And I Wander

The birds chirp at this side of the world. :)

PHILIPPINE ALLSTARS — THE FIRST YEAR


I have a confession to make. I was the Philippine Allstars’ memory-keeper. For years, I was the one opening and managing our online accounts (from Friendster to Myspace, Multiply, and finally, the [retired] OG’s Facebook page). I was the one replying to fans’ questions. I was the first to receive verbal punches from haters & critiques. When fans have questions to any particular member of the group, I would answer for them. If it was personal, I would ask the intended member to open the account her/himself and reply to a fan. Most often, they would not do it. So I would eventually do it for him/her. When Chelo came back from the UK in 2007 and became active again, she shared this burden with me, and so you would find blogs on our sites (especially on Multiply) authored by her. It is usually us girls who would be active online, except for Lema who was busy managing the group. The boys you could not count on because, well, boys were hardwired for physical tasks. They would rather train, choreograph, sell shirts, ccok, drive, or anything but go online. (Although now, you could see that they are pretty much active on Facebook. Mas maingay na nga sila e, haha, ehem Maya, Pat, Renz & Reagan)

Anyway, this is one of the posts that I really worked hard creating… and protecting. I believe the first year has defined us as a group. Everything that followed was a result of each of us’ decision during our first week. And everything else was, I don’t know, just divinely directed (for a year). That is how I believed it to be. I salvaged this post days before Multiply shut down and was able to repost on Facebook and another blog. This time, I guess, to secure a place on my own blog, I’m REposting it here. So here goes… the story of the OG’s first year. 🙂

DISCLAIMER: This was created in 2006. All of OG’s debt has been paid of since.
* * * * * * *
A remembrance of PHILIPPINE ALLSTARS‘ journey from being highly addicted to cyphers in the underground Hip Hop & Breakdance scene… to being highly dedicated to a cause which, through their love of dance, they make anything possible. A year in their life where everything changed, from being financially well-off & having the means to splurge on material things to being really poor (having gone deep in debt) but having the means to splurge people with words & acts that matter more; and from being almost satanic to being a follower of God, “BestFriend”. This is our story…

 

In June 17, 2005, 12 people came together and dared to dream….
[from top L-R: Kenjhons, Reagan, Jhong, Laurence, Patrick, Chelo, Sheena, Ivy, Kyxz, Michelle, Lema & Maya]

Everyone dropped their jobs to try to do a competition piece… Kenjhons taught us ‘sarap lang,’ sometimes he & Laurence would sing for us in between breaks.
[Chelo’s crib]

After a month of putting together a dance piece & learning to dance as a group (as everyone were freestylers), it was time for battle.
[Maximum Groovity II]

The piece was “hilaw” (raw), but we had fun… Sarap lang! =)
[National Competition]

We were up against really good teams like The Crew, Flipthrillaz & Letran. But in the end, we were pronounced as Champions!
[National Champions!]

Afterwards, everything weren’t laid out easy for us. The organizers said that the sponsors backed out so they could not fly us out.  They did promise to send us to Italy next year though… just. not. to. the. US. this. year.
[Gold’s Gym]

Added to that, 3 of us (Chelo, Sheena & Pat) got denied of US visas. Heartbroken, Chelo went on to pursue her studies in UK.
[Chelo’s despedida]

Still, amidst all these, we believed that destiny cannot be broken… That it was our destiny to represent the country in HHI.
[1st music video by AF]

–so despite being financially hard up (having borrowed money for plane tickets), we went on…
[1st music video by AF]

–to the US to rep up the PI…
[4th World Hip Hop poster]

–and show the world what we’ve got. What Filipinos got!
[2005 Eliminations, Manhattan Beach, CA]

The people took notice, and loved us…
[2005 Eliminations]

We placed 6th (out of 26 teams) in the eliminations, and it kinda went into our heads…
*We would have placed 3rd. We got a deduction for late start & offensive moves (hands on our crotches hehe!). So guys learn from us, no offensive/lewd movements!
[Interview for a local news channel]

