"If I can make it there,
I'll make it anywhere..."

by Pedro Juan Hernández
Translated by Victoria Álvarez

The cha-cha group tap danced for audiences in different venues: the Palladium, Teatro Puerto Rico, Club Harlem, Apollo Theater, Baby Grand, RKO, Bronx Casino, Brooklyn Paramount, Honka Monka and many, many others that highlighted Puerto Ricans, other Hispanics, and North Americans alike. They also presented their act in a Canada, Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Argentina and Puerto Rico. In the U.S., they toured to various cities, including New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, the Mecca of adult entertainment, Miami, and Atlantic City. Carlos Arroyo Araneta ColiseumThey were featured alongside personalities from all over the world;, including Sammy Davis Junior, Tito Puente, Harry Belafonte, Tito Rodríguez, Pedro Vargas, Mirta Silva, Bobby Capó, Dámaso Pérez Prado, Santos Colón, and many others. Friendships with these artists helped to further Arroyo’s career, as was the case when his friend Tony Bennett came to see his show at the Zabra and ended up joining the act by singing along, and when Pedro 'Piquito' Marcano recommended the duet to the Hotel Flamboyán in Puerto Rico. They were also invited to perform on television in New York on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Steve Allen Show, and The Perucho Show, and in Puerto Rico on Bobby Capó and Mirta Silva's shows.

They played to international audiences in Buenos Aires, where they intended to stay for a week but extended their stay to seven months, and in Japan, where they also remained for seven months. When they performed in Buenos Aires, the “Paris of South America”, it was at the Zabra alongside the Buccaneers (an African American group), and on TV with Antonio Prieto. Their most acclaimed performance in Argentina was at the Teatro Nacional in a variety show by Domenico Moduño, in which they interpreted the music hit “Volare” to widespread acclaim. Imagen de Florida<br />
1Carlos also met Antonio Barbieri, the Argentine comedian, as well as José Curbelo, an agent for many musicians, and Tito Puente. On his trip through Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Japan he performed with Tito Puente and His Orchestra. On this last stop, the dances were so successful that their contract was extended for several months. It was then that he had the accident that almost led to the end of his career as a dancer. During one of his performances, Arroyo was doing a number where he jumps and lands in a split in the middle of the stage. During the stunt, one of the technicians moved the platform, causing him to fracture his leg, and Arroyo had to return to the U.S. Although Arroyo recuperated from the accident, he felt his feet were never able to move in quite the same way again.

Content credits Center for Puerto Rican Studies
Image Credits: Carlos Arroyo Collection | All Rights Reserved