Mr. Q behind the decks for Cardinal Spellman High School's 13-hour dance-a-thon
NEW YORK -- Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx promotes academic performance, leadership and service.
Director of Clubs and Activities, Rick Quintana, has been providing great service to his students for the last 19 years. He may be the best club director ever, because he's been in them since he was 14 -- both as a DJ and as the lead singer of a rock band.
He even has a stage name.
"It is DJ MENYU," Quintana told Wragge.
"Where does this come from?" Wragge asked.
"It's an acronym, it stands for 'My Entire Name Yells Unorthodox.' So my style and the way I carry myself is rather different from the normal DJs," Quintana replied.
Mr. Q, as the kids call him, will be DJing for 13 hours straight Friday as part of the school's dance-a-thon. The kids love him, and they trust he can lift the dance to new heights.
"Mr. Q has always been our go-to DJ, and we trust him with all of the music. So he's kind of directed us more to what he wants us to hear," student Brooklyn Matthews said.
"He's made a lot happen for us this year, and he's given us a lot of opportunities to shine and showcase our talents," another student added.
"I have so much music from the '20s with swing time music all the way to modern music. So I think I can DJ for at least a week," said Quintana.
The 13-hour dance-a-thon is a big endeavor that has the school excited.
"I originally wanted to go as soon as I heard about it. It's always been kind of my 'Grease' dream. It's just something I always wanted to experience," Matthews said.
The Cardinal Players have shot to fame with major productions of greats, like "Grease," "Footloose," "West Side Story," and "Ragtime." The talented students of Spellman get to dance as a reward for their hard work in the classroom, on stage and to fulfill their commitment to service.
"It's a beautiful thing. What we always instill in our students is awareness and understanding. We're all a community. So from the moment that they enter into Cardinal Spellman High School, they know they're family. They know that we have to depend on each other and rely on each other," Quintana said. "And it's important for us to, as educators, to also prepare them for the real world."
In the real world, there is real competition.
"It has to happen. It's a dance competition. They have to compete," Quintana said. "It wouldn't be a dance-a-thon without competition."
"Once my creative ideas and her creative ideas come together, it just turns into something amazing," said one student.
"I'm really excited to compete, I mean dance, and the Cardinal Players have always been those two big dance groups. But I feel like the Cardinal Players can really, like we have the energy and like even though we're not mainly focused in dance, like our players, we can dance," another student added.
Let the friendly competition begin, and may the best dancers win.
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