Aetna Latino Calendar. Dancing to be healthy. al ritmo de tu salud

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1 Aetna Latino Calendar Dancing to be healthy al ritmo de tu salud

2 Siente el ritmo de la salud Imagínate lo bien que te sentirías si vivieras tu vida como un inmenso baile! Los trece individuos que presentamos en el calendario latino 2011 de Aetna se han dedicado a mejorar su salud, así como el bienestar de sus comunidades por medio de la danza. Algunos bailan para ganarse la vida, y otros supervisan programas para el bienestar basados en el baile. Muchos de los artistas aprendieron sus primeros pasos de baile siendo niños, y viven su pasión explorando y compartiendo su arte y su talento. La evolución y la revolución del baile forman parte integral de la cultura general de este país, inspirando cada día a más y más personas a vivir los efectos positivos que tiene el baile sobre el cuerpo, la mente, y el espíritu. Como dice Anita Martinez, el baile es el instrumento más perfecto para desarrollar un cuerpo saludable. En Aetna nos enorgullecemos en presentar nuestro cuarto calendario latino, celebrando como el baile latino motiva a individuos y comunidades por igual a descubrir y vivir un estilo de vida al ritmo de la diversión... y de la salud. Por medio de su trabajo comunitario, han inspirado por igual a niños, adultos y personas de la tercera edad a mantenerse activos y a mover sus cuerpos como jamás lo hubieran imaginado. al ritmo de tu salud Feel the Rhythm of Health Imagine how confident and healthy you might feel if you never let a dance go by! Thirteen individuals featured in the 2011 Aetna Latino Calendar have committed to improving their own health and the wellness of their communities through dance. Some dance for a living, while others oversee dance and fitness programs. Many of the performing artists took their first dance steps as children, and fulfilled their passions by exploring their craft and talent. Through their collective work, they have inspired children, adults and seniors to think on their feet and move their bodies in ways they never thought possible. The dance revolution has taken its place on the front line of pop culture. This encourages more people to experience firsthand the positive therapeutic effects of dance on the body, mind and soul. As Anita N. Martinez shares, Dance is the most perfect instrument to build a healthy body. Aetna is pleased to present its fourth annual Latino Calendar celebrating how Latin dance motivates individuals and communities to discover and embrace a fun, healthful rhythm.

3 Anita Nañez Martinez Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Inc. Dallas, TX Anita Nañez Martinez era una tejana tímida cuya familia emigró de México a los Estados Unidos hace cinco generaciones; pero cuando aprendió a bailar descubrió la confianza en si misma. A los ocho años de edad, participaba en representaciones de danza teatral con otros niños del vecindario en la agrupación Little Mexico de Dallas. El baile es el instrumento perfecto para construir un cuerpo sano. Nutre la mente y el alma. La danza transmite felicidad al corazón y a los demás, dijo Martinez. Ha sido una constante en mi vida. Martinez quería motivar a los jóvenes en el oeste de Dallas. En 1975, comenzó a ofrecer clases de baile folclórico en un centro de recreación de Dallas, que ahora lleva su nombre. Quería darles la oportunidad de enorgullecerse de su herencia y cultura, dijo. Así que les traje música y danza. Sus clases han crecido hasta convertirse en un renombrado grupo profesional de ballet folclórico que se presenta regularmente en el AT&T Performing Arts Center en Dallas. Hay mucha gente que apoya nuestro trabajo, dijo Martinez. Por ejemplo, Communities Foundation of Texas donó a la organización un edificio que tiene 100 años de antigüedad. Este edificio se convirtió en el lugar fijo para realizar los ensayos y presentaciones de bailarines de distintos niveles, desde novatos hasta profesionales. Los padres ven cómo sus hijos desarrollan disciplina, la práctica de trabajar en equipo e incluso obtienen mejores calificaciones en la escuela cuando bailan. En su papel de voluntaria activa y recaudadora de fondos, Martinez está feliz de poder tener un impacto tan positivo en la vida de miles de niños latinos. Los padres ven cómo sus hijos desarrollan disciplina, la práctica de trabajar en equipo e incluso obtienen mejores calificaciones en la escuela cuando bailan, explicó. Cuando se le imparte a un niño confianza en si mismo, se le entrega el mundo. Anita Nañez Martinez enero/january Make a commitment now to achieve and maintain a healthful weight Schedule a medical checkup with your doctor this week. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Observed (U.S) Give the gift of life this month. Donate blood. Three Kings Day Begin a dance exercise program this month. Check with your doctor before starting. 1 New Year s Day Liberation Day (Cuba) La buena postura puede ayudarte a bailar mejor. Mantente derecho, empuja tus hombros hacia abajo y hacia atrás, y mantén tu cabeza en alto. Good posture can help you become a better dancer. Stand up straight, push your shoulders down and back, and hold your head up. Anita Nañez Martinez was a bashful fifth-generation Texan who found confidence once she learned how to dance. At 8 years old, she would perform dance theatre with other neighborhood children in Dallas Little Mexico. Dance is the perfect instrument to build a healthy body. It nurtures the mind and the soul. It brings happiness into the heart and onto others, said Martinez. It has been a constant part of my life. Martinez wanted to motivate young people in West Dallas. In 1975, she began offering folklorico dance classes in a Dallas recreation center, which now bears her name. I wanted to give them a chance to be proud of their heritage and culture, she said. So I brought the music and the dance to them. Today, her classes have grown into a renowned educational performing dance organization that is a resident company at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in Dallas. There are a lot of people who believe in what we re doing, said Martinez, including Communities Foundation of Texas, which donated a 100-year-old building to the organization. The building became a permanent place for the young and professional dancers to rehearse and perform. As an active volunteer and fund-raiser, Martinez is thrilled she has been able to positively impact the lives of thousands of Latino children. Parents see how their children find discipline, practice teamwork and even get better grades in school when they are dancing, she said. When you give a child confidence, you give them the world. Parents see how their children find discipline, practice teamwork and even get better grades in school when they are dancing. Anita Nañez Martinez

4 Luis Salgado Founder, R.Evolución Latina New York, NY A juzgar por su aspecto actual, sería imposible imaginar que Luis Salgado, un coreógrafo muy respetado de Broadway y en excelente condición física fue una vez un niño gordito. Descubrió el baile en un programa en las tardes después de la escuela en Puerto Rico. Ése fue el comienzo de su trayectoria por vivir y compartir su pasión por las artes. A los 17 años, abrió su primera escuela de danza, que dirigió durante cinco años antes de mudarse a Nueva York. Después de ver un espectáculo de Broadway, cai en cuenta que tenía que vivir ahí, dijo. A pesar de que sus raíces artísticas combinan el jazz con los ritmos latinos, Salgado quería experimentar una variedad de géneros musicales en Nueva York. Descubrió, sin embargo, que se necesitaban maestros de bailes latinos. Consiguió un trabajo dirigiendo la coreografía latina para el musical de Broadway In the Heights. Nadie puede negar nuestra cultura latina, dijo. La música y el ritmo están en nuestros corazones. Después, Salgado fundó R.Evolución Latina, una alianza de artistas en Broadway que asesoran y enseñan a jóvenes latinos. Queremos que los estudiantes superen sus inseguridades y dudas por medio del baile, dijo. Nosotros les simplificamos el proceso y los dirigimos paso a paso. En realidad es una revolución de la evolución, y nuestra mayor arma es el arte. Además de visitar las escuelas durante todo el año, Salgado y su compañía tienen un campamento juvenil de verano gratis. Lo hermoso del baile es que sus beneficios para la salud vienen naturalmente. Los músculos trabajan. Se queman calorías. Ayudamos a los niños a estar más conscientes de lo que sienten sus cuerpos mientras bailan, dijo. Queremos que los estudiantes sobrepasen sus inseguridades y sus dudas por medio del baile. Luis Salgado Sonríe mientras bailas, aun si bailas solo. Te gusta bailar, así que demuéstralo! Smile while you are dancing, even if you are dancing alone. You love to dance, so let it show! febrero/february Looking at Luis Salgado today you would never know that the well-respected and physically fit Broadway choreographer was a chubby child. He discovered dance at an after-school program in Puerto Rico. This was the beginning of his journey to fulfill and share his passion for the arts. At age 17, he opened his first dance school, which he ran for five years before coming to New York City. After seeing a Broadway show, I realized this was where I needed to be, he said. Though his dancing roots fused the flair of jazz with Latin rhythm, Salgado wanted to experience a variety of genres in the city. He discovered, though, there was a need for Latin dance teachers. He landed a job leading the Latin choreography for the Broadway musical In the Heights. No one can deny who we are as Latinos, he said. It s in our hearts the music and the rhythm. Salgado then founded R.Evolución Latina, an alliance of Broadway performing artists who mentor young Latinos. We challenge students to go beyond their insecurities and doubts through dance, he said. We break it down for them and take it step by step. It really is a revolution of evolution, and our biggest weapon is the arts. Besides visiting schools throughout the year, Salgado and his company host a free youth summer camp. The beauty of dance is that healthful benefits come naturally. Muscles are engaging. Calories are burning. We help kids become more aware of the sensations they are feeling in their bodies when they dance, he said Dominican Republic Remember to brush your teeth twice a day it will make your smile brighter and keep your mouth healthier. Presidents Day (U.S. and Puerto Rico) Know your numbers. Get your blood pressure checked today. Give Kids a Smile Day. Don t forget to schedule a dental appointment for your child. Mexican Constitution Day Get your blood pumping get up and move around. We challenge students to go beyond their insecurities and doubts through dance. Luis Salgado

