198. Yoe Apolinario: So You Want to Move to LA?

February 07, 2024 01:06:45
198. Yoe Apolinario: So You Want to Move to LA?
Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
198. Yoe Apolinario: So You Want to Move to LA?

Feb 07 2024 | 01:06:45


Show Notes

This week, Dana Wilson hosts Yoe Apolinario on the Words That Move Me Podcast! They talk about Yoe’s new book “So You Want to Move to LA?” and some surprising stories that connect them (including finding out they were let go from a job on Instagram… #OUCH). Listen in on Yoe’s experience dancing with Usher, the transition from competition studio to Los Angeles, and a good old-fashioned game of fu*k, marry, kill.

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Show Notes:

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Very challenging skill, baby. [00:00:01] Speaker B: I burnt off my edges trying to do this freeze. And I was like, I walked to the mirror, my whole face was red, my edges was empty right here. [00:00:09] Speaker A: And I was like, I think that might be the end. [00:00:11] Speaker B: I'm too cute for this. Yeah. No. No. [00:00:15] Speaker A: Yes. Hello. [00:00:19] Speaker B: Hello. [00:00:20] Speaker A: I'm Dana. This is words that move me. Welcome. So glad that you're here. This gesture that I use with my arm just now, I'm getting very comfortable with the video format. Listener. If you are driving in your car, if you are listening and not watching on the train, I just made a very graceful rolling motion with my left arm. And now you're queued in. You know everything there is to know. I do, however, encourage you roll on over onto YouTube to watch this episode because my guest today, yoi, is simply stunning to behold. To watch her express her stories in person was so much fun because for the last couple of weeks, several days, I have been reading her words and listening to her express herself through words on a page. Big, big fan of her dancing, and now I am also a fan of her writing. Her book is called so you want to move to LA? And we go in on that today on the podcast. I'm so excited to share. But first, let's do some wins. Today I am celebrating returning to protecting my fitness time. Today, that meant 20 minutes, right? It wasn't a lot. I did not get a full yoga in. But instead of saying, oh, if I can't do a full 30 minutes, I just won't do it, I said, okay, then I'll do 20 minutes and I'm counting that a win. That's a small big win. That's a small big win. I'm really proud of myself. I hope that my win also gives you permission to do things in digestible bites, including winning. You can win in digestible bites. But now it's your turn. I'm going to pass the mic. Tell me, even though I can't hear you, what's going well in your world? Say it out loud. It really helps. And or just like, you know what? Hit me up if you know me right now or have my Instagram handle at Danadaners, I want to know your win. Yes. I'm calling you out, listener. Tell me your win. I want to know. Make it real. [00:02:30] Speaker B: Yay. You gonna come over? [00:02:35] Speaker A: You're wearing. Okay. You're wearing your shirt. Do you want to come up? She didn't. She didn't. I wanted her to come up. Congratulations. I'm so glad you're winning. Keep it up. I'm proud of you. I'm cheering you on. And you know what? That is a good segue because I think Yoe and I, in this episode, cheer each other on quite a bit. So if you're looking for somebody to be rooting for you, look no further. It is my guest today, the one and only yoe. Please enjoy. That was me being Usher. You don't get to redo that. [00:03:35] Speaker B: No. [00:03:36] Speaker A: Yoe. Welcome to words that move me. Thank you so much for being here. [00:03:40] Speaker B: Yes, thank you. [00:03:42] Speaker A: Okay, so I think this has been a long time coming because I've been an admirer of your dancing for quite some time. And then I was struck by an Instagram story of you dancing recently in Usher's show, and I had to comment. I was like, whoa, you better fucking dance. [00:03:58] Speaker B: Thank you. For real. [00:03:59] Speaker A: And then you were like, hey, are you a reader? And I was like, I am. I've got books. I know the cutest bookshelf, and my latest addition to my bookshelf is your fucking book. We're going to talk about this, and I'm thrilled. Thank you for writing this and for gifting this to me and for engaging and for helping young dancers, because this is a tool. It is a gift, and you are a gift. Thank you for being here. Before we talk book, though, you have to introduce yourself. Tell us everything you would like us to know about you. [00:04:35] Speaker B: Okay. Well, my name is yellow Yapolinario. I'm originally from Tampa, Florida, but I've been here in LA for about eight years now. I grew up in a dance studio doing, like, technical styles first. And then when I was, like, 19, I got into freestyle, tried a lot of different things. Started with break dancing, quit that very quickly, and I ended up at popping Memphis. Joking. And the most recent clown dancing. So that's kind of where I ended up at the end of the tornado. [00:05:05] Speaker A: What a journey. Or in the middle of it. [00:05:07] Speaker B: In the middle of it, correct. [00:05:09] Speaker A: Yeah, I understand that. So you think you can dance. Played a big part of your dance journey, and you're kind of proclaiming and owning street. This is what the show called it. And by the way, I did not watch any of that season until I read