In God She Trusts

Archive for October 2009

Colombia with Tony was so amazing.  Thank you to all the dancers, to Andres, and the whole crew for making my experience a good one.  It was definitely one of my favorite trips!  Hanging out with the old roomie, learning new languages, meeting new dancers, and eating new food 😀

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in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

In class a LONG time ago, one of my first Hip Hop dance instructors told me…

“This isn’t Hip Hop.  It’s Urban Choreography.”

After a few years of experiencing the dance community, I’ve realized the need to re-evaluate my title as a Hip-Hop dancer.  As a beginner who was very NEW to street dance, I didn’t understand what he meant and continued to believe I was training as a “hip hop” dancer, when I really wasn’t.

Different languages of the world (chinese, spanish, english) are kinda like different dance styles (ballet, jazz, hip hop).  We’re able to distinguish between different kinds, because each language uses its own unique rules of grammar and sentence structure, just as each dance style uses its own steps and technique.  Over the years, languages and dance styles have changed.  We’ve used the term EVOLUTION to describe what we see now in Hip Hop versus what it was in the past.  On the other hand, I think what has emerged over time isn’t Hip Hop itself, but instead a different dance style that was INSPIRED by Hip Hop.  Urban Choreography–an entirely separate language, born and inspired by a collection of the earlier languages.  For example,  Tagalog (Filipino) was formed and influenced by the Spanish, Malaysian, English, Arabic, and Chinese languages.  Couldn’t we say that like Tagalog, our dance style was inspired by Hip Hop as well as other styles of dance, and has collected all of that to become it’s own language with it’s own unique structure?  We wouldn’t call Tagalog “Spanish-evolved” or “Chinese-evolved,” simply because the three languages follow entirely different rules.

Nowadays, people have a few different names to refer to the style of dance being taught in many Hip Hop classes:  LA style, West Coast style, commercial Hip-Hop, new-style Hip Hop, but to call it Hip Hop is to assume that it follows the basic fundamentals of Hip Hop dance.   I’m no Hip Hop head… I’ll admit it.  But when I SEE Hip Hop dance and its roots, there is no denying that there is a totally different look to THAT kind of Hip Hop compared to what we call “new hip hop,” which varies greatly according to individual interpretation and also lacks greatly in strict rules and technique.  In true Hip Hop, there are basic names of steps and techniques that aren’t completely present in this new style… so though we may dance as freely and as creatively as we want to Hip Hop and R&B music, can we REALLY say that it is Hip Hop?.. or are we just over-generalizing things to spare ourselves the trouble of analyzing & truly understanding Hip Hop history?

With so many new dancers coming up in the next generation, I think it’s very important for all those capable to educate them wisely and accurately… and that we don’t discredit or undermine the value of Hip Hop’s history.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

Dancers who don’t dance for artists don’t matter.

I won’t mention who said this or where I heard it (you might be able to guess that it came from someone who does dance for artists) but as someone who doesn’t dance for artists, hasn’t had the opportunity to dance for them before, and lives off of teaching others to cultivate their talent… I find this a little offensive.

To dance for an artist is definitely a great accomplishment for a dancer, but there’s a load of other things that factor in to getting booked, and I hope people understand THAT, before they let someone else tell them they don’t matter or that they don’t know how to dance or that they aren’t talented.  To book jobs after jobs after jobs in the industry requires more than an ability to dance.  Your looks are a factor… the way you look standing next to the artist themselves… your ethnicity.. your body build.. your hair… your face…. WHO you know… what you’ve done before… etc.

Don’t get me wrong.  Dancing for artists builds a lot of credibility and respect because of the competition.  I idolize lots of people who continue to book jobs over hundreds of dancers who audition.  I would LOVE to dance for an artist someday soon, and haven’t even done so myself cuz it’s not easy.

But on a personal note, there’s more to dance than dancing behind an artist.  Though it may be a great goal, it’s not EVERYTHING.  People express themselves through dance.  People are able to create and turn their imagination into reality through dance.  People are given a positive outlet through dance.

People who haven’t danced for artists yet, might have some more to work for… but as someone so experienced in the field, you should educate… not belittle or devalue other people’s hard work.

Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great
–Mark Twain

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

Proverbs 14:1
The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Artists face big challenges once they decide to make a living out of their talent and their passion.  They approach unknown territory, not knowing what they’re getting themselves into… fueled by the single, motivating desire to turn their craziest dreams into reality.  It gets pretty scary.  Routine and familiarity is something we’re so comfortable with, but many working artists don’t follow that kind of schedule or lifestyle.  Artists have chosen the adventurous route.

As a dancer, I find myself going through repetetive cycles of ups and downs… inspirations and voids… fire and laziness.  When I rely so heavily on my creative ability to provide food on my plate, I can’t afford to be un-creative.  This is a big challenge, when naturally, I’m a pretty chill kinda person.  I like to kick back… sip drinks… listen to music… enjoy scenery… pretty much, relax!  Don’t get me wrong.  I learn quickly… I work hard.  I can easily do things once I know what to do.  An artist’s line of work requires more than action, though.  It requires imagination…  constantly giving birth to ideas and nurturing them to survival.  It’s exciting, and I do thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to exercise my passion as my work.  I do thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to turn my dreams into my reality.  I thank him for giving me the eyes to see what I’m capable of and the surroundings to support me.  I just need to get off of my butt… and remember that He didn’t give me this opportunity for nothing.

Sloth is killer.  Diligence is life.
God’s plans for my life is my motivation.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

Happy Birthday to the biggest bully in the whole world–Matt Frock.
JK.  On the inside, I really love him.

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My favorites:  Pad Thai and Pad See Ew
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Matt really wanted to make a toast…
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… so much that he broke the glass….
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… and took off his shirt.
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… and crashed another bday party @ the restaurant.
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click for the whole album

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

Check him out 🙂

Joesar Alva
Photo 36

Click and subscribe to his YOUTUBE page

He’ll be subbing at Debbie Reynold’s Dance Studio in North Hollywood for a while.  If you get a chance to take from him, please do 🙂

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

I am so inspired, and it almost makes me want to cry that I didn’t appreciate stuff like this when I was younger.

Truthfully, no bs aside, I wonder if it’s too late.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence


PROVERBS 31:10-31

You don't know me yet... but you will. - BZ

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