Keep Dancing Orlando Remembers Pulse Victims By Dancing
The group Keep Dancing Orlando created this video of diverse Orlando residents getting jiggy all over the city to remember the “49 beautiful souls that were taken at Pulse.” With Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” playing in the background (already a tear-jerker), people let loose and werk it just about everywhere. People are dancing, jumping, singing and waving flags throughout the city, and the overall energy is super uplifting. This video hit so close for so many people, it even played at the funeral of Eddie Sotomayor, one of the Pulse victims.
The video invites viewers to dance and also donate to the foundation One Orlando, which benefits the victims of America’s largest mass shooting and their families. The group’s site encourages people to not surrender to hate, “Forty-nine beautiful souls were taken at Pulse, but their spirit dances on in all of us.”
Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.
This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.
Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”
As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.
“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”
“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.
Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.
He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.
Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”
Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.
“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”
Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.
They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.
He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.
He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.
Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.
While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.
In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.
Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.
His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.
The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.
His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.
In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.
Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.
The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.
We stan this family photo.
“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.
Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.
He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.
Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:
Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.
Honey, you in trouble.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.
His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.
Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!
This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.
Up Next is a FIERCE series highlighting rising Latina and Latin American women artists you might not know about but definitely should.
When Roc Nation’s #RocDaCourt Latin celebrity basketball game takes Las Vegas on April 24, there’s going to be an unfamiliar female face playing alongside Bad Bunny, Anuel AA, A.Chal and other urbano heavyweights. Let us introduce you: Nohemy, the emerging singer-rapper out of Orlando, Fla.
The moment is huge for the Puerto Rican artist, who just dropped her first Spanish-language single, “Repetir,” an energetic boastful bop, last month. But, clearly, the rising act has reason to be confident, though that doesn’t mean she’s not humble.
“Things are picking up. I’m grateful and enjoying the process,” the 25-year-old talent told FIERCE.
Nohemy, who is on Team El Combo, with el Conejo Malo, Tainy, Myke Towers, Rauw Alejandro and more, won’t be the only girl on the court. Becky G is over on Team La Familia, where she’ll be balling with acts like Anuel, Luny Tunes, C. Tangana and Justin Quiles, among others. But Nohemy doesn’t have her sights on the young Mexican-American singer. Instead, the triple threat, who played college basketball on a scholarship, is coming for Anuel — which is a glimpse at the up-and-coming Latina artist’s drive overall.
We chatted with Nohemy about the forthcoming game, where she sees her poppier sound in urbano’s global takeover, shining in Orlando’s music scene and what to expect next from the rising act.
FIERCE: It’s hard to place your music and sound in a genre box. How would you describe your style?
Nohemy: My style of music would be uptempo, commercial and very happy. I don’t promote drugs or stuff like that. I try to be a positive energy, a good energy.
FIERCE: You were born and raised in Puerto Rico before moving to Orlando when you were 16 years old. What sort of music did you grow up on and how do you think this influenced your sound today?
Nohemy: Growing up, I listened to a lot of Usher, Chris Brown, Michael Jackson and hip-hop. I didn’t even really understand the lyrics, but I liked the feeling of the uptempo music. I was also always involved in sports, and we always had a lot of playlists with this type of music, too. I think all of this reflects my style today because I go off of energy and the feeling it gives me. I’m very hyper. I can’t stay still. So I really identify with this high-energy music and I think I showcase this through my performances onstage.
FIERCE: Oh definitely! I’ve seen some of your performances online, and you are very energetic. Not only are you singing and rapping, but you’re also dancing. When did you realize your musical talents and knew this was something that you wanted to do?
Nohemy: I knew since I was little. I started singing at church, and I always had this feeling in me, this fire, that wanted to explode. In my room, I was always singing Usher and Chris Brown in front of the mirror. I always projected myself somewhere else. It was like a feeling of escaping from the real world.
FIERCE: At what point does this become the real world, something you go after professionally?
Nohemy: Once I actually took the initiative to make my own music and get onstage, that was it. I always had a vision of what it would feel like, but once I experienced it, I needed more of it. I felt like I had to keep going. It’s addicting.
