Reflection time..2018 was a year of many changes. In the beginning of the year I told myself I could do more, make more and be happier. I didn’t realize that all along I needed to leave a place in order to come back to what would be a different role but what I’ve learned being there in the past is something I appreciate even more because I brought that new knowledge into this job. I also took chances and went to a media/journalism conference in Miami by @hispanicizeevent it was inspiring and put many things into perspective for me and I met some awesome entrepreneurs such as @lejuanjames 🙌🏽 After my conference I came back to some wonderful news that I got the job I’m at now and although I was sad to leave those coworkers who helped me, I was also excited to start a new journey. From covering the international salsa congress and many more…This year I also hit an milestone in my life…my 30th birthday. It’s crazy how much a person can change the way they think…from my 20’s to now I see the world differently and yes sometimes I may still overthink (who doesn’t?) but overall I feel even more humble, conscious and I’m taking more chances in life, scary or not. Life doesn’t wait for you and you shouldn’t either so laugh often, take chances even if it feels scary but also be wise about them. It’s ok to say no and it’s ok to say yes. Learn from your mistakes and move along. To those new friendships I’ve made this year I truly appreciate you all. I’m not going to be “cliché” and say I’m coming into 2019 a new person but I will say is that I’m ready for the new year and whatever else life brings me. Good, bad or neutral that’s just life. 🤷🏻♀️🙃 #happynewyearseve
Hispanicize Miami is one of the largest event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers from journalism, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship. In it’s 9thyear the 4-day event took place April 17thto April 19 at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami. The event entailed keynote speakers, workshops, showcases, celebrity meet and greets, exhibitions, award ceremonies and concerts.
Being that it was my first year attending I did my research ahead of time because I didn’t really know what to expect. I came prepared with casual yet business like attire, my camera and of course business cards. While at the event I was able to connect with a few people and absorb everything I was surrounded by. My favorite part I would have to say would be the keynote speakers and meeting social media phenomenon LeJuan James.
Some pointers I took with me was to not say the word, “just” or “try” all the time and own what it is that I’m doing and being confident in my work. Body language says a lot without having to say a word and when you’re confident it shows.
I would definitely love to come back next year to Hispanicize Miami and this time connect with more people in the media industry.
“What is the Jones Act…”On March 2, 1917, Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act, under which Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans were granted statutory citizenship, meaning that citizenship was granted by an act of Congress and not by the Constitution (thus it was NOT guaranteed by the constitution”
You can also donate at The Puerto Rico House in Chicago, 1237 N. California. Today until 9p.m. Due to over capacity the police station on 2150 N. California will also accept donations
This year marked the 16th annual Chicago International Salsa Congress, (CISC). The four-day event took place on Thursday February 9 to Sunday February 12 at the O’Hare Regecy Hyatt. The Salsa Congress is an event where different dancers from all around the world meet to share the same love and passion of dance. The event was full of non-stop excitement and features dance workshops, performances, competitions, vendors and social dancing to the live band and DJ.
Due to the many workshops available during the day I was able to go to a few even though I wish to have done them ALL! My first workshop was Vogue with Instructor Carlos 007 of Latin Rage Dance Company in Los Angeles. The class taught me how to incorporate voguing with salsa moves. Just like Salsa, Carlos explained the importance of moving your body and telling a story through vouging.
“Using pain to create the creativity and to create masterpieces,” said Carlos 007.
Another workshop that I took was Ladies Styling with Blanca Aviles of Latin Rhythms in Chicago. She taught the class how to style your hands, arms, and legs while dancing Salsa. The fluidity of each body gesture is what makes any dance unique. Another important tip I took away from the class is that each movement should come natural when dancing.
“Take the stuff that feels organic to your body,” said Blanca.
A few other workshops that I did was Partner-work on 2 intermediate/advanced with Tamara Livolsi and Tito Ortos and Salsa Turn Patterns on 2 beginner/intermediate with Ernesto and Maritza. Both classes involved practicing with a partner and most importantly having the patience to get the steps right.
“Keep training and discipline whatever you can grab your hands onto,” said Tamara.
Each workshop was tailored to what the instructor teaches and a great way to learn the many different dance styles. Although, some classes were more challenging than others it still gave people an opportuity to step out their comfort zone and learn.
“Never stop learning and have fun,” said Maritza.
And that is exactly what each performance exuded from the afternoon and evening showcases. From the costumes to their facial expression each dance group and or solo dancers gave their all and showed. This year in particular was extra special and emotional for some of the performers because it was their last debut. Ericka Crespo who dances with Urban Vibe Dance Company in Chicago performed her last mambo routine. The group danced to Celia Cruz’s “Caramelo,” and you felt the love and passion that was put into the choreography.
“This was an emotional and bittersweet performance overall. I’m grateful to have been part of the dance world in general and to have a oppportunity to show others the art of dance,” said Ericka.
Another dance company who closed the 16th annual CISC on Sunday night was Gifted Souls who also came to an end as they debuted their “Last Roar,” a Lion King inspired choreography. Director Rocky Quinones of Gifted Souls moves on to become a new father and at the end of their performance a machine exploded with pink and white confetti to reveal the gender of his baby to be, a girl. There was a total of 56 dancers who performed the “Last Roar” the majority being from Gifted Souls and some from other dance companies who auditioned. Overall, the performance was breathtaking and unforgettable.
At the end of every performance each night the Grand Ballroom was cleared in order to have an open space to dance, hence the term “Social Dancing.” Some of the live bands/artists who closed the night were Jimmy Bosh and the All Star Orchestra featuring Yoko, Herman Olivera and Nelson Gonzalez on Tres, La Japonesa Salsera and all the way from Spain Tromboranga Salsa Orchestra.
