Lately I’ve been pretty obsessed with the art of tutting and finger tutting. I am choreographing a dance for my hip hop class using tutting as the basis. In my research on making patterns, I stumbled on this amazing video by Pnut. The way he intricately moves his fingers to the rhythm and underling melody of the song “Fast and Sad” by Ivarelli, is beautiful. Who would have known a dance inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphics would be so mesmerizing and graceful? Enjoy!! And til next time, keep it #PopStyle 🙂
The VS Fashion Show is the biggest fashion show of the year. Primarily because of the marketing machine of the brand and it’s the only televised fashion show. (Seriously, when else have you seen Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, or Michael Kors on tv?? NEVER!!) The VS Fashion Show is an iconic staple in the fashion, pop culture, and entertainment world.
I have been a fan of the VS Fashion Show for years now. I used to think people (mainly men) only watched it to see tall, “exotic”, women strut in skimpy lingerie and high heels. But it’s so much more than that!! I watch the show ritually every year for the production value, the musical performances that enhance the fashion itself, and the artistry and creativity of making a bra/underwear into wearable art.
Goal 1: I want my boo to look at me, smile, and sing to me as I strut in my stuff
Goal 2: I want a fireplace, a cuddle buddy, some fur boots and snow stat!!
Goal 3: I need this as my wedding dress… Just imagine a skirt attached to it. (I wonder if my parents would be mad at this choice)
Goal 4: The next time I enter a room
Goal 5: How I will walk into my high reunion next week.. remember me bishes??Goal 6: My attire for when I go to Denver in January… Snow bunny on Fleek!!k!
Goal 7: My future reception dress or all white party dress.. whichever comes first
Goal 8: My after the reception… or party…. well you can figure it out…..
Goal 9: I want to look like this when I stand on beach…. Sun on my back
Goal 10: To one day appear on a runway/stage with my wings spread wide, and a crowd cheering me with their love and support
This is a pretty lofty list to get through… should hold me over til next year ya think 😉 Til next time, Keep it #PopStyle
Good evening PopStylers!! Another week is upon us and another Dance Viral Video is in store for you! I am LOVIN’ this new Adele #25 album so of course “Hello” is on constant repeat. It’s sure to be a hit in dance concerts, competitions, recitals, and lyrical classes everywhere! (I’ve already played through the whole album in my classes at school for a yoga day. Shrug)
Anyways, I saw this video on Facebook and it blew my mind. Imagine the powerful vocals and haunting melody with controlled, smooth, and direct movement of 3 street style dancers… Epic! The muscle control and shapes made by their bodies is enough to make any dancer appreciate how versatile dancers need to be. This goes to show you ….. That song selection doesn’t determine how you dance. The movement will speak for itself regardless of the song. Enjoy!! And til next time keep it #PopStyle
Kinjaz- Hello dance video
Good evening Pop-Stylers!! It was so hard to choose just 1 Dance Viral Video (#DVV) for you to enjoy so I have chosen 2 as a result. I picked them for 2 reasons:
- I am choreographing the Kelly Clarkson cover of this song now for my intermediate level dance class at school
- I am waiting with bated breath on the release of #Anti from Rihanna… any day now RiRi…. any day now….
So my 2 choices for #DVV is for “B*tch Better Have My Money”! The 1st is by Tricia Miranda of LA and the 2nd is by Royal Family of New Zealand. Both of their choreography and dancers give me life!! And it takes the song to a whole other level by lifting it past the club anthem and into a personal expression of artistry (especially the Royal Family mix). So enjoy these videos and til next time… Keep it #PopStyle
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Well PopStylers there has been quite a lull in my #MusicCrushMonday posts… 4 weeks to be exact. 😦 It’s not that I haven’t been listening to any music, or even crushing on any songs/artists. I just haven’t been able to sit down and right about them.
- All things Justin Bieber! I am so excited for this #Purpose album to drop on Friday! I particularly like the newest track “I’ll Show You.”