5 Vanessa Calderón-Rosado Chief Executive Officer, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Villa Victoria Center for the Arts Boston, MA Todo empezó hace unos años, cuando varias mujeres latinas de la tercera edad decidieron juntarse para bailar con el fin de mantenerse en forma y saludables. Hoy en día, esta agrupación atrae a grandes multitudes hacia sus presentaciones en Boston. El grupo, Las Pleneras de la Villa, está compuesto por mujeres de la comunidad, mayores de 55 años. No tienen educación formal en danza; sin embargo, se reúnen cada semana para practicar los bailes, y también suelen cantar. Además, las integrantes elaboran su propio vestuario. Las Pleneras de la Villa presentan danzas tradicionales de Puerto Rico como la plena y la bomba en eventos y festivales en la ciudad. Es muy inspirador ver a estas mujeres bailar. Tienen tanta pasión!, dijo Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, Directora general de la organización comunitaria Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción ( IBA ). Son famosas en toda la ciudad. El baile les ha dado a muchas un nuevo significado en sus vidas. Las Pleneras de la Villa comenzó como parte de la programación artística de IBA y su Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, un centro multifuncional para las artes que promueve las artes latinas, y proporciona educación artística y otros programas asequibles para todos. Algunos de los cursos de IBA tienen como objetivo mantener a las personas de la tercera edad activas por medio del baile y la música. El grupo surgió como parte de la programación de IBA para las personas de la tercera edad, cuando María Flores, una residente de la comunidad, decidió reunir y organizar a aquellas damas que disfrutaban del baile. El arte puede reafirmar la identidad cultural y el orgullo del latino, y puede utilizarse como una herramienta para edificar una comunidad. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado El baile las fortalece sicológica y físicamente. Incluso, una de ellas ha perdido mucho peso. Pero todas también se han beneficiado desde el punto de vista emocional y social, dijo Calderón-Rosado. El grupo ejemplifica los criterios y objetivos de IBA, explicó. El arte puede reafirmar la identidad cultural y el orgullo del latino, y puede utilizarse como una herramienta para edificar una comunidad. marzo/march El baile puede reducir el riesgo de enfermedades de las arterias coronarias y del corazón, y puede también bajar tu presión arterial. Dancing can lower your risk of coronary heart disease and decrease blood pressure The arts can reaffirm Latino cultural identity and pride, and can be used as a tool to build community. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado See your doctor or other health care provider for a routine health screening. Birth of Benito Juarez (Mexico) Make sure your children start their day with a healthful, well-balanced breakfast! Abolition Day (Puerto Rico) Ash Wednesday Eat an apple instead of chips with your lunch today! Eat a balanced diet, including five helpings of fruits and vegetables a day. It started a few years ago when a group of senior Latina women danced together to stay in shape and be healthy. Today, the group draws large crowds at their performances throughout Boston. The group, called Las Pleneras de la Villa, is made up of local women 55 and older. They have no formal background in dance. Yet they meet every week to practice their dance steps. They usually sing along as well. Members make their own costumes. They perform traditional Puerto Rican dances such as the plena and bomba at events and festivals in the city. It is so inspiring to see these women perform. They have such passion, said Vanessa Calderón-Rosado, CEO of the community-building organization Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA). They have become popular all over the city. It has given many of their lives new meaning. Las Pleneras de la Villa began as part of IBA s arts programming and its Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, a multifunctional arts center that promotes Latino arts, and provides affordable arts education and programs. Some of IBA s programs aim to get seniors active through dance and music. The group grew out of IBA s senior programming, when community member María Flores decided to organize senior women who enjoyed dancing into a formal troupe. Dancing has made them feel empowered. They have benefited physically. One member even lost a lot of weight. But they also have benefited emotionally and socially, said Calderón-Rosado. The group exemplifies what IBA believes, she continued. The arts can reaffirm Latino cultural identity and pride, and can be used as a tool to build community.

6 Betsy Dopico Zumba Fitness and Zumbatomic Instructor Dance. Art. Fitness. Studio Miami, FL Cuando Betsy Dopico acudió a su primera clase de Zumba Fitness mientras vivía en Mexico, el programa la intrigó. Pero cuando se enteró de que existía una versión de ese programa de ejercicios bailables para niños llamada Zumbatomic, se inspiró. Fue maravilloso ver que había un programa divertido para que los jóvenes disfrutaran hacer ejercicio, dijo Dopico, quien ahora enseña ambas clases de Zumba en su estudio llamado Dance. Art. Fitness. Studio en Miami, Florida. Zumba Fitness incorpora estilos de baile y ritmos latinos e internacionales en un intenso programa de entrenamiento por intervalos. Zumbatomic mezcla los movimientos básicos del programa con ejercicios entretenidos y seguros para los niños. Los niños trabajan juntos en una rutina de baile mientras aprenden diferentes ritmos y pasos. Aprenden cumbia, salsa, merengue y más, explicó Dopico. Para ellos es jugar y bailar, y no es ejercicio. Dopico da clases de Zumbatomic en su estudio a niños entre los cinco y 13 años de edad dos veces por semana. He visto cómo muchos niños han perdido peso al tomar mi clase. Los padres también me dicen que sus hijos tienen más confianza en si mismos bailan en todas partes, y son más sociables, dijo. Dopico valora los importantes vínculos que hay entre la danza, el ejercicio y el bienestar emocional, ya que gracias al baile pudo sentirse como en casa después de mudarse de su Cuba natal a México y después a Miami. Al principio cuando me mudé me era difícil bailar, dijo. Pero cuando me encontré con el programa Zumba, empecé a hacerlo de nuevo, y me hizo sentirme conectada a mi cultura. Me inspiró, y quiero ofrecer esa misma inspiración a otros. Fue maravilloso ver que había un programa divertido para que los jóvenes disfrutaran hacer ejercicio. Betsy Dopico El baile promueve la buena salud de los huesos y puede fortalecer tus piernas y caderas. Dancing promotes bone health, and can strengthen the bones of your legs and hips. abril/april When Betsy Dopico first took a Zumba Fitness class while living in Mexico, she was intrigued. But when she learned about the kids-focused version of the dance fitness program called Zumbatomic, she was inspired. It was wonderful to see that there was a fun program for young people that makes exercise enjoyable, said Dopico, who now teaches both Zumba programs at her Dance. Art. Fitness. Studio in Miami, Florida. Zumba Fitness incorporates Latin and international dance styles and rhythms in a calorie-burning interval-training program. Zumbatomic mixes the core program s moves with fun and safe exercises for kids. Kids get to work together on a routine while learning different rhythms and steps. They learn the cumbia, salsa, merengue and more, Dopico said. They think of it as playing and dancing, not as exercising. Dopico teaches Zumbatomic twice a week in her studio to children ages 5 to 13. I ve had many children lose weight from taking my class. Parents also tell me that their children are more confident they dance everywhere, and they are more social, she said. Dopico recognizes the important links between dancing, fitness and emotional well-being because it was dancing that made her feel at home again after moving from her native Cuba to Mexico and then to Miami. When I first moved, it was hard for me to dance, she said. But when I found the Zumba program, I started to dance again. It made me feel connected to my culture. I was inspired. And I want to provide that inspiration to others Prepare healthful meals with your children. Teach them about smart food choices Palm Sunday Small steps add up take the stairs instead of an elevator today Easter When was the last time you saw your dentist? Is it time for your yearly cleaning? Stop by your local police department to have your child s car seat installation inspected. Good Friday Children s Day (Mexico) It was wonderful to see that there was a fun program for young people that makes exercise enjoyable. Betsy Dopico

