About the Book
Sam Sodano - Passionate Journey is a biography by Sharon Savoy of the one and only Sam Sodano. The title of the book was befittingly chosen by Sam, himself. With three years of research and interviews with over 90 people, the book takes the reader on a seven-decade journey that was propelled and defined by his passion for ballroom dance. The well-known story of Sam’s dance epiphany occurring at age eight while watching the ‘Arthur Murray Dance Party’ sets the stage for his life’s path.
During his competitive career, Sam is credited along with two other dance compatriots, with forever changing the look of International Latin. Sam’s influence is still felt in the ripples and body rolls of today’s Latin champions. However, when he hung up his dance shoes, Sam’s contributions became more extensive.
His first venture into competition organizing began with a one-day event that catapulted into the national spotlight with the airing of ‘Championship Ballroom Dancing’ on PBS . The Ohio Star Ball is now one of six competitions that Sam organizes. In each venue, Sam strives to bring new challenges and more opportunities to Dancesport competitors
Sam is also the creator of the Hip Lift Technique. His objective was to save what was unique about American Rhythm, yet develop a technique that would be extremely viable and have a lasting impact for the current competitive times. In late 2007, Sam began training Decho Kraev and Bree Watson. He spent six years refining his method- the Hip Lift Technique. Decho and Bree ultimately became 3X U.S. American Rhythm Champions using the HLT method. “Proof is in the pudding,” says Sam.
Amidst the accolades and numerous awards, Sam remains accessible. He is often quoted as saying, “This is a people business. If you don’t like people, you’re in the wrong business.” From mambo king, to bodacious lecturer, to organizer extraordinaire, Sam’s impact on DanceSport in America is immeasurable. However, Sam’s road was not entirely a ‘Cuban Walk’ in the park, he faced both triumph and tragedy with his trademark sense of humor.
Sam Sodano - Passionate Journey is a personal success story that reveals the determination, dedication and persistence of passion that has made Sam Sodano the ballroom dance celebrity he is today.