Nydia Padilla Rodriguez and John Rodriguez

Recorded July 29, 2021 Archived July 29, 2021 43:03 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby020926


Spouses, Nydia Padilla Rodriguez [no age given] and John Rodriguez [no age given], discuss the way their marriage and their creative outputs remained strong as they supported each other outside of traditional gender roles.

Subject Log / Time Code

NPR reflects on Borinquen Dance Theater turning 40 years and the time her and John have been together, which is going on 34 years.
JR speaks on how Borinquen Dance Theater began. NPR shares the story of when JR proposed to her and the way she felt supported and respected.
“You’re definitely a Taino queen, you’re not a domestic queen,” JR says as he and NPR talk about the non-traditional marriage they agreed on so that NPR could continue to pursue her artistic endeavors.
“What are some of the tough times that you remember?” JR asks NPR about challenges that they overcame in the last 40 years as they moved through the significant stages in their lives. JR also reflects on the challenges and how they overcame them.
“Watching you as a leader is something I started to enjoy in the last twenty or something years,” JR says as he thinks about NPR being the director of the dance theater and knowing when to step back and step forward as a Latino male.
NPR reflects on sustaining Borinquen Dance Theater over the years.
“Do relationships need that shared focus to survive?” JR asks in reflection.
“If you give up in the middle when the thing is hard, you never get the satisfaction of the bonding that creates,” JR says.
JR and NPR reflect on the time they took care of NPR’s mother during the end of her life.
NPR and JR speak on gratitude for life and honoring the victims of covid-19.


  • Nydia Padilla Rodriguez
  • John Rodriguez

Partnership Type



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00:03 My name is Nadia.

00:06 I am 60 plus age.

00:11 Today's date is July 29th. 2021. Can you believe it from Rochester? New York and my, I'm having a conversation with my lovable husband, John?

00:29 And I'm John hungry. Guess I'm in my early sixties. Today is Thursday, July 29th. I'm in Portchester.

00:41 I am with my conversation partner and Dinoco Mcqueen and you know, creating.

01:04 What energy was it?

01:06 What's the expression? A good trouble?

01:16 I'm from Rochester, New York, as well.

01:27 So we're talking about stuff today is a special day because

01:35 We're going to be celebrating 40 years.

01:38 Borinquen dance.

01:41 And,

01:43 The idea of borinquen still be in existence or something to do with you and I

01:50 Known each other for 40 years.

01:55 Aerating.

01:57 34 years and two more weeks.

02:05 Maze looking at these flowers. It just made me think about.

02:12 How special?

02:15 Our relationship.

02:20 When you gave me these flowers, I was like, wow, that's my heart because

02:28 I need the flowers. Symbolize love, symbolize.

02:39 Long life and 40 years is a long time.

02:46 Being with you, my husband.

02:54 So, beautiful, a beautiful things.

03:08 It's exactly.

03:11 Like our relationship.

03:15 Gravity.

03:20 Aqaba.

03:29 And so boring Can Dance Theater. Really just started out as exercise classes.

03:37 With our peer group people RH

03:44 1981.

03:46 When I think about our relationship, one obvious thing is that

03:56 So many who had so many relationships.

04:02 Is Body Can Dance Theater and

04:18 How is popular in the world? What is it about those two things?

04:39 I might have to think about what?

04:44 I also, you know, when you bring that off, I start thinking about.

04:50 And I reflect on how we first met.

04:55 And I remember.

04:58 When you proposed to me.

05:02 That I wanted to make clear that you understood that.

05:07 I was.

05:09 Very involved with the artistic industry and wanted to ensure that you could respect that and support.

05:19 I remember you responding to me that that was something that you expected.

05:27 About me, that should not interfere with us developing relationship.

05:36 And that really made a big difference for me because I thought that if I didn't have that kind of support with you.

05:44 With support.

05:47 Spiritually.

05:50 Can understand that. That was my

05:55 Dream something that I wanted to work for it as part of my career, even though I was working full-time.

06:04 That, that was going to be a major sacrifice for maintaining a relationship.

06:12 Because it would not require the typical 7 days a week.

06:19 Cooking 7 meals a day.

06:25 It wasn't going to be that typical traditional Latino way.

06:32 Living.

06:34 As husband and wife.

06:37 And I thought I was pretty clear with you up front and you seem to embrace that acknowledge and respect that. And I think that has a lot to do with.

06:53 Honoring.

06:55 Well, at the same time, maintaining values morals and principles.

07:02 Do we call them? And all I remember? I don't remember.

07:15 I do remember.

07:22 Really never stopped and struggle with the heart.

07:33 And you being a ball and you're definitely a queen show.

07:48 I mean, I just never

07:52 Struggled.

08:03 You should be home.

08:06 What you creating is so magnificent.

08:15 That.

08:17 It didn't seem like they should stand for.

08:33 Shared that idea that the build something to create something.

08:39 Solve a problem.

08:47 The sacrifice diet Meyer.