the book. And I went back and watched a few of yours just because I was excited. I was turned off by the idea of stage versus street. [00:05:33] Speaker B: I kind of don't even like the word street. [00:05:36] Speaker A: Street styles to encompass. What do you prefer? I know you mentioned it in here. Hold on. I do know. [00:05:42] Speaker B: Come on. [00:05:44] Speaker A: I take notes also. [00:05:45] Speaker B: Because, oh, me too. [00:05:46] Speaker A: And I gift books to people with my notes in them, and then they have to play detective and figure out what the hell this gibberish means because I like circle underlines sometimes it's color coded. What does the red mean? [00:05:56] Speaker B: What does this color mean? [00:05:59] Speaker A: Black american folklore and should be revered as such. Don't call it street styles, as if street is the only place that it happens. Or a street. Yeah, it's black american folklore and should be revered as such because it is. [00:06:13] Speaker B: From street culture, and I'm not negating that. And I think that's beautiful. You know how different words can have different feelings depending on how you say it? It's that because I've experienced that word being said from people as, like, dirt at the bottom of your shoes. And that's maybe because I grew up in the college dance program type of life. I went to a performing arts high school, and we modeled college dance programs. [00:06:40] Speaker A: Which means classical, ballet, modern. That's it. Okay. [00:06:45] Speaker B: Maybe they brought in, we had a treat. It was like on a Friday for three weeks. They gave us some master classes from Alvin Ailey's dancers, and they taught us jazz, african, just pieces from revelations. It was everything for me, but other than that, it was just ballet and modern. And if they heard you did something else or you went to a dance convention and you did hip hop, they were like, oh, you're doing street style. [00:07:12] Speaker A: That's something less than. [00:07:13] Speaker B: Yeah, so I don't know. I don't mind it, but when it comes from different people, it's like, it's said with such like a. [00:07:22] Speaker A: Or when it comes from a production, such as. So you think you can dance. That takes place literally on a stage. It seems like an imbalanced proposition. You're saying stage versus street, but all of them are happening on stage. And I was like, okay, so when are the stage dancers going to have to go jump in a circle? Or when are we going to shoot this episode at a party or in somebody's basement? Anyways, I was turned off by the way that that season was framed. I didn't watch any of it, but I really like the way you talk about experiencing the show and the tour that followed. Yeah, tour life is a really interesting concept that for so many dancers, I think they aspire to. I can't think of a dancer that doesn't want to go on tour. [00:08:11] Speaker B: Of course we do. That's like, what we watch. [00:08:14] Speaker A: It seems like the dream gig, right? Which, as you know, and you explain here, nothing is actually an actual dream two sides to every coin. Will it be dreamy? Yes. Will it be trash? [00:08:25] Speaker B: Yes. Oh, my goodness. [00:08:27] Speaker A: So that's really fun. I do want to talk about that, but I want to start, first of all, by congratulating you and writing a book, because I know that it's hard, because I tried once, and it turned actually into this podcast, words that move me. I love that in 2017 was a book I have in my little Adobe illustrator, my little transcript of the original version. It at the time was a quote. And then on the facing page, the story of how that quote came into my life. And then I got an illustrator, I got my ISBN numbers for the ebook and the book. [00:09:05] Speaker B: Oh, you were on your way. [00:09:06] Speaker A: I was on my way. I had an editor who got down with a red pen. [00:09:11] Speaker B: Come on. [00:09:12] Speaker A: She was like, I don't think you understand how an ellipsis should be used. [00:09:15] Speaker B: No. I feel so like, every time I get my manuscript back, I'm like, what? [00:09:19] Speaker A: You're like, really? [00:09:21] Speaker B: Do I? [00:09:21] Speaker A: Okay, sorry. So it was an excellent process of learning. And then I got a lawyer, and my lawyer was like, you know you need written permission from everyone before you use a Quote, right? And I was like, some of these people are dead. And she was like, well, then you need to contact their estate. So it went on the back burner. It turned into a podcast. All that to say, as I read this, every single page, with respect and champion, like, huge roars from the sidelines, because I know it's not easy to do. So congratulations, number one. [00:09:55] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:09:56] Speaker A: It's called so you want to move to LA. And in the very beginning chapters, you talk about, nobody told me the shit that I needed to know. Is that really your why you did this? Because you wanted to fill the void? [00:10:08] Speaker B: Yeah, I wanted to fill the void. I wanted to just let some people know, if they don't know already, that it's not all roses out here and. [00:10:17] Speaker A: It'S not all shit that you learned in dance class. Most of the things you wish you knew had nothing to do with dance. [00:10:23] Speaker B: Yeah, most of it. I really want to say, for me, like, a good 99%, almost all just real life adult things, right. That I'm still