so i mentioned a little bit about it in my last blog, but to get into a little more detail, it was definitely a different experience. its not my first time not seeing all hip hop performances. you would see modern dances, color guard, jazz, and individual styles. my base was different though, i brought house, hip hop, and urban dance. any who…. my house performance was the introduction to the show! and it was a pretty good turnout! :D i debuted my newest housing piece with the same people who performed with me at city college san francisco. niko, maria, tanya, and jordan urbano. really fun experience, but we definitely could’ve been cleaner. two performances after my opening piece, we had the modern piece “Mad World” choreographed by Susan Parks. the basis of the choreography was simple, but the concept has a very good build up towards the end. here’s my interpretation of it: basically many ordinary people step out on to the stage, and altogether we are expressionless because of how the world can be crazy to us sometimes. we all walk in this world everyday in hopes of something good, but it won’t come for us. but from what i’ve learned from susan’s perspective, the dance was more towards something about budget cuts and that the dance program might not continue. in the end… we all scream, then stare straight into the audience. the next piece i did was my miseducation to lauryn hill! for that performance i brought back, two old pieces. doo wop (That thing) and lost ones by lauryn hill. doo wop was a solo, and for lost ones, niko, tanya, and maria relived the experience with me. and i had newer people who learned it and experienced a different hip hop piece. Jordan Urbano, Tanya Castro, Diane Cababaro, Michelle Du Bois, Monica Hurtado, and Gianna Swisher. i love the turnout, it was definitely great for that piece. during both performances, i just love the energy, making facial expressions to the audience, having a couple of laughs on some of the parts where i touch my booty… and after both performances, i just remember sweating and catching my breath as much as i could and just grasping the moments that i wanted to take in while i was on stage.
the other dances were cool. but i definitely loved Christian’s piece, i know he kept saying it was a mess, but when i saw it at tech rehearsal, that was some dope stuff. i’m not used to seeing guard on stage, but what i saw, it was beautiful. good stuff bro. my interpretation, hash was christian’s close friend, and some beef happened. in the end, he cares for him and he doesn’t want to let him go, but he had to. christian said to me that he wants people to have their own perspective of it, and that was mine. the other dancers were cool. christine made a dance to doo wa ditty by zapp and roger!!! thats the poppin’ song! but she wasn’t poppin, just jazz. there was another dude, sean, who made something to lil john. people made fun of him i bet, but give him props for putting something together niko told me that he could be mental too. give him props! jessica’s solo was bomb improv! she be workin the musicality and that flow! candace be workin’ that solo too! jilli, christine, and enora, shoot… jilli be hittin those counts that’s all i’ma say. christine was gettin it, and nora, good job putting it together :D omg… michelle du bois, her solo was amazing good. she got musicality for days! i was feelin’ the hallelujah piece so much. ok… anyway….
the last two i did was Niko Haber’s piece and Susan Park’s Circle of Life. Niko surprisingly had a good concept. From my observation and what i remember, he cheated on Magaly by being with Gaby. And after that moment, Niko observes his conscience and tries to get everything together… in the end, he gets back with Magaly. sorry niko :P thats the concept right? haha. but anyway, it was dope. niko totally had a different side to him with that show. he’s not full on hip hop anymore, but more diverse with modern and jazz. btw Maya choreographed the jazz dub step part. niko can point his toes for days! haha… circle of life was basically the closer for the entire showcase. and is basically respect to the other styles. jazz, modern, hip hop, and ballet. in the end we all do one big bow in a huge circle with all the dancers together.
all the hard work everyone put together, i’m not really much of a critic, but definitely, it was a good show overall. everything was fun. i wish i could’ve seen everything from the audience perspective. the turnout was just the best… thank you kelly for the opportunity. definitely something i wanna do for next semester with something crazier!!! just gotta keep dancing.
the reign of performances in October are finally over… now i gotta get back caught up with my job at Diversity Movement in Jesse Bethel.
