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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

Latin Dance Champs Jahaira Fajardo And Angelica Medina Are Making Space In The Dance World For Queer Dancers

Jahaira Fajardo and Angelica Medina shaking up the dance floor and the competition.
The Salsa Room In Arlington Virginia
Jahaira Fajardo and Angelica Medina shaking up the dance floor and the competition.

Jahaira Fajardo and Angelica Medina dazzle audiences when dancing Bachata. They talk about falling in love on the dance floor and challenging heteronormativity in dance competitions. They’re performing for Fresh Meat Festival’s 20th anniversary.

The Fresh Meat Festival features trans and queer artists and Jahaira and Angelica are one of the opening acts. The Latin dance duo have won competitions dancing Bachata, an intimate partner-dance that comes from the Dominican Republic.

“I just felt like our bodies knew each other, from other lifetimes. It was a very deep dance. It was very intense.”
Jahaira Fajardo

Angelica and Jahaira are creating more space on the dance floor for queer artists through In La’Kech, their dance academy based in Oakland. In this interview they talk about pushing for gender inclusivity in dance and falling in love on the dance floor.

Watch them perform a new routine this Friday, June 18th for opening night of the virtual Fresh Meat Festival.

Jeneé Darden is an award-winning journalist, author, public speaker and proud Oakland native. She is the executive producer and host of the weekly arts segment Sights & Sounds as well as the series Sights + Sounds Magazine. Jeneé also covers East Oakland for KALW. Jeneé has reported for NPR, Marketplace, KQED, KPCC, The Los Angeles Times, Ebony magazine, Refinery29 and other outlets. In 2005, she reported on the London transit bombings for Time magazine. Prior to coming to KALW, she hosted the podcast Mental Health and Wellness Radio.