Bronx dancer Milteri Tucker gives back back to the borough

Milteri Tucker has always had a clear vision of what she wanted to do in life. In a word, it’s “dance.”“For me, dance is my voice,”. “It’s how I’ve learned to express my feelings and thoughts.”

Tucker’s signature is her unique blending of the Puerto Rican Bomba with modern and West African dance.“I think that is what separates me from the pack,” said Tucker, 29, of Parkchester. “ I went back to my roots. I rediscovered La Bomba and created my own (dance) language.” Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Tucker attended the prestigious Bellas Artes de Ponce performing arts school where she studied ballet and jazz.

She left Puerto Rico in 2000 to attend Hunter College. While taking a dance class, her teacher asked her to demonstrate La Bomba and that lit a spark. “I knew what Bomba was when I left Puerto Rico,” Tucker said. “But I felt a thirst as a dancer for a way to better define myself.”

She immersed herself in the traditional Puerto Rican music style characterized by high energy drumming and dancers in colorful flowing skirts. She joined the Puerto Rican folk dance company, Danza Fiesta, and over the years continued to develop her signature blend of dance styles.

Tucker has performed in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Summer Stage Central Park, among other venues. She’s choreographed pieces for Pregones Theatre, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD!) and the West End Theater in Manhattan.

Two years ago, Tucker founded Bombazo Dance Co. which now boasts 10 dancers and drummers, including her brother, William. The troupe performs all over the Bronx and Manhattan.

“I think she is an amazing dancer,” said Alvan Colón-Lespier, of Pregones. “She is able to express herself in a very new way without forgetting the root of the movement – which is something I think is important for contemporary dancers to be able to do. And she does that marvelously.”

“She is really a wonderful developing artist,” added BAAD! Co-founder Arthur Aviles. “She keeps it real and she keeps it here in the Bronx.”

In the midst of it all, Tucker wanted to find a way to give back. So every Friday, she teaches a dance worshop for youth at the Owen Dolen Recreation Center in Westchester Square. She also teaches Bomba at the Casa Boricua Senior Citizens Center in Claremont.

While dance is her life, she still plans on pursing her second passion in medicine. Tucker graduated from Hunter College with degrees in Dance, Biology and minor in Chemistry. She wants to pursue sports medicine in the future.

The present, however, belongs to dance. “Dance has become my life,” Tucker said.

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