SHINE, a salsa dance movie, comes to theaters October 5th

I recently saw a special screening of “Shine”, a movie about the gentrification of Spanish Harlem, the conflict between two celebrated salsa-dancing brothers, and the community bonded together through dance.

I love dance-centric movies. Ever since watching “Dirty Dancing” at my friend’s house as a kid, I’ve been mesmerized by the skill and ability of seasoned dancers and excellent choreography.

“Shine” is no exception when it comes to amazing dance performances. Choreographed by world renowned choreographer Lyrik Cruz, “Shine” lights up the screen with intricate dance numbers featuring Jorge BurgosGilbert Saldivar, Kimberli FloresJadi Collado, and more. The music is wonderful as well, focusing on the sounds of the Congo drum, and mambo music.

Last Friday, I attended a special press event of an introductory salsa dance lesson with the talented choreographer himself, Lyrik Cruz! Also present were actors Gilbert Saldivar and Jadi Collado. It was so much fun to dance alongside such talented dancers. Lyrik is a fun and thorough instructor and covered a lot in the 40 minute class period! We even learned the four corners move and another move where we walked forward in a sexy way (I forgot what the move was called). I had a blast!

Afterwards, we took photos with the actors:

and chatted with Lyrik (interview below):

Definitely check out “Shine” in theaters when it opens October 5th!

SHINE Official Trailer

About “Shine”

Surpassing their $100k goal in a 59 day Kickstarter campaign in 2015, SHINE is now the highest funded Latino narrative film to date on the crowd-sourcing platform

SHINE is a NY-set Salsa dance movie which tells the story of two Puerto Rican brothers, Ralphi Matas (Jorge Burgos) and Junior (Gilbert Saldivar), from New York’s Spanish Harlem and the street’s best Salsa dancers, are separated after a tragedy only to reunite years later on opposing sides of gentrification.

After 7 years of absence from New York City, Ralphi is back to develop commercial real estate in his old neighborhood. However, upon his return, Ralphi encounters his estranged brother, Junior, who followedin his father’s footsteps, Ramon Matas (David Zayas), and is now an elite salsa dancer and an unwavering activist AGAINST gentrification in the neighborhood.

While having to face his past in order to succeed in the present, Ralphi must confront his boss Linda (Alysia Reiner) who is aggressively pursuing the lucrative development deal that brought him back to the city he was born, and thus is driving the wedge even further between him and his brother.

On the other side, when Josie (Kimberli Flores), the new owner of their father’s dance studio, reveals she is behind on the mortgage payments. Junior rallies the local dance community to raise funds against all odds to save the dance studio, DESPITE the gentrification efforts of his brother.

While the brothers have chosen opposite paths thus far, they are brought back together when Tio Julio (Nelson Gonzales) reminds them of the power of family and the importance of their community.

SHINE is a Forgiven Films movie, a division of GVN Releasing. Produced by 13 Paces in association with The Exchange, Sugar Studios LA, and Varona Productions.

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