–that it affected our performance during the finals. So we remained in 6th place.
We were kinda disappointed. Who wouldn’t? But acceptance soon followed as we realized that we weren’t ready to be Champions. Coz lumalaki. ang. ulo. namin. (proud/arrogant) We were really mayabang that time. But we learned.
[2005 World Finals, Redondo Beach, CA]

After the competition, we had no place to go. But kind pinoys, Floyd & Mags Evangelista, who have heard our story from our friend Marc Nelson “adopted” us.
[with Floyd & Mags Evangelista]

–so we were picked up by their limo & brought to their house… yeh God is good!
[In a stretched bling bling car]

–were fed food & fattened up…
(coming from starvation in the PI–yes, the stories are true: sometimes, after practice, a pizza box would just slide through the doors & it will sustain us for the day; and after clubbing & passing out hats to collect money for commute & food the next day, and getting hungry, we’d just say “Bahala na si BestFriend.” Then a friend would pass by and ask “Allstars! Have u eaten?” & he’d treat us ALL dinner… Sometimes He sends angels like Jaimie (a client of Gold’s) & Tim Yap in our midst as if to say “Just hang in there.”)
[Good catch Reagan!]

–given a place to sleep… hehe!
[Maya at Pechanga suite]

–and a place to stay and do girly things… hehehe!
[Floyd’s crib in San Diego]

Of course we went around LA…
*(other times, some pinoys would tour us around) Thanks to Kae & friends for bringing us there!
[Maya & Kyxz at Venice Beach]

–jammed in the streets…
[Venice Beach]

–and dropped by the Millenium dance studio. we had no money to pay for classes so we were content to just dance in the street… but Mike Montoya of La Dekada (2005 US Champs) was so kind that he rented a studio & taught us some La Dekada moves. =)
[Millenium Dance Complex]

We also had a taste of LA’s night life (with Mike of La Dekada, Shane & some –friends who had connections to let us in the VIP). 
[Downtown LA clubbing]

–and we’d jam with them boys from Sickstep…
[clubbing in Hollywood]

–then it was time to go home & face reality. We went back to the Philippines humbled (with the whole experience)… and in debt…
[ALLSTARS’ way]

–but some people believed in us and helped us out, like Levi’s…
[LEJ tour, San Beda Alabang]

This gig was instrument to the conception of what was to be one of our routines (the motor) & part of our music for the next HHI.
[LEJ Free to Move launch]

Then we went around to perform in schools…
[LEJ tour, St. Louis College]

Oh how we loved to perform for and jam with them, especially the kids!
[LEJ tour, San Beda College Makati]

We would share with them our love for cyphers…
[San Beda College]

We would have so much fun with them… Those were really one of our best gigs…
[San Beda College]

The Evangelista’s were still there for support…
[E-Real fam gig]

–along with Adidas…
[Adicolor press launch]

–and people of Sports Unlimited, especially Dyan Castillejo & Marc Nelson…
[Sports Unlimited]

After almost a year, Hip Hop Open d’Italia was coming up… Everything was still not easy for us. Our problems got bigger. Sometimes, conflicts would come from inside our circle. We would always fight & argue about everything. We would be faced with struggles, dilemmas &… choices… But in the last minute, everyone would decide to go head on with whatever was thrown to us…
[Gold’s gym]

Except for Eye Vee who decided to choose a different path… teaching kids & pursuing her bgirl dreams. =)
[Eye Vee]

After deciding to go on (we were told that there MAY be plane tickets but no place to stay in Italy), we still kept faith & we resolved that no matter what, it was important for us all to be on a same page…
[Sleepover at Jhong’s]

We busted our asses off by jogging at 6am almost everyday… rain or shine.
[Jogging at the UP campus]

–then go straight to practice to perfect our ‘motor’ routine, hehehe!…
[Gold’s gym]

–experiment moves…
[Gold’s Gym]

–and stunts… ha-ha!
[Gold’s gym]

–it was exhausting physically…
[Kyxz, Gold’s gym]

–and mentally, that sometimes…
[Jhong, Gold’s gym]

