WILLY PINEDO

BIOGRAPHY

WILLY PINEDO WAS DANCING STRONG AND HARD DURING THE 1970S WHEN HE WAS 15-YEARS OLD. HE WAS ALSO PART OF A GROUP CALLED “THE CITY SLICKERS” WHO ACCOMPANIED ALL THE DJS TO HEAT UP THE FLOOR.  BUT EVEN NOW, HE SAYS,  “YOU KNOW IT’S WEIRD. BECAUSE, WHEREVER I GO, WHATEVER CLUB I GO TO, I CAN ALWAYS CLEAR A FLOOR-- NOT BECAUSE I’M BETTER THAN THEM, BUT IT’S BECAUSE MY STYLE IS DIFFERENT, IT HAS A DIFFERENT KIND OF FEELING.” THE 1930’S AND 1940’S MOVIE-MUSICAL DANCERS LIKE FRED ASTAIRE, GENE KELLY AND THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS INSPIRED PINEDO INSPIRED HIM. HIS OWN STYLE IS “A KIND OF FAST-TYPE OF ‘SOFT SHOE.’ 

MY FAVORITE MOVES ARE DOING QUICK STEPS AND JUMPING INTO SPLITS. OF COURSE YOU CAN’T DANCE LIKE THEM. BUT YOU CAN DO IT YOUR WAY.”  PINEDO’S GENERATION BRIDGED THE LAST OF THE DISCO ERA AND THE BEGINNING OF THE STRONG HOUSE-DANCE SCENE -- WHICH WAS THE SAME GENERATION THAT POPULATED THE EARLY 1970’S LOFT SCENE. IN 1974-5 HE WENT TO THE LOFT FOR THE FIRST TIME “IN A SUIT,” BECAUSE A VERY POPULAR DANCE AT THE TIME WAS THE NEW YORK LATIN-STYLE HUSTLE, WHERE THE WOMEN SPIN OUT AND ARE QUICKLY TWIRLED BACK, HER SKIRTS FLYING. AT THE LOFT, HOWEVER, “EVERYONE WAS IN SWEAT PANTS AND SNEAKERS!” WHEN HE LOOKED OVER THE CROWD, HE SAW THE COMMUNAL VIBE: “THEY ALL SEEMED TO GEL.  IT WAS AMAZING” (HE NEVER WORE A SUIT AGAIN).  PINEDO IS ADAMANT ABOUT CORRECTING CURRENT MISCONCEPTIONS BEING PERPETUATED ABOUT THE SO-CALLED “LOFT” STYLE. “‘LOFT’ IS ALL KINDS OF DANCING.  IT’S NOT JUST ONE DANCE. I MEAN YOU STEREOTYPE IT AND CALL IT ‘LOFT DANCES.’ BUT A LOFT DANCER HAS GOT JAZZ IN HIM, HE’S GOT GYMNASTICS IN HIM, HE DOES ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.  THAT’S THE WAY A LOFT DANCER USED TO DANCE.” 

PINEDO HAS WORKED FOR THE US POSTAL SERVICE FOR MANY YEARS. TRIM AND FLEXIBLE, PINEDO IS STILL PHYSICALLY FIT AND DANCING.  “THEY THINK I’M CRAZY AT THE POST OFFICE BECAUSE I’M ALWAYS MOVING AROUND. I’LL PICK UP A PIECE OF MAIL AND I’LL PUT MY LEG UP AND STRETCH OUT. YOU KNOW, I KEEP MYSELF IN SHAPE.” LONG BEFORE WEARING TATTOOS WAS COMMON PINEDO DESIGNED A SPECIAL TATTOO FOR HIS ARM SPELLING “LOFT IT OUT.”  “I WAS AT MY PRIME AND I JUST WANTED TO REMEMBER AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE THERE.”

National Diversity Awards 2018 Nominee

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