7 Luis Martinez Artistic Director, Kean Dance Theatre, and Associate Professor, Physical Education and Recreation Health Kean University Union, NJ Luis Martinez se guía por las palabras que su padre le impartió siendo niño: La vida es demasiado corta como para dejar pasar un baile. A una edad temprana descubrió el baile, pero empezó a interesarse en el baile teatral a la edad de cinco años después de ver West Side Story. Años más tarde en la Universidad de Illinois, inició su trayectoria con el fin de alcanzar sus sueños. Hoy en día, comparte su pasión por el baile con sus alumnos de Kean University, donde además dirige la agrupación de baile teatral y ejerce como asesor de Ritmo Latino, un club estudiantil de estudios y bailes latinos. Los beneficios de la danza son infinitos, dice Martinez, tras indicar que estudios científicos publicados en el New England Journal of Medicine han demostrado que el baile mejora la salud mental, física y emocional. El baile es una actividad con múltiples facetas simultáneas. Tu cerebro y tu mente tienen que ser flexibles. Tienes que pensar mientras bailas. Tienes que aprender y memorizar las rutinas, y después bailar mientras proyectas una amplia gama de expresiones, dijo. Algunos de los beneficios que imparte el baile a la salud, dijo, incluyen la reducción del estrés, el aumento de los niveles de energía, el mejoramiento del tono, flexibilidad y coordinación muscular mientras quemas calorías, y la disminución de la presión arterial y de los niveles de colesterol. Esto es especialmente importante para las comunidades latinas, donde la presión arterial alta y el colesterol alto son más frecuentes, dijo Martinez. Les digo que cada quien tiene su propio ritmo. Disfrútalo. Sé constante y fíjate una meta. Para ayudar a los nuevos estudiantes a sobrepasar el miedo de bailar, Martinez anima a los estudiantes a no juzgarse a sí mismos. Les digo que cada quien tiene su propio ritmo. Disfrútalo. Sé constante y fíjate una meta, dijo. Luis Martinez mayo/may Mother s Day Paraguay National Women s Checkup Day. Don t forget to make an appointment for a checkup with your health care provider Memorial Day Observed Thought for the day: You can t be unhappy when you re smiling or singing. Revolution Day (Argentina) Cinco de Mayo Protect your eyes. Wear those shades! Cuba Have you made that appointment for an eye exam? Para bailar tienes que memorizar pasos y colaborar con tu pareja, lo cual te presenta retos que ayudan a mantener ágil a tu mente. Dancing requires memorizing steps and working with a partner, both of which provide mental challenges that are crucial for brain health. Luis Martinez lives by the words his father shared with him while growing up: Life is too short to let a dance go by. He was introduced to dance at a young age, but he became intrigued with theatrical dance at age 5 after watching West Side Story. Years later at the University of Illinois, he began to pursue his dancing dream. Today, he shares his joy of dancing with the students he teaches at Kean University, where he also directs the dance theatre and serves as the advisor to Ritmo Latino, a student club that studies and performs Latin dance. The benefits of dance are endless, according to Martinez, citing that scientific studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine have shown that dance improves mental, physical and emotional health. Dance is a multitasking activity. Your brain and your mind have to be flexible. You have to think on your feet. You have to learn and memorize routines, and then perform them with a varied range of expression, he said. Some of the healthful benefits of dance, he said, include reducing stress; increasing energy levels; improving muscle tone, flexibility, and coordination while burning calories; and lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This is especially important for Latino communities, where high blood pressure and high cholesterol are more prevalent, said Martinez. To help new students overcome the fear of dance, Martinez encourages students not to judge themselves. I let them know that we each have our own drumbeat and pace. Enjoy it. Be consistent and set a goal for yourself, he said. I let them know that we each have our own drumbeat and pace. Enjoy it. Be consistent and set a goal for yourself. Luis Martinez

8 Salud Leon and Sergio Leal Directors, Latin Dance Pro Pasadena, CA Para Salud Leon y Sergio Leal, la danza es más que un pasatiempo. Es una manera de vivir. El baile ha cambiado todos los aspectos de nuestras vidas de la manera más positiva, dijo Leon. Compartimos la pasión por la danza, y nos ganamos la vida con ella. Nuestra meta es compartir esa pasión con los demás y demostrar los efectos transformadores de la danza tanto física como mentalmente. Los dos grandes amigos descubrieron su amor por la danza en la universidad, y su talento natural fue reconocido desde temprano. Los dos han enseñado, actuado, competido y coreografiado danzas juntos desde entonces. Hoy en día dirigen su propia academia de baile y compañía de entretenimiento, Latin Dance Pro, en Pasadena. Se centran en la enseñanza de bailes latinos como la salsa, cumbia, cha-cha-cha, merengue y tango argentino. Presentar el baile a nuestra comunidad es una experiencia gratificante y única, dijo Leal. En nuestras clases, nos esforzamos por crear un entorno que sea acogedor y estimulante. A través de bailes latinos, ayudamos a personas de todos los sectores de la vida a dejar a un lado sus inhibiciones y divertirse! León dice que una vez que los nuevos estudiantes se sienten a gusto, experimentan numerosos beneficios. Para muchos de nuestros estudiantes, el baile se convierte en una rutina para mantenerse en buena salud, dijo. La emoción y los beneficios de aprender a bailar pueden ser adictivos. Leal está encantado de que la danza latina esté ganando popularidad. El baile latino le ha abierto muchas puertas a nuestra cultura a través del movimiento y la música. La energía positiva que crea la danza impulsa a otros a experimentar y comprender quiénes somos. Es increíble. La emoción y los beneficios de aprender a bailar pueden ser adictivos. Salud Leon Es importante seleccionar un buen instructor de baile. Un maestro de baile no sólo enseña nuevos pasos y técnicas, sino que también corrige tus errores. Know the importance of choosing a good dance instructor. A dance teacher not only teaches new steps and techniques, but also corrects mistakes. For Salud Leon and Sergio Leal, dance is more than a hobby. It is a way of life. Dance has altered every aspect of our lives in the most positive ways, said Leon. We share a passion for dance, and we have turned it into our business. Our goal is to share that passion with others and to demonstrate the transformative effects of dance both physically and mentally. The two longtime friends discovered their shared love for dance in college, and their natural talent was recognized early on. They have been teaching, performing, competing and choreographing dance together ever since. Today, they run their own dance academy and entertainment company, Latin Dance Pro, in Pasadena. They focus on teaching Latin dances such as the salsa, cumbia, cha-cha-cha, merengue and Argentine tango. Introducing our community to dance is a rewarding and unique experience, said Leal. In our classes, we strive to create an environment that is welcoming and inspiring. Through Latin dancing, we enable people from all walks of life to let go of their inhibitions and have fun! Leon said that once new students feel at ease, they experience numerous benefits. Dancing becomes a fitness regimen for a lot of our students, she said. The excitement and benefits of learning to dance can be habit forming. Leal is thrilled that Latin dancing is gaining popularity. Latin dance has opened up many doors for our culture through the movement and the music. The positive energy that dance creates draws others in to experience and understand who we are. It s amazing. junio/june Don t forget your sunscreen today. Make time today for exercise Father s Day Practice safety habits at home to prevent falls and fractures Buckle up! Wear a seat belt at all times. The excitement and benefits of learning to dance can be habit forming. Salud Leon

