Diversity, Community and Representation

R.Evolución Latina’s BWS Class of 2024 has been the most rewarding process I have ever been a part of. I was first introduced to R.Evolución Latina when I attended the 2023 Easter Bonnet Competition, and upon first glance, I knew I needed to be involved with R.Evolución Latina.

After taking a few BWS+ classes, I was immediately accepted into a beautiful and eclectic group of artists. Not only was I introduced to artists that look like me, but I also discovered a place I can now call home.

During the two weeks of BWS at National Dance Institute, I unlocked parts of myself that I never knew I could access. Through the training of Luis Salgado, Matthew Steffens, Carlos Bauzys, Rachel Dean and Gabriela Garcia, I was reminded of my ancestry, my latinness, my soul, my being, and how all of those aspects contribute to my artistry.

Thank you, creators of R.Evolución Latina, because you have manifested a safe space for artists to unapologetically be themselves. During these past four weeks, I have cried more times than I have in my entire life, and that is all thanks to our leaders. It is because of you, that I was reminded why I am, and have always wanted to be, an artist.

Putting together a brand new musical in five days was no easy feat, but I am so inspired by the cast of BARBA for doing so with ease. Being Puerto Rican and growing up in Westchester, New York, I had no sense of self when it came to my culture. I never realized how important diversity, community, and representation is until being cast in this project. Prior to performing in BARBA, I had not performed on a stage in seven years. I had been yearning to exercise my love for the arts, but had not been given the opportunity to do so. I feel so blessed and privileged to have returned to the stage in this Latino show, with this cast, with this band, and with this creative team. I will never forget the memories and moments shared with you all for the rest of my life.

Although BARBA may have closed at the Pregones Theater in the Bronx, this is just the beginning. I, along with my peers, now have a family of artists to learn from, to uplift, and to continue breaking boundaries with. I have left this experience with a new sense of empowerment, and I cannot wait for the rest of the world to watch us soar!

By Kyle Morales

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