190. Randi Freitas: Breaking It Down Moving It Forward

November 15, 2023 01:02:02
190. Randi Freitas: Breaking It Down Moving It Forward
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
190. Randi Freitas: Breaking It Down Moving It Forward

Nov 15 2023 | 01:02:02

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Show Notes

Dana Wilson hosts Randi Freitas this week on the Words That Move Me Podcast! This conversation *flows* from Breaking at the Olympics, the range of the queer experience, and approaching uncomfortable conversations about identity on set. Randi, you are truly one of a kind, and she will gladly lend you a tampon any day of the week/month.

Watch this episode HERE.

Show Notes:

Take class with Randi at Movement lifestyle 

Go see the Hip Hop Nutcracker

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Episode Transcript

Hello. Hello. I'm Dana Wilson, and this is words that move me. I move people. I choreograph movies, music videos, and TV shows. I dance for pop stars. I coach some really awesome people. But what I truly love is to learn, share, and inspire clarity and confidence in my fellow movers and shakers. So if you are navigating a creative career or simply want to live a little more funky and free, then settle in, because this is for you. Hello. Hello. I'm Dana. This is words that move me. I'm stoked you're here because today we are talking to a dear friend and a phenomenal talent. Holy actual wow. Randi Freitas is a B-Girl ranked fifth in the US Olympic ranking. She is the founder and creator of Omega Flow Floorwork. She is a working dancer in the commercial dance industry as well as a force to be reckoned with in any cipher. Thrilled to get to this conversation. But first, let's do some wins. Today I am celebrating wrapping work on a project. I've been in kind of a long term projects mode, a longer work phase, and fewer deliverable days. And I'm celebrating being done with deliverables on one of my projects. And I'm thrilled about it. Went very well, learned a lot, met new friends, had a good collaborative flow. And yeah, I think that's what I'm celebrating. I'm celebrating shipping and being done with a nice firm handshake. A handshake that's not a handshake. We're moving on to your wins. What is going well in your world? What have you delivered? What have you completed? What is going well in your world? Hit me. Yay. All right, my friend, congratulations. I'm so glad that you're winning. I'm glad to be cheering you on from the sidelines. From the sidelines. I guess that's where I'm positioned currently in front of you. But on the sidelines of the game of art and your life, we got to just keep it moving. This conversation is too good to wait any longer. Randi and I are digging into ideas of gender in dance. We talk about womanness, we talk about flow. All kinds. We talk about breaking in the Olympics. We talk about the hip hop nutcracker. We talk about a whole lot of other things, some important and some just straight up funny. Enjoy this conversation with the one and only Randi Freitas. Randi Freitas, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much. Are we rolling there? Yes. Okay. I do see a red light. Turns out you've been warmly welcomed by my lap warmer wrist roll, which is. The greatest part of today, I think is going to be part of today. The pup. And it's only going to get better because we're going to talk about dance. Excellent. We're going to talk about being women. We've already talked about menstruation cycles upon your arrival. Thank you for letting me. That was recorded. That was rich. What is kind of funny, I've said before, and it's important that we just dig into this. Now. The onset language for I have to pee is ten one. You just say it. You announce like ten one. And if you have to poo, it's ten two. But there is no ten. I need to change my tampon before I bleed through my pants, which feels. Like it should be like ten one thousad because it's important and urgent and you don't want me ruining your costume. And yet. Oh, definitely not the wardrobe. I was imagining this as a choreographer on set, just thinking, like about, I only brought one pair of pants with me, which is something that I just should be better at. But why women have to think about that? Isn't that crazy? Women have to think about the world with two pairs of pants. Yeah. Just in case. Thank you so much for being here. I'm thrilled. Okay, tradition on the podcast, she's going to find. She'll find the spot, she'll get cozy and just tradition on the podcast, all my guests introduce themselves. Okay. Which can be daunting. Some people love it. But tell us everything you want us to know about you. My name is Randi Freitas, aka Rascal Randi. I am a B-Girl and freestyler as well as an industry choreo dancer. I grew up in the Bay Area. I moved to LA Ten years ago with no idea of anything about anything about dance. Surely that in the commercial world. Okay, yeah, the commercial dance world. Yeah. Okay, keep going, keep going. I am the founder of Omega Flow Floorwork training program training community, and I teach at movement lifestyle. And I feel like I'm generally known as the person that finds her way to the floor when dancing. Yes. I would co sign on that question mark about Bay Area and you moving down here. When did you find dance there? You obviously were. I didn't find dance in the form of the way we think training. I found dance in the Bay Area through house parties and making up dances with friends for talent shows and dancing before basketball games or for pep rallies or those kind of things. So it was very hyphy centric, just party movement. It wasn't until I went to college in Colorado at CU Boulder that I found breaking because I went to a concert, I went to the roots, and in the corner there was a bunch of B-Boys, and I literally spent the whole night. I don't even remember seeing the roots on, like, spent the whole night just blown away because we had breakers in high school. But it was like somebody kind of knew a windmill, you know what I mean? And this was, like, just on a level I'd never seen. And so one of them saw me standing there staring at them and was like, hey, we practice at this rec center if you ever want to come. And it took me a little bit to get up the courage, but I finally just showed up to the rec center. Fantastic. Yeah. And how long after that would you say you made your way to LA? Like, three years after that. And was it pretty intense training from that point on? Once you made your way there? Once I made my way there, I was in. And then we were doing street shows and somebody came up to me because they saw me teaching little kids at the street shows and they needed a. Like, they were, like, money making opportunity here. They were like, we need, like, a breaker teacher for little ones. And because I taught there, I got to take free classes. So that's what also kind of helped introduce me to the choreo world. Because you had to choreograph