–we would spend a lot of our days at Gold’s… sleeping.
*eventually, being one of the sponsors that would send us to Italy, Gold’s gym eventually became our second home. (Grateful to Ms Ley & Ms Mylene)
[Kenjhons, Gold’s gym]

–and of course we never forgot Him. In fact we became closer to Him & would attend services. One of our favorite was the ABS-CBN fellowship. We will never forget Pastor Jessie’s blessing, and his words became our “baon” to Italy.
[Pastor Jessie]

This time we had plane tickets, but no place to stay… We were ready to sleep in the streets! We even brought a lot of blankets & century tuna! Nothing could really stop us, so we said to ourselves, “Bahala na si God.”
[praying before taking off, Lufthansa Air]

True enough, He provided… Filipino Community in Turin had heart…
[Torino, Italy]

–and one of them couples moved out so we could have a place to stay for 5 days… grazie!!!
[Daddy Aries’ Apartment]

They offered a place for us to hold our last rehearsals, inside their Church.
[infront of their Church]

We loved them Europeans!!!
[outside PalaRuffini]

Of course, we can’t NOT play with the bboys…
[PalaRuffini]

–and the kids…
[PalaRuffini]

This time we danced for Him…
[Hip Hop Open d’Italia Finals 2006]

–and so we won the Gold…
[Finals]

–and their…
[after the competition]

–hearts…
[after the competition]

Shempre we went around for a well deserved celebration… with a scoop of gelato!
[Torino, Italy]

–went sight-seeing…
[in one of their lovely Piazzas]

–and girl-sighting… hehe! Belle ragazze!
[Laurence & Reagan]

Then it was time for the World Hip Hop Championships… We were surprised to find ourselves in their poster!
[5th World Hip Hop poster]

But of course, we knew we were facing bigger obstacles ahead… We still had to pick out the 8 people (World Event only allows 5-8 members per group), we still had to polish our routine, we still had no (NADA!) sponsors, we still owed people money… Well basically it’s more, again, of a financial crisis. As always.
[Patrick, Kyxz, Laurence, Jhong]

Stubborn we may be, we didn’t let those burden faze us…
[Kenjhons]

We practiced (we gave time for teachnicals since we sucked at that) a lot…
[Gold’s gym]

–talked a lot…
[Gold’s gym]

–prayed a lot…
[ALLSTARS’ way]

Shempre, not forgetting to have fun…
*this is our third home, Madelle’s studio. By this time, she was already part of our core.
[Brewing Point]

–enjoy life…
[Laurence, Brewing Point]

–and sleep (while still having fun! hehe!).
[Jhong, Brewing Point]

God really has humour. Sometimes, everything would be difficult that it seemed like He was testing us to see how far we would go. But ALLSTARS are a crayzey & a hardheaded lot; we wouldn’t give up! So then everything would be provided. Same as last year, ticket fares were paid on the last minute of the booking deadline.
[ALSTARS’ way]

So in July 27, we found ourselves in the US again, this time with Sheena & Pat who were denied visas the year before, and our new members, Madelle & Deo.
[backstage with Floyd & Jun]

Philippines had 3 representatives, The Philippine Allstars, The Crew & The UP Street. Ang saya!
[the HHI 2006 official Philippine Representatives]

It was so overwhelming to be able to share the stage with some of the best dancers in the world…
[Opening Parade, Finals, Redondo Beach, CA]

During the eliminations, we placed 1st out of almost 30 dance crews in the world. And so we performed last during the finals…
[World Hip Hop Finals 2006]

And so, as we have been promoting the Man up there, He promoted us.
[2006 World Hip Hop Champions]

We were champions. Truly, destiny cannot be broken!
[2006 World Hip Hop CHampions]

It was a special night, not just for us…
[Allstars with Luther Brown]

–but for everyone present in that room…
[One Big Circle after the Awarding Ceremony]

–that night, the world became smaller…
[Suave of Hip Hop Connexions Chicago & Kenjhons]

–everyone became united in their love of Hip Hop…
[Kenjhons]

