CHEF DAYANNY de La CRUZ
Making herstory at Super Bowl LIV, Chef Dayanny de la Cruz becomes the first female chef to lead Super Bowl! She was in charge of seven kitchens, 167 suites, seven all-inclusive clubs and 25 concession stands.
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Chef de la Cruz eventually immigrated to the United States. Here, she worked her way through the culinary program at Grand Rapids Community College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After graduating, her career began to take off, she went from an executive chef at a hotel to working big sporting events like the NBA All-Star games and U.S. Open Tennis Tournaments.
In 2011, Chef Dayanny took on a new challenge, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Like a lot of cancer patients, she continued to work through the doctor visits and the chemo rounds. With the support of her husband and her kids she is now cancer-free, after undergoing surgery in 2012.
“Every morning I had something to look forward to,” she said. “That’s what you need to find: what is that thing that’s going to make you get up every morning? I’m very blessed I was able to get up each morning and have that.” [Chef de la Cruz – Forbes 2020]
Chef Dayanny de la Cruz has now officially taken her place in sporting events history as the first female, first Latina chef to lead the Super Bowl; blazing a new trail and opening the door for those that will come after.
(Chef even got a photo with Queen Bey!)
Chef Dayanny has been very vocal about giving thanks to her team and sharing the love and this moment with everyone involved. “It’s about the people you surround yourself with, the team you have. I’m surrounded by amazing chefs. This is not just me. I’m just the lucky one to be taking the torch onto the field.” – [Chef de la Cruz – Forbes 2020]
This was a big moment for Presidente, the Dominican beer company. Former Yankee star and baseball icon, A-Rod, recently joined on as a co-owner and chairman of the company, this was their Super Bowl debut commercial. A-Rod – who was born in New York, is Dominican-American – gave us a Super Bowl heartfelt authentic welcome. We’re here for it, SALUD!
Presidente has been a staple of Dominican community since the 1930s, when it was debuted by Cervecería Nacional Dominicana. Most recently in 2012, the beer was acquired by the beer giant Anheuser-Busch, moving Presidente into the U.S. mainstream. Now with A-Rod at the helm, he is hoping to bring a piece of his beloved República Dominicana to American audiences.
U.S. audiences also got a taste of Salsa, particularly Salsa Caleña from the Salsa capital of the world, Cali, Colombia. JLo reached out to Swing Latino, a dance group who she had met on “World of Dance” (where the group made it to the finals and took third place in the competition) afterwards, JLo invited them to join her on her It’s My Party tour and now she also included them in the Super Bowl halftime show!
Choreographer and director Luis Eduardo Hernández – who calls himself “El Mulato” – has a dream of one day landing a Las Vegas residency for the dance troupe. It sounds like they are well on their way!
“Swing Latino was designed to be a way to get impoverished kids in Colombia off the streets, and doing something creative. They grew into a world-class salsa dance collective and one of the most famous attractions in Cali” [swinglatino.co]
LIZ DANY CAMPO DIAZ
One of the big moments at Super Bowl LIV was putting Afro-Colombian dance and sounds – Champeta and Mapalé – on a national United States platform. This was HUGE!
As we mentioned in the racap, Shakira wanted to pay tribute to the Afro-Colombian roots of Colombia (Shakira is not Afro-Latina,) so she went on instagram and found a phenomenal dancer from her hometown, Barranquilla – 18 year old Liz Dany – who trained Shakira for weeks on Champeta and Mapalé. Liz Dany had primetime shine, not only her dances but she got to dance next to Shakira and Liz is now an INTERNATIONAL CHOREOGRAPHER with the Super Bowl on her resume!
Liz has now returned home to Colombia and has been on every TV and radio station, media outlet…they have honored her, awarded her, and threw her a parade at her old school, where she spoke to all the kids. This has been a life changing opportunity, we can’t wait to see where her journey takes her next.
Not only has this elevated Liz Dany as a choreographer but also this has put a spotlight on Champeta dance, which has exploded online with people posting their dance moves as part of the #ChampetaChallenge
In Colombia, one dance instructor posted a loving message of thanks to both Shakira and Liz Dany, for putting Champeta on the map. In the message she explains how her morning Champeta class used to be empty and after the Super Bowl halftime show, she now has clients showing up!