Feb. 16, 2016 Staff Report
A Long Island City-based dance and fitness company known for free classes on the waterfront will soon be available to book for special event performances.
Israel Martinez, founder of Martinez Dance Studios and Puerto Havana Fitness, said he is launching a new branch of services called LIC Entertainment.
This new business will specialize in providing live performances, emcees and DJs to corporate events and outdoor or indoor festivals, as well as private events such as bar/bat mitzvahs and birthday parties.
LIC Entertainment will build on Martinez’s 20 years of experience in the dance industry. Martinez Dance Studios, an American and Latin ballroom studio specializing in “New York style salsa On2” and Argentine tango, has been providing professional dance instruction in western Queens since 1997.
“We want to bring our services, whether it’s orchestrated dancing, DJing, or professional performances outside the studio and into our client’s next event,” he said.
While LIC Entertainment gets underway, Martinez also hopes to expand on the success of his local dance education efforts last summer.
In partnership with the Hunters Point Parks Conservancy, Martinez and his assistant director Ernesto Abreu launched a program called “Waterfront Wednesdays” at the LIC Landing events space by the East River. Every other week in the summer, the duo brought live entertainment and dance classes free to the public, with the assistance of NYC Salsa Jam, drum circles by Apache and Grupo Descarrilao.
“Our goal was to bring music and dance back to Queens,” Martinez said.
Now, with winter in full gear, he is looking to invite fans of the summer classes out of the cold and into his studio at 38-12 30th Ave.
Israel uses his decades of experience in dance to provide what he describes as “not your typical ballroom experience.”
One of the Martinez Dance Studios’ specialized classes is the “Wedding Crasher Division,” which helps recently engaged couples, their bridesmaids and men of honor practice different dance performances for their big day.
Classes also include swing dance, hip hop/house, bellydancing and flamenco, among others.
Please Note: Martinez Dance Studio/Puerto Havana Fitness is an advertising partner with the Astoria Post.