FIERCE: Orlando’s music scene used to be huge in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, during the bubblegum pop era, but it has since faded out. That’s not to say there aren’t big and rising names in the game from the O’ — Luis Fonsi, Coast City, Spiff TV, Nitty Scott and more, for instance — but many have left the city. What are some of the difficulties but also advantages of doing music in Orlando right now?
Nohemy: I think it’s growing. It’s a great time right now. The Latino community is huge and growing in Orlando, and people are starting to catch up with what’s going on. As more Spanish-speaking people come in, the Latin market is growing worldwide. People here see that and I feel like there’s more support in the city now than ever, especially after Hurricane Maria, with more people coming over. People are understanding the culture and the importance of supporting one another. There are some difficulties, especially because Orlando is such a tourist area, so the music scene kind of gets lost in that. It’s not something people see; it’s hidden. It hasn’t gotten the boom and exploded out, so you have to network a lot, go to little events, get to know people inside the community and business. But there are people doing it. It’s just a different vibe, more quiet.
FIERCE: One of the benefits I see is you get to be a big fish in a small pond and are more likely to get on someone’s radar. Case in point: You were selected to participate in Roc Nation’s #RocDaCourt basketball game in Vegas this month, where you’ll be on team El Combo with Bad Bunny, Tainy, Myke Towers, Rauw Alejandro, A.Chal and more. How did that come about?
Nohemy: My manager Stephanie was in contact with Lex Borrero, who is the executive vice president of Roc Nation and the head of Roc Nation Latin. He asked her if I played basketball, and I do, I actually went to college on a basketball scholarship, so she told him that and they asked me to come on. I think it’s so cool because I get to make music and showcase this passion, sports, which I’ve done for so many years of my life.
FIERCE: Team La Familia has Becky G, but you’ll be the only woman on Team El Combo, and so early on in your career. What does this feel like for you?
Nohemy: Honestly, it’s surreal. When she told me, I got emotional. I come from a place where this is something we see on TV and never picture yourself there, especially so fast. I just put out my first single last month, and things are picking up. I’m grateful and enjoying the process.
FIERCE: I’m sure! As you said, you actually play ball and have real court skills. Who are you going to be coming for during the game on April 24?
Nohemy: I’m coming for Anuel. I’m coming for him. I heard he has some ball skills, and a lot of people who saw I would be in the game have reached out to me and said I have to cross him up. It’s a fun, competitive game, and I have to do it now for the people, haha.
FIERCE: Haha, I can’t wait to watch that! I want to get to your music. You recently released “Repetir,” a fun, somewhat boastful song for the haters who didn’t believe in you. Why did you want to make this record. Does it describe sort of where you’re at right now in life?
Nohemy: Yeah, it definitely describes where I’m at in life. I took nine months off. In that time, I was finding myself as an artist. Before this, I wasn’t an artist who would say these things in songs; I didn’t have the confidence for that. But after putting that time in, that development, finding me, who Nohemy is, I found that confidence to say the things I said in that record. This is who I am, and I will continue to be me.
FIERCE: Love that! What else are you working on right now that you can tell us about?
Nohemy: Right now, I’m working on my next single. I’m working on some visuals that I want to put together with it. That should be out by early June. Really, I’m just focused on making more music, having stuff to follow up with, and booking more shows.
FIERCE: Latin pop and urbano are having a major global moment right now. What do you think you bring to the game that’s different and helps you stand out among the rest?
Nohemy: I think what I bring to the game is a different type of sexy, one that doesn’t necessarily include too much skin but is a projection of the art, of my music, my style and my personality.
FIERCE: You are 25 years old, at the start of your career. What do you want the people to say about Nohemy in 10 to 15 years from now?
Nohemy: That I always remained myself, true to myself: Nohemy, the humble, funny and really caring person. This isn’t just about the music, but what I represent, my morals. I’m not buying into things for the money. This is for the culture; this is who I am.