- Adele’s heart wrenching track “Hello” which leaves me in my feelings for a long time afterward…. sigh…. I just had a flashback… double sigh
- Dumblonde’s self titled album. This duo is made up of Shannon and Aubrey of the legendary girl group Danity Kane. They have an electro-pop feel through the entire album that makes your earbuds sizzle. My favorite track is “Waiting on You.”
- Newcomer Tory Lanez with his track r&b track “Say It.” It’s a remix of the song “If You Love Me” by 90s girl group Brownstone. Check it out.
- Off the mix tape What a Time to Be Alive I have made my rounds to “Big Rings” by Drake and Future. Maybe because Im choreographing it for a class of mine, but it gets me hype to rep my #squad or myself for that matter.
- Andy Mineo’s “You Can’t Stop Me.” from his NeverLand album. Andy Mineo is a hip hop artist with christian perspective. His music hits and speaks the heart and mind, as well as, making you bounce and wild out! (saw him in concert lately and he’s been an #earworm ever since).
- Chonique Sneed’s “Let It Go.” Listen, I don’t know who this chick is but I love her sound! She’s like a Queen Leshurr mixed with #Leikeli47 (peep my Music Mania post on her) mixed together. This song hits hard making my neck sore at the end of it!
- Halsey’s entire Badlands album!! Yes yes Im late to the Halsey frenzy but Im glad I arrived!! “Colors” has captured my ear this week… everything is blue!
The first pick for my #DVV (Dance Viral Video) is none other than the Epic Segway Hoverboard rendition of “What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber. Not only is the song super catchy, but the creativity of using the Segway Hoverboards takes it to another level. The way the boys use their bodies to move the hoverboards seamlessly in and out of formations and positions is eye catching. Enjoy this Dance Viral Video! And do’nt forget to subscribe to PopStyleBlog!
So last week I watched the premiere episode of Season of 5 of American Horror Story: Hotel. This was the first time that I have EVER watched an episode of the American cult classic amongst TV viewers. I had always heard of the show but never actually ventured to watch it because… well… Im scared of all this horror like. SERIOUSLY!! I dont even look at the commercials for scary movies, especially if I see them by myself, in my house, and its dark outside! I cant even watch Law and Order SVU, and certainly not Criminal Minds, once nightfall has happened! My imagination is way too big, way too expansive, and way too independent to have that much extra visual and sensory stimulation from outside sources!! Granted, I do love a good Halloween party (and the movie Hocus Pocus), but not all that evil clown, possessed dolls, ghost story telling, seance mess. I DONT DO SCARY!! I remember having to close my eyes and run past the living room when I was a child so I could avoid seeing and envisioning the scary demon from Tales of the Crypt (a show that my brother and father watched religiously)! Whew!
So with all that said, I am still watching the next episode tonight at 10:00pm on FX. Why you may ask? Because of the following 5 reasons:
- Lady Gaga, my artistic and creative muse who gives me on a daily basis, plays the Countess this season and she is the most flawless vampire EVER!!! I would voluntarily give her my blood to drink if she asked me…. just saying
- Matt Bomer, her vampire lover, has got the sexiest blue eyes and “a jawline for days.” YAASS HUNTY!! (No, I dont care that he doesn’t play for my team).
- The story line for the Hotel Cortez is quite intriguing…. the tag line is “You can check in, but you can never really check out.”
- The little ghost children who keep running through the hall ways….. umm.. where are their parents?
- The bald headed employee of the Hotel Cortez who flawlessly walks down the hallway in his lavish garb and wear…. Fashion for the Gawds!!
So join me tonight as I watch episode 2 of American Horror Story: Hotel. Im sure I will be staying up even later after its over to calm my nerves and turn off my imagination!
#PopStyle #AHS #GagaonAHS #HotelCortez
Happy Indigenous People’s Day!! Welcome to another edition of #MusicCrushMonday!!!
