Allentown
54° F
Light Rain
Light Rain

Unsung Heroes: Mark Figueroa

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Sep 08 2012 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 10 2012 05:18:08 PM CDT

One dancer says to dance is to live.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

One dancer says to dance is to live. And he spreads life by instructing. But he lost his dance space where he taught every Wednesday for free. And now his gift is limited to once a month. This month's unsung hero is Mark Figueroa.

Mark Figueroa and his crew Kinetik-X were practicing a hip hop routine for an upcoming show. He choreographs, teaches and demonstrates.

"Movement definitely saved my life because that's how I coped," said Mark Figueroa, "So, instead of doing what everyone else was doing which was smoking weed, doing pills or getting drunk that was my outlet, I turned to dance. I got my high from dance."

And his mom, Marisol Colon, said he gave this high to others on Hamilton Street at the Arts and Development Center in Allentown for five years for free.

"He just genuinely has a good spirit and he wants to give back," said Colon.

Figueroa explained why.

"Whether you live in a good neighborhood or you don't, whether you're going through something or you just want to dance to celebrate," said Figueroa, "I feel like everybody deserves a fair chance."

But now he needs a new space.

"It would mean the world to him," explained fellow dancer, Tiara Hardy, "Because I think that shows dedication. It shows love for what you do. Not everyone would do this for free."

"A lot of studios and a lot of places they're expensive," said Figueroa, "I need to give people that don't have the money to pay for these classes another outlet."

Until he finds a studio of his own, he'll offer a free class the first Friday of each month at Dynamix Dance Center.

"I want to be happy and I want to make everybody else around me completely happy," said Figueroa, "It's who I am."

His gift of hip hop makes him an unsung hero.