ReFresH Dance

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Hello Fukusaki from ReFresH Dance Crew

Presenting the finished project! Thanks everyone for being such great volunteers =) I’m going to show this video to kids in rural Japan to show them a slice of life back at home.

Arigatou!

~Val

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May 9, 2010 Posted by | ReFresH Stuff | Leave a comment

On getting pwnt

Up until now I’ve been taking class in Japan with one guy, who is freakin’ amazing but he follows Americans and Shikkin just like everyone here, so his style has been relatively easy to follow though still technically challenging at times. At least I’ve done well enough that he wants me to perform with him at some point.

So I was reallyyyyy taken by surprise when I got totally OWNED by this girl teacher that I took a class from tonight. I felt heavy, fat, and unprepared entirely O_O. Why? Because she was doing really energetic, old school hip hop from way back when that I’ve honestly never had the opportunity to learn. And trust me it’s harder than it looks – you’d think all that rhythmic kicking and jumping should be easy to catch on… It’s got it’s own technicality to it, but if you can’t keep up with the aerobic component of it, you can forget getting the dance all together! But being in Japan gives me this opportunity to learn a foundation of hiphop I have never gotten the chance to. It really put me out of my comfort zone, and I am truly humbled. Osaka and Kobe are the closest big cities – Kobe is known for old-school stuff and some honestly mega-asian stuff. Osaka, as far as I’ve heard, has more Westernized style? But I don’t really know. I’m going tomorrow to take a few classes to find out for myself.

Anyway guys, don’t forget the importance of practicing your foundation and trying new things! I’m gonna do my best to master this style too.

Love,

Val

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Community, Other | 1 Comment

Live at the RFH apartment this summer!!

Hey guys,

As some of you know I’m moving to Japan at the end of July, leaving me a month of my lease at the ReFresH Apartments at 2157 Ridge. Since it’s all RFH people I wanna open it up to you guys first to see if any one is interested in subletting for the month of August. Rent is negotiable 🙂 It’s about a 10 minute walk to Tech and a 3 minute walk to the el.

Thanks! Let me know if you’re interested as soon as you can.

Val

May 12, 2009 Posted by | Community, Other | Leave a comment

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December 22, 2008 Posted by | Private | Enter your password to view comments.

Interesting stuff on hip-hop, dance, and style

I subscribe to some Taiwanese guy (seven777) on YouTube’s stuff and he posted these two videos of guys from New York talking about their perspective on hip-hop. It’s pretty cool, they say some stuff that you don’t have to agree with (or you could totally agree with!). If you want to learn a little more about hip-hop as a culture, definitely watch 🙂

~VPants

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning from the Masters

Perhaps something I get from getting my inspiration from old dance legends like Bob Fosse is that there is some kind of old refinement in their art. Sometimes things can only be created with age, and when people have been practicing an art long enough it starts to gain some of its own wisdom. This isn’t to say learning from the young is unsatisfying or unfulfilling, it’s just different.

After doing Funkanometry Summer Intensive, I had gotten a summer full of young inspired and highly talented dancers. They are a fun, loving, and passionate bunch. The dances of Funkanometry SF are beautiful and touch upon many everyday issues and problems that we as human beings exist. Stuff that we as young adults especially can relate to, such as sex, relationships, struggles with relationships, violence, alcohol, identity loss even. I’m not embarrassed to say I was nearly moved to tears with Mariel Martin and Kyle Hanagami’s piece at the Sockhop.

After a highly fulfilling summer over at San Francisco dancing, working with at-risk youth, and writing several hundreds of pages of field notes for my practicum, I’ve returned to New York for a short break before I return to Evanston. One of the things I love about New York is the underlying historical presence of the arts. Hip-hop is here, but it is embedded in a rich history of performance art, such as jazz, Broadway, and a lot more. The city has a beautiful spirit, and I encourage all those who can to come and experience it. Not just the hip-hop, but all the other aspects of performance art that it offers as well.