–and for their love of God.
Yey.
One Love. One Hip Hop. One God.
We’d like to think that each one walked away a champion. =)
[Kenjhons]

It has been one crazy year that seemed to have spanned a decade…
{Boys]

–like a roller coaster ride…
[Boys]

–full of ups…
[Kenjhons]

–and downs…
[Jhong & Kyxz]

–a year brimming with…
[muscles]

–moments of…
[Kenjhons with Balara kids]

–love…
[QC Detention Cell]

–trials…
[Lema]

–friendship…
[Jhong & Kyxz]

–fights…
[Michelle & Kenjhons Hulk]

–celebrations…
[Motorcade]

–struggles…
[waiting]

–glamour…
[Pimpin’]

–or pure baloney… hehe!
[Sheena, Reagan, Michelle (& Maya behind the bush)]

–and of course, cyphers.
*We want to preserve this culture coz this is where we can find Hip Hop dance in its raw & purest form.
[Cypher]

Look at how we’ve grown in a year!
[Before & After]

From being mere friends…
[late dinner at Something Fishy]

–we became brothers & sisters…
[Big Pat & Jhong]

Our family gets bigger. Niko & Prince officially became our trainees.
[Niko & Prince]

The tards (retards hehe!)
[Sheena, Michelle, Madelle & Lema (Chelo was still in the UK)]

–and the loids (mongoloids ha-ha!)…
[the boys]

–will go beyond the cyphers…
[Jammin’ w/ percussionists at Rockwell]

–to improve the country’s standard in dance…
[spot number in Wowowee, a very popular noontime game show]

–promote originality & creativity…
[CADS concert 2006]

–educate the kids, especially the less-fortunate but equally talented ones…
[Pathways workshop with public HS kids]

–and the ardent followers of this art…
[Sunday class with Kenjhons]

–and of course, most importantly, to spread His words & share His blessings…
[with kids at E-games event]

–coz bottomline, we know that we can hold it up on the dance floor…
[Kenjhons vs Lema at Jaipur]

–or in real life…
[Lema & Sheena vs Jhong]

–as long as we keep our faith…
[Kenjhon’s shirt “God’s got mah back”]

–coz we know that God’s got our backs. That’s as permanent as Laurence’s tattoo. =)
[Laurence]

* * * * * * *

VIDEOS:


Our first competition piece.


Announcement of winners, HHI 2006.


Video montage from our first year.

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November 20, 2014 Posted by | Blogroll, breakdance, dance, hip hop, Jesus, life, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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TRENTA’Y TRES #throwback – HOW I BECAME HIP HOP

.los angeles.ca.

Since I am in that retirement road already, I wanted to share this to the kids who are just starting out. I actually just bumped into this as I was cleaning my email Inbox. This was a submission I did for a friend’s blog back in 2009, months before I was to turn 33.

Trenta’y Tres, by Michelle “Tzy” Salazar (Dance Artist)

I am Tzy, the oldest member of Philippine Allstars. I think that I am even the oldest female who dances hip hop in this country… that I know of. But I am not a pioneer. I am merely a toddler. I was not there when hip hop penetrated the scene in the 90s. Back then, I knew Francis M. as a “pop” singer who sang the only rap song that I’ve ever memorized in my life (Cold Summer Nights). Jmasta (bboy) & breakdancing were non-existent. If he did headspins in my face I would just ignore him. I thought hip hop meant donning a huge shirt & pants that barely holds on to one’s boxers. And back then, the object of my pubescent obsession was the Eraserheads (a rock band that defined the sound of the 90s in the Philippines).

Hip hop came late into my life–when it was already associated with sex, drugs & violence, when the OG’s (dance pioneers/legends) have gained weight & when dance was started to be boxed in the studios & not danced in the clubs/streets anymore. It came even AFTER I was already dancing hip hop (with the Philippine Allstars).

