The Miami born dancer came to be in a family of strict religious order. Born into a Pentecostal, ministry family, Hip Hop and Street Dance was not a welcomed subject and most of his childhood experimentation with dance was done in utter secrecy. Later as a teen, he ran away into the streets of Hialeah (his crime-filled neighborhood in Miami) and was assisted when he was homeless by a street gang. Before dark forces engulfed him, he was reunited with his family and they whisked him away to a better neighborhood, far from Hialeah. As a teen he began going to underground Rave events and it was here that he began remembering his tabooed passion of street dancing (mainly Popping and Locking) and the Hip Hop culture. Finding independence early on from living at home, he dived fully into his love of Street Dance in the early 1990’s. Soon after, the art form pulled him away from the negative gang influences and the drug infested Raves, and allowed him to begin a career with dance, something he thought was impossible. By 1996, he began working dance gigs, doing his first artist tours, and only a few years after, he was living off the dance. By 2003, he was living in New York, working with an Off-Broadway Hip Hop variety show called: "Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular." And through his personal drive in his talent, and through the success of the show in the 2000's, he toured the world and was hailed as an Off-Broadway star by many a reviewer. It was due to shows like "Break!" by Steve Love, and "Legends of Hip Hop" by Rennie Harris, that enabled Hollywood to revisit Street Dance by creating movies again. Aquaboogy was part of a wave of early entertainers that enabled an entire movement of movies like: "You Got Served", "Step Up" and the television shows "America's Best Dance Crew" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
Aquaboogy was the first Popper from Miami to go international to teach, perform and expand the culture abroad in the 2000's. He taught many other young entertainers that have followed in his footsteps and have already created wonderful legacies of their own and he still mentors many adults that once were his students as kids and teens. He helped create the Street Dance community in his native Florida by providing quality events for many years, bringing a grand host of dance legends to the peninsula to help build the talent that still resides there to this day. He is regarded as a positive, driving force in the global dance community and his worth lies in more than just skills in dance, but a lifelong dedication to the culture, career and the lifestyle.
Professional Summarized Credits
Prolific street dancer, choreographer, published author and poet, filmmaker and grand educator has taught at over 100 universities both in the United States and abroad. He is one of the only talents that is still requested to judge and compete against (or “battle”) dancers that are considered top tier in the Popping world and is considered by many as one of the top “Wavers” of today.
Some of Aquaboogy's two decades of credits include: Grandmaster Flash (The Get Down), Digable Planets, Kanye West, Pitbull, Ne-Yo, A Tribe Called Red, i-Luminate from America's Got Talent, Dr. Pepper's "One in a Billion" Nat'l Commercial (also featuring Misty Copeland); Turk-Cell Int'l Commercial (also featuring Hedo Turkoglu from the Orlando Magic); he’s toured the world with the Off Broadway show, "Break, The Urban Funk Spectacular" from NYC; he's worked as a professional robot/mime and entertainer for The Clevelander Hotel in South Beach, Hard Rock Casino, Cirque Du Soliel, HBO & The Miami Int'l Airport. He's performed for Donald Trump's "High Rollers Club" (Trump Towers Atlantic City); he's performed alongside music legends like Cindy Lauper, Tony Touch and Nice & Smooth in an event hosted by Fab-Five-Freddy. He worked with underground artists like: Lyric's Born, RJD2, Metal Headz, Aphrodite, Diverse, TC Islam, DJ Monk (from Rabbit in the Moon) performing at legendary concerts/Raves like: Zen Fest, Bob Marley Festival, Future Sounds of Breaks and many more. He's been on VH1, MTV, MTV Asia, MTV Australia, Latin Billboard Awards; he choreographed the red carpet intro to the Premios Juventud International Award Show in 2008 with Kilo (aka Down) and his hit "Lean like a Cholo"; worked two contracts with Carnival Cruises onboard the Carnival Inspiration; he's been a featured instructor for Rennie Harris’s "Iladelph Legends"; he was the only US soloist in the Sadler Well's "Breakin' Convention" 2015 US tour; he showcased a piece featuring his dance company Nu Paradigm Entertainment in the 2016 US tour. Aquaboogy is most recently starring in an independent “musical” short film set in the 1940’s called “Enter the Zoot Suit Riot”, (with music by jazz legend Harold O'Neal) set to hit the world in 2018.
He's had major sponsors like: Diesel NYC, Echo Unlimited, Sprite, Bacardi, And1 and Nike.
"Aquaboogy...a master of Popping & Locking known for his creative robotic movements and unequaled fluidity..."
“He was watery in the groove, but the boy could "get down". Set to lock and pop all over Down Under stages as part of Break!, billed as "New York's hottest breakdancing show", Aquaboogy is bringing street dance to the mainstream.”
The Sydney Morning Herald
“Aquaboogy (Otoniel Vasquez) proved a master at slow-motion isolation which he then sped up, moving as if lit by strobes…”
The Herald Tribune
"Aquaboogie's... nickname stems from how he looks on stage: "People say it looks like I am made of water. It looks like I have no bones."
The Vail Daily
“One of the evening's most awe-inspiring entertainers was Aquaboogy (Otoniel Vazquez) the show's pop-and-lock star…A tiny ripple of energy that begins at the tip of Vazquez's fingers might 'travel' up his arm, across his shoulders and out to the tip of his other hand. Then, the ripple might reverse, traveling to the top of his head, then down his trunk and a leg until it seems to shoot out through the end of his foot. In one sequence, Vazquez repeatedly adjusted the position of his hat, using tiny, sequential jerky movements that made him look for all the world like a drawing in a flip book.”
The Daily Hampshire Gazette
“Aquaboogy is sensational in his Living Mannequin solo.”
The Houston Chronicle
“The second act started with a man named Aquaboogy, showcasing sharp popping and waving techniques in a piece focused on overcoming fear.”
“Aquaboogy displayed his water-like abilities through his “Living Mannequin” performance, in which he Popped-and-Locked his way into the audience’ psyche.”
The Huntington News
“Vasquez’s own style of popping and locking got him his name. His dancing looks a lot like liquid slow motion. On stage, Vazquez’s breaking movement starts with quick, little jerky segments, then move into a very fast and stiff robotic style. His entire body looks as if it’s under a strobe light.”
The St. Thomas Source
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