'On Your Feet' director Luis Salgado's goal is to bring others in Hispanic community into theater

George Pennacchio Image
Saturday, October 7, 2023
Director Luis Salgado bringing more Hispanic community into showbiz
"On Your Feet" director Luis Salgado is making a difference by bringing those in the Hispanic community into the entertainment world.

LA MIRADA, Calif. (KABC) -- As we continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we have the story of a man making a difference for the Latin community involved in the arts.

Luis Salgado has performed on Broadway. And now, he's a driving force behind-the-scenes, supporting others getting their chance on stage in the showbiz spotlight.

"On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan" got standing ovations on Broadway, and recently at the Pantages Theatre. Now, the show has traveled to La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Salgado performed in the show on Broadway. He is now the director and the choreographer of this new production with a new perspective.

"In this particular show, Gloria, herself has said, 'I'm so proud that, you know, we're representing the entire Latin America scope through the casting of the show.' Our Emilio is from Venezuela. Our Gloria is from Mexico. We have people from Peru, from Argentina, from Puerto Rico, from Dominican Republic," said Salgado. "So as we go through the nation, as we go through the United States, we're really, like, raising the flag of empowering."

Salgado got his start in the arts when he was 9. A teacher gave him the opportunity to act, to sing and to dance. So when he got his first Broadway show, he knew he wanted to give back, creating his own nonprofit, R. Evolucion Latina. It's expanded from New York into other countries.

"As we're giving free training to both adults and children, I'm also learning. I'm learning so much for the last 16 years about the necessity of representation," said Salgado.

While Salgado continues to give back, there is one dream he still has for himself.

"My dream continues to be to have my own show on Broadway, directed and choreographed by me and with a creative designing team that can represent the cultures that I love, not only the Latin cultures but cultures I believe have so much to contribute and don't always get the chance," said Salgado. "And that's my life mission. Until the day I die, that's what I'm going to work for."

In the meantime, "On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan" is in La Mirada through Oct. 29.

MORE: Mariachi magic at Dodger Stadium: How the music is blending cultures

Mariachi music is a staple in Mexican American culture, especially in Los Angeles, and one place where you can certainly feel the magic of tradition is inside the iconic Dodger Stadium.