From a guerrillero to a dancer

Feb 5, 2020

Marvin Rodríguez Martínez, 28, is a former guerrillero of the FARC, group that signed a peace agreement with the colombian Government in 2016. Rodríguez was forcedly recruited when he was 10 in Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca department.

After leaving the FARC five years later, Rodríguez started to learn dancing to focus in reggae, R&B, electronic and, his favorite, dancehall. In 2015 the artist founded Afrodance, a group that teach that genres to young people in the west of Cali.

“I want to teach the community and with this I not only talking about dance steps, but also to prevent them from being recruited into an armed group so that they do not cross over the same as me”, Rodríguez said.

Afrodance have won several contests in the city since it was founded. 

Afrodance’s classes take place in a church in Desepaz neighborhood, one the most violent in Cali, due to the constant confrontations of gangs and the murders that it causes.
Afrodance’s classes take place in a church in Desepaz neighborhood, one the most violent in Cali, due to the constant confrontations of gangs and the murders that it causes.
Afrodance is composed for 13 members and they attended the classes between Monday and Thursday for three hours every day.
Afrodance is composed for 13 members and they attended the classes between Monday and Thursday for three hours every day.
Rodríguez is very demanding with his students for having good results at the presentations.
Rodríguez is very demanding with his students for having good results at the presentations.
Even if Afrodance develops many genres, its specialty is everything derived from the urban and afro culture.
Even if Afrodance develops many genres, its specialty is everything derived from the urban and afro culture.
The girls composed almost the 70% of the members.
The girls composed almost the 70% of the members.
Yijany Cortés, 17, is one the most talented dancers in the group.
Yijany Cortés, 17, is one the most talented dancers in the group.
According to Rodríguez, he is always thinking in dancing. “Around 12 hours every day. When I am not dancing, I do the steps in my head”, he said.
According to Rodríguez, he is always thinking in dancing. “Around 12 hours every day. When I am not dancing, I do the steps in my head”, he said.

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