08:57 Work with students to work with your peers.

09:03 So,

09:05 I just saw that as part of the standard commitment.

09:23 World class.

09:33 So it just never really struggled with it. Ourselves Society. Indiana more simple, basic reading, something, something beautiful.

09:51 And I love watching Dance. So I didn't see any.

09:58 Joy that I received.

10:08 I just thought that's like, that's the

10:13 Dance.

10:24 Scripps of perfection.

10:34 We received.

10:38 Call creation.

10:47 And I just,

10:54 That was nice to know that I have you as my number one mom. I was number two.

11:15 I used to really enjoy.

11:21 Photos.

11:24 Photography work that you always.

11:33 Was Niner.

11:35 Maybe feel like.

11:41 Appreciate it.

11:45 Make me feel like,

11:48 Or is there?

11:54 That makes a big difference.

12:02 What were what were some of the tough tough times?

12:11 Challenges, different 40, 40 years.

12:17 Started.

12:30 The challenges.

12:32 I think.

12:34 Related to

12:37 Maybe issues surface that come from a very large family.

12:45 A lot of nieces and nephews.

12:48 Things that were related to work.

12:54 I'm still developing.

13:05 Married 6 years job. That was awesome.

13:23 And then also my responsibility.

13:29 And dance company.

13:35 Getting more.

13:38 Exploration discovering.

13:48 Why didn't wings like the table?

13:57 For young people to identify.

14:01 You understand?

14:09 Understanding.

14:14 African.

14:19 There are a lot of issues in our community.

14:25 With.

14:27 Larry at the high school level, so many challenges.

14:36 Coming from all different directions.

14:39 But I think the relationship between you and I,

14:44 Manage that in a way where you were, like being a coach, but I think I created an opportunity.

15:01 Having that balance.

15:06 Manage those challenges in the way where you came up with some type of solution.

15:13 Instead of just,

15:21 That was part of having a very healthy relationship.

15:31 Because the reality is in life, everyday is a new day.

15:40 So many different challenges.

15:47 We never gave up.

15:49 What was some of the challenges?

15:53 Borinquen relationship.

16:02 I think that just what I just said.

16:11 I think your mouth.

16:13 In the beginning, always trying to find space cuz I do remember, we could go from one place to another. It was almost like he didn't have a free location and that became a little frustrating.

16:36 Hochstein School of Music.

16:48 Well manager.

16:55 Everyday issues with surface.

17:02 So, what do you think?

17:05 Challenges.

17:07 When I want to look at it from the

17:14 It was.

17:16 Call.

17:25 What it takes to produce?

17:34 That kind of kept us going to program program.

17:50 Music.

17:58 Wedding dress tomorrow.

18:19 Looking at each other.

18:22 Thought you were going to do that.

18:28 Somehow we get through it knowing that show must go on.

18:33 So we have this common cold.

18:37 The next day or whatever.

18:41 The satisfaction of knowing.

19:07 This Dance.

19:09 Is something wrong?

19:12 Especially bothered.

19:17 Music.

19:21 How can we avoid?

19:32 Argument.

19:39 What is the Texas? Chainsaw, always assume all know, we got this, we got and then something would go wrong. So we started to spend our time.

20:08 We both wanted to see if he knew that you represent.

20:24 And eventually people got used to it and so it became okay.

20:36 So that's the banding to

20:55 Now.

21:05 Relationships.

21:16 Struggling through the hardships.

21:21 Downloading games.

21:24 Organization.

21:35 So,

21:38 So intertwined, now that I think about it.

21:50 And no matter what, you don't know, how long it's going to be.

21:59 What is contribute?

22:15 Stop.

22:18 Am I still your group? You're in charge?

22:23 And so what is the appropriate way to show up?

22:36 Be a good partner.

22:42 Think I'm still learning that but I've gotten a lot better at it.

22:47 It's also a lesson.

22:51 Watching you.

22:58 Conscious.

23:21 And so,

23:35 Stration.

23:44 That's why not many dance companies and maybe

24:00 There's some interesting.

24:02 But I do think that.

24:08 You're very strong leaders. Well, we both could be very stubborn in their own way.

24:17 So how about that? Right? And I think that it can be a challenge when you have two strong leaders want to lead and sometimes one has to be a follower.

24:35 And I think that you and I have been able to manage that in the way where if you need to be followers.

24:46 I need to be the follower. I'm okay when it's time to read.

24:52 And knowing when I think was very important for us.

25:00 Managed not only with each other because we both have very strong personalities.

25:09 What are the things that surface for me when you brought all that up was?

25:15 There was, there was I think it was when we were heading, maybe 10 years or maybe fifteen years of Whittington.

25:25 And I,

25:28 It was very challenging to sustain with funding or anything. And I remember reaching a point where I thought, you know, what years, I think that that was a major contribution for this community of sacrifice a lot. And my husband, maybe it's okay to you. No lettuce. And I remember mentioning it to you about. Wrap up, maybe a few weeks, and one of the young ladies.

