El Museo Del Barrio Hosts the parade of Los Tres Reyes

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When everyone in European cultures were getting together for the day of the Theofania, St. John the baptist day on January 6th 2015. The Hispanic community got together in a beautiful celebration for the Three Kings. Every year at El Museo Del Barrio there is an annual parade that honors the tradition of the three wise men. The three wise men are known as the bible as the three kings that traveled to Bethlehem on the day our lord and savior Jesus Christ was born and brought him the three gifts of god, frankincense, myrrh for the new bork King the son of god. The parade was also a celebration for the life of the founder of the Three Kings Parade and former director of El Museo Del Barrio Jack Agüeros who passed away this past May.

El Museo del Barrio was bursting with people from adults, to children and volunteers of many different ages getting everything prepared for the snowy celebrations that were going to take place. The snow did not stop throughout that day but the curators of the parade were even more determined to have the parade taking place for the children, so they may keep their roots and learn more about their cultural heritage. What was special about this years parade, the featured highlight of the festivities was the premiere of the animated version of the loved story Book of Life that teaches everyone the value of life and death. With La Muerte as the main character on the parade convertable greeting everyone as they watch the parade. With the opening of the parade and the release of book of life there was press coverage from Univision 96×3 as well as Total Accesivo.

DSC_0344Before the festivities began there was a breakfast and a small honoree ceremony for those that were involved in the parade such as King Emeretus who was played by one of the founders of the Nuyorican movement himself Jesus Papoleto Melendez. Melendez is known as one of the founders of the Nuyorican movement through his poetry, and his playwright. Melendez is also an activist of the Nuyorican movement; his intellectual topics and debates and his activism remains today as one of the most noted in history. Others that were honored were were Tom Finkelpearl (Commissioner, NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs ) , Deborah Quinones (El barrio community leader and founder) , and Juan Gonzalez (NY Daily News Columnist) for whom played the three kings. The breakfast was also a solemn time because there was honors for those that we have recently lost this year such as designer Oscar De La Renta, and more recently former Governor Mario Cuomo.

photo from @thinkjam and @urbanjibaro

photo from @thinkjam and @urbanjibaro

The parade festivities were led by La Muerte, the Queen of souls in the beloved tale Book of Life which was turned into a children’s tale, so that children can have a better understanding of the true meaning of life and death. La Muerte was played by Angelica Alicia Adams, daughter of Capicu King George ‘Urban Jibaro’ Torres. (makeup done by Mia Roman, artsbymia.com). “To say the least, playing La Muerte in the Three Kings Day parade was one of the most fun things I’ve gotten to do. She is such a strong and beautiful character, it would be hard not to naturally embody her fierceness- especially in such a fun parade painted with Boricua spirit.” said Adams. The Parade festivities ranged from 106 Street and Lexington Avenue to 115 and Park Avenue.

It was an honor to be there as a photographer but to be there to witness the lives of different people of different cultures watch them celebrate and rejoice in the happiest of moments and to celebrate those who have passed in a way as if their spirit was still alive is very touching to the soul. I recommend those who have not been in touch with their cultural heritage or just wants to learn more about other cultures to please go search for it and you never know what you can find. But also if you want to learn more about the Nuyorican movement and puertorican culture go visit El Museo Del Barrio.  http://www.elmuseo.org

 

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Power Couple works hard and dances their stresses away with Team Best Body

DSC_0596While most couples in their 20’s are going out to clubs, bars, even the occasional fraternity or sorority house for their weekly night out. This couple Dana Nguyen and Steven Perez, 26 spend their free time building an empire. The couple as I call them are the Mr. and Mrs. Smith of my generation they work their jobs during the day while at night they run a company called Team Best Body Fitness. Team Best Body Fitness is a modern day Zumba class that focuses on the wellness of the people that come to their Zumba classes from Monday – Saturday. Their Mission To engage the community in a positive, energetic, and fun fitness experience, starting with Zumba, Dance Cardio, & Total Body Fitness Work outs. (www.teambestbodyfitness.com)

Dana Nguyen who is the main founder and CEO of the company, started Team Best Body Fitness through her love of dance and working out. It started with her going to Zumba classes and falling in love with it; to later working her way up to getting her license as a Zumba instructor to later coming into the empowering realization to run her own business and to not work with a gym. According to Nguyen Team Best Body classes were once a week on Wednesdays for an entire year; when she noticed the increase in popularity of the classes she decided after a year to extend the classes Monday through Saturday.

Steven Perez who is the co-founder of Team Best Body Fitness runs a separate company which encompasses and assists Team Best Body Fitness called Wun Life #WunFitArmy where he works with his products from his marketing company Wake Up now and help create eight week programs for the Team Best Body customers to help them loose weight and help reach their fitness goals. Steven is now working to complete his licensing to become a personal trainer.