This week, my shout out goes to a pop star who has been on the scene for a while. I remember him becoming an #earworm via YouTube back in 2008-ish with the help of a mega R&B mentor. His puberty falsetto voice and luscious healthy bangs enthralled the Pop Culture world and we swooned over his peppy, catchy, and sometimes irritating melodies and songs. (But admit it… you sang those lyrics in your car like you were on the Teen Choice Awards!!) Now 7 years later, this Pop “Baby” has grown into a Pop-Pre-Man (come on, we can’t really think he’s all grown up)….. This week’s #MusicCrushMonday goes to……… JUSTIN BIEBER!!!!
I chose Justin Bieber as my pick this week for a few reasons:
- I was very happy to see him return to the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards this August after a 2 year hiatus! He killed his performance of “Where Are U Now and What Do You Mean?”
- His new song “What Do You Mean?” has become a recent #earworm, as well as, the subject of my newly obsessive dance video in which 5 males are performing choreography to his song on none other than Self-Balancing Segways!!! (if you have any desire to buy me one…. or donate to my #AirBoardBudget please contact me… Im serious tho!!) Click on Video below to witness choreography greatness!!
3. His leaked #NSFW photos were not that bad actually… I was pleasantly (and slightly ashamed that I was) surprised by the image…. Maybe Justin really is “growing”…. up.
Anyways, I am certainly looking forward to the new evolution and growth of Justin Bieber after his bad boy, immature years got the best of him and took him away from Pop music. Now he is coming back and he has all of our attention…. both visually and audibly. (Im still in a little shock over those pics- sorry). Til next time, keep it #PopStyle
#PopStyle #MusicCrushMonday #MusicMania
This name invokes such inspiration and passion to me. As a dancer, I look to others in my field who perform the art form I love so much for inspiration, encouragement, motivation, and who can be used as a positive role model and aspiration for the dance students I teach everyday. Just in case you have been living under a rock that blocked out any and all visual, auditory, or kinethestic run ins with this woman, let me introduce you to her….
Misty Copeland is a Principal Ballerina with American Ballet Theater in NYC. She is known for her fluid and graceful motion, her strong musicality, her humble spirit in interviews and on stage, and her inspiration to young girls in ballet. You may have:
- Seen her on billboards and commercials advertising the athletic wear for UnderArmour (becoming the 1st ballet dancer to be a spokesperson for the company)
- Seen her at book signings for her memoir “Life in Motion” or her children’s book “Firebird.”
- Heard her speaking in interviews on 60
Minutes, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, NPR, ABC News, Essence Magazine, or Elle Magazine
- Noticed her gracing the cover of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People edition
- Heard of her new documentary entitled “A Ballerina’s Tale“ to be released Oct. 14, 2015
- Established her as the epitome of the phrase “Started from the Bottom” or “I Will What I Want.”
Now that you are all caught up to speed with her accomplishments… I have one question for you?
Did you know Misty Copeland is an African-American 32 year old, 5 foot 3 inch female who didnt start taking Ballet until she was 13 years old at her neighborhood Boys and Girls Club in California?
EXACTLY!!! This is why Misty Copeland epitomizes the phrase “I Will What I Want” and “Started from the Bottom!” She made headlines this summer when she was promoted to Principal dance with American Ballet Theater, making her the 1st African-American principal dancer the company has ever had in its 75 year history!!
I mentioned earlier that I look to other people in my field of dance that are both inspirational and motivating to me as a dance artists and teacher, and can serve as a positive role model to the high school students I teach on a daily basis. Misty Copeland is certainly one of those people! The girl is basically me (same age, a couple inches taller, same ethnicity) except I started Ballet when I was 3 years old!!! (ugh… sometimes life isn’t fair… 😦 pout face. Why God why couldn’t that be me??) Anyways….. I digress to my original post. The reason I believe that I admire her so much, and that America admires her so much is her humility as both an artist, entertainer, and role model.
