THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ATTENDED AND ALL OF OUR EVENT SPONSORS:
If you would like to donate click below.
THE MISSION OF BORINQUEN DANCE THEATRE:
To offer a diverse range of youth, many from economically challenged families, the opportunity to develop and practice discipline through the mental and physical training afforded by a rigorous holistic dance program.
To cultivate leadership skills and teamwork through training, structure, cultural education and positive role models.
To foster excellence through high expectations while balancing the demands of academic success with the methods of a disciplined rehearsal, training and performance program.
Edward and Verna Gerbic Family Foundation
ESL Charitable Foundation
Fred and Floy Willmott Foundation
Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation
Ken and Mollie Traub Fund
New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)
RACF Joan and Harold Feinbloom Supporting Foundation
RACF John F. Wegman Fund
Rochester Area Community Foundation
William & Sheila Konar Foundation
Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley
Wyman Potter Foundation
Edward and Verna Gerbic Family Foundation
DANCE FUSION & BEYOND: FORTY YEARS OF BORINQUEN DANCE THEATRE STEERING COMMITTEE:
Liliana Ruiz, co-chair; Nita Brown, co-chair; Hector Arguinzoni, Yolanda Benitez, Chris Coffey, Lana K. Ivy, Deanna Guevara-Kaszuba, Annette Jiménez, Diana Kleps, Debora McDell-Hernandez, Wanda Pedraza-Santos, John Quartrociocchi, John Rodríguez, Juana Santos
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Nydia Padilla Rodriguez – Founder & Artistic Director, Borinquen Dance Theatre, Inc.
Lana K. Ivy – Board Chair, Partner / Attorney, Harris Beach PLLC Attorneys at Law
Yolanda Benitez – Vice Chair, Director of Priority Projects & Workforce Initiatives, Wegmans Food Markets
Terri Trotta – Treasurer, Financial Advisor, Lincoln Investment
Nita Brown – Owner, MansaWear
Liliana Ruiz – City of Rochester
Jennifer Bean – Honorary Advisor, Senior Manager, FreedMaxick CPA
Tabatha Santiago-Honorary Advisor, Executive Assistant & Board Liaison, Conifer Property Management
David Cobrin, accounting
Erica Beversluis Saran, project manager
Editor: Annette Jiménez
Designer: Deanna Guevara-Kaszuba
Gloria Daza Onderdonk
Jade Peréz López
Advantage Federal Credit Union
Canandaigua National Bank & Trust
Ethan Beckwith Cohen
John and Johanna Brennan
Jose and Karen Coronas
Eric & Michelle Daniels
Elisabeth de Blieck
Mary Jo & Conger Gabel
Carlos A. Garcia
Annette Jiménez & Harry Gleason
David M. Grant
Gloria J. Hoffer
Mr. & Mrs. B.G. Staffan Lundback
Johnnathan L. Martínez
Kathy and Ted Nixon
Luis A. Perez
Rachel Perez Rumpf
Laura J. Sadowski
Jose L. Santana
Malcolm & Elaine Spaull
Diana and Danny Vega
Rosemary Villarrubia Izzo
Margo J Watts
Irene and Alan Weinberg
Denise & Patricia Williams
Spice of Life Productions, LLC
Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester
Victor Antonetti Jr.
Jorge Jr. Arguinzoni
Lana K. Ivy
BORINQUEN DANCE THEATRE’S ARTISTS/INSTRUCTORS:
Nydia Padilla-Rodríguez M.Ed.
Borinquen Dance Theatre, artistic director, master level instructor and founder, former Rochester City School District, director of strategic partnerships
Nydia is an original member of Garth Fagan Dance, “Bottom of the Bucket But” with which she performed throughout the United States and the Caribbean. She founded Borinquen Dance Theatre in 1981 to foster the physical and emotional well-being of Latino and other youth in Rochester. A longtime educator and currently a retired administrator with the Rochester City School District, Nydia is a nationally recognized expert in the use of the arts as a positive youth development strategy as well as in the tradition of dance in Latino culture.
Borinquen Dance Theatre, guest instructor
A native of Sincelejo, Colombia, Shirley studied dance and theatre at the University of Antonio Nariño de Bogotá and went on to serve as the director for the Municipal Dance School of Sincelejo co-director of professional Folkloric Ballet for the Municipality of Sincelejo, earning several awards. She has served as artistic director for Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester. Her chorography and dance skills include Latin American, Contemporary, Salsa, Samba, Jazz, and Flamenco.
Solange Rodrigues, instructor
A 2020 graduate of SUNY Purchase with a degree in dance, is a dancer with Frazee Feet Dance, BioDance and a guest artist for the Pocketfuel Groovers.