26:25 It reinforced the fact that I needed to sustain.

26:33 Has her daughter, was safe haven for us.

26:49 And I remember that.

26:54 One of the reasons why I have to go.

26:57 Reinforce the knee pain when I asked to speak about some of the needs of our community and it was with all these different professional. Thanks, after my presentation. I actually said, I'm not going to really speak on behalf of you. So I'm just going to read a letter. That was written to me, buying you. And then you tell me if it's worth.

27:33 Sustaining bb-t and if so, please take into consideration.

27:41 And when I read that letter, they were people in tears in the audience and that's when I realized.

27:50 I just can't give up you remember that when I discuss that with you and then

27:58 Decided to continue advocating and trying to get more funding because the infrastructure.

28:11 It was a tie.

28:16 I think that.

28:17 Art of Life theater.

28:21 Creation waiting for a hundred percent.

28:31 You'll never create any.

28:39 As you're talking, I'm trying to think of.

28:44 Wii products.

28:53 And did we learn at 1?

29:09 You haven't given up.

29:28 That issue is.

29:37 So what is it? What is it? I'm not sure.

29:45 Struggle with

29:47 Struggling relationship.

29:59 I would think it's both, I think.

30:03 I think.

30:05 That learning from each other feeling with

30:09 Challenges.

30:12 Our marriage.

30:16 Be strong.

30:19 Then I'm able to buy that with whatever I do.

30:30 I wouldn't you have not feeling well.

30:43 Give me something.

30:52 I said it's been a blessing just to be able to.

31:03 I'm not, I'm not sure.

31:21 It just changes the Dynamics.

31:36 Younger.

31:40 So now we're like the grandparents.

31:55 Relationships.

32:03 It's so exciting.

32:29 That's what makes it exciting. I do remember one hot summer day here in our home. Not, Ohio.

32:41 Where,

32:43 We were trying to develop.

32:49 I want to stay a member to Meadowlands program.

32:56 You know, one of the things that I love about you is that you're always about details if you want to see things. I like to see things but I also remember you telling me we have to lay this all out these charts all over the room air. Conditioner wasn't working well up here and it was

33:27 Remember that you were sweating to death, and I finally decided all my clothes.

33:42 It was it was and I was really like, work. We need to get this done. I cannot do this.

33:51 With these clothes on, and it was

33:55 It was just amazing how we're able to pull that off the heat. I want you got it done and it was late at night and you're tired.

34:29 When I get through this into this knowing get to, it looks bad right now. If you give up in the middle.

34:50 You never get the satisfaction.

34:57 Can I get?

35:26 Yeah, we we've done.

35:30 We burn this relationship thing that I find very intriguing because when you don't give up,

35:42 You know, when you have these challenges, it's so much easier to just say, you know what? I don't want to do this. I can't do this. You figure it out. I'm done with this and we just didn't go in that direction. We, we were more willing to figure it out and I think that,

36:04 That was important because we also try to buy that same standard without relationship.

36:14 Surface things. We're not perfect.

36:20 It doesn't necessarily mean that you give up one of the things.

36:25 That I admire about our relationship.

36:41 And still create something.

36:47 It was tough.

36:55 That attitude.

36:57 Creative Memories.

37:11 I remember.

37:23 You got to make a choice.

37:48 That was that.

37:54 It was beautiful.

38:09 I think you're right. We did.

38:18 It was a major sacrifice because she was with us.

38:26 Or 7 years.

38:29 On the weekends also.

38:33 Sacrifice by sleeping in the guest room. While my mother and you didn't complain about it. You were very supportive you

38:49 You really helped make things much easier.

38:55 It was the first time that I was able to express.

38:59 Or even share my mother with so many brothers and sisters that I never really had that connection with her.

39:09 With us every weekend.

39:14 So that was also a blessing.

39:19 The love.

39:22 Cher.

39:32 That was action.

39:37 I love you so much, too.

39:41 I just did.

39:48 You know, she loved to dance and she was trying to get me to dance with her Her Dance Movement.

40:06 We have to help her get back up.

40:10 So,

40:13 Yes, those days in memories will always be special in my heart.

40:21 I really do believe that.

40:25 The partnership has friends.

40:32 How to stain my frame of mind in peace, and

40:40 Having gratitude. I feel really blessed.

40:45 I'm hoping that we can.

40:48 Change.

40:58 Is there is a Sunday, this Sunday is for Honor, all those folks in Rochester. So it is a very special.

41:26 You know, it's sad but at the same time, we're trying to bring joy.

41:33 How to get people to have gratitude.

41:40 Never know today.

41:48 I know that. I feel blessed to have you in my life.

41:55 Yes, you are special. I love you for that.

42:17 We're going to be celebrating 40 years and then our anniversary.

42:24 Next week.

42:29 When is August?

42:38 So,

42:40 The can go wrong.

42:43 Be continued continued.

42:47 Thank you, baby. Thank you.

43:00 As 62.