9 Lillian Rodríguez López President, Hispanic Federation Fourth Annual Get Up! Get Moving! TM New York, NY Desde 2007, la Federación Hispana ha motivado a miles de personas a levantarse y moverse en la ciudad de Nueva York. Cómo? Con su evento comunitario anual que lleva un nombre irresistible: Bailando hacia la salud!. Queríamos hacer algo que fuera culturalmente relevante para nuestra comunidad. Gracias a la televisión, el baile se ha vuelto muy popular, dijo Lillian Rodríguez Lópes, presidente de la Hispanic Federation. Ésta es una manera excelente y económica de motivar a la gente. El evento Levántate y Muévete!, que cuenta con el respaldo de la Alianza Nacional para la Salud Hispana y de corporaciones como Aetna, ofrece exámenes y talleres sobre la salud, clínicas deportivas, y lecciones de baile. Los asistentes pueden aprender salsa, merengue, y también participar en una competencia de baile. Hay personas de todas las edades que bailan en la competencia, dijo Rodríguez López. Hay madres e hijos y abuelos y nietas bailando juntos; verdaderamente éste se ha convertido en un evento multigeneracional. Nuestros jueces eliminan a los participantes hasta quedar con los tres mejores equipos. El premio a los ganadores son lecciones de baile. La música y el baile están en nuestra sangre, y pueden verdaderamente cambiar tu estado de ánimo y relajarte. La Federación decidió impulsar este evento hace cuatro años, debido al problema creciente de la obesidad en las comunidades latinas. La gente se ha vuelto muy sedentaria mirando televisión y jugando juegos de video. Tenemos que recordarles constantemente a las personas cómo mantener un estilo de vida saludable, dijo Rodríguez López. La música y el baile están en nuestra sangre, y pueden verdaderamente cambiar tu estado de ánimo y relajarte. Lillian Rodríguez López julio/july Estírate y caliéntate por lo menos 10 minutos todos los días. Verás que bailar es más fácil y tendrás más energía. Stretch and condition at least 10 minutes every day. You will find that dancing is easier, and you will have more energy (U.S. and Puerto Rico) Avoid overexposure to the sun. Constitution Day (Puerto RIco) Venezuela Do everything in moderation. Even your favorite activities. Colombia Drink lots of water. Your body needs it. Peru Applying sunblock to your face daily, even during the winter months, keeps your skin healthy and protected. Argentina Since 2007, the Hispanic Federation has been getting thousands of people up and moving in New York City through its annual community event. How? By focusing the event on Dancing Towards Health Bailando hacia la salud! We wanted to do something that was culturally relevant to our community. Dancing has become very popular with TV shows, said Lillian Rodríguez López, president, Hispanic Federation. This is such a great and inexpensive way to engage people. The Get Up! Get Moving! event is supported by the National Alliance for Hispanic Health and corporations such as Aetna. It provides health screenings and workshops, sports clinics and dance lessons. Attendees have the chance to learn different dance styles such as salsa or merengue. They also can compete in a dance-off. People of all ages compete in the dance-off, said Rodríguez López. We have mothers and sons and grandfathers and granddaughters dancing together. It really has become a multigenerational event. Our judges narrow it down through the process of elimination to the three best teams. The winning teams get dance lessons as their prize. The Federation decided to take on this event four years ago because of the growing challenges of obesity within Latino communities. People have become so stationary at home watching television and playing video games. We have to constantly remind them how to achieve healthful lifestyles, Rodríguez López said. Music and dance are ingrained in all of us. They can really change your mood and act as a de-stressor. Music and dance are ingrained in all of us. They can really change your mood and act as a de-stressor. Lillian Rodríguez López

10 Esther Gutiérrez Sloan Founder and President, SALSArobics, Inc. Chicago, IL Después de dar a luz a dos niños en la década de los 80, Esther Gutiérrez Sloan, nacida en Colombia, buscaba una manera de volverse a vincular con su cultura y a la vez mejorar su salud. Empecé a pensar acerca de la música y el baile. Pensé que si podemos bailar como actividad social y para celebrar nuestra cultura, por qué no podemos utilizar esa misma pasión para cuidar nuestra salud y bienestar? dijo Gutiérrez Sloan. Con ese propósito creó SALSArobics, un ejercicio aeróbico que incorpora música auténtica y los pasos de populares bailes latinos como la salsa, cumbia, mambo, merengue y otros. Con la ayuda de su esposo, Gutiérrez Sloan produjo un video de ejercicios de SALSArobics. El video fue considerado como pionero en su industria y hasta hoy en día continúa gozando de popularidad. Posteriormente, presentó SALSArobics a su comunidad de Chicago, ofreciendo clases y entrenamiento, y certificando instructores a nivel local. Nuestras clases instruyen a la gente acerca de la danza y la fisiología del ejercicio, dijo Gutiérrez Sloan. Puedes tomar lo que aprendes a la discoteca. También puedes modificar los pasos para trabajar a tu propio ritmo. Puedes fácilmente quemar 500 calorías en una clase sin siquiera darte cuenta!. Para Gutiérrez Sloan, SALSArobics es más que una manera de mantenerse en forma. El baile me mantiene cerca de mi país y de mi cultura. Cuando bailo cumbia, me siento como si no estuviera lejos de mi hogar. No es sólo el ejercicio físico, es también un ejercicio para la mente y una terapia emocional. Me mantiene viva!, dijo. El baile me mantiene cerca de mi país y de mi cultura. Esther Gutiérrez Sloan Bailar salsa es bueno para fortalecer tu resistencia y a menudo sirve como método para bajar de peso. Salsa dancing is known to build stamina and often serves as an effective weight-loss method. agosto/august After giving birth to two children in the 1980s, Colombia-born Esther Gutiérrez Sloan was looking for a way to reconnect to her culture while improving her health. I began to think about music and dancing. I thought, if we can dance to be social and to celebrate our culture, why can t we extend that passion to taking care of ourselves from a health and fitness standpoint? Gutiérrez Sloan said. She created SALSArobics, an aerobic exercise that incorporates authentic music and steps from popular Latin dances such as the salsa, cumbia, mambo, merengue and others. With the help of her husband, Gutiérrez Sloan produced a SALSArobics exercise video. The video was considered groundbreaking in the industry and is still popular today. She then introduced SALSArobics to her Chicago community by offering classes and training, and certifying local exercise instructors. Our classes educate people on dance and on exercise physiology, said Gutiérrez Sloan. You can take what you learn to the nightclub. You also can modify the dance steps to work at your own intensity. You can easily burn 500 calories in one class without even realizing it! For Gutiérrez Sloan, SALSArobics is more than a way to stay in shape. Dance keeps me close to the country and culture from which I came. When I do the cumbia, I feel like I m not far away from home. It s not just physical exercise. It s also mental exercise and emotional therapy. It keeps me very alive, she said Volunteer at a local blood drive this month Time to renew your driver s license? Consider becoming an organ donor Ecuador Shop at a farmers market. It s a great way to eat healthfully. Uruguay Don t forget to schedule an eye appointment for your child. Bolivia Dance keeps me close to the country and culture from which I came. Esther Gutiérrez Sloan

