Pedro Aguilar

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Pedro "Cuban Pete" Aguilar (June 14, 1927 – January 13, 2009[1]) was a Puerto Rican dancer, referred to as "the greatest Mambo dancer ever" by Life magazine and Tito Puente. His nickname, "Cuban Pete," was conferred upon him in 1949 in the famous Palladium dance hall in New York City, in reference to the classic mambo song "Cuban Pete" by Desi Arnaz, and it was endorsed by Arnaz himself.

Aguilar won numerous prizes in Latin dancing during the Mambo era, together with his dance partner Millie Donay. He is a recipient of many prestigious awards for his work. Pete is the only Latin dancer recognized in the Latin Jazz exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

He continued to dance professionally, coach teams for competition, and was a judge for various Latin dance events. Barbara Craddock was his last dance partner (since 1998) and manager.

He, together with Barbara Craddock are inducted in the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.

On November 14, 2007 it was announced they were the recipients of the Latin Jazz USA Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 2007/08 Ms. Latina International Pageant, with the presentation scheduled to happen on December 22, 2007 at the Manuel Artime Theater, Miami, Florida. They were the first Latin dancers to receive this award.[2]

He died January 13, 2009 from heart failure at Sinai Plaza Rehabilitation & Nursing Center, Miami, Florida. Aguilar is survived by his daughters Denise Gerard and Petrina Aguilar, son Peter Aguilar, granddaughter Gina Gerard and grandson Noah.[1]

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