learning. [00:10:34] Speaker A: Taxes every season. [00:10:36] Speaker B: Every. [00:10:37] Speaker A: Is there a chapter on taxes? Yes, towards the end, just like a full disclaimer, I'm almost halfway through. I'm not a tremendous. I'm not a fast reader, and I read late at night, which is also when I sleep. So sometimes one thing leads to another. But I have to compliment you on one thing in particular. I don't know you that well, but I can hear your voice through this book. And it's probably how, like, I'm pointing at Riley off camera, who edits the podcast. It's probably how you can hear my voice from reading this night after night for, like, four or five days. I can hear your voice so clear, and sometimes it pops up, like in my day to day life. So awesome. [00:11:19] Speaker B: That's crazy. [00:11:20] Speaker A: Isn't it crazy? Well, are you prepared for people to know you better than you know them? I mean, it happens for celebrity types all the time, and you've become that, like, in your experience on the show and things like that. But people are about to feel like. [00:11:33] Speaker B: They know you, honey. Yeah. Because I buried it all in that book. So even there's chapters about my first tour and how. I don't want to spoil it for you, but I had a whole bunch of crushes on women and then ended up sleeping with a man. Don't know how I got there, but one of the women that I had a crush on, butterflies. Like, don't even stare at me for too long. Like, crush. She bought the book, and I randomly, throughout my day, I'm just like, I wonder if she's going to put two together. [00:12:02] Speaker A: Where's she at right now? [00:12:03] Speaker B: Where is she at? [00:12:05] Speaker A: What's she learning right now? [00:12:06] Speaker B: Does she read it? [00:12:07] Speaker A: Does she know? [00:12:07] Speaker B: Does she know? Because I changed all the names and stuff. [00:12:10] Speaker A: I really like your name choices, by the way. [00:12:12] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:12:13] Speaker A: And I have questions for you. She even asked. She was like, don't try to be a detective. Just enjoy the book. [00:12:18] Speaker B: Puts on glasses. [00:12:20] Speaker A: It's very hard for me not to. Oh, my goodness. Okay, so is there anything, all is said and done and it's shipped, that you wish you had done differently, or are you just like, yes, that's the want. That's it. [00:12:36] Speaker B: And I don't mean to take it down, but I noticed towards the end of the book, I had all these different versions of my manuscript. You do all these different rounds of self edits before you send it to your editor. And somehow within that process, I lost about three chapters, which at the end of the day, I'm like, did everyone really need to know that? I don't know. But one of them was a love letter to twitch. And I don't know. I'm glad it didn't make it to the book. It feels so personal that I kind of don't want it to be read yet. [00:13:18] Speaker A: And when the time is right, yeah. If you should choose. There might be a whole spin off project there where we ask from the dance community for individual letters and that could become, oh, my goodness, a book, a standalone. [00:13:33] Speaker B: That would be beautiful because everyone has such beautiful experiences with him. [00:13:39] Speaker A: I have obviously heard and seen a tremendous outpouring of love, and there is something about memorializing and making a physical thing of it. And let's keep that idea alive because. [00:13:56] Speaker B: That might be very. [00:13:57] Speaker A: Especially now that you know how to do it. Like, first 1 may be the hardest. [00:14:02] Speaker B: But. [00:14:06] Speaker A: That speaks volumes, that it feels personal in such a way that even in a very personal work would be out of place. [00:14:14] Speaker B: Yeah. And it still feels so fresh and kind of unreal in a lot of ways. So I'm like, it's not time. Yeah, we're still grieving. [00:14:23] Speaker A: Not time. Is there anything in the book that you keep getting feedback on that you're like, shit. I didn't expect that to be the thing people are talking about. [00:14:33] Speaker B: Let's see. I keep getting messages on my first tour, Mance. Everyone wants to know who that is. [00:14:40] Speaker A: People would. They always want all this shit about how you survive, how you pay your rent, how you book gigs, how you audition, and people are like, who was the boo? [00:14:49] Speaker B: Yes. [00:14:50] Speaker A: Okay. [00:14:50] Speaker B: Who was the boo? And who. [00:14:52] Speaker A: It's human, though. That's human. It's human. [00:14:54] Speaker B: Yeah. We want to know, and we do. [00:14:56] Speaker A: Want to know all the rest of it. Yes. But I think that's another thing you do really well is, like, salt and pepper or like a spoonful of sugar, the medicine, because I'm learning, but also I'm like, oh, that's fun. That's the tea I can absolutely see. And we're going to talk about something nasty in a second. I can see the party pre going out on tour where you're having a connection with somebody that is genuine and more than normal. Right? Like, not casual. Like something special about it, but not threatening. This isn't a romance. This isn't a thing that someone else is threatened by. And it gets blown out of control. The way you explained that scene, I could see it like I was there, and there are so many other moments that I was like, this is universal. This is a thing. But