I was supposed to go to Eric Negron’s Intermediate Hip-hop class yesterday, but since he wasn’t there Brian Green substituted for him. Brian Green teaches regularly at BDC, and I didn’t realize how much of a priviledge it was to have taken class with him. According to Brian, the piece he was teaching us was to R&B music, but he made the point that the dance was “straight-up hip-hop” meaning there wasn’t so much of a smoothness to it. It was a solo hip-hop piece he has been performing for about a year now, based on his experience as a 10-year-old child where a girl he knew got shot in the mouth by her 18-year-old boyfriend when she was 12. He found her with her head blown off down the block. He told us that it had haunted him for 20 years before he could finally be released through this dance that choreographed. He looked at our solemn faces and told us to smile, because he had learned to move on.
The piece itself progresses from young, happy, physical love, into abuse, into her realizing that she should move on, but throughout the piece there’s that theme of keep going back (The song used was “Slowly Surely” by Jill Scott). The choreography was what Brian called “party moves”. By that I think he meant popping and house, because that’s what he’s known for. I hope someday I get to see his performance of this…the whole 20 minutes.

~Valeria

September 4, 2008 Posted by | Other | Leave a comment

Hip-Hop Role Model: Luam

Hey everyone,

Today I want to highlight the work of one of my dance role models: Luam. If you click the link you’ll get to her podcast at Scene Interactive. Watch it!! It’s very inspirational. She didn’t even start dancing until her senior year at UPenn, and now she’s a major player in the entertainment industry. She has a lot of great things to say about what dance is to her, and how she got there. 🙂

Oh and on a side note, I have a little bit of a rant. Shane Sparks and the Jabbawockeez did this Walk it Out special for ABDC where the featured some of today’s popular music videos. The first video they featured was Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.” Now, like they said, it was a great, great video. Everything was immaculately thought out, and it was creative, to a point. I’m just immensely disappointed that Shane Sparks, obviously a great dancer, didn’t acknowledge that the concept for the video was almost ENTIRELY bitten off of Bob Fosse’s choreography and vision, including the costumes (Rich Man’s Frug – 1966). Beyonce was inspired by one of the greatest masters in dance history and MTV just kind of ignored the fact =( It makes me sad. I mean maybe it wasn’t that they didn’t know, but still. They were going on saying how all these dancers got their inspiration from Janet, Michael, etc. but they didn’t really acknowledge beyond their generation of pop culture.

Anyway my point is that just because it isn’t hip-hop or mainstream media doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give it the respect that it is due. All dance evolves from somewhere!

Love,

Valeria

June 17, 2008 Posted by | Other | 4 Comments

Mt. Everest Final Level!!!!!

for FRIDAY the 13th!!

HAI2U ALL! Alright, this is a final Mt. Everest get together where you all will be graced by the presence of the soon-to-be-departed seniors. Mt. Everest opens at 5:30 for dinner or some such crap. We should travel as several small groups, unless you are all comfortable paying potentially an extra $50 just for having lots of friends.

I think we should all meet up somewhere beforehand, and then go. Any suggestions!?!11one

Love,

Travis

June 12, 2008 Posted by | ReFresH Stuff | 10 Comments

Summer Resolutions

Since spring quarter is drawing to a close, and summer is only a couple of weeks away, I think it’s time for us ReFresHers to start thinking of ways we can use the summer to learn more about what we love most: hip-hop dance! and all things related. If we all split our separate ways with specific goals we have in mind and means to accomplish them, then when we come back in the fall we’ll be on top and ready to snag those freshmen 🙂 and kick some major ass on stage.

Things that could be good goals are: improve on freestyle and breaking (a good goal you can work on by yourself), learn the basics of composing choreography, learning tricks, take as many dance classes as possible

Personally, my summer goal is: to learn to be a good dance student. Essentially, learn to be a good learner: Understand what the choreographer is trying to convey in his/her dance, comprehend the appropriate body positions, coordination, attitude, etc. I also want to up my freestyle.

How am I going to do this? Luckily for me I will be in a major city this summer, where dance studios are not hard to find, and hip-hop is a more mainstream culture. But even if you’re not in a major city, you can find dance somewhere, and if it must be your own basement with a bunch of old high school friends, so be it. If you ever need help finding dance resources, just ask around ReFresH. I’m sure someone will know 🙂

So now I ask, what will be your goal this summer?

~Valeria

May 28, 2008 Posted by | ReFresH Stuff | , | 8 Comments