so over the course of this whole year 2012, of course I’ve always constantly been dancing, but one thing that I’ve noticed, my perspective of everything has definitely changed. before i talk about what i’ve learned, i recently had a student choreography showcase here at the college NVC (where i’m currently typing since i have nothing better to do :P). the experience was absolutely fun and a great turnout, i haven’t seen the dvd yet, but i’m sure that from the audience perspective it was amazing. i worked with dancers who aren’t really trained hip hop dancers and people who haven’t been dancing under my belt, so the preparation was a different experience too. i worked with a cheerleader, and a load of jazz dancers. i had a few people who’ve been under my belt as well, but in the end, it was definitely a turnout to behold. i watched my doo wop solo, i could’ve done better :P but anywho….
kuya, if you’re reading this, i just wanna say i miss you kuya… and i’m not trying to offend you or anything, just things that i’ve noticed when you were here…
so i wanna focus not on my inspirations while my kuya was here, but a person who i didn’t like at first because of my kuya, but would soon become part of a “list” of our favorite/inspiring dancers…. ever since my brother left, i’ve been looking at dancers so differently now. i always felt what my kuya felt. when he wasn’t feelin something, i’d agree with him too that i wasn’t feelin’ it. from what i’ve observed and what i’ve seen, my kuya grew up as a hungry dancer and an aggressive battler. and as a result, there’s a kind of mentality that as dancers, our dances can out dance anyone, meaning that when we dance, we have that battle mentality of “mine is better” i truly respect, admire, and love that from my kuya a lot for his creativity and who he was. thing is, when my kuya made a piece, it would have one of the best quality in the world to me. but lets get to the point here… back in 2008, 2009 while he was here in vallejo, i remember specifically that my kuya would really tell me stuff about keone madrid, and i mean stuff that wasn’t appreciative of him. he would tell me he was all talk about basics and the roots, but he wasn’t doing any of that in the stuff that he posted up. and to his eyes, my kuya thought keone wasn’t tight at all. my kuya and keone actually ranted on each other on one of keone’s videos in the comment thread. idk which one, but my kuya told me about it. i was just kinda outta the picture and wanted to stay away from all of that though…. but when 2010 and 2011 came along, keone’s style definitely evolved into something totally new and innovative. i actually liked the stuff he was doing too like daydreamer, girl is mine, crank it up, no worries, new shalom, smooth operator and he won’t go with mari, don’t stop the music… all of the stuff was amazing! and surprisingly, my kuya admired keone’s evolved style during those years. one thing i remember my kuya telling me straight up… “joe, i wanna apologize to keone about our argument on youtube. his stuff is dope now” from that moment on from years 2010-now in 2012, i really admire keone and his work in choreo cookies.
just because of those years in 2008 and 2009 that my kuya didn’t really like keone madrid’s style back in the day, i kept my eyes off of the SoCal dancers, specifically Choreo Cookies, and always had my eyes out for Shaun Evaristo, Mariel Martin, Lando Wilkins, and Lyle Beniga and S**t kingz. its funny because mariel martin madrid eventually moved from funkanometry sf to choreo cookies in sd. thing is… i owe it all to again… haha, if you’re reading this bro, you already know… niko, i owe u a lot man. i used to feel so one sided on dancers. i know at this time now, me and my kuya have a lot of respect for dancers out there. maybe not the same respect, but no matter what it maybe, for me i respect any dancer for their effort and work they put into anything. another big pointer i want to get to right now, i honestly really admire not just keone madrid of choreo cookies, but almost everyone who is part of that! carlo daring, bianca vallar, emmett agapay, nicole aguas, niko’s cousin sy bartolome, dom byrd, tracy seiler, CHRIS MARTIN. i love all of them! they’re such a clean crisp team, and i want to be like them one day. i remember the days i was always so focused on something different like how shaun evaristo was, but in reality, there was more roots i needed to learn. this is going back to the title of my blog. one thing that niko told me from his cousin sy…. LESS IS MORE. what i learned to love about choreo cookies is that they do a lot of simple movement with the body, but they make it fit with the musicality, rhythm, instrumentals… EVERYTHING. intricate simplicity… sigh… just so good. and i think its crazy too how i think FORMALITY eventually would branch into choreo cookies because i knew formality because of philip geniza. super sick choreographers from back in the day. i love dancers from SoCal, and idk why my perspectives were what they were… but i know for sure thats all in the past.
like what my friend @christianwuzlyk said “stay hungry and stay humble” and like what my good friend @fayze-kt-aov said… “Make peace with your past so it does not disturb the present.”