Borinquen Dance Theatre, guest instructor
A member of Garth Fagan Dance, Gabrielle is from San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago. She trained with Eugene Joseph Trinidad Dance Theatre, The Alpha Theatrical Dance Company, The Shift Contemporary Dance Company and Caribbean School of Dancing. Gabrielle earned a bachelor’s degree in dance from Washington University in St Louis, with minors in African and African American Studies, and Archaeology. She has trained in Modern, Ballet, Contemporary, Afro-Contemporary, Liturgical, Horton, Dunham, Traditional Ghanaian and Afrobeats and Talawa Technique. She has worked with choreographers Norwood “PJ” Pennewell, Raja Feather Kelly, Ronald K Brown, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Jillene Forde and Joaquín Collado, among others.
Neyda Colón-DiMaria, Teaching Artist, Founder of Nomad Dance Theatre and The Barrio Network, University of Buffalo Communications Undergrad, hopes to continue bringing arts and culture to the community.
Karis Perry, a physical therapist assistant at the Pearl Nursing Center, hopes to operate a dance company focused on Theological and Liturgical Dance.
Ieance Gamble, a cosmetology graduate of Rochester Employment Opportunity Center, plans to work as a hairstylist and would like to teach others dance.
Zanyla Asante Penn, a School of the Arts sophomore, wants to be a child phycologist.
Jhaniya Quick, a sophomore at School of the Arts, is interested in earning a doctorate in the medical field.
MaKayla Santiago, incoming freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology, goal is to provide holistic counseling for domestic abuse victims.
Sachel Torres, a freshman at School of the Arts, would like to study performing arts at college and dance on Broadway.
BDT JUNIOR DANCERS:
Sophia De La Cruz
BORINQUEN DANCE ALSO WANTS TO RECOGNIZE THE ALUMNI WHO HAD BEEN SLATED TO PERFORM AT THE CELEBRATION OF THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY PLANNED FOR 2020:
Sabrina Bui, a Nazareth College junior and School of the Arts graduate.
Kreyzades Garcia, a Greece-Arcadia High School sophomore.
Jayla Lebron, a senior at School of the Arts.
Shawndel Lewis, a community health educator and School of the Arts alumnus.
José Anthony Ortiz, a School of the Arts Dance and Monroe Community College alumnus.
IN MEMORIAM PAGE:
“As we celebrate 40 years of Borinquen Dance Theatre, we dedicate our celebration in memory of dance members, Diana M. Ortiz (Sanchez), Gloria A. Lopez, Ruthie Diaz Emmonds, and Instructor Christopher Morrison. Today and always, we cherish loving memories to forever hold in our hearts and to live with the love they left behind.
SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM NYDIA:
Since its inception in 1981, Borinquen Dance Theatre (BDT) has represented the origins of the island of Puerto Rico; blending Taino-Arawak, Spanish and African influences, as well as Modern Latin styles, in a program using dance as the vehicle to change the lives of Rochester youth for the better.
Borinquen Dance Theatre was founded as a community dance and exercise program by Nydia Padilla-Rodríguez, a longtime administrator with the Rochester City School District.
“This journey began with a small intention and has blossomed into the lives of thousands,” noted founder and artistic director Padilla-Rodriguez. “It is not always possible to imagine what can be accomplished when one begins. I have learned that there are many ways to perform the dance of life, I chose Borinquen Dance because it honored my mentors and ancestors while allowing me to invest in our strengths and the next generation.”
BDT has prepared more than 1,000 students to be productive and successful members of our community. Borinquen students learn essential life skills such as teamwork, goal setting, navigating group dynamics and building positive relationships. They must maintain academic standards and are held to high dance expectations, thus instilling a level of commitment and discipline has proved to be the formula for success. At-risk youth often begin as young as 8 years old and eventually grow into peer instructors. They are engaged in workforce opportunities and career pathways as members of the senior performing group. More than 95 percent of BDT dancers graduate high school and pursue higher education.
“BDT is not a copy of the past, it is a depiction of our lived struggles and triumphs so that we can see a path forward,” said Padilla-Rodríguez. “The support from my husband John, family, funders, volunteers and friends has been a blessing, as we celebrate four decades of Borinquen Dance Theatre. What an exciting journey to share with our community.”
She thanks all the sponsors, donors, attendees, volunteers, staff and planning committee for making the 40th-anniversary gala a reality and hopes all stay healthy and safe. Proceeds from the anniversary event will support Borinquen’s mission: “Building the desire to succeed through the discipline of dance.”