in order to be teaching combos to. Yes. Yeah. And then also just. I started taking choreo classes outside of my known range of, like, I was of the era where every breaking crew had a popper locker on it. Yes. And so Caleb was his name, and so I learned some popping and locking and party dancing from him. But as far as the choreo world, I was very unfamiliar with it until I started teaching at the studio. And I was just so hungry for dance that I really didn't mind looking stupid. Nice. And I feel like that's, like, my superpower through dance has been like, I'm okay to be a beginner. Nice. Yeah. So I just kept throwing myself in really uncomfortable situations. Do you think beginners have more fun? Yeah. Nice. And I think I'm trying to remind myself that today I love watching little kids dance. I love watching non dancers dance when they're really in it. I just love the reminder that. That freedom and that I don't care what I look like. I'm having such a good time is something that I try to hold onto. Yes. I think that that translates when I watch you dance, there's an abandon and a willingness that I don't find in everyone. It's a special unique to you. Thank you. So tight. Love that. Yeah. And you made your way here or you decided to come here. What was the moment? I don't know why. Fascinated with this question, by the way. Ask everybody. What was the moment? I didn't have you moment. I had a person. I had a few very influential people. But what was it for you? Mine was also a little bit a person or a couple of people that wanted to move to LA. I knew I didn't want to stay in Colorado. I knew that was like a momentary thing. Same. Yeah. No offense. Love you. Three oh three mile high is a great city. Actually going back now as an adult, I kind of like, man, I really like this. It's a cool place. Yeah. I left quite young. Yeah. Back to you. I feel similar. I like going back and there's some really great studios out there now and everything, but I just missed the feel of California. Yeah. And so I couldn't afford to go back to the Bay. And there wasn't really opportunities there. And so it was between New York and LA just of like, it wasn't to work. It was to be surrounded with more dance. And so a couple friends of mine were moving for work and I was like, I'm going to tag along. I'd also just broken up with my first girlfriend ever. I was like going through this whole, like, that'll help. I'm gay. And I dated someone in the dance scene and it's really messy now. Yeah. So let's get out of here. But I didn't sign when I got here. I didn't do any of that. I just came and was like, there's so. Because we had been coming to freestyle sessions, we had been coming to take. Which is coming up, by the way. I don't know when this episode comes out, but. November, right? Yeah. eleventh and twelveth in case it comes out. And great one eighters is the weekend after in Europe. In Oakland. Dang. Yeah. Oh, by the way, for those of you not watching on YouTube, I'm pointing at myself when I say in Europe because I won't be there. And Randi, you'll be in Oakland. Yeah. Dang. Okay. But back up north, fun family or what? For the show that I'm currently working, hip hop Nutcracker. I want to talk about it to. See it off, but. Amazing. Did you finish introducing yourself? I can't remember. That was a very natural progression. Yeah. I think we just got to, like. I came out here, took a lot of classes, went to beat freaks training stuff because I was obsessed with them. Yes. And then it was actually the beat freaks and Alison Falk specifically that got me signed and pointed me in the right direction. Let me know that this was something I can do. Yeah. And holy shit, she was right. I think you are one of the best examples, I will say, of people straddling these two worlds. Back to flow and back to straddling. We'll talk about that later. Sometimes my word choice. I really love it. I do, too. I'm sticking to it. I took class last night. Marty and Tobias taught together. And there's one lyric. You have a freestyle opportunity on the word star. And somebody dropped into a center split and reached forward. Yes. Is it baby Yama star? And I was like, that is how you straddle. Good. That is the perfect use of straddle. Yes, that and others. But we're back to you straddling. Can we just. Should we go back from the top? Like, back to me straddling? Are we mature enough to have a conversation about careers? Yes, we are. Commercial world versus street social battle worlds, which are actually all very different. Would you say you find yourself balanced in all of those places, or. Yes, if we think of balance as kind of an ever negotiating micro. Yes, exactly. So I wouldn't say I'm, like, one hundred percent of the time, fifty fifty. Right. There's times where it's asked of me to be more one side or the other, or my focus is more one side or the other, but I never leave that other space. And it's just like a negotiating. The amount of hours I have in a day to how I can spend that. But it does feel like two to three full time jobs, for sure. Yeah. When you say straddle and I think about the way I'm straddling, I think of that Jeanclaude Van Damme. Like, full straddle. Yes. I am on two semi trucks hurtling. In motion, like, seventy miles an hour. Yes. In a central. With my inner thighs on fire. On fire. Fully engaged. Or else death. Yes. Right. Yes. Certain death. Yes. Incredible. I love talking about balance with dancers because I think we're really good at finding it in life. I mean, like work life balance, other kinds of balance. What else is there? Relationship balance. Sure. Everything is relationships, actually. I'm very focused on relationships at the current. And I think that because dancers know how to find our leg or find our head or elbow or arm or whatever by overcorrecting and then trying again and overcorrecting the wrong way and then micro adjusting your way in, that really is how it is in life. And as soon as you find it, somebody will be like, oh, and now you need to wear heels, or. And now the stage is raked. Yes. And now you're wearing a mask, and the adjustments begin again. And I think that brings up a good point of, like, I think I have found a good footing, but it took years, and it took people telling me I was doing the wrong thing by focusing in both and choosing to ignore that and continue to do what I was doing. I love choosing to ignore people because did you have a strong sense? I must. I love both. It was. I love both. And it wasn't like this is so easy to ignore. It was a very stressful. Maybe they're right because you. Maybe I should be doing this. Think of you, and these are people. You admire and look up to. And it was almost more of a, like, I couldn't help myself than a very clear choice. It was like, okay, let me focus on choreography. And then within a couple of months, I'd be like, but I miss battling, and I would have to find my way back there, or let me focus on being in the battle world and stuff. And