All Jose Figueroa ever wanted to do was dance. This year, he also decided to make a documentary about it.
Photos by Francisco Montes Jose Figueroa (center, striped shirt) dances at Beetle's Continental Club set last week
The 49-year-old native Houstonian, who during the day teaches life skills to special-needs students at Channelview High School, has become a fixture in the smaller corners of the local music scene. He likes places like Sambuca, the Big Easy, Shakespeare Pub and Birraporretti's, rooms that favor jazz, blues and swing, but Beetle at the Continental is a favorite too. Figueroa calls himself a "social dancer," and says he's been doing it for 15 years.
Figueroa's friends would tell him live music was better in Austin or other parts of the state, but he has been regularly dancing to live music in Houston long enough to not give their words much weight; about 15 years, by his reckoning.
"I knew better," says Figueroa, who was there when Herbie Hancock came to play the opening of Sambuca. "I wanted to prove [them] wrong."