thats all that keeps ringing in my head… those two quotes… and LESS IS MORE. and if you really think about it, that doesn’t go just for dance, but life as well. *wonder if my kuya already apologized to keone already.
hope you’re doing good out there kuya. and i’m sure now we know wsup.
without a doubt, i’m really thankful and blessed for everything i have and what’s coming up for me. but lately… idk why i’ve been feeling so empty at the moment. right now, a lot has changed and it’s really taking me some time to adjust to everything. i honestly can’t remember a time when i felt really really secure about everything. i know i’ve said this before, but things are different without certain people in my house. Ira, Kuya, and my Lola. things have different and have always been without them in my home. but it’s not just them, but my inspirations. not gonna say exactly who, but when i always saw his videos from back in the days of 2009, 2008, 2010… i always say that as a standard of creativity that i wanted to meet with my dancing and myself. he changed too. and as of right now, i’m not really feeling what i see on the dance scene on youtube. yes, i’m a youtuber, but only because i dont have the time, nor the money to get myself out there to experience other dancers in the community. not yet… but when i get my job, i really want to get myself out somewhere and train or something. anyway… my point being, it’s hard to be inspired for some reason. self-motivation is tough. idk what sparked in me my first two years with Diversity Movement. i was super inspired, super motivated at the time, and i really wanted to make that standard of creativity and that feeling i brought in my choreography. as of right now, i’m just in a state of struggle with two pieces i want to get done. i remember my creative juices were on fire the first days i choreographed. something just isn’t giving me the motivation. idk what it is. i always feel down on things for some reason :/ i just need to pull myself together. find my way of staying inspired even though it is hard. maybe i’m just not seeing everything that surrounds me clearly enough. gotta want it. i really need to keep setting that standard for myself and stop lagging myself on this. i know i’ll get there and finish those pieces. it’s tough. gotta start somewhere like i’ve always been.
i have the set songs again, the turn out will get somewhere some how
i find it hard to believe that most people in the community i’ve been part of that they don’t know so much about the hip hop scene thats been around for the longest time. the only folk i know who know about it is basically people from chapkis dance because they compete. but when i’ve approached people from jesse bethel and even most people who i see in napa valley college, i’m surprised they dont know the biggest choreographers like shaun evaristo, lyle beniga, keone madrid, s**t kingz, mariel martin madrid, bam martin, chris martin, patrick cruz, jillian meyers, galen hooks, gigi torres, april rodriguez, rino nakasone, lando wilkins, and quick crew. people here in these communities only know hip hop dance mainly through america’s best dance crew and some crews who perform on dancing with the stars and such and a few good ppl on so you think you can dance. thats where dance is highlighted, but i can’t believe people don’t know about body rock, fusion, vibe, and even world of dance. its weird to me. i feel that people should know about this community. but since people dont really know, i feel so underground. i love that feeling, but sometimes, people gotta know the art, know the foundation, the people, the community, and how we all innovate from each other as dancers. idk… i’m not the one who always watches TV. thats why i think Mr. Henley’s proud of me, i’m not brainwashed by stupid TV shows, commercials, and ads that can manipulate ppl sometimes. nor do i listen to the radio. not about that life.
anyway… my big pointer, i just hope to get these people known. some of these people have worked overseas, on tours with artists… its true, a lot of these ppl can be underrated and overlooked upon. and its true that most of these people are known internationally in other countries rather than the states. thats so funny because they from the USA and yet they’re more known all over the world than in america. that’s weird to me. i got a message from someone on youtube who is from the Netherlands and a lot of the community of Holland know Shaun Evaristo and some of the names i mentioned earlier. that’s crazy! man… i hope america one day can just appreciate these dancers and not the commercial hip hop that we see everyday.
