“I think dance is a universal language. The dance moves are the alphabet of my body. I speak out loud when I dance, I share my story and explain the complexity which lives in my mind.”
-Tawatha Camilla, dancer, What's Poppin' Ladiez?! battle invitee
Connecting with people through movement is THE BEST. Moving with others, seeing others come into themselves, into the music, getting hype with each other or even just talking about dance, feels so authentic to me.
Living in the Pacific NW, the street dance scene is small, but vibrant. I feel supported and challenged by the community and have so much room and support to grow. With that said, female representation is not exactly, many. When it comes to female poppers, I can count them on one hand.
Last year in Seattle, Angel ‘Moonyeka’ Alviar-Langley responded by creating WHAT'S POPPIN' LADIEZ?!, an event showcasing bad ass women and their skillz. She brought together an international line-up of female poppers, DJs and MCs. Last year’s all female popping 7-to-smoke battle was fyahh!
And that is why I am getting hyped for this weekend.
This year she is doing it again, bringing an amazing group of women together to create what is going to be another dope event, full of workshops, panels, performances and battles!
This event starts today (literally). So peeps if you are in Seattle or want a reason to be in Seattle, show up. There are events going down Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 28th-30th. Check the page.
I got the chance to catch up with a few of the invited battle guests prior and ask them about their experience as female poppers and as dancers. Check some of their wisdom out below.
How do you celebrate your femininity in popping?
Los Angeles, CA
"I believe that each woman is different and has a different expression of femininity. For me, I celebrate it by empowering myself, feeling confident and beautiful in my own way and expressing that through my dance. Empowering other females around me as well, empowering being unique as a women and embracing how the presence of a strong female dancer can captivate the room by just being herself."
What or where motivates and inspires you?
"I get inspired when I travel. I always meet new beautiful souls and explore different cultures. I have a strong sensitivity for positive power and I get motivated when I exchange with inspiring people. The biggest source of inspiration for me are my friends. I am a fan of seeing people grow their potential and build on their dreams. Being surrounded with awesome people, motivates you to keep your game up. And for popping, I get inspired by watching OG's dance. They preserve realness and are recognized by their name. By understanding the culture more AND more, I get inspired to keep building on my unique Tawatha style."
What has helped you progress as a dancer the most?
"What has helped me progress as a dancer has probably been the community. From getting inspired by other dope poppers around me - both in terms of their talent/skill, and also the work they put into their dance - their encouragement and tips, and the jams they put on. Got a lot of love and appreciation for all of you out there, even if I don't personally know you. I learn a lot from asking questions and observation, and whatever I learn goes back into my own training. Shout out to the Bay especially, for being so good to me over the years."
STEPHANIE 'SCARECROW' SUTTON
"Dance is a release for me, I love how it makes me feel, it puts me in my own world, and I love the communities whether it is bad or good. I love the culture and I love this shit, Since I began to do it I couldn't stop.....I love this shit. Why not dance? It’s apart of who I am and it is something I can't give up on. I got this far from carpet floors and a long narrow mirror in a small bedroom where I grew up. I can't back down. My teenage self would be like, “What the hell are you doing?!”
So, let's gooo!
I am excited to see these women slay this weekend. These four women are only a handful of the ladies who are in Seattle this weekend. Also invited as battle guests are Sett, Keanna, Clockwork and myself. Judges include Miss Funk, Dora Pop and Lady Beast. Special guest Pandora, DJs Emecks and Toya B, and host Beloved will all be bringing them women vibes hard.
Visit WHAT'S POPPIN' LADIEZ?!