All of Willie's experience in the Entertainment field prepared him for his most recent ventures. He recently authored a book titled; "The Dancing Gangsters of the South Bronx." A true story of the 1970s gang violence in the South Bronx and how peace was achieved by introducing the Latin Hustle dance as an alternative to violence in his neighborhood, which was during a time when the South Bronx was considered to be “The Murder Capital of the United States”.
More recently Willie worked as the (Technical Consultant) on the Original Netflix hit series, "The Get Down", where he collaborated directly with Creator Baz Luhrmann, and Executive Producer, Tom Kelly. You might even recognize his face as he portrays "Papa Fuerte's" (Jimmy Smits) right-hand man on the show in a recurring role.
Willie has been traveling the world for the past 10 years, doing lectures and workshops consisting of the cultural dances, and his personal experiences with gang violence during the 1970s South Bronx. Although he is in his sixties now, he still tours the world teaching the original Latin Hustle, and Rock Dance in many counties around the world. In 2018 he was asked to return to Shanghai, China for a second time, as a result of the Chinese Government wanting to band Hip Hop from China and a promoter by the name of Danny Wang, wanted the Government to see the positive side of Hip Hop. He introduced Willie’s Book, and the positive impact he’s made which he shared in an interview, on a TV Station reaching all of China. Some of the countries Willie has been to go as follows… China, Mexico, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Italy, Slovenia, England, France, and Spain to name a few.
He is currently President of Latin Empire Productions, and focusing his attention on Producing his first film, which will be based on the 2nd Edition of his book, “The Dancing Gangsters of the South Bronx” which will also go by the same name in the film.
Willie is also working on his second book, entitled, “The Last Dance” which will serve as the sequel to his first book, “The Dancing Gangsters of the South Bronx” due for release in late 2021. He is working closely with several well-known Executive Producers, and there are plans in the near future for a TV Series he also wrote a TV Pilot for his partner Javier Ortiz which will also be based on his book, “The Dancing Gangsters of the South Bronx.”
Willie Estrada is also the Director of Special Initiatives: Hip Hop Docu-Series for (HHAAE)
The Hip Hop Association of Advancement and Education.
Quote from Willie: “Treat others, the same way you would like to be treated, believe in yourself at all times, and never go down without a fight!”
Willie Estrada is an inductee of the Hustle Hall of Fame as an original 1st Generation Pioneer.
Click on the link; http://www.mjames.org/willie_estrada.html
Watch My Video Bio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnndHvrZJAs
Willie Estrada and Millie Silva
Performing at St. Mary's Recreation Center
Click on the picture to purchase the book
At the close of the "Disco Era", Willie became an Artust Manager, Booking Agent, and Promoter for some of the biggest Latino Music talents like Wisin y Yandel, Aventura, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Enrique Iglesias, India, Xtreme, Gloria Trevi, Toby Love, Tego, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Ivy Queen, Frankie Negron, and many others. In 2009, he was honored by Latin Pride Magazine as Latin Music Impresario of the Year, at the Latin Pride National Awards in Boston, for his outstanding work with some of the premier Latin Artists in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Willie Estrada is a former gang leader who helped bring peace into his South Bronx neighborhood during the mid-1970s by using Music and Dance, as a way to bring teens together to dance as an alternative to violence, during the summer of 1974. He went on to become a Professional Dancer, Disco Club Promoter, Author, Actor, Entertainer and Music Business Impresario. Willie got his start in late 1974 as a Hustle Dancer with his partner Maggie Solis for the Latin Symbolics Dance Company from New York City. As a dancer he gained city-wide fame winning numerous dance contests, and later performed in many shows in and around New York City during the 1970s, when Disco was all the rage.
After his foray into the Latin Hustle and Disco scenes, Willie went on to work in Concert and Club Promotions in nightclubs like Faces Grand Ballroom and Bond International Casino where he parlayed his popularity as a Dancer to help make Bond's the number one nightclub in the City during the early 1980s. Never one to rest, Willie worked with the biggest Latin Concert Promoters in the business including David Maldonado and Ralph Mercado. All through the 1980s, his promotions company, "Willie Estrada Presents", was a household name for all Disco party-goers in New York City. In 2010 Willie Estrada was inducted into the Hustle Hall of Fame, and took his rightful place as one of the original pioneers of the Latin Hustle.
During the Summer of 1974, the Imperial Bachelors Hosted a series of Latin Hustle and Rock Parties at St. Mary's Recreation Center in the South Bronx. These parties are said to have brought peace into an area considered to be the Murder Capital of the United States. At a time when the South Bronx was burning down all around them. These events predate Hip Hop, and although the story has never hit mainstream media. However, it is well documented and is finally getting the exposure it deserves. The pictures below depict the initiative brought forth by the Imperial Bachelors alongside several other gangs who are pictured here together in peace.