then. But I miss performing on stage, so I would find my way back there, but came with a lot of shit. Mmhmm. As I think most of us that have found your own path have encountered. Here's the thing, though. I think you're going to find shit on somebody else's path too. Yes. If you're a sheep and you're just like, on the other path, there's shit out there, other people's shit you're stepping. In, and it's a less exciting path in the meantime, a less yours path. Yes. And so, yes, when you're navigating your own, you have to deal with disappointing other people or being misunderstood by other people. You have to deal with the unknown. You have to deal with uncertainty and simply not knowing. But here's the wonderful thing about life. Even if you're on the sheep path, the path of all the other people, you still don't actually know where you're going. Nobody knows where we're going. You just think you know where you're going because everyone else is going there too. And I still don't fit into that path. I'm also a queer, more masculine woman in an industry that doesn't necessarily celebrate that. So even if I try to fit in with the sheep, I'm going to stick out. Like, can we talk about this? I want to read a post that you shared recently because it sounds like you have really found. Did you just get nervous? I was like, it sounds like you have really found in where you don't fit. Yes. You have been able to refine and define exactly where you do fit. And I just have to read this out loud because your understanding of self in this post is tremendous. He said, I don't fit in a box. I don't stick to a style. I'm better live than on video. I'm not always clean. I don't have many quote battle tactics, and I don't do sets. I wear baggy clothes. I don't like to dance with my hair down. But I'm grateful that at this age, in my journey, I can express what I feel. I stay true to me, take it or leave it. I'm a maniac. And it was like, this self awareness is rich. I love it so much. I love it so, so much. Do you think that is something that was hard won, or have you always had a strong sense of self? It was hard won for sure. I think if I'm being really transparent, there was definitely a time in my life where I just wanted to fit in. Yeah. I'm not the quirky kid that always was so proud to not be like everyone else, which I love watching that, and I wish that I had been that because I think I would have celebrated myself a lot sooner. But I went through a phase of, like, my friend Elona even pointed this out the other day. She's like, I watched you go through a phase of trying to fit in, and it just not working. My hand was forced a little bit to. I was like, okay, I'm either going to self implode or I need to start loving myself. Yo, what did that look like for you? How did loving yourself manifest in action? A big part of it was being more specific with who I surrounded myself with and surrounding myself with people that made me feel loved and appreciated and seen. And for me, that was also now another world to straddle. But spending more time in the queer and lesbian, specifically lesbian world community. And then I think, also just like age. Yeah. There's something magical about women Turning thirty and beyond. Whoa. Let's go. Let's talk about it. That we spend so much of our lives being told what we're supposed to do, what we're supposed to look like, what we're supposed to, and I think there's something just, like, changes. And I've heard many women say this, and I've heard them say it before. I was in my thirties. I've experienced it. Once I got to my thirties, I'm only thirty one and a half. No, I'm well into my thirty two. But that something changed where I just felt more settled in who I was, and I didn't need the outside validation in quite the same way. Less eager to please. Yes, very less eager to please. And then also the partnership I'm in right now is really healthy and uplifting, and I feel very seen and celebrated. And so it's like all these little factors just fell into place. But it did kind of start with this decision of, like, even if I don't know how it's going to look, I have decided that I need to love myself. And the women that I look up to, I can tell they love themselves. Oh, yes. Keeping good examples of people who love themselves in your life is a huge part of it. Yes. And love themselves with kindness. Right. But, like, with force and strength. Love yourself with kindness and force and strength. That's the name of this episode. Maybe not. It's kind of long, but that's like. Yeah, what a lovely thing to aspire to. To love yourself with kindness, which doesn't mean gentle. Like, fierce kindness. Yes. Relentless kindness. Radical kindness. Yes. And that shows up in the way that you train. I imagine that shows up in your self talk. That shows up in probably even the way that you treat other people. I have become a better person to other people, for sure. Now that you're fully loving on myself. Yeah. Oh, I love that. Can we not so gently segue absolutely. To hip hop Nutcracker? Yeah. That's the show you're working on right now. So you followed your interests into the choreography world, which, by the way, we've only got to gig together, like, officially gig together. Small handful of times, too. Nickelodeon. Two or three. SpongeBob. Yeah. Duped. Duped. But we did get paid. We did. That's not the worst. And we got to hang out. I think they took out half my hair on that gig with teasing it and spraying it and dyeing it. Did they dye my skin also? Why do I feel like my whole body was blue? No, we were all weirdly painted. We'll have some photos follow us onwards. That move me. And we'll do some sharing throughout the week because we'll both such a fun one. Jobs that we've done. The other one was the JT and SZA one where they put us in the sparkly suits. Oh, those photos. You could not tell it was Dana. You really couldn't. That wig. Like, you were the only one in a wig. I was in a. It wasn't a wig. It was tracks that was embedded. And then the captain's hat. A captain's hat. Disco ball lips. Acrylic nails. Full set acrylic nails. And do you remember what happened right after that gig? No. COVID. Yes. That was my last gig before shit shut down. And so acrylic nails fully grew out. I had to learn. I've never had acrylic nails in my life. I had to figure out how to. Get rid of acrylic nails during the pandemic in cornrows. Oh, I remember. And I did not want to be forever on video as the white girl in cornrows. So I pinned my hood up. My hood's up. In that entire thing. I did not recall. I quietly did it, but I was like, you're not going to catch me. Which also was very. I'm glad that I made that choice. That's a powerful choice. Yeah. Can you imagine yourself having that conversation on set? So this is what was. I'm not going to lie. I wouldn't want to have that. I didn't want to have that conversation. I also didn't want to, because the person that asked, asked what I was. She was like, you're