The Biography of Award-Winning Dance Choreographer Violeta GalagarzaVioleta Galagarza is a Spanish Harlem, born and raised, Latin Grammy Award-Winning choreographer, dancer, performer, inspirational role model, and artistic developer. In 1989, Violeta, a former LaGuardia Performing Arts High School and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater student, founded a non-profit 501(C)(3) dance company KR3T’s, an acronym for “Keep Rising to the Top.”
KR3T’s specializes in teaching various dance genres, including hip-hop, mambo, African, Latin, house, hustle, ballet, bachata, and much more. From November 7-8, the mother of three boys will celebrate her organization’s 25th anniversary with a two-day Manhattan fundraiser event, earnestly titled “KR3T’S: The Journey,” which takes place at El Museo del Barrio.
To date, well over 5000 students of all ages and ethnic backgrounds have experienced fortitude within her multifaceted Spanish Harlem-based dance haven. And through the years, Violeta has spread her gift of dance throughout various parts of the world. She has held dance workshops in Colorado, Switzerland, Paris, Chile, and several cities in France. Likewise, her unique dance style and unmistakable charisma have drawn people from all over the world to visit KR3T’s to become a part of the magic.
Numerous KR3T’s students have gone on to become established choreographers and dancers. Several have performed on world tours with artists such as Rihanna, Beyoncé, Usher, Kelly Rowland, Missy Elliot, and quite a few other notable entertainers. From gang member reform to gang intervention to numerous at-risk youth and adults achieving scholastic and career excellence, KR3T’s success stories are seemingly endless.Violeta’s lengthy list of recognition includes earning a 2012 Latin Grammy Award for “Best Choreography Flash Mob” (Verizon FiOS), the 2012 Bessie Award for “Special Achievement in Dance,” and of 300 hopefuls, she was one of seven women honored with a 2012 MamásLatinas Award.
For her incredible work inspiring and uplifting the community, Violeta received award proclamations from Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Speaker of the New York City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito, former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr., and former Bronx City Councilman Joel Rivera.
Furthermore, Violeta was presented with a “Citation Award” from NYS Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, a “Commendation Award” from the City of New York Office of Comptroller, and an “Outstanding Achievement Award” from New York Congressman Charles B. Rangel.
Violeta’s digital dance choreography credits boast Grand Theft Auto San Andreas (all of the nightclub scenes) and Grand Theft Auto Liberty City. With the huge success of San Andreas (now rated the best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time), a year after choreographing GTA San Andreas, Rockstar Games reached out to Violeta to request the provision of her raw choreography skills in GTA Liberty City.
With GTA Liberty City, however, the game makers decided to take it a step further by incorporating Violeta and her dancers in the game’s storyline. Using motion sensor technology, Rockstar Games converted Violeta into a “South Bowen” community dance school instructor, in a chapter titled “Manny Escuela.”
In addition, Violeta has provided scintillating choreography to multi-Latin Billboard Award- winning bachata group Aventura, Grammy nominated R&B singer Joe, LatinGrammy Award-winning merengue singer Millie Quezada, rapper Jim Jones, explosive R&B, reggae, dancehall, reggaeton artist and longtime friend Notch; among many others.Early in 2014, Violeta’s youngest son—13-year-old B-boy prodigy Noah—choreographeda hip-hop dance routine he and his mom performed on America’s Got Talent undertheir stage name “N-Vee.” The show airs on NBC later this year. WhenNoah was four years old, he and his mom won the hearts of millions of viewers worldwideas they danced live on the internationally renowned Latin American talk show “Christina.” Violeta’s heartfelt story of hard work, dedication, compassion, and resilience earned her NY1’s “New Yorker of the Week” and a segment on TLC’s “Cover Shot.” The very memorable “Cover Shot” episode ended with the production crew shocking a blindfolded Violeta by secretly unveiling an enormous Times Square billboard of Violeta and her dancers.
Other media spotlights include Violeta gracing the cover of Readers Digest and detailed accounts of her authentic works have been featured in the NY Daily News, NY Post, Time Out New York, the Iraq Daily Times, We B*Girlz (a book by Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer), on Fox 5 in NYC, CBS 2, New York’s Pix11 News, to name a few.
Violeta prides herself on knowing she has consistently enabled a multitude of students to drastically enhance their quality of life. Her dancers have appeared in music videos, ad campaigns, magazine features, on national and international television networks, and received an abundance of national and international press and recognition of Violeta’s countless success stories, however, her son Noah’s brings the biggest smile to her face. Unsurprisingly, Violeta continued teaching dance until four days before giving birth to Noah. Hence, at two years old, the primarily self-taught toddler wowed onlookers at a sold-out Madison Square Garden show with his polished dance moves.Subsequently, Noah performed in several hundred televised and non-televised shows and events and made various appearances in music videos. As part of Apple’s iPod + iTunes “Silhouette” campaign (“Mi Swing Es Tropical”), Noah contributed his refined and energetic Latin dance skills that appeared globally on television, large outdoor ads, the Internet, and print.
Although being a single mother and the juggernaut behind KR3T’s is a huge undertaking, Violeta remains steadfast in her commitment to share her undying passion for dance worldwide. After all, for Violeta rhythm is life. And her very existence depends on it.