maybe just that a lot of people haven't had yet, and I don't know, I saw a lot of shared moments in there. The one I want to talk about right now, you and I share, and I know we're not alone, but I hope not too many more people have to experience this one. Finding out that you were let go on Instagram. [00:16:13] Speaker B: Yo. [00:16:14] Speaker A: Finding out or finding out that you were fired? Yes, via Instagram. [00:16:18] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. [00:16:20] Speaker A: Your story is awful. Will you share in words? Will you tell a little bit about what happened? And then I'll go, because I hate this story, but I think it's actually a battle scar that I wear proudly and is a mark of, like, people talk about, you're going to get rejected. You're going to get rejected. But I think when people hear that, they think, we mean you're going to audition and they're going to say, no. There are many levels of rejection. [00:16:46] Speaker B: So many levels of rejection. [00:16:48] Speaker A: And yours really have my jaw on the floor. Please share. [00:16:49] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. Well, we were getting ready for a show. It was a smaller show, so we have maybe, like, six numbers. I was choreographing all of them spots. Just how long did you rehearse? About three weeks. [00:17:05] Speaker A: Okay. I'm pretty sure we rehearsed for the 2020 experience in three weeks. Well, that is insane, and that rarely happens. But this is like music videos, for perspective. Will rehearse a day or a half a day. Yes. This is something substantial enough to require three weeks of rehearsal and go three. [00:17:25] Speaker B: Weeks and six days out of the week. So you're spending most of your time at this rehearsal, not at home. You're with these people. You're getting to know them. And after the rehearsals, we were going to get on a plane, go board a flight, and do the show overseas. And I never got my flight confirmation. And that wasn't weird to me because we always got our rehearsal times late. Our schedule was changing. A rehearsal starts at nine. Now it's at ten. Everything was kind of up in the air with this camp. So when I didn't get a flight confirmation, it wasn't a red flag immediately. [00:18:00] Speaker A: Yes. [00:18:00] Speaker B: So I was like, maybe I'll just get it later. And then the day rolled around that we were supposed to leave, and in my head, I just assumed that the day got pushed back. Oh, we're leaving in a few days. Next week. I don't know. And I got on Instagram. I just saw all the dancers at the airport, just, like, living a whole life. And at first I thought it was a select group, maybe half of the group early. [00:18:22] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:22] Speaker B: Half of the group goes first, the second half goes later. And then I counted every single dancer except for me. [00:18:27] Speaker A: Yoe as I'm reading this, my jaw is on the floor and my heart was in, like, little shambles. Yeah. [00:18:35] Speaker B: Yo. [00:18:35] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:18:36] Speaker B: Was not prepared. I didn't even know that was a possibility, because I think most people tell you the audition, and that's the type of rejection. Yeah, I was not prepared. Once you booked the job, you booked the job, right? [00:18:48] Speaker A: Wrong. And I'm only able to laugh now because I have been in it. Similarly, I worked on a project for a very long time, pre production phase of preparing an actor for a role in a major feature film as movement coach. And then the film shot, put your detective glasses on in Australia, and it wasn't sure whether or not I would go. And I just really worked to really try to make myself irreplaceable every day. My job was to be, I'm going to contribute so much value that I am undeniable. I should be there. Imagined myself there was doing all sorts of, like, I wouldn't call it manifestation, but, like, thought work towards the idea that I would be there, even though I knew it wasn't guaranteed. I never signed a contract that said, through the term of the project or whatever, but I did have a contract, and I waved the actor off goodbye. We'll see what happens next. And then I saw on instagram a different coach with her name on the door. Like, movement coach. [00:20:02] Speaker B: What? [00:20:02] Speaker A: And I double tapped it because I was like, yay. Movement coaches all over the world doing big gigs. Good for her. And then. [00:20:09] Speaker B: Yeah, dude. [00:20:11] Speaker A: And then it wasn't until hours later that Sherlock Holmes was like, what was the geotag on that? Was there a location on that post Australia? Yeah, that was the gig that I thought was my gig. But the truth and the realization and what you illustrate here as well is that that actually wasn't my gig. No, that wasn't my gig. I had imagined it as mine. I had visualized it. I was working towards that as a goal. But the fact that I wasn't there wasn't wrong, and it wasn't bad. And the thing that caused me the most suffering was actually thinking that it was wrong and bad that I wasn't there. [00:20:52] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:20:52] Speaker A: But once I had actually. My sister helped me with this. I was talking to her, I was like, dude, this is a kind of rejection that I have never felt. And she's like, that's so funny that you think you were rejected. And I was like, I was rejected, I'm not there. And she was