New York City’s Most Popular Dominican Dancer and Entertainer
Story & Photo By Ricardo Muñiz
On any given night in the city, there are dozens of dancers and go-go boys parading on bars and countertops, in dark corners or on small but brightly-lit stages working hard for their money. In New York’s LGBTQQIA scene, there’s a late-night party for every flavor and every self-proclaimed identity somewhere in this city tonight. From Castro to Boxers, from The Monster to Metropolitan, from Evolution to XL, the stage is set and the bar is waiting for you to come be who you say you are.
Over the past decade, legions of Latino men have climbed to the top of these bars. They have conquered these lands. They have been crowned the true kings of the late-night club circuit.
This is a story of one man, a Dominican dancer known as Scorpio, who just may be the King of New York at night.
Hi, Scorpio. Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. How are things, man?
Everything is good Really good. Thanks for asking me to do this. I’m honored.
What do you call yourself: a dancer, a stripper, a go-go boy, an entertainer?
I’m an entertainer.
To you, what does an entertainer mean?
You entertain people. Dance. You talk to them. You make them feel good. Some of them come out cuz they sad. You got to make them feel good. Some people come out cuz they happy. You join the party, and make them feel happier. Some people are depressed. Some people, it’s their birthday. But, at the end of the day, it’s the same thing as long as they feel good, and they have a great time, so they could want to come back next time.
That’s a beautiful answer, pa. Now, you are considered the grandfather of Dominican dancers. You’re still young, but you’ve been in the game a long time. How long have you been doing this?
About ten years. Ten years already.
What do you think makes you one of the better Dominican performers in New York?
Mostly, the way I make people feel.
So, tell us about that.
It’s like, between me and the people, most of them love me. It’s because I make them feel like confident about themselves. I make them feel like I am their friend—not like a hustler. Those guys, they look at them like, “Oh, those guys, they gonna hustle me for my money.” Some of them just give me money because they feel good talking to me. I went to school. I went to college. I already did my college work, all of that stuff. I did modeling with City Gym Boys. I did calendars. I used to work with Macy’s and those people because of my image. But, that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have a good heart, you know.
So, what’s your favorite thing about dancing? About being an entertainer?
Just dancing. Just dancing.
What’s your least favorite thing?
That there are people who want to push. The people who are like really pushy. Not most of them. Like, you know, like with the brighter questions. Like, what are you? Why are you doing this? Where do you live? I’m like, “Just have fun.” At the end of the day, I convince them. “Have fun. Just enjoy me. Hug me. Whatever. Be happy.”
You’ve danced in a lot of clubs. What would you say are some of your more favorite parties?
My favorite party was at No Parking, but it’s gone. I miss it. I miss it. But, we brought it here to Castro’s on Wednesdays, so it’s similar, but it’s not the same thing, because it’s not the same place, but it’s pretty good. I also like Splash. I used to love Splash. Splash was my favorite. With you, we did the modeling stuff over there.
Yeah, that’s right. We did.
Yeah, we go way back. We did the modeling stuff with Marc Ecko. All that stuff, you know.
So, let me ask this. With all the clubs now, have you noticed that most of the dancers and go-go boys are Latino, and the majority of the Latino dancers are actually Dominican? Why do you think that is so? Why do you think Dominicans do so well as go-go boys and entertainers?
Because we were born as, like, we have this passion. We have this passion for music, for sports. So music goes with dancing. So every time we hear music, even if we are not drinking, we want to dance. And we like to interact with people. Period. We just like to be friendly. That’s in our blood. You see how good we are with baseball, ‘cause we are born with the baseball inside. We are born with the good music inside. The dancing comes with that. You know.
That’s a beautiful answer
So, if there were young people reading this article, and they were looking up to you as an inspiration, like, “Oye, I want to be like Scorpio. I want to be a good dancer like Scorpio,” what would you tell them?
If you really love it, do it. Don’t do it for the money, or to trick people to give you money, ‘cause it may not work as long as it worked for me. I have people that come see me just to talk to me, and give me whatever: $100, $200. They don’t have to touch me or nothing. They help me out for whatever I need. There’s people that let me live wherever I want. But, you got to love it. You got to show them the real you. Don’t trick them, because at the end of the day, we are all people. Humans don’t like to feel like people are tricking you. “Ah, you just using me for my money.” There are people who don’t give money to nobody, but to me, they just give it to me. And, sometimes, I be like, “No, it’s OK. I’ll go buy YOU a drink.” And, they be like, “Wow. So different. So different. You are so unique. Your heart. We will always love you.” If I see anybody is outside, I’m going to give you a hug outside. The whole world knows what I do. I love my people. I love what I do. This is what I do for a living. This is what I love.
So, maybe you switch and you become a manager of entertainers or an owner of a club?
Both things. I would love to do that. That’s what I did in college. I studied business management and accounting, so that’s why I want to keep it here [pointing to his heart]. That’s what I love. It’s what I love. And, I love my guys, you know.
You are very popular, Scorpio. People have a lot of love for you.
I’m very pleased with the industry. I love it. I fell in love with the industry. I fell in love with the way guys are, ‘cause most of the guys, it’s not about the sexual stuff—it’s about they just want to be them. When they are with me, and stuff like that, the environment, they are them, they are free. They don’t care who’s around.
Now, it’s easier because of all the laws and stuff. Before it was hard, because people want to judge. You don’t judge people. Especially the gay people, they are the best. They’ll help you with anything. Whatever. They’ll do it from their heart. Other people, the straights, they do it because they want something from you. They want something back. But, I found out that if you love gay people and you respect them, they’ll help you out. And that’s why I’m successful. I don’t even dance like that no more. I just talk. I just talk, and I do better than when I dance. They just want to talk to me. “Let me talk to you. Let me have a drink with you.”
Well put, pa. Is there anything else you’d like to say, something you’d like to tell all of the readers out there?
If you see me, come say hello. Let’s talk.
To book Scorpio, visit him on Instagram at scorpiodm11 and facebook.com/cheom2.