all the stuff i’m doing, did it on my own. of course along the way i had help. david king, kuya, aov for a month and a day, sniff kingz, last minute… that made me do diversity movement. when i did all city dance for 3 years then left… i learned how to freestyle. i learned foundation all on my own. i’m that kind of dancer who didn’t grow up in a studio, or in the streets, but its funny cause i’m the kind of dancer who wanted to go into that underground scene, but didn’t. i watched salah, bionic, poppin john, p lock, yoshie, kite, tatsuo, hiro, all them crazy cats. i learned how to which a way, stop and go, hit, scooby doo, sammy point, wave, tut, boogaloo, old man, scarecrow, strut, shamrock, all on my own without the training of another choreographer or some cool cat like a-one, haji, or lil b until i got to that aov training for a month. thing is, dancers are so fortunate to have youtube. i’m also, not just as a dancer, but as a person who’s poor, like no money. so i can’t really get out there, or else i’ll be stranded and/or be unable to maintain a balance in my life. so that’s why i have youtube as a big source to inspire me and teach me to dance. i sometimes hate it when i see someone wear a shirt that looks like YouTube but the “Tube” turns into “Bite” and the shirt says “YouBite” WTF? everyone’s a fricken biter then…. every popper is a biter off of boogaloo sam and the electric boogaloos. cause that stuff, they made it for the community. every locker is a biter off of Don Campbellock. so dont say biter, shoot… its funny cause no one says that no more. i dont hear no one say that. anyway, my biggest point i wanna bring up… NO SUCH THING AS BITERS. its called innovating. DANCERS ARE INNOVATORS OF THE ORIGINATORS. and YouTube is actually one of the best sources for a dancer if they dont have the time or the money to get training. watch some stuff, after that, TRAIN YOURSELF. its all a process. i went through it, look where i am now with it. teaching cottys, gonna get paid to teach from GVRD up at jesse bethel, recognized at fanimecon :P anyway… i’m not here to brag, nor am i saying that i’m dope at what i do… but whoever’s reading…. all i’m saying is GET ON YOUR GRIND. i’m still on my grind at this moment drilling stuff and doing what i need and want to get better as a dancer, and as a person. always go from style to style. chase the possibilities.
know the roots. know the styles. know the foundation.
i really feel that creativity is lacking in the scene as well. everyone is so “lines lines lines.” lines are always good, but play with those lines and turn it into concepts, shapes, colors, and innovate from the styles. BE CREATIVE WHEN YOU DANCE, thats what i feel what lacks. just from my perspective, it’s always good to be clean with your lines, but also be creative. i feel like the dance scene lacks that sometimes from what i’ve seen in person and sometimes on YouTube. but anyway… stay on that grind.
dance has become something so different to me these past weeks, month. i know without a doubt, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO BOUNDARIES WHEN I WANT TO DANCE. when it’s dance, let me move my body. thats how much i want to do it. at this moment in time, i learned from two great teachers, Kelly McCann and Marci. coming from a hip hop background, i learned how to point my toes, plie, pirhouette, chase, leap, jazz square, jazz walk, and much more. i can’t really name all the other technical stuff, but i’ve become more aware of my body and where my weight is shifted through each transition of movement. i love what i’m learning and i’m already innovating some stuff already based from the dance classes. the stuff i learned from hip hop / urban dance, people are always innovating. i said to alyssa the other day “dancers are innovators from the originators” and its true cause kelly told me herself she uses moves from other ppl from other schools she went to. another important thing i learned ballet is the foundation of many dance styles. from what i’ve observed, ballet is a very traditional dance. i love ballet for what it is, but in my heart i will always stay true to hip hop / urban dance. thing is, modern dance and even hip hop isn’t traditional sometimes. what i mean is that its always changing and is being branched to new things. i believe all dancers should never set boundaries and just stay open to all the possibilities. even for me…. thing is, i’ve been knowing since day one, i’m not flexible even i can appear to be to some ppl. but that doesn’t mean i won’t try.