Latina, right? And I was like, no. Well, this gets into a lot of semantics, but I was like, I'm Portuguese. She said, oh, it's the same thing. And then told the hairdresser to put me in cornbrows. And so I didn't feel empowered in that moment to tell them that I wouldn't do that. And we always get labeled as troublesome dancers anyways, so I just immediately started thinking of ways that I could. You could have make this work. Yes. And hair department can have me in braids, and I can have my dignity. And I'm going to go to wardrobe. And be like, I think it'd be really cute if we just pinned this. There's this hood on this. We should utilize the hood. Did I have a hood on mine? I think we all had hoods, but I think I also got away with. Covered by my hair. Yes. You couldn't see anything else on you except that hair. And I think I got away with it by saying that because I was breaking. If I was doing tricks, the hood would fly around. So it'd better if it was just taxed to my head. Sneaky, sneaky son of a gun. You have found ways like, to say that. I know ways of speaking in these situations to make something sound like it's someone else's great idea instead of telling somebody what to do or, like, you know what I mean? It's not my wardrobe. So how do I kind of make it sound like we're working together and like, oh, that would be great if. Do you think that that's a female quality? Yes. I do too, but I didn't want to say it, but I did want to say it, and so I did. Yeah. I think people call us manipulative without realizing why we have to be manipulative as women. We just. That we have to do to not be too powerful or too opinionated or too thoughtful on a project. Yeah. I would like to become a person, though. I'm seeing, like, the way of working it. Right. Which is the gymnastics that you did, which is a great segue to Olympics, which we're going to talk about in a second. The gymnastics that you did to please both parties. Right. This person got their dancer in braids, and you had coverage for what you were going through, and I think you found a way to do that. What I would love to have all dancers work towards is to dismantle the idea that we're problem makers and replacing it with the idea of we're people who have professional and uncomfortable conversations. But holy hell, in the moment, in the moment when the clock is ticking. Totally. You've got different people talking to different people. Totally. And I think it doesn't always feel great to insert your beliefs, boundaries, requests. I think even now I'm learning how to word things so that they come off as collaborative and professional, instead of like, no, I won't do this, or, no, I won't. And I think that's when people start to feel like we're being difficult. But I do think there's times where I've needed something wardrobe wise to do what you've asked me to do as an artist and a job or hair. Wise or the most important. Yeah. For me, the most important department for dancers to be tight with. Totally and respectful toward totally. We must work symbiotically. Dance and wardrobe is so important. Totally. And I think there's also just things around the dance culture versus the wardrobe culture. We're playful human beings. We like to joke. We like to laugh, we like to like. So we almost always will make fun of. We'll always talk shit, but we talk. Shit about each other. We talk shit about. It's just, like, how we communicate. And I think that gets misconstrued as, like, the dancers are complaining about wardrobe again, rather than like, we're just having fun and talking shit. Interesting. And so that's culturally our banter is call out culture and make fun, play fun. Yes. And maybe fashion culture is a little bit more tight lipped, a little bit less, say what you think. And this is just like new, by the way. We're just kind of like. As you're talking about this, though, I'm remembering one of my favorite tools for boundaries and this conversation that can be so hard. I'm loving these four words in tandem. Yes and and no. But no. I'm not comfortable with my hair in cornrows, but I have this one look that I really love. It's twists. It might give you the same edgy feel without the cultural appropriation. Yes, yes and no. But seem to help me with this kind of mad lib structure of uncomfortable conversation. I know that. Yes. And goes here. I know that this goes there. But it helps me Fill in the blanks of uncomfortable conversations on set. So, yeah, I'll think of you next time something like that happens with me. And I'll send you a little note. Be like, dodge the bullet or I took the bullet. I will do the same. Okay, good fun. Additional fact. And then we can segue to gymnastics. Yes. I then had to go straight from set the day we did the half day to meet my nephew at Disneyland with the look. So I had to, in like degree weather, wear a hoodie the whole day with corn Road so closed because I didn't want to be that person. Wow. That is tremendous. That was only a half day shoot day. Did we have two shoot days? We had two shoot days and one day I had done my freestyle the first day. So when they kept the other three to do their freestyle, I was released. I think I was, too. I'll tell you what, I was damn near released from that whole video. I am in maybe seconds of it. Of all the things they had me do that whole shoot through the plexiglass. Which looked really cool. That was awesome. They shot from underneath, like an acrylic sheet so we could see. It looked like you were breaking on floaty stuff. Yeah. And the one shot they used was this, like, tiny little shoulder moment. That was amazing. We love waiting to see what comes out in the edit. We do. And I'll tell you what, sometimes it is a surprise. You never know what you're going to get. But I love that we don't have to edit our work because Riley over here, we edit the podcast. There's tremendous freedom in that but if we had to have final say and be in the editing room and be doing all the things, we would never get to do the dance part because that takes so long. So we love editors. And also it's still about the, you know, we love to watch for where we made it in, but the thing is still about the artist. Oh, this should be a thing maybe in the future where dance is king. Dance right now, by the way, is like, we're like part of the Royal guard, but I would say dance still maybe kind of like court Jester level. But when dance is king, actually, the overlaps there. We should pause for a second to talk about that. Court jesters in the medieval times were responsible for, obviously entertaining, but they were also the only people permitted to clown on the royalty. They were the only people allowed to make fun of the king and not be beheaded or something. So we're truth tellers. Yes. And we are playful and we are jokesters. And we are entertaining. Yes. But anyway, someday when Dance is king, instead of having directors edits, we'll have dancers edits. Yes. Where it's like heavy dance versions, which. Would be