like, that's so funny, because for nine months, you were chosen. For nine months, you were on that job. They chose you every single day for nine months. And you're just not looking at that part you're looking at these days or this chapter of it. And I was like, whoa. The feeling in my body changed immediately, and it's wild that both of those thoughts are true. Yeah. I was not chosen, and I was chosen for nine months, but when I choose to think, I'm rejected, I'm not wanted, I'm not good enough. Where I go is who it hurts. And when I choose to think, man, I delivered for nine months. I really did an incredible job, especially, I had never really served in this capacity before. I was, like, first time in it and just doing my best. So, anyways, that was. [00:22:09] Speaker B: And you probably learned so much doing that. [00:22:12] Speaker A: Learned so much. The most important thing I learned was how much I love that work. So to allow for one rejection to be the end of it would have been a terrible tragedy. [00:22:23] Speaker B: Yeah. So I'm meaning for all of it. Totally. You don't see till the end, right? Or till later? Till later time. [00:22:30] Speaker A: Well, so I'm glad also, when I read your experience of that story, also glad that that didn't end you. That was a show many tours would follow and many artists would follow. If you had let that be the end of you, we wouldn't have the. [00:22:48] Speaker B: Rest of the book. [00:22:49] Speaker A: Right? [00:22:49] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:22:50] Speaker A: Wow. [00:22:51] Speaker B: And I don't know. I feel like we also seem to forget that this line of work we chose is so seasonal. True. It was going to come to an end or a pause anyway. [00:23:02] Speaker A: Ebbs and flows and goes and stops and pauses, and when it rains, it pours. I don't know about you, but I have definitely had juggling three gigs at once, and then I'm like, okay, maybe. [00:23:12] Speaker B: I should be looking at a little silent here, right? [00:23:16] Speaker A: Do I need to put calls out? I understand it's a very privileged position to come from that. I have never had to pitch myself. I've never had to. Hey, do you need this? Hey, I'm free. Is anybody looking for, hey. Agency? Very slow around here. But that's because of projects like this. Projects like the seaweed sisters and things that I have that are my own, that are always working. [00:23:41] Speaker B: I think that's so necessary to have as a dancer. Like, you can't pour all of your energy and heart into this or into. [00:23:48] Speaker A: Somebody else's cup like the Usher cup. If you gave all that you have and all of your interest and all of your time into the Usher cup. [00:23:56] Speaker B: That book wouldn't have come out. I've been in that usher cup for three years now. [00:24:00] Speaker A: Can we talk about the Usher cup? [00:24:02] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:24:04] Speaker A: I really love watching you in that show. I've never seen it is it still happening? Please tell me it's still happening. [00:24:09] Speaker B: No. It came to an end. Our last show was December 2. Oh, she left the set. I'm sorry, baby. Oh, the emotional support dog shit. Oh, damn. [00:24:24] Speaker A: Comfort me, Riz. [00:24:26] Speaker B: Oh, no. [00:24:30] Speaker A: Okay. [00:24:30] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:24:33] Speaker A: Will it be released as a theatrical release? [00:24:36] Speaker B: I hope so. [00:24:37] Speaker A: Pissed over here. [00:24:39] Speaker B: I hope so. I think, fingers crossed, it'll be released in theaters, but. [00:24:43] Speaker A: Okay. They did film it. Are you doing Super bowl? [00:24:48] Speaker B: That's to be determined. [00:24:49] Speaker A: Oh, my God. We'll find out on Instagram. [00:24:50] Speaker B: We'll find out. [00:24:52] Speaker A: I hope we don't find out on Instagram, but every clip that I've seen on Instagram is you. I don't know how long it's been this way, but you have the traditionally male role wardrobe. Is that how it's always been, or is that a change that came later on? [00:25:11] Speaker B: Year one was funny. I started the show as a male dancer, and then at the end of the show, I was a female dancer. So at the beginning of the show, act one, act two, I had a suit on, a koofie hat. I had a little crop top on, but I was, like, the only female dancer not in a dress or a skirt and heels. [00:25:32] Speaker A: Okay. [00:25:33] Speaker B: And they still had me wear makeup, so I felt, like, very in between, but I still did all the male choreography for act one, act two, and then act three, act four. I had a bodysuit on and a wig, and I was doing all of the female choreography. [00:25:46] Speaker A: Interesting. [00:25:47] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:25:48] Speaker A: I'm so curious to hear the behind the scenes conversation of that. Do you know anything about that? [00:25:53] Speaker B: I have no clue. All I know is year two, when we started rehearsals again and was going over everything, teaching the new people the choreography. Real. The choreographer was like, oh, for this part, yoi, come here. And I was like, oh, I'm doing this dance. He was like, yeah, you're going to be a guy the whole show now. And I was like, okay. I didn't even think to ask any questions. I was like, okay, say less. [00:26:16] Speaker A: Wow. [00:26:17] Speaker B: And it's just been like that since then, right, Ruth? Roll. [00:26:22] Speaker