11 Jorge Alonso Pérez Founder and CEO, Dance Therapy Dance Your Depression Away!, Inc. San Antonio, TX Jorge Alonso Pérez descubrió los poderes curativos de la danza siendo un niño en México. Cuando era joven, perdió a varios seres queridos. Agobiado por la depresión, encontró consuelo en la danza. El ver bailar a Fred Astaire por primera vez lo motivó a convertirse en un bailarín profesional. Fue instructor de baile en varios estudios locales. También enseñó en Alemania mientras servía en la Fuerza Aérea de los EE. UU. Sin embargo, Pérez siempre supo que tenía que alcanzar metas más altas. Mientras se recuperaba de un ataque al corazón siendo todavía joven, decidió vivir su sueño de ayudar a otros a superar la depresión. En 2003, Pérez fundó Danzaterapia Baile y No Se Deprima!, Inc. Esta organización sin fines de lucro ayuda a los niños, adultos y personas de la tercera edad a vencer la depresión por medio del baile. El programa combina el baile latino con el asesoramiento, el descubrimiento espiritual y la educación cultural. Hoy en día, Pérez supervisa este programa en casi 30 centros de nutrición para personas mayores en San Antonio y tres escuelas primarias con 90 estudiantes de tercer grado. Todas nuestras actividades se centran en la familia y la comunidad, dijo Pérez. Cuando tienes un niño saludable, tienes una familia saludable. Y con familias sanas, se crean vecindarios saludables. Los vecindarios saludables forman una ciudad saludable. Por medio del baile ayudamos a las personas a sentirse más felices y menos estresadas. No hay nada mejor que ver a los niños y a sus padres bailando juntos. El baile, según Pérez, es mucho más que moverse. Por medio del baile ayudamos a las personas a sentirse más felices y menos estresadas. No hay nada mejor que ver a los niños y a sus padres bailando juntos, dijo. Jorge Alonso Pérez septiembre/september Chile Don t forget to wear red on World Heart Day. Labor Day (U.S. and Puerto Rico) Brazil Belize Mexico Presidential State of the Union Address Know your numbers. Learn your current blood pressure, cholesterol and body mass index. (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) Mexico If you are a man over 50, schedule a prostate exam this year. Preserve the nutrients and colors in vegetables. Cook them quickly by steaming or stir frying. Bailar no sólo aumenta el flujo de sangre al cerebro, sino que la interacción social que promueve el baile conlleva a una disminución del estrés, la depresión, y la sensación de soledad. Not only does the physical aspect of dancing increase blood flow to the brain, but also the social aspect leads to less stress, depression and loneliness. Jorge Alonso Pérez discovered the healing powers of dance as a young boy in Mexico. As a young man, he lost several loved ones. Overwhelmed by depression, he found solace in dance. Seeing Fred Astaire dance for the first time motivated him to become a professional dancer. He taught dance at various local studios. He also taught in Germany while serving in the U.S. Air Force. But Pérez always knew he had a greater calling. While recovering from a heart attack at an early age, he decided to pursue his dream of helping others overcome depression. In 2003, Pérez founded Dance Therapy Dance Your Depression Away!, Inc. The nonprofit organization helps children, adults and seniors deal with depression through dance. The program combines Latin ballroom dance with counseling, spiritual discovery and cultural education. Currently, Pérez oversees the dance program in nearly 30 San Antonio senior nutrition centers and three elementary schools serving 90 third-grade students. Everything we do is about family and community, said Pérez. When you have a healthy child, you have a healthy family. When you have healthy families, you create healthy neighborhoods. Healthy neighborhoods build a healthy city. Dance, according to Pérez, is much more than movement. We are empowering people to feel happier and less stressed. There is nothing better than seeing children and parents dancing together, he said. We are empowering people to feel happier and less stressed. There is nothing better than seeing children and parents dancing together. Jorge Alonso Pérez

12 Julie Avalos Project Director, Healthy Movimiento Congreso de Latinos Unidos Philadelphia, PA Cuál es la mejor manera de motivar a los adolescentes a comer bien y hacer ejercicio? Por medio de actividades interesantes y divertidas. Muchos adolescentes piensan que el ejercicio es aburrido, dijo Julie Avalos, directora de la organización de multiservicios Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Nuestro objetivo fue crear un programa para superar esa percepción con el fin de interesar a los niños y cambiar sus hábitos de comportamiento. Avalos y su organización desarrollaron Healthy Movimiento, un programa para el bienestar para los jóvenes entre los 12 y 21 años de edad. El programa se lleva a cabo cada verano en campamentos de día y escuelas locales. Cada sesión incluye 30 minutos de educación para el bienestar y una hora de enseñanza de baile. Es una excelente combinación. Comenzamos cada sesión con un tema como la obesidad y sus consecuencias, cómo medir tu índice de masa corporal, o cómo controlar el tamaño de las porciones. La clase de baile que sigue está relacionada a la información que se impartió en clase, dijo Avalos. Durante la sesión de baile, los bailarines profesionales enseñan a los jóvenes cómo pueden elevar su ritmo cardíaco bailando merengue, salsa y hasta hip-hop. Tratamos de darles a los niños herramientas para su propio desarrollo, dijo Avalos. Queremos que entiendan que el ejercicio no debe sentirse como una faena. Puedes reunirte con tus amigos, sudar y divertirte mientras te pones en forma. Healthy Movimiento cierra con un gran evento para la comunidad. Los jóvenes realizan bailes y comparten lo que han aprendido durante todo el programa. Los chicos están muy entusiasmados. Al final se puede ver que han cambiado su perspectiva acerca del ejercicio y la nutrición, dijo Avalos. Queremos que entiendan que el ejercicio no debe sentirse como una faena. Puedes reunirte con tus amigos, sudar y divertirte mientras te pones en forma. Julie Avalos Tu cuerpo bailará mejor cuando estés relajado. Respira profundamente varias veces y aclara tu mente. Aprende a dejarte llevar por la música. Your body will dance best in a relaxed state. Take a few deep breaths and clear your mind. Teach yourself to unwind to the music. What is the best way to motivate teenagers to eat right and exercise? Make it interesting and fun. Many teenagers think exercise is boring, said Julie Avalos, director of the multiservice organization Congreso de Latinos Unidos. Our goal was to design a program that overcame that perception to engage kids and change their behaviors. Avalos and her organization developed Healthy Movimiento, a wellness program that targets youth The program takes place each summer in local day camps and schools. Each session includes 30 minutes of wellness education and one hour of dance instruction. It s a great mix. We start each session with a topic such as obesity and its outcomes, how to measure your body mass index, or learning about portion control. The dance instruction that follows is tied to the information learned in class, said Avalos. During the dance session, professional dancers teach youth how they can get their heart rates up while doing the merengue, salsa and even hip-hop. We try to empower the kids, said Avalos. We want them to understand that exercise doesn t need to feel like work. You can get together, sweat and have fun while you get fit. Healthy Movimiento culminates with a large event for the community. The youth perform dances and share what they ve learned in class. The kids are so enthusiastic. By the end you can see that they ve really changed their perspective on exercise and nutrition, said Avalos. octubre/october If you re a woman over 40, schedule a mammogram this year World Food Day. Donate a nonperishable food item to your local shelter or food pantry Columbus Day Observed (U.S. and Puerto Rico) National Day (Spain) Schedule time this month to talk with your doctor about your prescriptions. Keep a positive attitude toward life. Do something today that makes you happy. 1 We want them to understand that exercise doesn t need to feel like work. You can get together, sweat and have fun while you get fit. Julie Avalos