I became acquainted with the couple through Steven during my nightlife promotions working under Cesar Cabrera entertainment. After getting to know Steven I got to meet the beautiful Dana Nguyen and later on we collaborated on another project for the Artists for Creative Theatre. From that moment on it led to more collaborations for the Team Best Body Fitness Brand and my company Katie Kay Photography. After constantly hearing about Team Best Body Fitness I decided for myself to check these classes out after all the popularity it gained.

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The class I went to on Monday was primarily Zumba taught by Nguyen with an extra bonus of a core training done by Perez.  First thing I noticed was the positive energy that the two people brought to the table. As you can tell Mondays are extremely dreading its the first day everyone is back at their jobs and they dread to go work out right after but because of the energy and the kindness that these two people brought to them everyone was so excited and full of life. Second thing I noticed was there was people of different types of people from short to tall, young, old, child, man, lady you name it. Everyone was treated equal and they were all friends and they treated those that were new like they were one of them.

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As for the classes I can say they were intense but at the same time fun, as a former dancer I tried my best to keep up with Nguyen she went from salsa styles to a little hip hop to the usual and oh so lovable Danza Kaduro from Don Omar. Then the last twenty minutes of the class was taught by both Dana and Steven on core body training where there were wall sits, relay races, cardio i.e jumping jacks and other types of exercises that work your core.  I have been to many exercise classes in the process of loosing weight but I never been to any classes where the instructors gave you so much energy just by being in their presence. They not only did that but they made you feel like you were someone even if you had not been to their class before. They made you feel like you were one of their family and they never let you give up unlike some gym classes. They don’t worry about the dollar that they make from the classes they worry more to see if you are okay and if they can help make you to the best person you can be.

Dana and Steven are also on an 8 week media campaign to show people the benefits of eating healthy, by going on an eight week diet and posting their results and document everything they are eating that way they can help encourage the people coming to Team Best Body by showing them that they can do it and showing them the right things to eat. You can follow them on instagram @dana_steven or their Facebook http://www.facebook.com/teambestbody88

This is definitely something I recommend to my readers, and whoever else that is interested in weight loss and looking to make positive changes for their life.  The best part is if you don’t believe me you can sign up for a free class on http://www.teambestbodyfitness.com and you can see for yourself. I will be going on Monday’s Wednesday’s and Saturdays and you can see for yourself everything I just said today.

DSC_0259 “Dance like no ones watching, meaning when we party and dance we put our all into it and just have fun with our workout. For us its to live strong and happy thats our favorite quote and we live by that.” – Nguyen

For more information on the Zumba classes and how you can get involved with the team best body movement go to http://www.teambestbodyfitness.com

 

Music Can Change the World a Concert for the Kids

Multimedia artist Jasmine Clemente singing at Room 53 for Music Can Change the World a Concert for the Kids. Photography by Katie Kay Photography

Multimedia artist Jasmine Clemente singing at Room 53 for Music Can Change the World a Concert for the Kids. Photography by Katie Kay Photography 

Out of the many functions I have been to I never saw an event quite like this. The crowd gathered together at Room 53 on 53rd street between Eight and Ninth Avenue .

The event Music Can Change the World a Concert for the Kids was a benefit concert in which the proceeds go towards the Artists for Creative Theatre a 501.C3 organization that focuses on the artistic enrichment of children and adults. The foundation is owned by CEO Jacklyn Rosa and the classes are taught by local artist Nelson Host Santiago. The program has helped over hundreds of children within the five boroughs between the ages of 5-12 and the older youth from the ages of 13-16 years of age.

The event was sponsored by So Phenomenal Entertainment LLC, Flaco Coquito the Healthier Coquito, Starr Delights Catering, Team Best Body Fitness, Bronx or Nothing snapbacks and Katie Kay Photography. With Media Pari as a main media sponsor.

The benefit concert was hosted by MC and comedic legend Kenny Ortega, followed with a comedy act from “Madame Bullet” Cypress Nieves of the Goodfellas comedy troop. This comedy duo is one not to be messed with, their flow as the MC and comedian was very charismatic and you can see the connection between the two artists. The crowd did not stop laughing at the two as Ortega stepped off the stage and handed the mic to Madame Bullet.

There was music by multimedia artist Jasmine Clemente as she sang songs from her previous album, one of them being Por Amor with a video which featured one of the sponsors “flaco coquito the healthier coquito” Cynthia Sepuvelda Caballero. As well as we had music from Edwin Vazquez gypsie soul pioneer, who was accompanied by guitar player James Grover.

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“Each year I donate to many different organizations and charities. I decided to perform for The ACT concert fundraiser, because I truly believe in what they are doing. As a multimedia artist, I know how important it is to have a program that encourages the arts in our youth. Any form of art – acting, music, and painting; will increase self-esteem, confidence, give a sense of belonging and create an active part in the community. Building on creative skills and social network is essential for our youth. Please support ACT and our children,” says Vazquez +E

You can still continue to support the Artists for Creative Theatre by going on their website and donating, they will be hosting another event in February.

To donate go to:
http://www.artistsforcreativetheatre.org