A: Are you excited, wolf? She says, W-O-O-F. You excited? [00:26:27] Speaker B: I was like, amen. [00:26:28] Speaker A: So it was. It was like, wolf. So I think it's normal. I mean, I've danced for Justin Timberlake for many, many years now, and the way that Marty structured a lot of that movement, first of all, was many, many years ago when it was normal to gender dance roles. That was like, we said those words, the guy part, the girl part. And I'm loving seeing more fluidity, not just in what we see on stage, but in the way that we explain it. And I worked on a film earlier this year. I choreographed a film earlier this year where I had a skirts section and a trousers section because there were. [00:27:11] Speaker B: A. [00:27:11] Speaker A: Lot of crossover in terms of gender identity and who's dancing, what part. And I really loved seeing that. But what I love even more is that there are some really heavy hitting male dancers on that stage. Marvelous is one of my favorite dancers of all time, period. [00:27:29] Speaker B: Marvin Cliff are legends. And it still hits me that I am on stage with them. [00:27:35] Speaker A: Let me tell you what hits me is that you aren't just with them, you are holding them. Like supporting, in a way that my eye goes to you. [00:27:46] Speaker B: Yeah, no. [00:27:47] Speaker A: Sorry, Marv, but no, that happened. My eye goes to you. [00:27:51] Speaker B: You're not the only person who shares this opinion. And I get that. [00:27:53] Speaker A: My eye goes to you. [00:27:54] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:27:55] Speaker A: Okay. I've received this before and I'm like, shit. That means I'm not doing a good job. Because if I'm meant to be background or supporting talent, then I shouldn't be distracting. [00:28:05] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:28:05] Speaker A: Do you think you know what it is that draws people to you? [00:28:10] Speaker B: I don't know. Besides that, I'm obviously a woman. The only woman with them. A lot of the. [00:28:16] Speaker A: That's funny. You think it's obvious? [00:28:20] Speaker B: I think it is. But there was a couple of shows where people came backstage looking for the light skinned boy with the ponytail to get his number. [00:28:27] Speaker A: And I was like, I didn't think it was obvious. [00:28:30] Speaker B: Dang. [00:28:31] Speaker A: And that might be why I'm drawn to it, because I know you. And I just like it is proof that the water we are swimming in is sexist. That it is so ingrained in me that it be a good thing to blend in with the guys. Why would that be a good thing? I can't explain why I feel that way without just pointing a very sexist finger at myself. In the world that I grew up in, in terms of objective, measurable things, for example, stamina, for example, strength, you don't stand out as being slower, weaker, softer, less capable in any way. So I think that that is a testament to all of those measurable things that we can measure, but also like a hunger and appetite and a strength that is more traditionally male that I see as being sexiest. Shit. Any gender. Yeah. So I think it's such a great example, and I want the world to see it because it inspired me so much. [00:29:38] Speaker B: Oh, thank you. You're welcome. And I'm really blessed to be with the group of men that I'm with, because in the past, I've trained with mostly men before. My first crew was mostly men. And I don't know, I feel like things got a little weird once I got a lot of attention or I got good. And when I started getting so much praise and people saying, my eye only went to you, I was only watching you. And they would say it next to the other male dancers. I would be like, so you're telling. [00:30:11] Speaker A: Me it's not a girl thing to get jealous? [00:30:17] Speaker B: No. [00:30:17] Speaker A: Yes. Men get jealous. [00:30:22] Speaker B: I feel like they can't even recognize it. They just look up and they're, like, not really liking you at the moment. They can't even tell why. So I don't know. I've experienced that. So when I started receiving so much praise, I was like, oh, God, they're going to hate me in, like, six months. And they always proved me wrong. [00:30:41] Speaker A: Man, it sucks that for a woman to think receiving praise is going to come with hate, that those things are side by side. As soon as I start doing well, men are going to hate me. As soon as I start doing well, women are going to hate me. As soon as I start doing well, anybody's going to hate me. [00:30:56] Speaker B: I know, but I don't know. I've been here three years, and Cliff and Marv, the ogs on the cam, have broken that cool fear every time. [00:31:04] Speaker A: And nothing but support from. [00:31:05] Speaker B: Yeah, nothing but support, which I'm so. [00:31:08] Speaker A: Thankful for, because more of. I. I don't know, Cliff as well. I've known Marv for a really long time. I would love to have him on the podcast, because I think championing men who champion women is something that's missed. There's a huge opportunity there. Why are we not celebrating the men who celebrate women? Yeah, that's huge. Okay. Gender thoughts aside, I want to talk a little bit more about how you transitioned. This being a dance studio oriented person. I mean, this is the same type of binary that we talk about men and women, studio and street. But because I am born and raised, Aurora, Colorado, and my mom put me in dance class when I was three, and I moved