Among all the members in my group, I think I am the most “non-hip hop”. The rest have been living, breathing & eating it. When hip hop began thriving in the Philippines in the early 90’s, Lema Diaz was one of the few girls who were dancing to its music in Club Mars. She is still in the scene now, so technically, she is the oldest female hip hop dancer.  Some of our boys have been bboying (breakdancing) since they were little. Chelo Aestrid & Kenjhons have been pursuing music all of their lives. And Sheena Vera Cruz, for me, is the ultimate dancer with hip hop attitude. I have always thought of myself as a “rakista (rocker) who loves to do breakdance freezes.” My ipod had consisted of songs from genres of rock & alternative. And I would wear urban/hip hop clothes only when I go onstage.

Now 4 years into being an Allstars, after having won 4 world hip hop competitions in 3 continents & putting Philippines on the map, it is only now that I am starting to really delve into the culture, history & foundations of hip hop dance.

In July this year, I was given the privilege of being one of the 6 people (from 5 countries–Lebanon, Palestine Territories, Argentina, Vietnam & Philippines) sent by the Kennedy Center (Washington) to go on a Hip Hop Tour. It was an eye opener for me.

I met some of the few important figures of hip hop dance  OG’s like Buddha, Marjory Smarth, etc. They told us stories of their experiences back in the 80’s, when this was all just starting. They shared their principles about dance; how very disapproving they are of students just learning dance inside the four corners of the studio & not in the clubs/streets anymore. I have also attended workshops where I have finally learned the foundations of dance which is very important for every dancer. Allstars’ style is so 90’s and for years, that was what we were good at. Those workshops made me understand dance more. I’ve found meaning on why we do certain moves. Like there is this move we do for Locking called the Muscle Man. Skeeter Rabbit told us that it was his way of saying “What’s up?” until it evolved & was combined with his move, the Skeeter Rabbit.

The most important part of our tour was the immersion in the places where hip hop started. I have discovered where the roots of hip hop music was found, which was in Washington DC, where the African-American music flourished in the early 20th century. There was this place dubbed as the “Black Broadway” which used to be an entertainment hotspot to African-American community back then, even before the Harlem Rennaisance in NY. This was home to a lot of great musical artists like Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong & Billie Holliday.

We have also threaded on the streets of Harlem, the Mecca of black culture, where 30 or 40 years ago, no other race than black could walk. We have experienced a jam in the park, right in the heart of Bronx. When I was there, I smelled hip hop in its raw & purest form. That time, I was so lucky to have seen in person hip hop’s godfather, DJ Afrika Bambaataa. It was so surreal listening to his music and dancing to it. It was like performing a contemporary dance with a live accompaniment of the orchestra.

In that park, we kinda stood out because most of the people were black. So there was this one time when a man named Ron from Universal Zulu Nation approached us and said, “Don’t come out here with your booty shakin.’” He then went on to say something like, “You can’t fake hip hop. It is not made, it is not taught. You are born with it. It is in the heart. You breath hip hop. & it is here in Bronx.” I told him that hip hop has actually spread around the world, that was why were were there. & he says, “You know how it has spread? You spread it here (points to his heart). For me you can’t fake it. I don’t care where you’re from. You can’t fake hip hop. You’re born with hip hop. Some have it, some don’t. They got school for scratch, they got school for this & that, but hip hop is not an act. It’s from the heart.”

Word. 🙂

Actually I just realized that I may have been “hip hop” after all. Hip hop in heart. Its journey is my journey too. Embracing undaground & not losing the whole essence of hip hop is what Philippine Allstars is all about. Keeping it real to the heart. Not being too technical. Expressing emotions in its truest form. Standing up for the undadogs. Sharing & spreading the word. Fighting for the movement. That is real hood right there.