13 Dunia Sanchez, LMT, CPT, CES Wellness Instructor, Medical Wellness Center University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Miami, FL Para Dunia Sanchez, empezar un programa de ejercicios y aprender a bailar se basa en la misma cosa dar un primer paso decisivo y fundamental. Para mucha gente, bailar es un territorio desconocido. Es como ir a un gimnasio por primera vez. Las personas se sienten intimidadas y no quieren probar. Pero una vez que dan el primer paso, se dan cuenta de lo divertido que es, dijo. Sanchez es una instructora para el bienestar en el Centro Médico para el Bienestar de la Facultad de Medicina Miller de la Universidad de Miami. Es profesora de Zumba Fitness, un programa bailable de ejercicios, que incorpora bailes y ritmos latinos e internacionales en intervalos de entrenamiento cardiovascular y de resistencia. Las clases de Zumba son para personas de todas las edades y habilidades, dijo. Es como una gran fiesta. La gente viene a aprender a bailar, a socializar y a pasar un buen rato. Sin embargo, el programa Zumba es más que sólo divertirse, dijo Sanchez. Bailar es un ejercicio cardiovascular fantástico. Ejercita todos los músculos en el cuerpo con el fin de mantener el ritmo. Aumenta el tono muscular y eleva al máximo el gasto calórico necesario para bajar de peso. También libera endorfinas, las hormonas de la felicidad que reducen el estrés, dijo. Sanchez da clases de Zumba desde hace cuatro años, pero ha bailado toda su vida. Aprendí a bailar antes de caminar. Cuando yo era un bebé en Cuba, mi madre me levantaba y me pedía que bailara para ella. Sacudía las caderas para arriba y para abajo, dijo. Creo que es muy común en la cultura latina que la danza forme parte de la vida desde el primer momento. El baile está marcado en mi ADN. Las clases de Zumba son para personas de todas las edades y habilidades. Dunia Sanchez noviembre/november Es esencial que calientes tu cuerpo antes de empezar una actividad física, para poder mantener la salud de tus músculos y esqueleto. Warming up is essential to maintaining musculoskeletal health during repeat strenuous activity All Saints Day Day of the Dead (Mexico) Election Day (U.S. and Puerto Rico) Ask your doctor to test your blood sugar levels Panama All Souls Day Challenge someone you know to participate in the Great American Smokeout. Thanksgiving Day Veterans Day (U.S. and Puerto Rico) Eat less saturated fat and cholesterol. Discovery of Puerto Rico Dunia Sanchez believes that starting an exercise regimen and learning how to dance both rely on the same thing taking that decisive and critical first step. For many people, dancing is an unknown territory. It s very much like going to a gym for the first time. People are intimidated and don t want to try it. But once they take the first step, they see that it s fun, she said. Sanchez is a wellness instructor at the Medical Wellness Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. She teaches Zumba Fitness, a dance fitness program that incorporates Latin and international dance styles and rhythms to create cardiovascular intervals and resistance training. Zumba classes are for anyone people of all ages and abilities, she said. It s like a big party. People come to learn how to dance, socialize and have a good time. The Zumba program is not only about having fun, said Sanchez. Dancing is a fantastic, high-cardiovascular exercise. It engages every muscle in the body in order to keep to the rhythm. It increases muscle tone and maximizes the caloric expenditure needed to lose weight. It also releases endorphins, the happy hormones that reduce stress, she said. Sanchez has been teaching Zumba classes for four years, but she has been dancing for her entire life. I learned to dance before I could walk. When I was a baby in Cuba, my mother would hold me up and ask me to dance for her. I d shake my hips up and down, she said. I think it s very common in Latino culture for dance to be part of life from birth. It s embedded in my DNA. Zumba classes are for anyone people of all ages and abilities. Dunia Sanchez

14 Jorge Mercado Founder and President, Houston Salsa Dancers Pearland, TX Jorge Mercado se siente afortunado de haber podido combinar su amor por la docencia con su pasión por el baile. Mercado, consejero en una escuela secundaria, decidió hace más de una década que quería enseñarle a la gente cómo utilizar el baile para descubrirse a si mismos. El baile y la música son terapéuticos por naturaleza, dijo. Siempre han sido una parte importante de mis procesos curativos y para manejar el dolor. En 1999, Mercado fundó Houston Salsa Dancers. Además de proporcionar más de dólares en becas universitarias a adolescentes latinos, el grupo lleva Salsaterapia a la comunidad para impartir un efecto positivo, mental y físicamente. La Salsaterapia ofrece a los participantes la oportunidad de expresar su individualidad e imaginación. También les enseña a colaborar con otras personas. Según Mercado, es más que una experiencia física es también una experiencia emocional y espiritual. El baile ejerce un efecto muy poderoso sobre nosotros, dijo Mercado, quien también es presidente de la Asociación Tejana de Instructores de Salsa. Es una herramienta de curación. Es una oportunidad para utilizar tu cerebro para crear patrones. Es una actividad física, es divertido, y nos da la oportunidad de expresarnos. La Salsaterapia ha llevado esperanza a pacientes con cáncer, parejas con dificultades matrimoniales, y niños. El objetivo es expulsar los sentimientos negativos y transmitir energía positiva, dijo. Mercado se siente especialmente orgulloso de su trabajo ayudando a pacientes de cáncer del Centro Médico de Houston a mover sus cuerpos por medio del baile. Tengo el privilegio de poder ayudar a otros a enfrentar nuevos retos y a lograr cosas que jamás pensaron que podían hacer, dijo. El objetivo es expulsar los sentimientos negativos y transmitir energía positiva. Jorge Mercado Cerciórate de utilizar el calzado correcto para bailar. Los zapatos de baile están cuidadosamente diseñados para proteger las piernas y los pies, y para ofrecerte el soporte que necesitas al bailar. Be certain that you are dancing in the correct type of shoe. Dance shoes are carefully structured to protect the legs and feet, and to benefit the dancer. Jorge Mercado feels lucky that he has been able to combine his love for teaching with his passion for dance. A high school guidance counselor, Mercado decided more than a decade ago that he wanted to show people how to use dance to better connect to their inner selves. Dancing and music are therapeutic by nature, he said. They have always been an important part of my healing and grieving process. In 1999, Mercado founded Houston Salsa Dancers. In addition to providing more than $150,000 in college scholarship money to Latino teens, the group brings Salsa Therapy into the community to positively impact the mind and body. Salsa Therapy gives participants the chance to express their individuality and imagination. It also shows them how to work with a partner. According to Mercado, it s more than a physical experience it s emotional and spiritual as well. Dance has a very powerful effect on us, said Mercado, who also is president of the Texas Association of Salsa Instructors. It is a healing tool. It s a chance to use your brain to create patterns. It s physical, it s fun, and it gives us a chance to express ourselves. Salsa Therapy has brought hope to cancer patients, struggling married couples and children. The goal is to kick away negative feelings and pass along the positive energy, he said. Mercado is especially proud when he helps cancer patients at the Houston Medical Center get their bodies moving through dance. I ve been blessed that I have had the opportunity to help others accept new challenges and do things that they never thought they were capable of doing, he said. diciembre/december Christmas Be committed to healthful diet and exercise habits during the holiday season. Stay aware of toy recalls this holiday season. Christmas Posadas begin Try singing the alphabet in your head while washing your hands. It s a great way to make sure you re washing them long enough. Christmas Eve New Year s Eve The goal is to kick away negative feelings and pass along the positive energy. Jorge Mercado

