Ron's Dance Talk - Hustle / Disco WCS + Salsa Ron Bermudez -
by Ron Bess



Ron Bermudez & Salsa Angels
He was a born leader. He had dancing in his veins and music in his heart. He was driven to circulate every type of dance and music internally. Ron Bermudez is a TV producer who was trained in dance by many of the early greats: Nelly Cotto, Floyd Chisholm, Eddie Vega, Lourdes Jones, George Vascone and Denise Florencio - founders of the Latin Symbolics. Ron took his lessons serious and passed on this wonderful talent to others. In 1978 he founded the Salsa Angels®.
At the tender age of 7 years old, Ron fell in love with dance. While living in central America he would watch the kids listening to Cuban radio dancing to Cuban guaracha and mambo. Fascinated by the girls dancing to the Cuban salsa tumbao pattern or conga drum pattern. "That drum beat just made me move and start dancing" recalls Ron. His uncle Carlos taught him his first Cuban dance steps. Years later, as an adult, Ron set out to find Francisco Aguabella, the Cuban master drummer that produced the hit album for Peggy Lee. "Francisco taught me that on the one of the clave you step out back or forth" Ron's passion for music and dancing was very analytical, it wasn't just about performing but understanding the roots and body movement. In 1977 while residing in San Francisco, he went to see the new motion picture 'Saturday Night Fever'. Ron remembers "I could tell that there was something wrong with the partner dancing." He later read an article that exposed how the movie had ripped off the Latin kids from Manhattan and the Bronx, who had actually invented the NY Latin hustle. Ron set out to research the dance and set the record straight. He flew to NY to investigate the authenticity of the NY Latin hustle. He quickly uncovered, as he suspected, that the hustle was a dance invented by the Latin kids to dance salsa to disco music. In efforts to totally comprehend this new dance he wanted to learn only from the best. "I needed to hire the NY champions to teach me the real dance." That very same night he went to a hustle dance contest. The winners were Floyd Chisholm and Nelly Cotto. Ron quickly put his project into motion. He invited all the dancers from the contest, including the Latin Symbolics, to take part in a video performance. This project created a life long friendship and student relationship with all these young champions. "I learned from the champions Nelly & Floyd and the upcoming champions Eddie Vega & Lourdes Jones, they became my role models." Nelly and Floyd were real elegant and classy, Eddie became real fantastic and Lourdes dancing was real cute, sexy and smooth recalls Ron. The video project was shown and became a hit on the San Francisco cable access channel in 1978. The true credit for creating the hustle dance was now incontestable.
A natural for lifts and tricks, Ron's daughter Pearl became his partner. In California they competed, winning a number of first places competitions. In a short period of time, Ron & Pearl developed a strong following. They were highly regarded and were invited by many important civic organizations to perform at their functions. They were honored at the same time for bringing the real NY Latin hustle to the west coast. Ron began to bring many of the NY greats to San Francisco. He continued to study under them and found a growing interest from the west coast dancers to perform. There was a growing demand for shows and performers. "I was even honored by Carol Montez in LA. to teach her the authentic NY Latin hustle." People just fell in love with the hustle, and every body wanted to learn it, this kept Ron very busy dancing, teaching and doing routines for his cable TV show. The show caused a buzz and the girls wanted to be part of our dance group. Along with his two daughters and all the eager ladies, the enthusiasm gave birth to the Salsa Angels®. They began doing shows and performing on Ron's TV show. " When I first started to mix the NY Latin hustle with Cuban salsa on the 1, in 1978, everybody thought I was being stupid, but look at it now all the dancers in the world are doing it."
Back in the day, he was the founding father of salsa on the radio playing complete programs dedicated to Salsa music. Ron became the number one DJ during the busy commute hours of 3PM to 6PM. This success opened the door to cable TV. Via his radio broadcast, Ron helped to discover and launch many music bands.
He has a band of musicians called the Ron Bermudez salsa all stars. "I helped the Escovedo brothers band, Sheila E's father and uncles band in the early sixties they were my live house band on my radio programs. I gave Sheila E her first opportunity to perform with the salsa all stars in 1973, when she was about 14 or 15 years old."
Ron then took his band to the Hollywood Paladium in 1978 for a sold out performance and brought Eddie & Lourdes to Hollywood for the first time. Ron helped pave new paths for many artists and gave them their just-do exposure.
Today, Ron continues to dance, perform, teach and inspire others. You can see this true artist on his televised programs in San Francisco, California. Visit his website at: http://www.salsalarazawithronbermudez.com

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