I am turning 33 next year. Too old to start learning new styles of dance, some might daresay. But for me, this is only the start of my never-ending quest for knowledge & truth. You might say, “pinapalalim ko naman mashado, sayaw lang yan (It’s only dance, why complicate it).” But dance has stopped being simply a form of art for entertainment purpose. It has gone beyond being just a medium of expression. On our part, we have been using dance to spread nationalism. We have undoubtedly created change among the hearts of a lot of Filipinos & has inspired them to be proud of our country. Through our dance pieces, we have traveled to different parts of the globe & have gathered not just rave reviews but love from even people of different races. And dance has also helped us spread positive messages to the world, even daring to break barriers and inspire people to Point Up (to give glory to the Man up there). [Philippine Allstars blog]

It is never too late to start dancing hip hop (I started dancing, from zero, when I was 23, doing jazz, and hip hop when I was 26). There is actually no expiration to learn anything! It is never too late to start being someone who you want to be. What is important is how far you want to go with the things you are passionate about. Just like the philosophy from Pablo Coelho’s The Alchemist & Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, when you want something really bad, the universe will conspire to help you achieve it. I may be too old to learn airtracks (barrel turns with hands), but I know that if I put my heart & mind to it, I may even become the first Lola (Gramdma) to do it.  But for now, I gotta learn. Coz ultimately, I will always be a student. Every one of us should never stop learning new things, even at 33. Or 45. or 77. 🙂
* * * * * * *

Read my full blog about the Hip Hop Program here.

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Blogroll, breakdance, hip hop, learn & unlearn, Philippine Allstars | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

HIP HOP PROGRAM FEATURED ON CNN

Embedded video from CNN Video

International hip-hop artists find their roots in U.S.

By Jill Dougherty
CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Six hip-hop artists from five countries speaking four languages are on stage, warming up for their show at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

International hip-hop artists warm up for their show at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday. 

International hip-hop artists warm up for their show at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday.

“Warming up” doesn’t really capture it; the dancers explode across the stage, each one with a different hip-hop style.

Michelle Salazar is chic-grungy in black jeans and white T-shirt, her long black hair swirling around her head. Hassan El Haf, from Lebanon, tall and thin, does a kind of electric hip-hop mixed with salsa.

Argentines Mauricio Trech and Silvia Fernandez move in a dramatic break dance. Both hail from Argentina, home of the tango. Hien Ngoc Pham from Vietnam, with a buzz cut and dressed in white jeans and a white T-shirt, has Broadway bravado in his every move.

The dancing stops and Samer Samahneh begins rapping — in Arabic. No translation needed; it comes from his soul.

Three weeks ago, the dancers had never met, but now they’re a team, participating in the State Department‘s Cultural Visitors Program. The program consists of three weeks of meeting American hip-hop artists and dancers and visiting New York City, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

“It’s like a dream come true for me,” Salazar said Tuesday, the day of the team’s show, “because I only read their names in the Internet and now, like, I met Afrika Bambaataa, the founder of hip-hop. I was right next to him. It’s a real immersion into the culture. I don’t want to wake up!”

Salazar isn’t just star-struck. She’s learning a lot and she plans to bring it back to her fellow dancers in the Philippines.

“Dancers in the Philippines don’t have much of a foundation [in hip-hop],” she says. “They don’t understand why dancers do this” — she moves her arm — “or why they do this” — she strikes a pose. “Because if they knew why they would feel it. I can feel it by watching these [American] hip-hop dancers.”

Samahneh agrees: “You’ve got to feel it.” His rapping, he says, comes from inside-out. “Even if you don’t know the language, you can get involved with what I’m saying.”

Samahneh says that when he raps in his hometown of Nablus in the West Bank, he is “asking God to bring peace to our land.”

Colombia Barrosse, the vibrant head of the State Department’s Cultural Programs Division of the Bureau of Cultural Affairs, says the cultural cross-fertilization is the goal of the program.

“There is nothing that can substitute for being in the United States and meeting Americans in their place, to look at the richness and diversity of the United States. That’s irreplaceable,” she says.

The Cultural Visitors Program is part of the State Department’s cultural programming around the world. The $8.5 million budget is supplemented by institutions like the Kennedy Center, which is co-sponsoring this performance.

Most of the visiting artists in the program found their way to professional dance through hip-hop.

Pham, a member of the Vietnam Dance Association, is currently working to open a hip-hop training center in Ho Chi Minh City to reach out to young people.

With a broad smile, he says, “Hip-hop is such energy. It’s so young. It’s also an opportunity for our countries to get closer, and I have a lot of friends all over the world.”

