharing the uncomfortable space of learning choreography was both elevated and bonded together to develop a trust and closeness.

Even though Rum Shakers is ultimately a competition, the only person I felt like I was competing against was myself. There is a saying about, “the more you put in, the more you get back,” and that statement is emphatically true about the Rum Shakers program. I danced everyday, even if it was while I  working behind the bar with guests laughing at me. It truly motivated me; I took extra dance classes, joined a gym, rehearsed in the park and committed to the work. I hope that my win with Dany can inspire others like me with no dance experience at all or fears of performing for an audience to take a chance and go for it. I’m proud to share that I’m still doing it!   I’m still keeping up with it. I dance twice a week and my gym membership is being used almost every day.  Rum Shakers will truly change your life and it helped me become the happiest, strongest version of myself.  I wouldn’t trade my Rum Shakers time for anything and I’m watching New York like they’re already my best friends.

Following along with @thirsty for updates on all things Rum Shakers as we stay tuned for Rum Shakers New York in 2020

All official photography for Rum Shakers Los Angeles by Eugene Lee / @eugeneshoots

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