Sunday, May 13, 2012

Okay - so seriously I think I am the world's worst blogger - considering that it has been almost a year since I last wrote - and so much has happened it feels a little overwhelming to know where to start! I am really committed to doing a better job of keeping this blog going - as a company we are growing so fast - and are connecting with so many peoples all over the country - developing a new genre of movement/ dance/ performance - as an artist (and a new mother) I am discovering how to have it all - and what it means to be in this field, to continue to grow in my artistry, while also raising a family and finding time to sleep... it seems pretty important to make sure I am:

1. keeping a log of the breakthroughs and progress, the struggles and challenges and of the every day minutia that make it all real and worth it

2. keeping in touch will all of our supporters and collaborators; sharing insights, questions, ruminations of this incredible journey (and so that my children may one day have these posts as a memory of their mama...)

3. keeping myself present to how far we have come... reading back on some of my old posts  - I am astounded...

Honestly my journal writing, since my son was born, has been almost non-existent, so I plan to use this as a kind of public journaling... sharing with you all out there this wild ride I am on called life... with the hopes that it somehow makes a difference... or at least is entertaining and fun at times... but no promises :) - Much love and good night - Happy Mother's day to all!

Monday, July 11, 2011

VOTE NOW!! Transform the world through access to dance for Los Angeles youth


Also you can VOTE TWICE if you text Pepsi at 73774 and enter our code: 107237

Friday, June 24, 2011


Today is the last day of our FULL.STILL.HUNGRY creation week! We took a few days in a row to work through the structure of the piece and continue to develop the choreography for our debut in September (the 23rd - go ahead and get your tix!!!) It’s amazing to see how my original idea and this beautiful seed has germinated. It is starting to look like an actual comprehensive body of work! Today we will do an actual run through of all the different parts!! EEK! I am excited! Two more months until September! This is insane (but the good kind). It’s great to see a project that has taken years (swirling in my brain) finally come to fruition. It’s been an incredible learning process - a lot of vulnerability - a lot of self doubt and having to remind myself to have faith in my (and the) creative process... I have learned so much - it has been challenging but also DELICIOUS! As most of you who know me know, I love learning, and I am always searching for ways to expand - gracias Mom and Dad for always encouraging this; which is why I’m perfectly content if I don’t watch an hour of television (except when ABDC is on, but that’s dance, so for me, it’s educational/research - ok and the occasional reality show - which is more like watching a train wreck and has to do with my fascination with human beings :). As much as I love learning there’s nothing like teaching. I just taught a master class at Harvard Westlake with a great

group of young women. There was great synergy in the room. (Speaking of synergy - did you hear we are now officially sponsored by Synergy - the company that makes Kombucha!! Work it Michael Butler with your fierce marketing skills! I always try to create powerful and positive energy in every class I teach (I'm also starting my UCLA class this week - fostering a new wave of empowered Salseras!), because it inspires me and it makes me a better artist.

Speaking of teaching - I’m so honored and humbled that Dance Teacher magazine (HUGE DEAL since

it’s a national one) approached me for an interview! It should be coming out next month or in August at the latest - I’m living proof that you can be a recognized artist and an equally respected arts educator. Don’t buy into the all-those-who-can’t-make-it-teach - Please! If I didn’t teach my artistic work would be empty and if I didn't create work and dance - my teaching would be lifeless... they both make each other stronger... Oh by the way CONTRA-TIEMPO is doing a showing of (in progress) FULL.STILL.HUNGRY at 7pm on July 1st - it is more of an intimate, by invite only but I know if you are reading this blog you are most likely a close fan/friend and we would love to have you there! So shoot me an email if you want the details. We’re going to share what the work is so far and ask for input - as COMMUNICATING to the audience is a huge priority - so we have been doing these showings along the way to insure clear an affective communication!

Show, tell and love what you’re creating. Remember we are the create our reality so make up one that you would love to live!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I am BACK for REAL this time!!

I told you I was really back! Yes, this is an actual New Year’s resolution I want to keep, just took me some time to get to. These past four months have been a roller coaster.

