"Dancing saved my life. It helped get me out of a hard up bringing in the South Bronx." Those are the words of Franc.Reyes, known back in the day as Perico.
He was one of the original Hustle kings, dominating the dance circuit in the 70's and early 80's. One summer evening in 1976 he was watching Floyd Chishom and partner Evelyn and described them as "the most incredible thing I ever saw." A short time later he met Billy Fajardo and Sandra Rivera at Club Ipenema (this club along with Lime Light were two of the top Hustle clubs ). Billy and Perico formed the legendary dance troupe, The Disco Dance Dimensions. Perico along with dance partner extrordianire, Debbie Ferro AKA Rosado, teamed up to perform with the DDD. They appeared at the Grand Opening of Studio 54 (along with Grace Jones & the Village People). (Not a bad gig), The dance troupe performed and traveled extensively throughout Europe.
By 1980, Perico got the bug to move on, and put together his own dance troupe. This was another sign of his creativity and his drive to push the envelope and evolve as an artist. The new dance troupe was very successful and toured Venezuela. Teaming with various partners, Perico went onto new challenges including competing and winning the semi finals on the nationally televised "Dance Fever." Perico was not limiting himself to Hustle. His artistic juices were flowing again and he now was moving in a new direction. In 1983 the quintessential Hip Hop movie "Beat Street" emerged starring Harry Belafonte, Perico was cast and put his acting skills to the test. He quickly determined this was not for him. But he still had the artistic bug.
In 1985 he began choreographing for major entertainers (free style) but then took it to a new level when he composed a hit song for Corina. In 1990, "Just waiting for you" hit the charts. This was followed up by another Franc original "Together for Ever" performed by Lisette Melendez. In 1991 he wrote the highest charting free style song ever recorded, "Temptation" also performed by Corina. This was followed up by other hit singles. At this time Franc decided to return to the dance arena, this time staging the club sequence in the hit movie "Carlito's Way."
Now he had the writing bug. He had already written two screen plays, "Headliners" and "In the Deep South" but in 1996, he struck gold. His new motion picture, "Empire" has just been completed. Franc directed and wrote six of the songs on the soundtrack. It will be in Movie theaters all over the USA soon.
This winter he begins shooting (in NY) , his next film, "The Minister."
As he looks back over the years, he has fond memories of the Hustle years. He misses his friends that have since passed, George Vasconds, Eddy Vega and Dante Wynn, all credited with helping to elevate the hustle dance.
He encourages others to keep dancing. He is amazed to see old friends and how youthful they still look as he visits Dancesport. He credits dancing with keeping them in shape and looking fit. So,
what does a South Bronx guy do after he's brought all of his dreams to life?
Well, he's considering writing a film about the biggest driving force in his career.
The Hustle Era.
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of writing a spotlight on the multi talented Franc "Perico" Reyes. His new movie release will rock the theaters this December.
Franc was one of the early pioneers of hustle dancing. Along with Billy Fajardo, they formed the legendary dance troupe, "The Disco Dance Dimensions." He teamed up with dance partner extrodinaire, Debbie Ferro (AKA Rosado). They performed with the D.D.D. at the Grand Opening of "Studio 54" and on many TV shows including Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and The Soap Factory. Franc continued to perform and danced with various partners and was a semi finalist on the hit TV show "Dance Fever." In search of more challenges, he put his talents to the test choreographing for major entertainers. Working closely in the music industry he composed a hit song for Corina. In 1990, "Just waiting for you" hit the charts. This was followed up by another Franc original, "Together for Ever," performed by Lisette Melendez. In 1991 he wrote the highest charting free style song ever recorded, "Temptation," also performed by Corina. His artistic creativity then carried over to writing two screen plays, "Headliners" and "In the Deep South"
We are very proud to announce that the move "Empire," will be playing in theaters starting December 6th, 2002. Franc is the writer and director. The movie trailer is now being featured at theaters everywhere.
From the hustle to the Silver screen.
We'll keep you posted on the opening night extravaganza and his continued success.