Although his parents had lived in NYC, Chayanne was born and raised in Puerto Rico. At age five, he was singing in the church choir and acting in school plays. By age 10, he was a professional singer with Los Chicos, a popular group fashioned after Menudo. With Los Chicos, Chayanne recorded five albums and made his film debut in the Spanish-language feature "Los Chicos en Conexion Caribe." When the group disbanded in 1983, the teenager found roles on telenovelas and eventually found success as a solo performing artist. His first album "Es Mi Nombre" was recorded when he was 17. Settling in Mexico City, Chayanne acted in several of the popular TV serials, including "Tormento" and "Volver A Empezar." With sold-out concerts, numerous gold and platinum recordings and a successful concert career, Chayanne made the move to feature films in a supporting role in Jacobo Morales' "Linda Sara" (1994). Although he reportedly auditioned for the role of Che in the film version of "Evita" (1996) and was under consideration for the title role in "The Mask of Zorro" (1998), he lost both roles to Banderas. When he came under consideration for the role in "Dance With Me," he had already filled such venues as Radio City Music Hall and the Universal Ampitheatre, but the casting personnel and producers were not familiar with him. Director Randa Haines, however, has stated that as soon as Chayanne came in for the reading, it was clear he was the one. Once he proved he could dance and following a screen test with Williams, he was given the role of a Cuban emigre who partners with a formerly successful dancer in a ballroom competition. Displaying a sensuous charisma, he acquitted himself well in his English-language debut.