15 Biographies For Spanish translations of these biographies, visit Julie Avalos Julie Avalos is the director of family health services at Congreso de Latinos Unidos, a nonprofit organization based in Philadelphia that strengthens Latino communities through social, economic, education and health services; leadership development; and advocacy. Avalos is responsible for developing, implementing and managing successful health-related services, and ensuring that they are culturally and linguistically appropriate. She also oversees programs that focus on several public health areas, including services for domestic violence survivors and their children, maternal infant and child health services, community health prevention programming, and services for pregnant and parenting teens. A licensed social worker, Avalos is an active member of Philadelphia s Mayor s Taskforce on Domestic Violence and The Philadelphia Coalition of Victim Advocates. She has done systems work both locally and statewide; advocating to reduce health disparities, improve access to resources within the Latino community and promote general positive health outcomes. Avalos earned both a bachelor s and master s degree in social work from Temple University. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado Vanessa Calderón-Rosado is the chief executive officer of Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA), a community-building nonprofit organization based in Boston, Massachusetts, that develops low- and moderate-income housing, provides support services to families, and promotes and preserves Latino artistic expression. During Calderón-Rosado s tenure, IBA has completed a dramatic financial, operational and programmatic turnaround. Under her leadership, IBA has expanded the Pathway Technology Campus, a joint venture with Bunker Hill Community College that created a technology-infused satellite campus in IBA s affordable housing community, Villa Victoria. She also has helped increase IBA s arts and culture programs to anchor it as New England s prime Latino arts hub. In 2009, Calderón-Rosado was selected for the Barr Foundation Fellowship granted to 12 of the most gifted nonprofit leaders in Greater Boston. Calderón-Rosado serves on the board of directors of Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Boston Afterschool and Beyond, and the National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders. She Esther Gutiérrez Sloan Esther Gutiérrez Sloan is the president and founder of SALSArobics, Inc., an exercise program that provides a whole-body workout and teaches Latin dancing at the same time. She also created the FITKIDS children s fitness program for the Lake Forest Health and Fitness Institute in Chicago, which teaches children the importance of exercise and good health habits. Certified by the American Council on Exercise and trained in Total Body Training Systems, Gutiérrez Sloan teaches SALSArobics at several locations in the Chicago area. She is a popular presenter, having led SALSArobics exhibitions at fitness conventions, health clubs, high schools and ethnic festivals nationally and internationally. She has performed SALSArobics on local and national television in Illinois and California. Since 1998, Gutiérrez Sloan and SALSArobics have been part of the Pathways to Learning Be Well/Take Care curriculum for continuing education for K-12 teachers. Gutiérrez Sloan is currently a presenter for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, introducing young girls (K-8) throughout the Chicago area to a fitness lifestyle through the Fit to Be Me with SALSArobics program. Gutiérrez Sloan is a sought-after motivational speaker, who continually presents at elementary, middle and high schools; colleges; and universities for both students and faculty. Active in her community, she is a PTO volunteer and has offered her time to City of Hope, the American Heart Association, Aids Walk Chicago, Dance for Life, and Latino Entertainment by leading warm-ups and exercise segments, and participating in promotional events. Gutiérrez Sloan received a bachelor s degree in computer science from Northeastern Illinois University, graduating with high honors. She has been married for 38 years and has two daughters. Sergio Leal Sergio Leal is a founder and director of Latin Dance Pro, a dance academy and entertainment company based in Pasadena, California; and Latin Dance Fashions, an online Latin dancewear company. He also competes internationally in professional Latin dancing. At Latin Dance Pro, Leal teaches everything from the basic salsa step to complex patterns and partnering techniques. He has won high praise for his teaching method that simplifies complicated salsa patterns into easy-to-learn movements. Anita N. Martinez Anita N. Martinez has been involved in community service work in Dallas, Texas, for over 64 years. She is the founder and chief fund-raising officer of Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Inc. (ANMBF), an educational performance-based dance organization dedicated to instilling cultural pride and awareness in the Hispanic community while educating the general public about the Hispanic cultural contribution to society. ANMBF teaches Hispanic youth about the riches of their culture through performing arts, making them more aware of traditional Mexican music, dance and history. This awareness motivates them to stay in school and aspire to higher education goals. Under Martinez s leadership, ANMBF has grown from a small group of dancers who met in a Dallas community recreation center into the largest professional ballet folklorico in the United States. It comprises more than 36 dancers and serves hundreds of people during weekly performances. ANMBF features traditional Hispanic music, authentic costumes, and dances from various geographical regions and historic periods of Mexico. Prior to creating ANMBF, Martinez was active in public affairs. In 1969, she served as a member of the Dallas City Council, becoming the first Hispanic woman elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. Her efforts as a council member led to a number of physical and social improvements in communities of West Dallas and Little Mexico. As a tribute to Martinez s years of service to the community, the Dallas City Council named the Anita N. Martinez Recreation Center in her honor. Luis Martinez Luis Martinez has been a professional dancer and dance instructor since He currently is an associate professor of dance and the artistic director of Kean Dance Theatre (KDT) at Kean University in Union, New Jersey. Martinez has choreographed over 40 works for KDT, the theatre and music departments, and for numerous campus and community events. He teaches modern dance composition, improvisation, jazz, dance theatre production, Latin dance and ballroom dance at Kean. He also is the faculty advisor of the student-based Latin dance group Ritmo Latino, which is dedicated to researching and performing traditional and social Caribbean and Latin American dances. is a member of the advisory committees of the Center for Community Health Improvement at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Mauricio Gastón Institute at UMASS-Boston and the McCormack Graduate School of Policy at UMASS-Boston. Calderón-Rosado has many outside interests, including reading, dancing, pilates, Zumba, cooking and traveling. She received her doctorate in public policy on aging at the Gerontology Center of the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Calderón-Rosado lives in Milton, Massachusetts, with her husband and two sons. Betsy Dopico Betsy Dopico, a native Cuban, is a renowned Zumba instructor and musician. She is a cofounder of Dance. Art. Fitness. Studio (DAF Studio) in Miami, Florida. DAF Studio represents the synergic collaboration of the mind, body and spirit through dance, arts and fitness. At DAF Studio, Dopico leads a team of well-seasoned professional choreographers and artists who instruct both children and adults by utilizing various forms of dance to promote greater physical and cognitive well-being. Certified five times in Zumba, Dopico was chosen as a Zumba master trainer by its creator, Beto Pérez, in She has appeared as a Zumba image in Mexico on the television programs Revista Hoy and Otro Rollo. As a member of the 5 de Diciembre Brigade of the Universidad Central, Dopico received national awards for choreography as first figure in the productions La Cenicienta and Poupurrit Cubano. A trained pianist, Dopico won the Cuban National Award as Instrumentalist, presented by the National Brigade of Amateur Artists, three years in a row. In 1999, she was awarded the Gold National Medal as Cuba s best instrumentalist. In addition to her exploits as a performer, Dopico has worked as a children s music and piano teacher. Dopico received a degree in arts from Universidad Central de Las Villas in Cuba. Leal s performances and choreography have been featured in awardwinning routines, television, film, and numerous articles and magazines. In 2005, Leal and his partner, Salud Leon, were semifinalists at the 10th Annual Mayan Salsa World Competition and took third place in the World Salsa Competition in Miami. Costumes from Latin Dance Fashions have appeared in film and television, and have been worn by celebrity dancers in prestigious competitions and showcases worldwide. Latin Dance Fashions is one of the top-ranking online stores in the world. Leal received a bachelor s degree in pure mathematics from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Salud Leon Salud Leon is a founder and director of Latin Dance Pro, a dance academy and entertainment company based in Pasadena, California; and Latin Dance Fashions, an online Latin dancewear company. She also competes internationally in professional Latin dancing and has worked as a nurse. Leon s approach to teaching salsa at Latin Dance Pro stresses the social aspects of the dance by emphasizing leading and following techniques over choreography, which produces a smooth look and feel to partner dancing. In 2005, while working simultaneously as a professional competitive dancer and nurse, Leon and her partner, Sergio Leal, took third place in the World Salsa Competition in Miami and were semifinalists at the 10th Annual Mayan Salsa World Competition. Leon s credits include print and commercial modeling, as well as appearances on television and in film. Latin Dance Fashions provides high-quality, affordable, custom-made Latin dance costumes to dancers all over the world. It is one of the top-ranking online stores in the world. Leon received a bachelor s degree in nursing from the University of Phoenix. Martinez has presented his works at regional and national conferences such as the American College Dance Festival; and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Prior to working at Kean University, Martinez performed with various dance companies in Cleveland, Ohio, and New York City; including the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and Ballet Hispanico. He also served as an adjunct professor at Pace University in Briarcliff Manor, New York; and as a guest dance teacher in Osaka, Japan. Martinez has studied with two renowned master teachers and performers of Latin dance, Eddie Torres (the Mambo Dance King) and Maria Torres (a Broadway performer and choreographer). Martinez holds bachelor s and master s of fine arts degree in dance/ choreography from the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. Jorge L. Mercado Jorge L. Mercado currently is a guidance counselor at Charles H. Milby High School in Houston, Texas; a salsa dance instructor at the University of Houston (Cougar Salsaros); and a former history professor at Interamerican University in Puerto Rico. He is the founder of the after-school program Salsa Therapy; and the nonprofit organization Houston Salsa Dancers, Inc. Through Salsa Therapy, Mercado meets with Houston-area high school students at various schools and community centers twice a week, teaching them Caribbean dances and counseling concepts such as developing self-esteem and creating personal goals. The students meet on their own an additional two times a week to improve their skills. In 15 years leading the program, Mercado has reached out to over 5,000 students. In 1999, Mercado and a group of his family members founded Houston Salsa Dancers, an organization designed to enrich and empower youth and anyone willing through an exploration of dance and culture. Houston Salsa Dancers developed and created The Houston Salsa Congress, which is the first-ever salsa congress in Texas; and The Texas Salsa Open, a competition that qualifies dancers to participate in the annual World Salsa Championship. The organization has awarded more than $150,000 in college scholarships to students in Houston.