so cool. Really cool. Did I ever tell you this idea that I have? Are you familiar with drunk history? Yes, on YouTube. I want to do drunk music video remakes. Imagine. Please be a part of this. I'm really good at drinking and dancing. Is that on your special skills? It should be. Well, the concept, don't get mad, but the concept would be to have the original cast of, let's say, Britney Spears slave for you. Have them get shitty and just see. Okay. Like hit play and see how love that goes. I also would love to, you know, maybe another version of the episode where we just get drunk and talk about old that's safe videos. That's safer in some ways and more dangerous in other ways. Really dangerous. Really dangerous. But I do think that it would be epic. I do love it would end up looking like a night at Weho. But it'll be amazing. I've been told that I would do good reaction videos, like YouTube reaction videos. I might start incorporating that into the podcast because I have a face that does not. And I have a very expression, which. Is why I love working with you and why in a certain environment, I just look over and then I have to look away because we'll get in trouble. This helps me and it hurts me, actually, because communication is important, verbal and nonverbal. But sometimes my face can betray me. I've talked about this on the podcast before. Physical affirmation like very visual, big head nods and stuff like that. I do that all the time on set. If I hear a note, I just want you to know that, yes, I'm receiving your note. But what that can mean sometimes is if a note comes and I don't give my big verbal, it's like, what's the stick up your ass? What's the matter? Yeah. And so I've kind of gotten myself to a place. I'm trying to undo some of my. Big, loud affirmations stuff. My girlfriend loves to let me know how obvious my like or dislike of things is. And I am also working on that kind of tampering and not to hide anything, but sometimes that's not the moment. You don't need professionalism, period. Yeah. You want to be in control of it. Yes. Versus it being something that you're not aware of. Yes. Okay. Riz is resettled back in. I'm resettled back in. We're back on track. And we're back one more time to talking about hip hop Nutcracker. How did you find yourself in the role? You are choreographing the show, right? I'm an associate choreographer. Fantastic. And how did you find yourself there? Because you were in the show? Years past, I did a job with Jennifer Weber, who is the head choreographer, director of hip hop Nutcracker, and through that job met her, worked with her, and then that same year, she brought the casting from New York to LA. So myself, she street Urellis, Lily Frias, like Twitch, all these incredible dancers ended up being on that cast that year. And she asked me to assist her in choreography. So I started as the assistant. Yeah, started as the assistant the first year and then moved to associate, I think, two years later. And that was a year where, because Jennifer was on another job, I actually ran the rehearsal. So that was my first time being in that role of being the head of a rehearsal that large, leading a room, getting people ready to go on tour and on stage. And it was a huge learning curve that I'm incredibly grateful for. I'm also incredible. Shout out to the original casts that were working with me when I was figuring all of this out and how incredible and helpful and understanding they were in that process and how forgiving they were in that process. A lot of first times and that was those. How many years? That was two years in. But I've now worked on the project for eight seasons. Okay. Yeah. So this is your gig. You understand it in and out. And this year I'm not going on tour. I'm just putting the show up. Putting the show up, waving them off. Yeah. How does that feel? It feels incredible. And I'm learning a lot now in the tech room. I won't be on stage anymore. I'll be learning how to do lighting cues and all of that stuff. Yeah. It's very interesting to look back on the journey and the arc of all of that and find myself here now. I would love to see the show. I haven't. I have always wanted to. And the show is incredible. Every year, the cast is like these amazing freestyle dancers. I love that we've kept it in that world. True to that world where a lot of times with theater shows, you end up like somebody that can catch choreo really well and can do some tricks and whatnot. And every person that's been in it has left a footprint on that show. Cool. For sure. Whether it's a character choice or a little moment that got added in or like, there's just so many incredible minds that have gone into creating it and it being where it is now. Yeah, I can't wait to see it. Can't wait to share it. We will definitely link to tickets in the show notes of this episode, so thank you for sharing. I'm so curious. Okay, gymnastics. Let's segue. And by gymnastics, I mean Olympics. We talked about gymnastics earlier, now we're talking about the Olympics. Okay. I pretend I know nothing other than the fact that breaking will be represented in the Olympics. Question mark. You will be on the team. Question mark, what has transpired? Yes. So this has been an FFT. Okay. A first fucking time for everyone involved. For everyone involved. And everyone is genuinely, for the most part, doing their best, right. To pivot, to facilitate, to get it. Integrated in a way that is actually. Appropriate and appropriate for the craft. Yeah. Do I say sport? For the sport? I still don't say sport. Some people do. Part of the conversation, right. It is a big part of the conversation. And I think because we like to live in a binary world, right. It's like sport or art, but this is genuinely something that lives in both worlds. But I do think there are breakers that have always been more sport oriented in the like. It's about the competition, it's about being in peak physical form. And there's breakers that have always been in the art where it's about the party and the fun and the battle is a part of that, but it's about a greater picture than just the competition, and that's always been a split, and that will continue like, there's worry that the Olympics will change this thing and things will shift % culturally. Yeah. But this other scene will always exist %, regardless of what happens over there. But I do think we have to really talk about and acknowledge that this is not a sport in the sense of, like, this is a game that's been moved, but this is a culture, and this is a black culture, and we're now moving this into a world where we have to make sure that that is represented and that is spoken about and that we have people that know that culture are that culture at. The forefront of it and forefront in multiple places. On the judging front. On the judging front, on the competitors, on the organizers, on the producing front. On all fronts, really. And that's where it gets dangerous. If you're just looking at