For The Love of The Dance
Article & Photos by Danielle Rivera www.danfredophotography.com
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It's not just the love of the dance that brings men and women together on the salsa scene; sometimes, it's the love of music, too. Ron "Renaissance" Prokopez and his girlfriend, Tina Torres can attest to that. Tina left her home and family in San Francisco to pursue a career in music in The Big Apple. Little did she know that three months after that move, she'd be pursuing a serious relationship as well.
For the past four years, Ron has played trombone with Willy Torres at Taj Lounge every Monday night. It was during one of his gigs that he set his eyes on Tina. They danced, they exchanged phone numbers and they went on their first date that included a trip to the Apple Store. Ten months later, they’re living together and living the dream-a dream that allows them to share their love of salsa music and dance with one another.
And, boy, can these two dance! Ron learned his basic On2 steps with Joe Burgos from Piel Canela, but eventually developed a style all his own that incorporates some hip-hop flavor. Tina, a classically-trained ballroom dancer, had no issues adapting to Ron’s style of dance. When speaking about dance, Ron said he uses his body to tell a story. When dancing with Tina, it’s obvious to everyone watching that he’s telling a love story. The two are quite active on the New York salsa scene and have a tendency to unintentionally draw a crowd to watch them “tell their story” on the dance floor (I witnessed the phenomenon myself at a recent Jimmy Anton Social).
Tina now provides backup vocals for Willy Torres and is currently working on her debut album from the comfort of her and Ron’s home studio. Ron, who’s also the trombonist for La Excelencia, is gearing up for a European tour with the band. Ron and Tina feel blessed that they can share their passions for their art with each other. They support each other. They build each other up. There are no egos. There is no jealousy. They get it. And they get each other-so important for dance partners and life partners.
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