Abaqua is an Afro-Latin Dance company that has quickly gained
international fame and acclaim, and although the company is
“headquartered” in New York City they are known worldwide as one of the
foremost groups of their kind. The primary mission of Abaqua, as taken
from their website, is to “advance the art of Afro-Latin dance worldwide
as a legitimate and established art form.” This, says the group, is
accomplished using many different avenues, including local and
international performances, constant presence and education.
Frankie Martinez, the artistic director and lead choreographer of Abaqua, got his start in 1997 as part of the Eddie Torres dancers, training for 6 months with Mambo legend Eddie Torres. Under his tutelage Martinez became renowned for his athleticism, speed and cat-like grace on the dance floor, leading to opportunities to both teach and perform on the international stage. In March of 2000, after becoming well-accomplished in several styles and genres of Afro-Latin dance, Martinez left the Eddie Torres Dancers, and after a brief stint teaching Latin dance at New York’s ENE Hair Salon—a stunt that caught the attention of the media, including the New York Times—he formed Abaqua, choosing the name to reflect the group’s Latin heritage.
The dance group was founded in the year 2000 by Martinez and later incorporated in 2008. And while they began as merely one of a hundred similar Afro-Latin dance companies, the group has now evolved into an unmatched artistic realization. Since its founding in the early part of 2000, Abaqua has made major strides in establishing Afro-Latin dance in the international community, largely due to the group’s innovative, never-before-seen choreography and the determined vision of all the members involved.
In addition to its busy performance schedule, Abaqua and its members offer regular classes at their New York studio. Some of these include:
Abaqua can also be found giving workshops at the various international salsa congresses that take place each year. This includes destinations not only in the United States, but Europe, South America, Asia and even the Middle East.
On the video below, you will see a performance of Abaqua.