16 Biographies For Spanish translations of these biographies, visit A certified salsa instructor, Mercado is the president of the Texas Association of Salsa Instructors (TASI), which certifies salsa instructors in Texas. Mercado developed the history of salsa curriculum for TASI. Mercado earned a master s degree in counseling from State University of New York at Brockport, a master s degree in history from State University of New York at Buffalo and earned 36 hours toward a doctorate degree in history from the University of Valladolid in Spain. Jorge Alonso Pérez Suffering from depression as a child and adult, Jorge Alonso Pérez realized that dancing made his depression disappear. Combining his passion for dance with his desire to serve the community, Pérez founded Dance Therapy Dance Your Depression Away!, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in San Antonio, Texas, that helps children, adults and seniors conquer depression through Latin ballroom dancing. Dance Therapy offers free introductory dance lessons designed to relieve stress, build confidence and self-esteem, strengthen spirituality and healing, and teach healthful life choices. The organization also provides advocacy and referral of depressed individuals to qualified mental health agencies and practitioners. Pérez has grown Dance Therapy from a program run out of his car into an organization that serves nearly 30 senior nutrition centers and Dancing With The Children program in three elementary schools across San Antonio. Pérez s efforts through Dance Therapy was instrumental in the community-wide San Antonio Mayor s Dance Challenge. Lillian Rodríguez López Lillian Rodríguez López is president of the Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit membership organization serving close to 100 Latino health and human service agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Under Rodríguez López s leadership, the Federation has dramatically increased its organizational capacity to serve a growing network of member agencies and respond to the Latino community s local and national needs. Prior to joining the Hispanic Federation, Rodríguez López was employed at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, a public benefit corporation that oversees New York City s public health care system. She worked in several capacities, including as executive assistant to the chairman of the board of directors. Rodríguez López currently is chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda and cochair of the National Latino Coalition on Climate Change. She also serves as a member of the Citizen s Union Board, Nielsen s Hispanic Latino Advisory Council and News Corporation s Diversity Council. In 2010, People en Español selected Rodríguez López as one of its 25 Most Powerful Latinos in the Country. She also was elected the 2007 Coors Hispanic Leader of the Year. Rodríguez López received a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Fordham University and completed the Executive Program at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University under the 2003 National Hispana Leadership Institute. Luis Salgado A veteran performer and choreographer on the stage, in the movies and on television, Luis Salgado played Jose and is the Latin assistant choreographer of the Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights. He also is the founder and director of R.Evolución Latina, a nonprofit organization in New York City focused on empowering Latino communities through the arts. R.Evolución Latina is a collective of artists and activists committed to empowering the artistic community in order to inspire growth within the Latino community through collaboration, productions and educational support programs. Salgado teaches dance in communities in need throughout the five boroughs of New York City through R.Evolución Latina s educational programs. In addition to In the Heights, Salgado has performed in shows such as The Mambo Kings, Fame on 42nd Street and Aida; and is now performing on Broadway s Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. He has choreographed the musicals Serenade, Salsa Gorda, I ll Be Damned and Shafrika The White Girl. Salgado has appeared in the films Step Up 2 The Streets, Enchanted, Across the Universe and Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights. Salgado s choreography in the musical Serenade won the HOLA (Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors) Award for choreography. Dunia Sanchez Dunia Sanchez is a wellness instructor at the Miller School of Medicine s Medical Wellness Center at the University of Miami. She uses her passion for helping others and her conviction that fitness is an essential part of a more healthful lifestyle to help the center s members achieve their wellness goals. Sanchez incorporates her expertise as a licensed massage therapist to help the wellness center s members understand the importance of proper posture when exercising to maximize results and prevent injuries. A passionate dancer, Sanchez also is a Zumba instructor, currently teaching Zumba Sculpt and regular Zumba classes at the center. Sanchez s fitness experiences include gymnastics, ballet, professional dance and sports-conditioning training. She is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, certified fitness nutrition specialist and American Heart Association CPR instructor. Sanchez graduated from a sports academy high school in Cuba. RESOURCES For information about Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Inc., visit For information about R.Evolución Latina, visit For information about Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, visit To find a Zumba class near you, visit For information about Kean Dance Theatre, visit For information about Latin Dance Pro, visit For information about the Hispanic Federation, visit To find a SALSArobics class near you, visit For information about Dance Therapy Dance Your Depression Away!, Inc., visit PARA ORDENAR CALENDARIO Los calendarios están a la venta por $4 cada uno. Si desea un calendario, por favor envíe un cheque, pagadero a Aetna, a: Aetna Latino Calendar Corporate Communications, RW3H 151 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT Teléfono: Fax: TO ORDER CALENDAR Additional calendars are available for $4 each. To order, please send a check, payable to Aetna, to: Aetna Latino Calendar Corporate Communications, RW3H 151 Farmington Avenue Hartford, CT Phone: Fax: SPECIAL THANkS Aetna Hispanic Employee Resource Group Raymond Arroyo Miguel Centeno Florentino Colon Jane Condron Sharon Dalton Clemente Gonzales Floyd Green Nohemi Lopez Maria Mendez Federico Preuss Dawn Romberg Rachel Vorobyev Thomas Wynn CREDITS Produced by Aetna Inc. Project Manager Peggy Garrity Project Assistants Myrna Blum Sharon Valechko Creative Development Pita Group LLC Rocky Hill, Connecticut Creative Director Lisa Santoro Writers Emily Cretella Kim Pita Designer Lisa Santoro For information about Congreso de Latinos Unidos, visit For information about Dunia Sanchez s fitness class, visit wellness.med.miami.edu. For information about the Houston Salsa Dancers, visit Photography Lou Jones Studio Boston, Massachusetts Photographer Lou Jones Assistants Mike DeStefano Matt Kalinowski David Lincoln Keith McWilliams Leah Raymond Kurt Wittman Printer Allied Printing Manchester, Connecticut

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