The real story of Juan Carlos the Montrose skate dancer
You’ve seen him dance, you’ve seen him skate, you’ve probably even seen him on national television, but do you know Juan Carlos Restrepo’s history? Houston Chronicle reporter Claudia Feldman uncovered the Montrose skate dancer’s past, and some of it may surprise you.
The 49-year-old fixture at Montrose Boulevard and Allen Parkway was born in Medellin, Colombia to an alcoholic father and a mother who passed away just after he turned seven. Soon after, Restrepo received his first set of skates and never forgot how much he loved them. His aunt took him in soon after, who “unofficially adopted” the then eight-year-old boy.
Eventually, Restrepo visited the United States and decided to move to the country. He landed in Houston in the late 80s and worked as a hairdresser and visual artist. In an attempt to lose weight around 10 years later, Restrepo remembered his love of skating and the legend of Juan Carlos began.
As for his appearances on America’s Got Talent, Restrepo tells the Chronicle, “It has been like a firecracker in my life.”
His second appearance on the show is scheduled for sometime later this month.