The Beautiful Street

PacificNW

Street & Club Dance Battle At Portland Rose Festival

DanceKatie JanovecComment
rose festival grp 2018

I am so excited to share video and pics from the 7-To-Smoke Dance Battle hosted at the Portland Rose Festival on June 2, 2018. This was the first ever dance battle at the Rose Festival and it was super!  My goal was to celebrate the street & club style dancers and artists of Portland, Oregon. I invited eight talented and committed dancers and three judges with diverse dance styles to participate in the 7-To-Smoke dance battle. The ever-talented Mr. Wu was the DJ and the wonderful Char Loro came up from Vancity to MC and direct the flow of this event.

Being able to organize this event and partner with the Portland Rose Festival was incredibly validating for me. When I began dancing at age 20, it was difficult to imagine dance could be anything more than a hobby, especially because I have been sidelined many times due to chronic back pain. But with each year of life, I develop a new relationship with movement, with my body and a greater commitment to this dance life! Having injuries has pushed me to participate in dance culture in a different capacity, i.e. producing events. To witness street and club style dancers bring IT for an audience of 300-400 people was literally, the best.

Thank you to everyone who showed up --> 
Dance Invitees: Decimus, Arsnl, Juju Nikz, Mechta, Tombo, Paula, Lobo & Bao, Judges: Jungwho Kim, Tomb & Daniel Girón
MC: Char Loro
DJ: Mr. Wu
Photographer: Jimmy Le
Videographer: Conrad Kazcor

Thank you to the dance community, who gave their love and support, and a special shout out to the Rose Festival and audience goers who gave their energy! xoxo

Popping Into Spring

Popping, DanceKatie JanovecComment

It is spring time and I am excited to share a new video! This was super fun to dance in. It was a wonderful sunny day and the colors are popping! While I have been training and dancing, I haven't put any new material out in a little while. It is great to see the progression I have made over the past year. 

This was shot by my super talented friend, Conrad at the wonderful new building Fair-Haired Dumbbell. I am all about integrating color into my life and loved having the chance to record a video here before all the retail stores open. Enjoy!

Song by Anna Wise - Some Mistakes

Goin' IN at What The Festival 2016

DanceKatie JanovecComment

I had the joy of attending What the Festival 2016 out in Dufur, Oregon, and after a week of getting back into the groove of city life, I am sitting at my kitchen window and remembering all the good times from last weekend.

So to recap…

Goals: Fun-having and Performing

This year, I got the pleasure of roboting around the Illuminated Forest in a full light-up LED suit with the awesome Vo Vera from the Sacred G’s. Friday, Saturday and Sunday we cruised around and interacted with festival goers on the path and in the art installations. I loved being in character for long spans of time and felt so rewarded by all of the people who stopped and played with us. We were greeted with eyes wide open, jaw dropping stares and exclamations of, “You are awesome!”

I specifically loved the ladies who would interact, either by imitating me as a robot, giving me a high five, smiling at me or just observing. Those moments made the slow, 20 minute robot walk uphill so worth it, and I thank you! I am so happy I got to add a layer of happiness to people’s festi experience. (P.S. If anyone has more pictures, I’d love to see them).

Saturday and Sunday, I performed in an all styles piece with Donna and Daisy, ladies from my crew Upjump, at the Shinto stage. Donna curated and brought Portland street dance - breaking, popping, house, krump to festival land, and I am so grateful that Allowe (Shinto extraordinaire creator) invited us to grace her stages.

If you did not spend time in the Shinto - weak! Put it on your list for next year. I experienced three consecutive sunrises, bowls of miso, dance sessions, and of course, beautiful dj sets by my friends. So good.

Other highlights include, laughing with my ladies, music (duh), being surrounded by people that I love, daytime dance classes with Donnamation, Todd, Jungwho + Westin, a Krump lesson at 6am with Tyler, Bonobo and all the feels of gratitude, witnessing my talented friends do them, whether that be as dancers, musicians, performers, comedians, builders, or all of the above. It is so great to see my friends becoming even better versions of themselves.

Thanks WTF for bringing it real. I feel blessed to be able to participate and experience the fun.