For those of you who do not know, my husband and I adopted a

beautiful baby boy at the end of December. I’m in sheer mommy bliss and I love him immensely. He makes me want to blog, reflect on my life, appreciate the smallest details and be a better person. Yes, you actually have Sid to thank for these blogs! I’m actually sleeping more with him in my life too, which still isn't much pero bueno.... He just makes me so happy and I feel so positive when I’m around him. And if you believe in the power of positivity, you’ll know that it only attracts more.

With all of this baby talk, I can’t forget my 6 year old, CONTRA-TIEMPO. I would say ‘she’ is in her crawling stage. Haha, she is a little old for crawling, but you guys know what I mean; 6 in non-profit years. CONTRA-TIEMPO is about to TAKE

OFF; ya’ll have no idea what we have in store for 2012! We are growing, growing, growing EXPONENTIALLY. Before I became a mom, there were some people who thought CONTRA-TIEMPO would fall through cracks while I was away. Naturally, I was nervous (especially pre-Gala), but I had faith. Can I just say that I love our company members and teaching artists! Extra special shout outs to Michael, Ashlee and Marina! You guys have really stepped it up. Mike took over CONTRA-TIEMPO’s marketing and secured Gala sponsorships and now is our full fledged Marketing Coordinator, Ashlee, after our first successful summer, is now co-directing CONTRA-TIEMPO’s Summer Arts Academy, while Marina coordinating our very first CONTRA-TIEMPO Futuro and has been my accountability buddy in creating FULL.STILL.HUNGRY! Always good to have someone to help you stay on track! So many ideas and new projects have arisen for CONTRA-TIEMPO’s present and its future. And guess what? I am no longer leading them ALL! It has been incredible to let go and witness so much growth and leadership emerge - I feel the company's mission in my bones and in my heart - and I know I am not the only one!! I’m so blessed to live a life that I truly love. I feel so inspired by all of the incredible people I get to work with and I feel so thankful that this vision - this baby has not been neglected in my shifting priorities but is flourishing!

Speaking of flourishing and amazing journeys... let's talk about FULL.STILL.HUNGRY is. The root of our newest epic piece is about food - FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD! I was first inspired by this subject - while over the past few years I have had a few major health challenges that had me seeing a nutritionist - and with her I began to cut out wheat, sugar, soy, dairy and all things processed... I also starting eating meat (grassfed/organic meat only) after being a straight vegetarian for 21 years!!! I began to feel like a completely new human being and fascinated by this feeling, began reading everything I could get my hands on about food, nutrition and nourishing one's body... The piece is not about nutrition but about the complexity of our lives and how food can be a metaphor for understanding ourselves as individuals and the collective chaos of life that we all think is 'normal'... Imagine: Breast milk, Moros y C

ristianos/Black beans and Rice, Bobby Matos on the congas, Energy Drinks, Carmen Miranda, Vox Femina's powerful voice, Azucar! all together on this journey.... Yes, the web is weaving this way and that, and so are the branches, (there are now MANY narratives and many voices, not just mine), but I planted the seed and it has been growing and growing and growing...

Never be afraid to dream, friends! I’m spreading my baby boy's good vibes to all of you! May you attract love, beauty, support and brilliance into

your lives - there is enough to go around!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Artists aren’t going anywhere, I’m not going anywhere and neither is this blog! A long overdue HAPPY NEW YEAR to every one out in the blogosphere! There’s been a whirlwind of changes this year, I’m still trying to find my footing; you should see my inbox, ayayayay. Yet, I wouldn’t change any of it. I feel SO BLESSED in all aspects of my life!


Change equals growth! And so do collaborations. This past March, CONTRA-TIEMPO collaborated with Vox Femina on Nuestras Voces, or Our Voices, at Zipper Concert Hall. What an incredibly surreal experience!  40 BEAUTIFUL, TALENTED and POWERFUL women sang their hearts and souls out. I couldn’t even fathom the magnitude of the evening. CONTRA-TIEMPO had been rehearsing to a recording. I can honestly say that I was BLOWN AWAY when we performed it live! A part of me wanted to join the audience at moments, so that I could soak everything in. Soak in the beauty of 40 womens’ uplifting voices. Soak in how the CONTRA-TIEMPO dancers se entregaron/ how they lent their spirits, hearts and bodies to the music; the movements were fluid, clean and graceful. Soak in the audience’s engagement, enthusiasm and energy.  This is harmony, amigos!


