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It Was HER!! Lori Ana Perez and Frankie Martinez


  • It Was HER!!

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    By Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!

    “Now I see what you see.
    – It was HER.”

    I have known Frankie Martinez for years. From his brief time with the Eddie Torres dance company, ***istant choreographer with the 2000 and 2001 Latin Madness dance team, and moving on his own with various dance partners, I have witnessed many of his amazing routines. But, to be honest, I could not see what everyone else was seeing. He was good, but in a partnership, I wasn’t feeling it. I agreed that his body movements and style were amazing, but I just couldn’t comprehend what all the fuss was about – until this past weekend.

    I would like for everyone know right now, that this is a first for me. I don’t usually write about dancers who inspire or impress me. I’ll do an occasional interview here and there, but for the most part, no one has ever awed me to the point where I feel compelled to write about him or her, without their permission.

    Until now…

    I saw Frankie Martinez and his new dance partner getting ready in the back room before their performance. She seemed quiet, calm, and at peace with herself. Frankie was carefully putting on his performance eye makeup which would enhance his soulful connection with the audience.

    They were set to perform in a few minutes…

    I went to the ballroom and found a seat in the audience. I was facing the performers head on. All the performance routines that night were entertaining and fun to watch. Some had breath-taking lifts and tricks; others had amazing costumes and smoke machines. I noticed that most of their music was cut up and pieced together with special sound effects and enhanced to accentuate certain moves and breaks in each routine.

    I was thinking about the cost of each routine. Custom music can run into the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Costumes, props, and special effects can also hit the performer’s pocketbooks pretty hard.

    I couldn’t help but to wonder how much it cost to put on a show. The glitter, glamour, glitz, special effects, shoes, hose, dresses, and hair-do’s… hundreds, if not thousands of dollar signs started bouncing around in my head. The extra luggage to haul around…whoa!

    Then Frankie and his partner were introduced. As usual, the crowd went crazy BEFORE they started.

    They wore blue jeans. Cost: $25 (a cash register sound of “che ching” echoes in my mind).

    The music came on, and I immediately recognized the routine. I had seen this routine before… but NEVER, like I saw it that night.

    I was expecting the same thing. But this time, they BOTH blew my mind.

    They used one, SINGLE, uncut song. Cost: $15 (“Che Ching”).

    It was HER. Whoever she was, wherever he found her, however he did it, he landed a gold mine of a dance partner. For years, my eyes for some reason focused primarily on Frankie, desperately trying to figure out what the hype was all about.

    Now I saw.

    It was HIS PARTNER that did it this time. It was HIS PARTNER that rocked our world. It was HIS PARTNER that magnified, electrified, exemplified, and intensified HIM.

    It was HER.

    She gripped me like no other performer has. She didn’t perform for us that night – she showed us her CULTURE. She wasn’t merely dancing for the audience, she was telling us a STORY about her LIFE. Her movements and style told us where she came from; her upbringing, the rawness, the pain, the hurt, and the ecstasy she’s experienced from childhood. Her movements and expressions painted a seductive, yet p***ionate picture of what she’s been through all these years, how she got through it, fought, overcame, and conquered the worst and best of times.

    It was HER.

    A sensual, yet raw and tough upbringing oozed from her inner being like molten rock from a freshly erupted volcano. Every movement told us her roots were tropical … abruptly moved to the rough barrios of New York, surviving, and thriving in a brutal world… that she herself CHOSE to BEAUTIFY…

    It was HER

    She magnified him. She intensified him. She electrified him. She was the spark that set off their explosive bomb that night. This little ball of fire blew my mind like no other performer ever has.

    It was HER.

    It was the first time in my life, I cried after a performance.

    I wanted to hang up my dance shoes and say, “That’s it. I’m done. I can’t dance anymore. Not after that. I’m finished. Through. It’s over.”

    I didn’t even know her name.

    To analyze and pick apart their routine was very simple, and next to impossible at the same time. Their strength was simplicity and completely focusing on what they do best – solo shines, body movement, and footwork. Their choreography to the music was impeccable – direct from the heart; piercing the soul. Not one pause or break was missed. Every phrase of the music was carefully planned out. The way they faced the audience, then turned away from the audience, then came to face us again coming toward us and after us with a vengeance. I’ve never seen Frankie perform like that – EVER.

    It was HER.

    SHE was the catalyst that blew him up that night. SHE was the ball of fire that lit up the house… SHE was his right-hand (wo)man… through and through.

    All I remember was how much more of Frankie I saw, and how much more often I was looking at HER - EQUALLY. They were a perfect balance of harmony and toughness together. They were a powerful team, gripping, and ripping away at my heart, tearing it up out there, burning the floor with a p***ion and power unlike anything I had ever seen in my life.

    They say behind every powerful man, is an even more amazing woman. She proved that phrase that night.

    My dance shoes and hat go off to both Lori Ana Perez and Frankie tonight, for the most incredible performance I have ever witnessed in my life.
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