The Beautiful Street

dance

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

Ladies Be Poppin'

Popping, DanceKatie JanovecComment

“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?

                                                              Pic:  @anthony.artefakt

                                                              Pic: @anthony.artefakt

LILY FRIAS
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." 
IG: @lilyfdc

What or where motivates and inspires you?  

TAWATHA CAMILLA
Rotterdam, Netherlands


"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." 
IG: @tawathacamilla

What has helped you progress as a dancer the most?

                                                      Pic: Amira Betar

                                                      Pic: Amira Betar

NILO AMIRI
Oakland, California

"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." 
IG: @Nilo.Zamiri


Why Dance? 

STEPHANIE 'SCARECROW' SUTTON
Atlanta, Georgia


"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?!” 
IG: @stephroou

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.

Don't sleep. 

Visit WHAT'S POPPIN' LADIEZ?!

Free yo' self

Dance, Popping, TravelKatie JanovecComment

Today, I am driving up to Seattle for a dance battle. I know, I know! If you’re my friend, you see me go to Seattle on the regular. Approximately 100% of my travels to this city are for dance battles, events or performances. I get a lot of joy out of visiting and grow as a dancer and human each time, so I'm almost always down to go.

While preparing for this short journey, I am remembering my trip from last month and have pics I want to share, and a few thoughts too.

In January, Angel Langley aka Moonyeka invited me, along with Agatron, Angyil Mcneal and Lady Scarecrow (all pictured above), to participate in a SeattleDances performance where she received an award for her event, What’s Poppin’ Ladiez (WPL). The same weekend she premiered the WPL documentary, Battle Grounds: The Hard Hits of Female Poppers.

Dancing with these ladies is beyond inspiring but eating, sleeping, practicing and getting to know everyone’s personalities and quirks is what it’s all about. I love having conversations, vibing and expanding.

Backstage #1 Me, Angyil Mcneal, Moonyeka, Lady Scarecrow, Agatha (not pictured)

Backstage #1 Me, Angyil Mcneal, Moonyeka, Lady Scarecrow, Agatha (not pictured)

Backstage #2

Backstage #2

Reflecting on conversations with the ladies, I returned to Portland last month thinking, what does it mean to be free? Specifically wondering, am I holding myself back from free expression. How do my choices in my daily life affect my dance life?

And more recently, I have been meditating on what it means to commit, as a human being, as a dancer, a partner, a new dog owner(!!). Without going into all the details, sometimes commitment is hard for me! Right now, I recognize a new level of commitment in my life and it feels good.

I'm realizing how connected freedom and commitment are. With commitment comes freedom and with freedom comes commitment. So let’s just say, I’m working on both -- being free in my movement and life and committing to my passions.

Excited to see what come from this weekend.

Photo by  Warren Woo

Photo by Warren Woo

Katie J Dances

Dance, LifeKatie JanovecComment

I am excited to publish a video of just ME! Woohoo. Take a watch!  

This was my first solo video and it was filmed by my buddy and roommate Conrad, aka Icon SleepyTut. I have danced with Conrad many times, but something about a camera being in my face made me feel a little uncomfortable and pressured to perform?!

Chill Katie. It is always about feeling the music.

I am grateful to have worked with Conrad who is a dancer; he gave me specific suggestions as to what sort of movement or energy looks dynamic in the camera. He also helped me find the right music, as it is truly a challenging process to find the right music for what I'm feeling and how I'm moving. (This song is by Kaytranada - Track Uno) 
 
Through watching myself on screen I am reminded of essential movement tools I want to utilize while I'm dancing such as to look up, be patient, breathe and listen to the music. This video was shot back in April and I can see I have made progress since then. Some newer tools I am integrating are to use my head more, be aware of the story I tell with my face, utilize space, direction and that new new - how to interact with the camera.

I've watched videos since then that have really inspired me such as this clip from Natasha Gorrie. She appears to be almost calculated with her movement. Originally I mistook it for slight hesitation but it isn't hesitation, she is just listening and being patient. I love this Sun and Dassy video and this Black Lives Matter vid I shared last week. 

Looking forward to the next shoot and hope you enjoy! Thanks for watching.

(Hit up Conrad at sleepytut.com for any of your film needs)