the best breakers, some of them % know all this stuff, and I think everyone knows it. Right. But what are they going to be speaking about when they get that spotlight? Yeah. And so this is what we kind of, like, wait and see. Right. Okay. But it's been in the making. There's been multiple versions of trying to make a team. The latest was that you had to place top four in nationals, so it all came down to one competition this year. Okay. And I placed fifth, so I missed the team by one slot. Yeah. Tell me how you feel. What is that? I mean, I still feel proud that I'm ranked fifth in the US in B-Girls. That still feels very good. And I, again, recognize I'm somebody that's straddling worlds, where a lot of other people involved in this are not straddling worlds, which is, like, good and bad. Right. I'm already working as a dancer, which is what a lot of them are trying to do as breakers. But then it also means I have less time to be practicing, be committed. Exactly. Be well rested, going into these things. Yeah. So I knew I wanted to jump in and really give it my all, but that also meant that I stopped working for a period of time leading into it, and there's no money coming into it for the trial community at large. Period. It's like some people are starting to get sponsored here and there. Right. Sponsorships, but you're not actually getting paid to participate in it at all. Nobody. You're spending your money to fly to the qualifiers, to hotel rooms, to all of this, and even the international ones. Now that the team is going to. There's some stipends. There's a lot of out of pocket money coming. There's, like a mix of things happening and only one person goes from each. Like, one B-Girl, one B-Boy goes to the Olympics. How do you feel about that? Speaking of binaries, the B-Boy and. The B-Girl thing, that's like this. What's a conversation that's like. I mean, in sports in general, right. That's becoming a very big conversation. As far as that, how do you personally feel? Also weird, because the break, I would say the big separation of Be boy B-Girl happened more around, like,two thousand seventeen two thousand eighteen , when Red Bull had a cipher for B-Girls, which I do think was a positive thing because it gave more female breakers, or female identifying breakers, a platform. Right. So you saw more. We can see these younger be girls are insane. And I know in part that's because they had something to look, to look forward to. They had a lot of examples of women. Well, a lot, quote unquote, but much more than we had relative. Prior to that. I think only one B-Girl had ever made the main stage for Red Bull. Wow. But then it became like everything separated out. And I don't know, I'm still on the fence of whether that's good or bad, because now it's a different pool that we're comparing ourselves to. It's like maybe a smaller pool that is setting the bar, whereas B-Girls, like Beta, who used to battle dudes all the time, was like burning the shit out of people. Nice. And not that girls aren't doing that now. It's just like, it's different. But then the binary I know is hurtful for some people that don't. It can be particularly identify with either. There is the balance of, like, how do we make something more inclusive but honor its history and past and not come in is what we call it, right. And not come in as someone newer or even like a guest to the culture and demand change. Right? So it's about having the conversations. I was a part of the first ever Pride panel at Red Bull BC One, which was like a huge step and it didn't get put online because nobody knew what the response and blowback would be. It was very much an in the room moment, but it's the conversation. Having the conversation and including older generations. Like, B-Boy wicket was there and Beta was there and including older generations in the conversation because there is some like, and I feel it, too, as like a quote unquote, I don't know, kind of middle school queer right now, right. That there's this kind of entitled. I don't know if entitled is the right word, but there's this like we're right and you guys have been doing it wrong for forever. And it has this change to be this. And you have to get on board with this change immediately, even though you've had to navigate your life without these words being available to you, without these terminologies definitions. Some of this pronoun stuff is very new for us, too, even as a person that has felt like I don't fit the binary. Right. So to have somebody force me to give that in that moment when I'm like, I'm taking out all these things that I've been confused or navigating or stuff My whole life and trying to redefine. So give me a second. Yes. Great. It's great that you got to walk into already having all these terms and. Feel so empowered as to try to change the world. Yes, I love that. I love that from you. And we probably did that in our own way when we were younger. But also the grace of you get to have that because we did what we did and we get to have this because the generation before us did what they did. And so I think a little more grace and compassion and patience. And patience wouldn't hurt. Yeah. Thank you for pointing that out. And I do agree that there is a lot to be applauded in this generation. And there's some things upcoming generation, and there are also some things where you just say, like, maybe have a seat. Yeah. Just maybe have a seat for a second. And there are things where, like, yes, we don't need patience anymore. Right. There's certain very, like, we don't need patience for, like, and of course, violence and those kind of things. Right. But that's a nuanced conversation. Yeah, I get it. I very much get it. Yeah. I think dance doesn't always realize the industry dance world or even like, the underground community or stuff. I don't think we always realize the ways in which we still mirror the greater society. And as artists, I think we think we live outside of it, and I think it infiltrates into our communities as well. And we have to acknowledge the parts where we're mirroring maybe something unhealthy. Oh, yeah. We are in so many ways in a bubble and in so many ways exactly the same as everyone else all over the place. Yes. A mirror of everything else. Yeah, it's interesting. And it's interesting. Like, I think queer experience gets lumped into one pile and everyone's is very different and very nuanced. Like mine is very much the queer experience of a more masculine lesbian right. That's going to be different than queer man, trans woman, trans man, non binary person. All of these things are very different. Yeah. Identities in general, all very different. So it's good to hear that there are conversations being had and there are activists who really care deeply about making change, and I think there simply must be a balance of maintaining and changing. Yes. What stays the same and what must stay and what must change. Yeah, that's, I guess, what is at. The core of