You have danced and choreographed for many legends in the music industry, including Prince, Cyndi Lauper,
Jennifer Lopez, Tito Puente and Marc Anthony. One of your standouts was your
solo performance of “La Isla Bonita” during Madonna’s Drowned World Tour. What was one learning experience she gave you, either artistically or personally? What did she learn from you?
Personally she shared with me a part of her career in simply having me in a soloist moment and to a song that meant alot to me as a young choreographer. The process of creating that section and being able to choreograph my own movement with her giving me free range to explore was in it alone a blessing and lesson of owning what’s yours is yours, and you better own it! I can’t really say what she learned from me; we should ask her one day, but she knew I was an artist on my own journey, and she acknowledged that and always gave me love.
You always bring a great flair and musicianship to all your performances, including Queens Pride. What can we
expect this year? Thanks! This year it will be a celebration of new material. I will have dancers and live congas. It will be energetic and entertaining. I can’t say too much, but it’s going to rock! And also being asked to be the stage manager for Queens Pride this year allows me to reach out to other talented performers I know that will just make the event even more at home and special. This year also what’s different is I have dedicated the time slot from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. to LGBT youth performers and allies to showcase upcoming young talent of New York and members of The Door.
Tell me about your work with The Door. When did you first become aware of their center? What led to your direct involvement with them?
Oh, The Door, how I love what we do! The Door has been in existence now for 40 years. I am the performing arts coordinator and help in the development, vision and curriculum of all of the areas in the performing arts as well
as teaching dance and vocals classes. Funny, the first time I heard of The Door I was a young person myself, and a
friend told me about a youth facility he went to but never officially invited to see it. At the time I was developing dance programming for The Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx and The Police Athletic League, so I was always in youth development, even as a young person. So fast forward to four years ago, my friend brings up The Door again years later and finally gives me a tour, and the minute I walked in I WAS IN LOVE with their mission and energy in the space. The Door is an amazing youth facility that lends support in the development of young people’s lives from the ages of 12-21. The services we provide as an agency to NYC youth range from an onsite health clinic, legal services, career development and job placement, educational support from tutoring to advisory for high school/ college and GED testing, RHY services as we are also a dropin center for crisis, recreational activities, LGBT services and of course my department full arts-related programming. It’s a magical place. Not to sound corny, but it really is!
You released a single “Boricua Lover” a few years back. Tell me about your upcoming music project. I recently released “Gotta Love” and then the remix EP “Gotta Love – The Love Today Mixes.” This song is a special one because it defines where I am presently and who I am everyday. I enjoy the exercise, yes, the exercise of remaining present. Being completely in the now, and the producer and co-writer of the track, Paul Wonder, who also did “Boricua Lover” with me
presented the idea and we ran with it organically. My goal is to continue the push of this song while I finish up an EP bundle to be released in June and to follow it with the album in September. It’s going to be an amazing summer. I will have a monthly residency in East Harlem at Sweet Jane’s the last Thursday of every month starting May 30 ‘til August. Plus other residencies and performances all leading to the album release and a production of a show that will become public very soon. All info will be on my social media pages and my website. I am looking forward to sharing this project. It’s been years in the making.
Photo by : Andres Pagan