to LA when I was 18, and my finding of my own voice happened because I got challenged out here, because somebody was like, oh, you think you're a dancer? That's adorable. Oh, you're a robot. Like, you're a computer who's just, like, spitting back other people's moves. And it was like, no, I might be. Yeah, no, totally. I am terrified when I have to fill in the blanks. And that person was KML. B boy Kmel. And I will never forget that day really changed my life and helped me to make freestyle a focus the same way that I had made being a chameleon was a focus. That's what everybody championed in my studio growing up. You've got to be good at jazz and tap and ballet and this, and you have to do this person's style and that person's style. And this conversation with Kmel helped me see, or actually, here's the way I spun it in my head because it needed to spin in order for me to not move home and just cower, tail between my legs and quit forever. Because it was that profound. I was like, I'm scum. I'm scum. This is awful. This is how I spun it. Even as a young person, I was maybe 19. I thought to myself, man, he's not wrong, but he loves one thing, and I love many. [00:33:26] Speaker B: Yes. [00:33:27] Speaker A: So I must have something that's an asset, that's a strength. So if I can love jazz and tap and ballet and tango and mime and acting and musical theater and this and popping and book styles, and I like, yo, listen, I will watch b boys from the sidelines with, like, stars in my eyes, because that's some shit that I just cannot. My body is not built for it. [00:33:55] Speaker B: It wasn't there for me. [00:33:56] Speaker A: I'm built for different things, but I love and respect so many things. So I tried to harness my big love and funnel it towards a skill gap that I had. Yeah, it's a skill gap. Doesn't mean I'm a bad person or not a great dancer or not meant for this. It just meant that he funneled his passions into freestyle. [00:34:17] Speaker B: Yes. [00:34:17] Speaker A: I funneled mine into many different disciplines, and I have the ability to change the direction of my funnel, where I put my love and how my love for dance and how it shows up. So that was important. Did you have a breaking moment, or did you have a conversation, or did you have a thought shift? That is what bridged that. [00:34:39] Speaker B: Well, those worlds around, like, 18, I started working at this dance studio and closing up the studio, and the studio owner was like, if you want, you can stay in there. You can dance, you can choreograph. Use the space however you want. So I started posting all of these contemporary improv videos, me on the floor and stuff on Facebook and YouTube. And one of the b boys in the freestyle scene in Florida, in central Florida, commented on it, and he was like, hey, that ground move you did was kind of crazy. Like, you should learn how to. [00:35:12] Speaker A: And just like that. [00:35:14] Speaker B: Just like that. [00:35:15] Speaker A: I was planted. [00:35:17] Speaker B: I never thought about it, but I'm down. Like, I'm here. I'm about to graduate. I'm not really doing anything outside of my regular classes. I would love to learn something new. Funny story. How I knew him anyway, or of any freestyler in the scene, because those worlds tend to be kind of separate. There was this big battle in Tampa that was a battle and a showcase. And they would ask local dance studios, like, the older people, because it was at a club in the club district area. So they would ask older dancers from the studios to come perform in between the battles. Like, top eight performance, top 16 performance. [00:35:55] Speaker A: Okay. [00:35:55] Speaker B: And my studio went to perform, and between one of the breaks, instead of a performance, they had the prelims for the battles. [00:36:04] Speaker A: Nice. [00:36:05] Speaker B: And it was an all style battle. And in my head, I was like, well, I do, like, four styles. I do ballet, I do tap, I do jazz, I do hip. I do all styles. So I entered the prelims. [00:36:18] Speaker A: Yes. [00:36:19] Speaker B: And then when we were lined up for the prelims, they started calling people out. I was like, everyone is just doing hip hop. Different kinds of hip hop, I don't know the names of yet. [00:36:33] Speaker A: I don't speak all these languages. [00:36:36] Speaker B: I don't. Not in one bit. Even in my little baby hip hop class at the dance studio. [00:36:40] Speaker A: For sure not. [00:36:41] Speaker B: I don't speak language. [00:36:43] Speaker A: Sure not. [00:36:43] Speaker B: And no one here speaks mine. And I went out, made it to top eight. It was just like, I was thrown in there. [00:36:49] Speaker A: Fantastic because they were just so loving. [00:36:51] Speaker B: And they were excited that someone else decided to try and do them while they were doing it. [00:37:00] Speaker A: I don't know shit about shit when it comes to battling, but I can say that as an observer from the outside, it looks like, for the most part, here's what I'll say. Because I know Instagram. It looks like that scene is more encouraging, more nurturing, and more supportive. Than Instagram. [00:37:21] Speaker B: Yeah, than Instagram. And honestly, it was night and day compared to my dance studio life. [00:37:29] Speaker A: My life could be so rigid. There was girl shit at my dance. [00:37:34] Speaker B: If it's not from the teachers, it's from the students, or even the students mothers. Like, it can shade coming