In today’s society where many female superstars are touted for their beauty (a lot of which is superficial- Kardashians), or for the amount of money they make (yes Beyonce Im looking at you), or who they are dating, married to, or romantically linked with (Rihanna, Taylor Swift), Misty Copeland defies them all. She speaks with a level of humility that simply makes you want to be a better person. She does not elevate herself above others in her field, nor does she promote herself only based on her superficial appearance. I find this statement of hers very poignant: “I just had to remember why I’m getting the attention I’m getting. It’s because of my dancing. It’s because I’m a ballerina, and no other reason.” (NY Daily News 2015)
Thanks to Misty Copeland, Ballet is speaking for itself and making waves in its own way. World Ballet Day was just celebrated on October 1st, where people from around the world could tune in and stream 24 hours of professional Ballet companies ranging from Australian Ballet, Royal Ballet (London) National Ballet of Canada, Bolshoi Ballet, and San Francisco Ballet. The world got to experience Ballet this way- and due to Misty Copeland’s wise to to stardom in the arts world and the pop culture world, other Americans who would have never seen or experienced Ballet, will now be exposed to it through the many barriers that Misty Copeland has broken. Thanks Misty for all that you have done. Thank you letting your heart speak through your feet. Thank you for letting the dance do the talking.
Another week….. “Another Star”….. Another #MusicCrushMonday….
I went to see Stevie Wonder in concert this past weekend at he Verizon Center in DC. It was his “Songs in the Key of Life” tour that he claimed would be his last musical tour in the United States. When I first saw the notice of his tour posted on Facebook (of course) back in August, I knew that I had to get these tickets. I even skipped out on a professional development workshop to make sure I was logged on to ticketmaster.com at 10am to get the best seats possible!! This week’s honor goes to the Myth… the Man… the Legend… the One… the Only…. STEVIE WONDER!!!
During the 4 hour concert, I realized just how much Stevie Wonder’s music has contributed to not only my musical horizons, but also to my dance life. As a dancer of 29 years, and a dance teacher of 6 years, Stevie Wonder has been played in many a dance classes/workshops and used for multiple choreographic works and dreams. Currently on my Spotify Playlist entitled “To Choreograph”, I have at least 3 Stevie Wonder Songs. As the concert began and Stevie Wonder began to dazzle us all with his poignant lyrics, graceful musical stylings, captivating musicianship with a full orchestra in tow, and pure artistry as he drew in the crowd, I began to feel my body move to each song. And each song invoked its own choreography, whether taught to me, or created by myself. So in honor of Stevie Wonder’s musical catalog, I give you my Top 5 Stevie Wonder Songs to Dance to:
- “As“ from the album Songs in the Key of Life- In 2000, I saw a dance piece by my former modern teacher Alvin Mayes at the University of Maryland College Park at the Maryland Dance Ensemble performance, and I have been obsessed with choreographing the song ever since! I tried once in 2011 and cut it from the performance, simply because I didn’t think it lived up to Stevie Wonder’s standard. Still chasing this golden unicorn choreographic dream.
- “I Wish“ from the album Songs in the Key of Life- I learned a tap dance routine to this song in 2012. I still remember how intricate the steps were to the multiple rhythmic layers of this song. Im posting the version sung by Lady Gaga at the Stevie Wonder Tribute in 2015 (which won
an Emmy by the way) because I admire her artistry with this great song.
- “Dancing to the Rhythm“ from the album Natural Wonder. This song is my musical happy place. It is thrilling, enthralling, upbeat, melodic, graceful, passionate, and strong. Not to mention the fact that it speaks about dancing as a way to invoke pure joy within oneself. I have used this song of modern dance warm-ups and jazz dance pirouette combinations. It’s a fantastic song to use for choreography.
- “Master Blaster” from the album Natural Wonder. I have used this song for many a tap dance warm-up sequence and for many a nights-in dance party.
- “Higher Ground” from the album Innervisions. This song is a staple piece of choreography that I pull out for any jazz class or introductory level dance class! I have used it for 4 years now and it never feels to invoke sass, funk, energy, and freedom! (Thanks to the movie CenterStage for giving it a spotlight… click below to watch) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZfzdR_J_3c
Thanks for reading and listening to this week’s #MusicCrushMonday dedicated to Stevie Wonder. Til next time, keep it #PopStyle!!
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