Celebrating Pride to the Beat of Same-Sex Salsa

Camilo Vargas/Fusion

A dancing duo in New York is teaching LGBT New Yorkers how to celebrate Gay Pride, Latino style. Out Salsa New York City is a dance social club for gay and straight New Yorkers. Dance instructors Frank and Alex Martinez meet their students once a week in a dance studio in Midtown Manhattan to teach them how to salsa.

In their classes, women and men learn to catch the salsa beat, lead and follow, regardless of sex or gender. Then they are free to choose the dancing and gender roles they prefer. Salsa is the quintessential Latino dance, with strict dancing and gender roles that usually discourage gay and lesbian couples from partying to it. But the Martinez team is out to break the gender stereotypes built around couple dancing.

"Music doesn't have a sex," says Alex, who was born in Panama and met Frank, who is Nuyorican, in 2009. Frank and Alex started Out Salsa New York a year later. The Martinez team encourages students to embrace their gay and lesbian identities while keeping true to their Latino roots. After class on Mondays, the duo usually takes students for a dance celebration at the West Village's Monster Bar during its weekly Latino night.

And gay and lesbian couples all around the country have huge reasons to celebrate now that the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.)

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