well… i really wanted to journal most about, i just find it surprising that there’s really no one else i can share my hip hop with in the community of NVC. it’s always been niko. whoever’s reading, i’m not saying i’m tired of niko or anything, but its just i wanna share it with someone similar to how i did with jason pham, austin, and some DM and Vision folk. i want to session, i want to talk about ppl who inspire me. niko will like forever be a good friend to me. i love you man <3 hahahaha. but forreal, niko be knowing the san diego community. and we know the same exact people who inspired us before we started to become good friends. shaun evaristo, lyle beniga, s**t kingz, keone madrid, mariel martin madrid, ellen kim, bam martin, chris martin, syrene bartolome, jerome esplana and the list goes on and on and we both knew all these dancers. i’d love to share my locking, popping, housing, waacking foundation with someone who i could help, and who could help me too with what i do. oh well… maybe i’m not destined to meet another hungry hip hop / urban dancer like niko at nvc…. i’m enjoying dance at nvc though. ppl are nice. ppl are amazingly good. ppl are open. unfortunate thing for me, calluses are getting painful. made new friends i guess… doubts are getting the best of me for some reason. friends, idk… the nvc showcase coming up pretty soon, these ppl who signed up for me, idk…. i miss DM sometimes… all the time… idk, i’m just getting withdrawals. i miss how DM be pickin up my pieces pretty good cause they so used to me. some ppl in nvc aren’t that clean with it right now no matter how much i go through it and how slow i go through it. but still, some ppl be killin it though. i’ll blog about my showcase another time.
so currently my life in general, i’m done schooling at high school and off to college at NVC. transition was weird. i had high hopes of getting into sonoma state university to start myself fresh by myself… but my advisor told me my application wasn’t paid for, and yet ms. diaz told me fee waiver would cover it, but it didnt. oh well…. no productive classes, funny cause i only have dance classes. dance styles, jazz, and ballet. that’s it. go to napa tuesdays thursdays w/ that same grind. gotta create a better atmosphere, cause in my head, i just feel like i’m not really going anywhere with my life just yet. i just gotta keep working and have patience with the right moment with the right people… a good friend of mine got into a car accident, visited him… i’ll be praying for him before i KO. swear… suck at social life… i can’t make friends and long convos for crap. whatever… i’ll figure out something. i always do in the end.
you deserve a medal if you read my blog this far… ok… peace
so september all happened really fast. i can’t really remember all that happened over this month, but i’ll give some highlights…
- got tekken tag 2.
- niko’s birthday was dope. went to the 9th street park beach. chilled.
- finished a new house piece to tortured soul.
- been doing well in nvc dance. ballet was a killer, did a barre stretch for the first time in my life, i felt like i was gonna dislocate my hip. currently doing modern dance in the dance styles class. I taught my Lost Ones piece to Kelly’s street jazz class and recruited people for my showcase! :D made a few friends in each class too. i think my form is getting better. and i’m getting a little bit more flexible. sad cause i dont have 6.5 units anymore, i only have 3.5, and i only have dance classes D:
- ranked at least top 10 lei in the world in tekken tag 2.
- learned a ratchet piece from The Vision, it was crazy cause i struggled with it the first time i learned it, just had to get used to the string of movements. met Joey Alberto of GRaVy Babies. he was pretty cool. they love my house piece!
- recently got into watching a new dancer, Jerome Esplana. he’s super dope.
- eating out with Christian Bustos and my usual friends was a fun night. got us some free frozen yogurt and some wing stop. then played at the playground afterwards.
- broke my red vans already.
- maria’s party was at the 9th street park too. it was just as fun as niko’s, but just more ppl and more food!
- I GOT MYSELF A JOB! finally, after two years of being a choreographer for Diversity Movement at Jesse Bethel, I didn’t think I was gonna come back for a 3rd year now that I’m in college. But Mr. Dawson is willing to help me and PAY ME. thats crazy. a job i really REALLY want, and finally will hopefully get paid for. thx tanya.
- carmina’s cotty needs to get more stuff done a little bit faster. it’s already october, and we gotta get this done. but were making good progress. waltz is basically done. love on top is done. salsas done. just gotta do groovin’ and maybe turn up the music. MAYBE.
september was a good month. October is keeping my head up on things. couple things to look forward to. Shaun Evaristo’s birthday, college showcase, nvc showcase, fall fling, and hopefully i’ll get paid for my time back in Diversity Movement. i have plans for this DM, and hopefully i can get through with such a busy schedule even though i’m only taking dance classes in college. :) just gotta be careful on the road.
PEACE. can’t wait to see what October has in store for me.
dance has been changing. thing is, learned a piece today w/ the vision, i be effin up though… :/ i gotta stay on this grind and keep getting better. definitely what i needed, but it starts here at home. thats where everything started, never gonna forget those words from haji from AOV, speakers from youth group, and kuya. IT ALL STARTS AT HOME, that is your foundation, not necessarily at the studio. HOME…