Hip-hop may have started in the United States, but it belongs to everyone. Here’s how Hassan El Haf puts it: When he got to New York, he felt as if he had landed on his “real planet.”

“Yeah, I see them, all the dancers in the street, the music, all the people that like hip-hop music,” he says. “When I do hip-hop, it makes me feel happy all the time. This is my life.”

August 1, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, hip hop, kennedy center | , , | 1 Comment

DAY 13

.philadelphia.pennsylvania.usa.

 

It’s Saturday noon & I smile at the day & heave a sigh of relief as I don’t have to get up from bed til 6pm tonight. Sarap. I can still bury myself under the sheets & watch the time pass by.

But my body is soooore. 7 classes a day was too much. But I ain’t complaining. What I got was worth a gem. I got to love lockin’ more, I was formally introduced to house & waaking, I learned at lot more about breakin’, & popping… it hates me haha!

I could have really soaked it all in, though, if I didn’t strain a muscle on my left foot. 😦 I think I got it from Marjory’s house class last Monday. So yeah, for the whole week I was really struggling. Even pain killers didn’t help. But it didn’t stop me from taking the classes. Keber na lang kahit lumala.

I loved all the teachers. They were so generous in sharing some nuggets of info about history, even anecdotes about how they were back in the days. It was all mind-opening.
class

They taught us a lot of techniques which helped us to really dance with the music. But it was important too that we learn where all these moves came from so that we can understand why we do them. Skeeterrabit shared that muscleman was originally his way of saying “hi” back then & that Don Campbell came up with his move coz he couldn’t pull off the Funky Chicken… I noticed that they were all so strongly in touch with the history but they are also very open about dance evolving. It was also interesting how some of them (like Mileage & Buddha Stretch) were so open about dissing “Lyrical Hip Hop.” They said that it is not hip hop. LOL 😀 Coz you dance to the beat & the melody, not with the lyrics. Dancing to words is just an excuse for teachers who doesn’t really know how to DANCE. Interesting. 😉

Illadelp Legends Festival is in its 10th year. I hope that in the following years, hip hop dancers from the P.I. will get to experience this coz personally, I know that this will help me a lot, not only with my techniques & musicality, but with my outlook in this dance itself. Mas masarap na lalo sumayaw. Parang pagkain na mas masarap kainin kapag nalaman mong pinaghirapan lutuin para sayo… Haha, there I go with food analogy again. :p

Now, my next challenge will be to teach what I have learned. Honestly, I believe that one cannot teach if he/she is still not a master of his/her craft. But just like what they say, we dancers should be ever-evolving. We should forever be students & not get content with what we know. So when can I give classes?… I have been teaching kids & I only do it because I love to teach them! I see myself more of a student. But then this was given to me for a purpose… to share. And I think I’m doing it now, here, so people can read this & learn. Teaching class? I’ll see, I’ll try, I’ll ponder over it. 🙂

* * * * * * *

I got to stroll around (albeit injured foot) Philadelphia. It’s a nice city. The roads are narrow, the structures are very historic & the atmosphere is sooo relaxed. I felt like I was in the province coming from NY. But as I spent more time here, I discovered that Philly is such a cool city that is mixed of both the old & new, historic & modern, laid-back & fun!
philly

They don’t have a lot of billboards which is very nice coz billboards only clutter the grand view of the city. What they have a lot of are murals, of adsvertisements, history, art, etc.
murals

I loved walking on the tree-lined streets of the area where we’re staying at coz I got to walk over dry fallen leaves. Hehe. Weird but I love the feeling of dry leaves crunching under my feet.
leaves

Tonight we will rehearse for our performance in DC. We will practice our MJ tribute number where each of us will try to do 8/8’s of a style we have studied at Illadelph with MJ’s song (Blood on the Dance Floor). Here are our respective assignments: Hien (Waaking), Silvia (Hip Hop), Mauricio (Breakdance), Scorben (Popping), Samer (House), & Michelle (Locking).

July 25, 2009 Posted by | hip hop, kennedy center | , | 3 Comments

   

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