There was something infectiously contagious about the evening. It’s so difficult to describe the sheer beauty. This has been a moment that has moved me artistically that I don’t experience everyday. A month later, the SYNERGY still makes me smile. This is what art is supposed to do; it’s what I live for! We hope to capture this synergy again when Cesar G. and I perform an abstract tango with Vox Femina this Saturday at Intercultural Conversations in Culver City; this is a free event mi gente, and it’d be great to see you all there!


One piece of copy about the Nuestras Voces event makes me giggle – “Who would have thunk to pair choral music with Latin dance?” (just ignore the sensual/spicy bits of the copy – that’s for another blog). Well, really, who would have?! Apart from being amazing people and supporters of CONTRA-TIEMPO, Vox Femina’s mission is completely aligned with CONTRA-TIEMPO’s. They give women VOICE through song, and we transform the world through dance by bringing to life VOICES that are not traditionally heard on the concert stage. VOILA! While our communities and audiences intersect, our mutual dedication to making our world an even better place than we found it through our art bonds us.


This (hopefully) long and fruitful partnership has paid off too! Apart from making me smile and grow as a person, this collaboration brought to fruition a new piece for the FULL.STILL.HUNGRY debut.  Vox Femina’s  Kasardescribes how the earth is tired. And in a piece that’s roots are in nourishment, food and consumption, Kasar is perfect! Be sure to check out Vox Femina at our Ford Amphitheatre FULL.STILL.HUNGRY debut on September 23, 2011!


Like I said, FULL.STILL.HUNGRY’s roots are set in the earth, but, boy, how the show’s been restructured. There are so many branches that our going this way and that, it’s so exciting! My hermanito, Cesar Alvarez, CONTRA-TIEMPO’s composer, just came into town last weekend, and he got to see the actual space. Let’s just say FULL.STILL.HUNGRGY won’t look or sound like what it did a month ago.


FULL.STILL.HUNGRY, CONTRA-TIEMPO and I are all growing and evolving as I write this (yes I don't have to be doing everything all the time :)! Where the tangled web we weave or branches form, nobody knows, well maybe we d, and it is going to be spectacular!!! I can't wait!

Friday, December 10, 2010


We have been touring up a storm this past month and a half - right after finishing an incredible tour to St. Paul, MN where we performed and did a week long residency at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. We worked with middle school students, teen mothers at the AGAPE School, I lectured on Salsa and Gender for a community college class (Intercultural Communication), Arco Iris (Afro-Puerto Rican Community Center where they teach, dance and play Bomba), several master classes at Ordway and at the Performing Arts HS next door! It was a whirlwind of a week! Not to mention, we danced with the Grammy Award winning band TIEMPO LIBRE. Once we got back from this amazing experience, we stayed in LA for a week and headed back out to NYC. There we
performed for the Celia Cruz Bronx HS of Music! This is our company's first partner school in NYC! We hope to find a few more next year - and thanks to a three year grant (2010-2011 is the first year) we will be in the Bronx for the next two years! So excited to have an excuse to come back to New York. The students of Celia Cruz WORKED it and really inspired and moved us with their talent, skill, energy and SABOR! Now I am in Dallas, TX (the rest of the co. is still in LA) representing CONTRA-TIEMPO at the 25th Anniversary conference for the the NPN (National Performance Network). Already it has been an inspiring few days - to share the space with such and incredible group of artists, activists and cultural workers! I feel excited about taking on more leadership. I am committed to stepping outside of just making sure CONTRA-TIEMPO is thriving - but fighting and standing for the ARTS to THRIVE in this country. I know it can look bleak out there -but we have to believe that the arts will prevail and continue to fight for our society to get a clue... and realize that the world won't make sense without artists! And we AREN'T going anywhere!