This year’s Salsa Congress was another success! And I hope to see you at next year’s CISC, until thenDANCE!
What better way to bring in the 16th annual Chicago International Salsa Congress then by hosting a press party just 9 days before with a few sneak peek performances.
On Tuesday January 30 I had the pleasure to attend the press party held at Chicago’s Block 37 inside of the restaurant Latinicity. The evening consisted of music, performances, socializing, appetizers and drinks.
So what exactly is the Chicago International Salsa Congress (CICS)?
The founders Rosita and Saladeen Alamin of Cultural Expressions Productions and the Chicago Intercultural Alliance created a multicultural community through Afro-Latin music and dance. In 2002, both Rosita and Saladeen formed the first CISC.
The goal was not just about having music or dancing but to empower personal awareness, creativity, passion, leadership and inspire. The CISC gives an opportunity for up and coming artists to perform alongside some of the most elite and well-known artists. The event also showcases dance companies from Chicago, other states/city’s and even different countries.
As stated in the Chicago Salsa Congress website their mission is to:
“unite cultures and generation, engender leadership through empowerment opportunities in its showcase and to keep alive the history of the many cultures collaboration in the creation and evolution of Latin and Afro-Caribbean music and dance.”
On February 9 – 12, 2017 the CISC will take place at the O’Hare Hyatt Regency. The non-stop entertainment event will have dance workshops throughout the day and it will include different levels of dancing from Salsa, Bachata, Jazz, Hip-Hop and more. The night performances begin at 7:00p.m. inside of the main ballroom where the different dance companies and solo performers will showcase their finest choreographies followed by a live band for social dancing until 3:00a.m. Outside of the main ballroom there will be a DJ playing music and vendors.
This is definitely an event you don’t want to miss!
If you haven’t heard yet J.Cole is set to release his new album titled, “4 Your Eyez Only,” on December 9. He also provided a 40 minute documentary titled, “Eyez,” which previewed some of his new music from his album. One song in particular has everyone talking. The music video, “False Prophets,” is giving people the impression that he is referring to Kanye West and his mental break down. In one part of the song he says…
Ego in charge of every move, he’s a startAnd we can’t look away due to the days that hecaught our heartsHe’s falling apart, but we deny itJustifying that half ass shit he dropped, we alwaysbuy it.When he tells us he a genius but it’s clearer latelyIt’s been hard for him to look into the mirror latelyThere was a time when this nigga was my here,maybeThat’s the reason why his fall from grace is hard to take.
The Dreamville leader always produces strong poetic lyrics and it is no wonder why his fans are raving about his new project. I’m a fan myself and after seeing him perform at Lollapalooza this past summer I definitely can’t wait to get my hands on his new album this Friday because it, “BE LIKE THIS.”
Stop what you’re doing and watch this new video entitled Little Lady directed by Jacob Cuevas. The A.S.A Project which stands for “Always Something Awesome,” is a spunky group that gives you both alternative and hip-hop in their music. This new hit is full of energy, love and surely an album you don’t want to miss out on. Make sure to also check out the rest of their upbeat videos on The A.S.A Project (Album) below.
Below you will also find the websites to Heart of the City and Private Stock along with their social media outlets. So if you’re an artist looking for exposure then they are your go to.
“Quien dijo miedo,” meaning “who said fear,” is a quote that Christian Alequin’s grandmother used to tell him and is now his advice to anyone that is trying to pursue their dreams and goals.
Christian Alequin and his friend Carlos Martinez launched La Verdad’s podcast and blog in 2016 where they began documenting and telling stories from the point of view of two Urban Latinos. However, the journey began before that in 2015 when they started creating apparel designs. As time went by their customer base grew as well.
The idea of having apparel was driven by 2 single fathers Christian and Claudio who is no longer working with them. “We also had an idea to help out other single fathers and show them personal development through workshops,” said Alequin.
Soon after Carlos joined the group, their apparel line evolved and they began selling shirts that said “Cultivo” meaning “Cultivation,” onto their website Laverdadltd.com
As Claudio left the group to do his own thing Christian and Carlos revamped La Verdad into a podcast and began selling more apparel onto their site. As their site says, “La Verdad is focused on being true to our roots through originality.”
Their 6 fundamentals are:
La Verdad recently grew from 2 to 4 when Vanessa Figueroa, also known as Vfig, and Natalie Reyes, known as Nati, joined the podcast. The ladies give their perspective from a woman’s point of view.
The group is mobile therefore, they do not have a set location. Carlos lives in Michigan and takes the time to drive out to Chicago to do their podcast recordings and Christian will also drive to Michigan so that the two can take turns traveling. The two have become dedicated to their work and keeping their fan base up to date with new shows. At one point during the summer the team went on a hiatus due to their lives and careers outside of the podcast. During that time their fan base would ask where is their show and what has happened. The amount of people who showed their interest in the podcast has given the group inspiration to continue on with their podcast/blog.
Although the group has relied on viral marketing which has been working well for them, they have also thought about doing a street team and passing out flyers about La Verdad. Another idea that they had was to have a family podcast.
La Verdad has had a few special guests from Abel Muhammad a Student Minister who is devoted to helping out communities of color. Also, Adriana Almanza who you might remember, posted an “open letter” to Facebook as a response to what Donald Trump said about undocumented immigrants. These are just some of the podcast’s special guest to name a few. The group continues to reach out to individuals as a way to not only help their podcast grow but to also give their audience something new each time.
“Align yourself with positive people and go for it but have a plan,” said Carlos.
By: Lucia A. Crespo
You can listen to new shows on LaVerdadltd.com and make sure to subscribe to their website.
As well as follow them on the social media outlets listed below.
Facebook – La Verdad Ltd
From left to right: Carlos, Me (Lulu), Vanessa, Natalie, Christian.