In God She Trusts

bitterXsweet: On Monsters Of Hip Hop

Posted on: April 12, 2010


It’s been a while since I’ve written anything… and I’m glad for this phase in my life, because this is a good time for me to start up again.

In a span of 3 weeks, I went to 2 Monsters Of Hip Hop Conventions, not fully knowing what I was getting into, but knowing that so many dancers I respect have experienced it, been challenged by it, and eventually were rewarded for their hard work by it.  I didn’t know what to expect–it was my first time taking classes from some of the choreographers, so I approached it with an open mind and was willing to learn whatever I could from it.

Santa Clara was… interesting, to say the least.  I can’t say I was happy the ENTIRE time.  I was amped and excited and nervous and scared and itching to learn all at the same time.  The 10 classes I took were physically draining, but it honestly felt good just to push my body that way.  NO PAIN, NO GAIN… simply put.

Mentally, I was going through torture.   The ballroom was packed with dope dancers and choreographers that it was pretty intimidating and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  The whole convention put me through these intense feelings of being inspired one minute–cuz people were SOOO FREAKIN DOPE, then the next minute feeling hellamadd disappointed like I should stop dancing.  I was freaking out cuz I didn’t have a mirror in front of me.  I was freaking out cuz my friends seemed to be getting the routines and I wasn’t.  I was freaking out not knowing what I looked like.. cuz I’m used to CLEANLINESS, and if I’m not clean, I go CRAZY!  I don’t think I was focusing my energy on the right things.  I felt uncomfortable at times, but I know it’s always my own fault.

“Your mentality is a double edged sword.  You’re in competition with yourself for no reason.  Stop it!”
–SuperDave

What a humbling experience to be put in a place that makes you so uncomfortable.  I travel overseas to teach classes and I talk passionately about working towards your dream, but THAT’s my comfort zone.  Through events like Monsters, I’m kindly and constantly reminded that I have so much to work on myself.  I was actually butthurt over things that didn’t go as hoped for that weekend… but I tried my best to keep a positive mindset the whole time and to fight off the insecurity I faced.  Regardless, Monsters gave me a lot.  I was happy I got to take difficult classes from amazing choreographers!  I was happy for the chance to learn, watch, and feel the energy of such talented performers.  I definitely appreciated the challenge of being out of my comfort zone and outside of my realm.  Frequent visits to these places are very necessary for growth, I believe.

On another note, Monsters in Cancun was just fun.  Maybe it’s cuz I’ve already popped my Monsters cherry.  Maybe cuz it was in Cancun where the beach was the first thing I’d see in the morning… starts the day off beautifully.  Maybe it’s because the turnout was more intimate… less intimidating.  I spent a few days with some pretty cool people and the choreographers at the beach!  Overall, the trip was enjoyable… still challenging of course, but much more fun and liberating than the first.  I asked some of the choreographers for critiques, which made me feel a lot better.  Knowing what to work on instead of GUESSING and WONDERING is really helpful.  I got good feedback and I’m really excited to get back in the studio and move forward with the things I’ve learned.

Thank you, Monsters of Hip Hop… for exposing to me my strengths and weaknesses.  Thank you for the inspiration and for the challenge and for the words of wisdom. Thank you for the sweat and the tears (of joy… and sorrow that I cried on the inside haha).  Congratulations to all of the finalists–though I doubt you’re reading this 🙂  Everyone’s drive and talent is really admirable and it’s my pleasure to watch everyone GO OFF.

Overall, I want to cry at the beauty of life and the chaotic journey of pursuing your wildest dream… all the ups and downs of it.  I appreciate even the moments when things don’t go the way that you want, because these times test your willpower, your passion, your heart, your soul, your integrity, and every part of you that makes you strong.  Disappointments can easily break you if you let it, but a true success story is one involving a vicious cycle of struggle, rejection, and eventually victory.

Slow and steady is my pace, but if you don’t know….
It’s only a matter of time…
and I plan to be freakin victorious.


Thank you, Joesar Alva for everything… for being an inspiration to me, for your passionate and humble spirit, for pushing me to grow so much in dance and on a personal level.  I feel blessed to have someone to learn with… to experience and share this journey with.  You’ve supported me from the beginning and I love you so freakin much.

in God we trust
<33 apes x essence

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1 Response to "bitterXsweet: On Monsters Of Hip Hop"

April! I’m so excited to have found your blog, and this post, because I am feeling this exact same way right now. And you’re so right: pushing yourself to the outer limits of your comfort, or even beyond, is the best way to grow. Good for you for going to MOHH, and for pushing yourself! You’re great, and you’ll be fine. No worries 🙂

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