And next year, I want to see all those talented, dancer friends of mine performing on the main stages ;)

Inspiration comes from...

Dance, PoppingKatie JanovecComment

What happens when you travel...

Travel moves me, inside and out. I love being in a new place and I love how all of a sudden a day or two feels like a week.

And on some of those special travel experiences, I walk away feeling so inspired, with an adjusted, expanded view, and go home and integrate it into my life.

This is what happened for me when I went to Seattle for the What's Poppin' Ladiez event. This weekend focused on bringing together female poppers with classes, performances, a 7 to Smoke battle, and an invited group of ladies from Korea, Japan, U.S., Netherlands, Germany.  How could I not be inspired, seeing bad ass women killing it on the dance floor? I am still soaking in the impact of it all. Not only do I feel like I expanded as a dancer, but I see the precedent this is setting for future generations of women, young women in general and the years to come.

For the new generation of women coming up in street dance, it is important for them to see people who look like them, i.e. other women. I believe that if you don't see people that look like you in your areas of interest: work, dance, school, profession etc., then the implicit or not so implicit message conveyed is that it isn't for you.

Luckily, it is 2016 and progress (some!) is being made.

And I think the real POWER I felt over the weekend, was having so MANY women in ONE place, at the SAME time. This is truth. I saw what each woman brought to the dance, their style, their technique, and it was all different. It was different than each other and it was different than what dudes bring. We should all look like ourselves. There are so many options in how you express yourself, and I think seeing options is important. It is not a black and white world, and I know I need to be reminded of that.

At the battle I got to catch up with Dassy, and I loved how she highlighted that as women, it is all about pulling on our strengths. Whether that be through incorporating our femininity, utilizing our flexibility or use of isolation, and really, through knowing ourselves and our bodies. We all have strengths and we need to use them, and train (a lot). I saw so many women dynamically moving from the ground up to the space above their heads. Dassy was one dancer who exemplified all of this in her movement.

Dassy teaching at Massive Monkees Studio

Dassy teaching at Massive Monkees Studio

Dassy was invited to What’s Poppin’ Ladiez to battle in the Seven to Smoke; she also taught a class. She is from Seoul, Korea, lived in New York City and is now living in Los Angeles. When I asked her about traveling and dancing, she shared that ever since she was young she wanted to travel.

“Traveling around the world is the most amazing thing to get better [as a dancer].
You never know who is going to inspire you and then you can grow from that.”

And I believe the impact of traveling extends beyond dancing; it is something that improves our lives. Ultimately I am reminded of this simple fact when I’m on the road: I can find inspiration anywhere, even when I'm home in my day-to-day life, because art is everywhere.

Dassy said to me, "Maybe you see a flower and it looks really colorful, you can feel it and then you can express it.” Or perhaps you are watching a person dance, you can see it, get inspired and then some aspect of their movement can come out of your body too. Everything is connected.

Often, I just need to be inspired and then when I am, ride that wave of inspiration so that I can express what I see and what I feel. So create inspiration, travel and of course, dance.

Back At It

DanceKatie Janovec1 Comment
beach2.8.16.jpg

Hi friends and buddies, Has it been two weeks already?

Eeek.

It's true.

I arrived back to the States and hit the ground running.  It has been biz-zee.  Damn. BUT after starting a full-time job, going to Minnesota to see my family, battling in Seattle, and partying (and teaching) at What The Festival with my buddies, I am incredibly happy I got to spend this last weekend in Portland!  I got a good mix of everything--rest, kisses, river time, inspiring dance performance, and a bass-filled park party. Wow! Even in writing this I get to relive my awesome weekend.  And, also amazing, I felt rested today at work. Oh sleep, how I've missed you.

Okay, I feel like I'm gushing. I'm done now.

Also, coming back into my life is blogging.  Yay!

Today is short and sweet. I'm posting my top 16 battle in Seattle. I could blast you with my feelings but I mostly want to document my progress and share it. I will say, Groove Clan hosted a great event with Money B as the judge, and slew of impressive dancers.  The 7 to Smoke was off the chain, and Boy Wonder, who I battled, has an incredible patience and follow through. I definitely respect that guy.  Dope.

Enjoy.