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"…continues to add to Houston’s diversity while sharing the distinctive Afro-Latin culture…"

Sylvester Turner, Mayor of City of Houston, June 2018

"…20 outstanding years of continuous contributions to Houston’s cultural scene…"

Annise D. Parker, Mayor of the City of Houston, October 2015

 

 

"Committed to promoting authentic and traditional Latin dances…"

Lee P. Brown, Mayor of the City of Houston, September 2003

"…considered by the dance teaching professional and members of the arts community as perhaps Houston’s leading authority in the area of Latin dance and movement."

Bill White, Mayor of the City of Houston, January 2009

"...20 outstanding years of continuous contributions to Houston’s cultural scene…"

Annise D. Parker, Mayor of the City of Houston, October 16, 2015

"…continues to add to Houston’s diversity while sharing the distinctive Afro-Latin culture…"

Sylvester Turner, Mayor of City of Houston, June 2018 

 

Artist Statement

 

Envisioning people and communities having positive experiences, seeing cultures from around the world together under one roof, people celebrating their commonalities while respecting their differences, all through the arts; are some of the reasons that inspire me as an artist. Often referencing to the history in which it developed, my work explores the varying relationships between the cultures and heritages that fused to create the philosophy that guides me: the rhythms and melodies that merged into music triggering body movements into dance and notes into songs; the condiments and spices that evoke memories, old and new, of people sharing a dish; an introspective approach for an extroverted result. From my Panamanian/Jamaican heritage, I learned of the joyous way of life these cultures have; as they molded my spirit, my soul, my core. It is this collective of ancestral values that without me consciously knowing, ignited the flame that continues to light my creative processes; where the arts converge with the human soul in a mutually beneficial outcome for both, spectator and performer. As to why I do this, I have been asked - well, I only know that for the arts I live and without art there is no life. For as long as I can take a breath and there is pulse in me, I see no time that as a member of the army of creative minds – I cease to continue impacting and transforming people, communities, nations, the world. The arts has and is, the arms I use to embrace the world, the eyes through which I see its beauty, the engine that pumps blood to keep it alive – the Arts is Life!

Raúl

"Since establishing Houston’s first salsa studio in 1998, you have led this field in community and civic engagement, demonstrating the transformative power of the arts in society."

Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of Congress, Certificate of Congressional

Recognition to Strictly Street Salsa, July 2018

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