From a kid with big dreams to a well-known dancer performing with Madonna and JLO. Jesus Presinal (JP) was brought up in very traditional Dominican family – his parents wanted him to become a doctor or an architect but he could not see himself in 9-5 work. He did not want to be trapped, to waste his life. He knew there was more to achieve ‘I wanted to get out of that box and live my dreams’. Love for dance was always there, but it all started one evening ‘I remember watching Quest Crew one night when one of the crew members D’Trix came on stage and started doing an extremely hard move called Airflares- I was completely blown away at how cool it was. It was right then that I knew I wanted to dance for the rest of my life’.
LSA: That one episode of Quest Crew and the performance of D’Trix really hooked you and dance became your life.
JP: Yes, that is true. Later in high school I discovered the art of Capoeira which is where my passion for dance began. From there I started to get involved with some breakdancing crews here in NYC, and the rest is history. Dance came to me like magic and helped me release stress, stay creative and kept me out of a lot of sticky situations that other city kids find themselves in. Dance became my whole life, and I will always say that it saved me.
LSA: It must have taken a lot of work and practice to dance like you do today. You are remarkably talented.
JP: Thank you. That means so much! It has taken about 10 years of training and observing other icons performing their craft. And even now I personally don’t feel like I’m at the level I want to be. There’s always room to grow, and I’m constantly working on improving and honing my skills.
LSA: Who is your inspiration, who would you like to perform with?
JP: That is such a hard question because I have so many individuals that have inspired me, and I dream of being on stage with all of them. Above all, I’d love to someday perform with the rapper Logic. He always raps about humanity and the struggles he had growing up in a society which wouldn’t accept him because of the colour of his skin and his race. As a Latino artist who immigrated to the states as a kid, I am very inspired by his music. He just seems like an amazing guy, and I would love to be one of his dancers someday!
LSA: I hope your dream comes true. You have already worked with Madonna and JLO which I am sure was an incredible experience. How was it?
JP: Both women are incredible artists and such amazing people. It was a wild experience performing on tour with both of them. My days on both tours were full of long days of rehearsals passed out on the floor full of sweat & sore muscles. But when we were on stage the energy the crowd gave us made all of the pain go away. It was so worth it! Performing to sold out stadiums like that made me think of being a kid and admiring Quest Crew- it was such a surreal experience.
LSA: And then you performed in front of the former president of the USA
JP: Performing for Bill Clinton was honestly one of the most memorable moments in my career. I was performing on the court during a Brooklyn Nets game when it happened. I was just in my zone performing a one-armed hopping handstand close to the courtside, and when i came out of the move and stood upright there he was right in front of me! He stood up clapping with a huge smile and I was completely blown away at what I had just done. He reached out to shake my hand and told me I did an amazing job. I was speechless- I remember getting off the court that night and just sitting in disbelief in our dressing room.
LSA: Your talent and your hard work are paying off. What distinguishes you from other dancers?
JP: One compliment I have always received is that my style of breaking is incredibly unique. My signature style of gravity-defying acrobatic tricks mixed with my big personality helps me stand out when I perform. I love to just let loose and be playful onstage, and the audience always comes back to tell me how much fun they had watching me. That’s one of the greatest compliments I could receive.
LSA: You have already told me that your dream is to work with rapper Logic. But what is the dream project that you are currently working on?
JP: My dream project is to launch a campaign dedicated to supporting artists following the Covid19 pandemic. I am developing a video project to raise awareness and will hopefully eventually be able to host a benefit event to raise funds for the arts. So many performers have been left in the dark this last year- we are all wondering when our next paycheck will come? When we will ever hit the stage again? When we’ll be able to bring the amazing experiences we provide to our audiences? I know a lot of artists even considering other career paths at this point due to the destruction Covid has caused to the entertainment industry. While many things have reopened, it’s felt like the arts have been put on the backburner. We have lacked federal aid, and theatre doors around the world remain shuttered. This dream project of mine is about spreading the word that artists are just as important as any other worker, and we need to be heard and helped. We are essential! Entertainment is the creative outlet that brings happiness and inspiration to people all over the world. I hope to raise awareness and support for artists through this video project and benefit event.
LSA: And how did photography come into your life?
JP: Photography came to me very randomly actually. I’ve always had an eye for capturing photos, but it wasn’t a professional thing until summer of 2020 when Nikon reached out to me about working on a project. They were huge fans of my work on Instagram and wanted me to combine my dance skills and photography to create content for their campaigns. I was super grateful to receive their sponsorship as well as a new camera they sent me to shoot with. Ever since then I’ve been learning more and more about photography, and it’s grown into a huge second passion of mine. Representing their brand by creating amazing photos and working with other content creators has been a great thing to come out of this past year.
LSA: Can you talk more about your involvement in ‘Night of Dreams’
JP: After working onboard Celebrity Cruise Line’s ship Edge, the company offered me another contract to be an inaugural cast member on their newest vessel, Apex. I was flown to Miami in January 2020 where we started the creative process of making five amazing new shows for this incredible ship. I worked with RWS Entertainment, and did shows over the course of two months. The biggest production was called Night of Dreams, and it was really an amazing show to be a part of. Night of Dreams was an Alice in Wonderland-themed immersive theater experience but with a steampunk twist. I was cast as the breakdancing white rabbit: one of the main characters in this show. We had singers, dancers and aerial circus performers in the cast, and we took the audience “down the rabbit hole” in this fun and immersive show. It was amazing! Unfortunately we were never able to open the show due to Covid19, but I’m hoping that we’ll get a chance to see all our hard work pay off when cruise ships resume sailing.
LSA: JP thank you so much for your time, it has been pleasure talking to you. Would you like to share something with our readers?
JP: One last thing I want to add… While the world as we know it has been different the past year, I want to tell everyone (artists especially) to not give up on their dreams. Instead, take this time to really “sharpen your sword.” Train yourself to be a better artist and person than you were last year- you can always be improving! A renaissance is coming for us artists soon, and we better be prepared and excited. We are almost there, and I hope you know you are never alone.
JP (Jesus Presinal) (@officialjpnyc) • Instagram photos and videos