SAN ANTONIO – When SAPD Officer Juan Carlos Bruno woke up Monday afternoon after working his last dog-watch shift of the week – also known as graveyard shift, from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. – he had no idea that he had become a worldwide sensation.
In a viral video, Bruno is seen teaching children how to salsa dance after initially responding to a noise complaint at a home on the city’s west side, where the NXG Dance Crew was gathered.
The video was shared on Facebook and it immediately went viral, garnering more than 3 million views. It has been shared across the world, making its way to countries like Turkey, Japan and China.
“I didn’t notice until the afternoon (when) me, my fiancee, and my sister went out to eat, then all of a sudden I went to Facebook, and it was like the video and everything,” Bruno said. “We got all excited, and now it’s like over millions of views and shares.”
With Bruno’s smooth moves going global, it's hard to believe that he didn’t grow up knowing how to salsa. He said he was taught much later in life during his duty assignment with the U.S. Army in Germany.
“I was at a club and a German chick asked me to dance salsa (after) dancing merengue, and I was like a pro,” Bruno said. “And then the salsa (music) came on, but then I went to stand against the wall."
“Then this girl came and said, ‘Hey, you want to dance?’ And then I said, ‘No, I don’t know how to dance salsa,’ and then she said, ‘Where you from?’ And then I said, ‘Puerto Rico,’ and then she said, ‘Shame on you,’” Bruno said.
Bruno, who was born and raised in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, before moving to New York City when he was 12, said his parents taught him how to dance bachata and merengue, but never salsa.
Bruno said he’s blessed to have learned it because it led him to dance with the children, but not to let his moment overshadow other officers who go unseen for their work in the San Antonio community.
“One of the things I want to make clear is I’m not the only officer that does this, and a lot of officers do this all the time,” Bruno said. “I was so happy, I got lucky that somebody actually put it on Facebook and it went viral, but a lot of my co-workers do the same thing.”