those conversations. Totally. I'm glad you're in the room for that. And I'm glad your voice is being heard. We're trying. We're trying. Okay. And then adding just to bring awareness to the intersectionality of race and all these other things into that, too. And how much has white feminism or white queerness had the lead voice? And where do we make space so that we're following the lead of people of color? Stay tuned for the answer to that question. Thank you for being so thoughtful and bringing that to the forefront. It's essential conversation. Yeah, I don't have the answers, but. Okay. You might have the answer to this question, though. Will we see breaking in the Olympics in LA? We will not. We will see it in twenty twenty. In twenty twenty four. We will not see it in LA in twenty twenty eight. Can you explain why LA, the Olympic Committee that decides whose sports are making it voted to not have it? So essentially, in order for breaking to be safe and tenured into no questions. Asked, in order for it to become. A pivotal sport or whatever, like, sure. In, it needs to be in three consecutive Olympics Games. Okay. And so Paris is one. Paris is one. I've heard that twenty thirty two is a sure in. However that might change. But we do think it'll be in thirty two. It will not be in twenty eight. So does the clock go back? The clock goes zero. Goes back to zero. Dang. Well, I was very much looking forward to it. I will be watching Paris closely. Yes. And it's a shame they didn't wait to see how well it did at Paris before making that decision. But it is a money game. Yeah, a little bit. And so if they don't, there's still mean we could go down the rabbit hole of all the things, but there's still an idea that this is not a valuable man art form, and I think that gets even into our dance world. And really, I have so much reverence. For B-Boys and B-Girls because I can't that. I just think it's like unfucking touchable. I think touchable means that you don't know what to do with it means that it never gets opportunities. That is terrible. I feel like I get told all the time that I'm people's favorite dancer and yet never hired because people don't. Know how to handle you. Use it when dance is already on the lowest rung. I feel like people love freestyle, but to love something and to value it is two different things. You. How would you like to be valued? Like, what's your. What's your dreamscape? As far as the ecosystem for. For freestylers and commercial dance? I think part of it is we have some incredible directors of movement choreographers that live inside the freestyle world that would know how to utilize that sort of story. Speak your language. That speak your language. She street freedom. I work towards that when I work with people of trying to bring together different styles of dance and know how to highlight each thing without eight hours. Or rehearsal and fivey and a sixy and a seven. Right. And even when choreography is involved. Right. I feel like oftentimes it gets dropped to the lowest common denominator instead of individualized with who's in the room and highlighted and things. You mean the choreography itself gets watered. Down so that maybe everyone can do. It versus having choreography that suits this person's exact strength? Exactly. Yeah. That is truly the job of a great choreographer. And I think sometimes we're not all great all the time. And it feels like we get brought in to do something that we have spent our life, a majority of our life, tons of hours, perfecting in our own, quote unquote rehearsals if we want to use that kind of speech. But they don't have us at rehearsals because we're providing our own thing. So we don't get that payment. We get just the plug and play dancer pay on the day of. Rather than being like, you have sought me out for this lifetime artistry I am proViding, and then it gets credited under the choreographer's name. Right. And it's like that person made it up, told you to do that thing. I can % see how that's problematic. And I can % tell you how excited I am to have your voice in the room for Choreographers Guild conversations. Yes. Where we're. And I'm like, I think the important thing now is to lay the overall foundation. So I'm trying not to come in punching with that too early, but it is. I mean, it's okay to really be charged up for change by anger or by wrongdoings and by all of the ways things have gone wrong for you. For example, that's how we fix it. There was a moment where a major artist was hiring for a music video and started putting out casting calls on battle pages for freestylers and wanted to only pay them two hundred dollars for the twelve hour day. Knowing that they're going into communities where maybe people don't understand what a rate should be, maybe they're excited. This is the thing that drives me crazy. I don't care if I'm excited for the opportunity. I don't care if it's the first time of me getting a great opportunity. I don't care if I love to freestyle anyways. I don't care if you hire me for something. Pay me my worth to add to your project. So then I got hit up through my agency for this same thing, and they were only offering three hundred now, right? And I was like, no, I will do it. At the time, the rate was five hundred. I'll do it for five hundred. Dancer Alliance rate was five for a music. So they come back to my agent with four fifty, and I'm like, if you could come up now, you're just trying to let me know you have the power by undercutting me by fifty dollars. So everyone on the thing said yes. And I replied all and said, actually no, the rate still is five hundred dollars. Hard no for me. I think it'll probably be doable for them to come up the other fifty. Then everyone came back around and said like, yes, I'm with that. Right? At the same time, dancers alliance heard about the casting and was going to the casting saying, don't do this. Yeah. So it was like, team on all fronts, right? I'm pretty sure I got blacklisted from that production. However, they ended up hiring freestylers for $. Great for that video. And for me, that's a win. I lost the job, but overall, that goes up, and that affects me overall, too. And I think that's how we have to think about it. And I know not everyone is in the same position for financially. Financially. And I one hundred percent recognize that. I also know that people on one visas can't get side jobs. So there's a million factors. But when we can, if we can stay together, it means that instead of just getting by tomorrow, we could actually set ourselves up with a career where we can live the life that we deserve to live for how hard we've. Worked, and a legacy. And the legacy for future generations of people who want to be able to do this for a living. Yeah. Are you ready for the final segment? Yeah, I have a new segment on the show. It's not new anymore because this is the fourth, th time we've done it. But whatever. It's new to you. Yeah, it is. We're calling it wrist roll with