LeAna Lopez | Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena Dance

Artist’s Bio:

I am a Nuyorican who was born and raised in Spanish Harlem, NY. I do not remember a time when music wasn’t a central part of my life. My mother shared with me her love of dance, and my father was a bongo virtuoso who shared his love for percussion.

In 1997 at the age of 7 years old, I met a friend who told me about Los Pleneros de La 21, an organization that taught children about Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena. It was here where I learned how to play, dance, and sing Bomba y Plena, as well as learning about the history that makes it so unique and special. From this program, I have created lifelong friendships and became inspired by my elders to dedicate my life to practicing and teaching about our Puerto Rican musical traditions.

Today, 26 years later, I am one of the lead instructors for the same organization where I developed my love for Bomba y Plena- Los Pleneros de La 21. Here I  teach children from ages 2-14 and adults of all ages. You can often find me co- teaching with my dear friend Mateo Gonzalez, who was also in the program with me as a child and my first dance partner. In addition to being a Teaching Artist, I am also a special Education teacher and have taken a break from the classroom to focus on my artistry full time.

I am passionate about Bomba y Plena because from a young age it was a way to connect with my culture and family even if I didn’t live on the island of Puerto Rico. Through these genres of music, I learned about community, and the many ways to express yourself and tell your story through song and dance. Even if you aren’t Puerto Rican, Bomba y Plena can inspire you to become more connected to yourself and your own cultural traditions.

I am so excited to work with you all and watch you on your journey through the amazing world of Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena!

LeAna Lopez at City Lore:

Coming Soon!

What students and teachers say about LeAna:

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