The N-Beat: October 10, 2015

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Saturday, October 10, 2015

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Victor Alexander

Victor Alexander was born and raised in Cuba and left home at 11 years of age, to study at the prestigious Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana. He has enjoyed a very successful professional dance career here in Chicago and recently became director of the Ruth Page School of Dance. In an effort to expose his own young dancers to the rigorous dance methods in Cuba... and have his Cuban counterparts see how dance is taught in the US, he orchestrated a cultural exchange trip. 9 Cuban dancers came to Chicago for 2 weeks, they studied, then performed alongside Ruth Page dance students... then, in October, Victor is taking 9 of his American dancers to his homeland for the first time. Victor shares the struggles he endured leaving his family behind to devote his life to dance... and his joy of finally being able to share his heritage first-hand with his dancers... and immense joy at sharing his success with his family still living on the island nation.

For more information:

Ruth Page Center for the Arts

1016 N Dearborn St, Chicago, IL 60610

(312) 337-6543

Garcia Brothers/Hot G Dog

Octavio Garcia and Juan Carlos Garcia came to Chicago for the first time back in the 70's... simply looking for work. After starting out in construction, both ultimately made their way to the kitchen of Doug Sohn... of Hot Doug's fame. The Garcias became line cooks for Sohn. After that legendary hot dog stand closed down last fall, the Garcia brothers asked Sohn for his blessing to open their own version of a gourmet hot dog restaurant. With Sohn's approval, the Garcia brothers recently opened Hot 'G' Dog in Uptown. Now, Hot Doug's fans are again able to taste favorites like foie gras sausage and duck fat fries!

Hot G Dog

5009 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

(773) 209-3360

Alison Velasquez

For the past few years, Alison Velasquez has been making a name for herself in Pilates studios and kitchens here in the city. A dreamer since childhood, Alison has always been determined to conquer the world. A graduate of the University of Illinois, Alison hoped to have a successful career in Marketing. But after working for a small company for a brief period of time, she found herself without a job. However, that didn't deter her one bit. She picked up the pieces and started doing what she enjoys most - engaging others in the health and wellness industry. Today, she is a Pilates Instructor and is the proud owner of Soupology, a business she created for consumers looking for an alternative to the juice cleanse. Just this past year, she has seen much success and been featured on The Today Show and in periodicals across the city. For more information:

Posture Perfect Pilates

1247 South Wabash

Chicago, IL 6065

LaCriolla Foods, LLC

As the owners of LaCriolla Foods, LLC Carmen and Sylvia Maldonado have been providing many chefs and cooks with their assortment of eighty plus artisanal spices. In business since 1952, this family owned company was started by the family patriarch Avelino Maldonado who began selling his spices to local Hispanic groceries and cooks. Today, the company's products are sold across the Midwest and in big box stores Walmart, Target and Marianos and hopes to expand to other specialty grocers across the US.

For more information:

La Criolla Inc.

907-909 W. Randolph St.,

Chicago, IL, 60607

Phone: (312) 243-8882

Spark Ventures

Located in the heart of the city, is Chicago based Spark Ventures. For the past eight years, this company has helped to lift children out of poverty in Africa and Latin America all while inspiring others here in the city to get involved. Since its inception, Spark has made it their mission to impact the underserved by providing sustainable solutions to their growing needs. For more information:

Spark Ventures

134 South LaSalle

Chicago, IL

National Museum of Mexican Art

The National Museum of Mexican Art is home to one of the country's largest Mexican art collections. Currently on display is the popular "Day of the Dead." This exhibit like many of the museum's other evolving collections allows visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of Mexican art and culture right here in Chicago. For more information:

National Museum of Mexican Art

1852 West 19th Street

Chicago, IL 60608