it, which is a rapid fire question segment. Unfortunately, I'm freestyling this episode today and I'm not as good a freestyler as you are, so I don't have my notes. I don't have my notes. But you know, I love freestyling with you. We've jammed a couple of times. Dancing with you is fun. It's going to happen. It's going to happen. Rapid fire. Quick. Ready, set, go. Favorite move? Windmills. I don't know. That's not true. But that's what first came out, that. That's an option for you. Favorite song to dance to. Whitney Houston. Want to dance with somebody? So funny you said that because I just did a birthday freestyle for my friend Pam to that song via Zoom. And I kind of just paddle turned the whole time. But it's my favorite. Skippy dippy Woo. There's such good music in there. Her ad libs go off. It's a crazy good song. Great answer. Kind of similar but different. If you could only listen to one song for the rest of time, what would it be? I know. Ouch. It's a terrible punishment. But. Be your girl or your girl. By Kaytranada. Nice. Okay. It builds in such a nice way. I feel like I wouldn't get tired of. It's not the same. It's dynamic. Yeah. You get to dance with anyone, living or dead. Who is it? Frosty freeze. Good answer. Something you would like to tell your young self. All your strengths lie in the things you're hiding right now. Wow. Something you would like to tell your future self. You fucking did it, bitch. And with that, I don't know if we can sway on. We definitely can. With that, our final question. Are you ready for this one? What are the words that move you the most? The first that comes to mind, because it's been on my mind all day is what you actually told me during our coaching of, like, really imagine your future self and then just be it today. Today, yeah. There's no reason that you can't be your future self today. You can walk more like her, you can talk more like her. Come take a bath and put your bathrobe on. Which was. Put your bathrobe on. Like wanted to do. Yes, we did a future self meditation. It's one of the things I do with some of my coaching clients where you imagine your future self. How she wakes up, how she has breakfast, how she goes to work, how she walks, how she dresses, how she talks. And, yeah, your future self had a robe, and there was, like, in baths, and there's literally no reason why today you can't have a robe and a bath. Let's just go ahead and be more future self. I love that. I thought you were going to say reminded you of something that we've already talked about today, which is flow, because. Also bring more tampons. That's another live by. Yeah. years old and I still can't figure it out. I never have enough or I've got too many. They're falling out all over the place. Or I'm, like, rushing to make sure. Can't organize my closet, can't organize my time. Yeah. And it's the same every month. Every month of our lives. We've been doing this since, like, or something incredible and have not figured it out. Yeah. Which is why I was late today. But we are capable people who can do ridiculous things. We are very capable. Okay, can you make me this promise right now? Next month, November. Well, you're on November already. Okay, so we're on different calendars, but you will be getting a text from me some random week in some random month where I'm like, Randi, I did it. I didn't ruin any underwear or to. I didn't ever have to ask anyone for one. I'm just going to be on it. My future self is on it. Speaking of future, sometimes she's off, but. It'S something that is surrounded by a little bit of negative self talk for me, where I say, like, you should have figured this out by now, just exactly what we're just doing. You've done this literally since you were . How come you don't have it together and I don't have a good enough answer to that question, apparently because I keep asking myself that question. I think I also just want to ignore how annoying and how much prethought goes into every day that you have your period. You know what I want to ignore? What? I don't want to ignore it. I want to rewrite the resentment that I have towards men for not having to fucking deal with that. Yes. While my real estate is on, where am I going to find a new pair of underwear right now? Theirs is on. Like, I should ask for a raise. Yes. I'm not there yet. Give me time. Yes. No, that's fair. And I do think they should have to hear us talk about it more. I feel like we try not to talk around it. We don't. I'm going to time code this part of this episode and send it to all the men and women. All the men. We were talking about this. I recently was on a flight where they had checked my luggage under the plane that had all my tampons because I knew at some point on this job I was going to start. It started on the flight and I was only on the job with men. And I should have, just as we got off, been like, y'all, I need to book it to this thing because I need to get my tampons because I'm bleeding through my pants right now. Excuse me, I'll meet you guys. I'm not spending a lot of time in the bathroom doing anything gross lining. My underwear with toilet paper. We've all done it. We've all done it. Strangers for tampons. I have. Always have, always will. Yeah, maybe not. Future self doesn't. Future self is prepared. Or maybe future self has created some sort of solution for that. Or future self has so many tampons, I'm always ready to give strangers and need some future self. Little tampon machine is like a tampon. Trick or treat. Like who? Come on, get it. Well, didn't see us closing out on that note, but Randi, thank you so much for coming. Thank you so much for having me. Serious shit, for talking silly shit. I respect and appreciate the shit out of you. Thank you for being here. I respect and appreciate the shit out of you. And I am honored to be here. All right. Thank you again for coming. Thank you all for listening and watching. If you're digging what you see and hear, please subscribe. Click the bell for notifications and leave a comment or review or rating because it really helps other people find the podcast. Okay, get out into the world. Keep it funky. I'll talk to you later. This podcast was produced by me with the help of many big Big love to our executive assistant and editor, Riley Higgins. Our communications manager is Ori Vajadares. Our music is by Max Winnie, logo and brand design by Brie Reetz, thumbnails and marketing by Fiona Small. You can make your tax-deductible donations towards that. Move me. Thanks to our fiscal sponsor, the dance Resource center, and also many thanks to you. I'm so glad you're here. And if you're digging the pod, please share it. Leave a review and rating. And if you want to coach with me and the many marvelous members of the words that move me community, visit wordsthmoveme.com if you're simply curious to know more about me and the work I do outside of this podcast, visit thedanawilson.com.

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