In the heart of Mott Haven, John Cordero, 26, stands up against a building. He has one headphone in his ear and another dangling by his waist. Music can be heard blasting from both sides. His feet begin to move subtly at first, and then less subtly. The rest of his body follows along, all in one smooth motion. He’s moving to the beat of the music, and having a great time doing so.
“I love dancing. I’ve been dancing for 11 years now,” said Cordero. “It’s been my passion ever since.”
Cordero started dancing, in large part, because of his idol Chris Brown.
“I just saw myself in him, like I could relate to him, so he’s the reason why I started to pursue dancing,” he said.
Cordero loves to dance to R&B, Hip-Hop and Reggaeton music. He was a member of a dance team in high school. It’s an experience he feels helped him mature. As a life-long Bronxite, he believes music can help address many of the borough’s problems. It can serve as a way to keep young people out of trouble. Cordero dreams of using dance as a mechanism to keep kids off the street and provide them with a safe space to grow.
“I want to teach kids because I feel like the youth needs more positive influences. I want to give the youth a way to stay out of trouble. The kids dancing will have them doing something positive and not in the streets,” said Cordero.