from all these different directions. And to just go out and do something and no one else in the room does it, and they're like, yeah, that's hard. I'm like, oh, for real? [00:37:48] Speaker A: You like me? [00:37:49] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:37:50] Speaker A: Okay. You like me? Well, then I'll come back. [00:37:53] Speaker B: Yes. [00:37:54] Speaker A: Okay. [00:37:55] Speaker B: I think I entered, like, one or two battles after that, just doing jazz and contemporary. So I started to make friends in the freestyle scene. So that's how that be boy. Saw my video and was like, do you want to learn? I was like, hell, yeah, I want to learn. [00:38:08] Speaker A: Amazing. [00:38:08] Speaker B: I quit in, like, three weeks. But it propelled me into other things. [00:38:12] Speaker A: Very challenging skill, baby. [00:38:14] Speaker B: I burnt off my edges trying to do this freeze. And I was like. I walked to the mirror. My whole face was red, my edges was empty right here. [00:38:22] Speaker A: And I was like, I think that might be the end. [00:38:23] Speaker B: I'm too cute for this. Yeah. No. [00:38:27] Speaker A: Yes. [00:38:28] Speaker B: I didn't get a single thing out of that poor baby. And then one day, I was so tired because what? Break dancing? [00:38:34] Speaker A: All the energy in your body just so that you don't break your neck so that you don't die. I'm okay to work hard for something, but I don't need the risk to be really serious injury all the time. [00:38:47] Speaker B: Yes. I was like, today, I don't got it in me. And he was like, that's fine. We can just freestyle. And I was like, no, I can't. [00:38:57] Speaker A: That's not where I saw that. [00:38:59] Speaker B: I was so scared. I was like, I can't. [00:39:02] Speaker A: Okay. [00:39:02] Speaker B: No, I mean, if I play, like, Mumford and. [00:39:10] Speaker A: James Blake into it like that. [00:39:12] Speaker B: Yeah. I was like, if you put on James Blake, we can't. But if you play anything else, I cannot do it. [00:39:18] Speaker A: Okay. So what shifted that or was there. This is a question that I usually ask in the burnout round portion. Do you have now? And was there at that time a song that made it possible for you to freestyle a song that anything slower. [00:39:33] Speaker B: Was, like, the only thing, like, so Erica Badu or Jill Scott or Willow Smith. But if it got any faster, I was like, no, I can't. And the turnaround, it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming. But I got tired of being that. [00:39:49] Speaker A: Got. [00:39:50] Speaker B: I got overwhelmed and just over it, like, why do I want to throw up every time I do this? [00:39:59] Speaker A: What was the answer to that question? Did you ever answer that for yourself? [00:40:02] Speaker B: You know, honestly, I don't think so. I just focused on, well, maybe if I keep doing it, that feeling will go away. [00:40:10] Speaker A: Nice. [00:40:10] Speaker B: Like, if you keep working at. Yeah, yeah, it'll get better. Like, me and my friend Crystal Jackson used to text each other after every battle and be like, girl, I felt crazy. I felt crazy, too. [00:40:19] Speaker A: Right? [00:40:20] Speaker B: When is it going to not feel crazy? And we're like, I don't know, but let's just keep going. [00:40:24] Speaker A: Okay. Does it not feel crazy now? Does it feel like your native language now? [00:40:30] Speaker B: Freestyling? Yes. Battles, it's give or take because the energy in the room shifts there and the person that you're battling, that changes. [00:40:39] Speaker A: And you don't get to control that fact. [00:40:41] Speaker B: No. So I think that changes as the situation or the event comes. But sessioning, no, I love it now. It's like a big, explorative playground. You don't know what's going to happen. And that's the fun part. And it could still be bad, but it could be really. [00:41:00] Speaker A: Yeah, very much so. One of the early philosophies that helped me explore freestyle willingly without making it, like, my job. [00:41:11] Speaker B: Yes. [00:41:11] Speaker A: Is that I believed, and I need to reinvestigate this. I don't know if I still hold this as a belief, but that every person has a certain amount of wackness. Whack moves, whack transitions, whack musicality in them. And if you don't let it out, it will show up when you really don't want it to. So I used my freestyle time as, like, let's just try to let out the unfunky shit. Let's brush off whatever cobwebs or nasty, unfunky shit is in there so that when I want to be fresh, I can. [00:41:49] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:41:49] Speaker A: And that helped. Just like making unfunky or uncool or unsexy or unnatural. The actual goal actually unlocked finding kind of, oh, that works. That one. I really like that. Or that's Od. Or I didn't see that coming. Or that gave me a tremendous amount of permission for my freestyle to be something other than what I thought it was up until then, which was cool. All the people that I saw freestyling embodied and represented cool. [00:42:20] Speaker B: Yes. [00:42:21] Speaker A: There weren't many examples of odd or other or even necessarily theatrical or emotional. It was a lot of fucking cool people doing cool moves to cool music, and I didn't see myself as that. [00:42:39] Speaker B: You're like, where do I fit? [00:42:40] Speaker A: Where do I fit? [00:42:41] Speaker B: Yeah. I think there's still kind of some truth in that, like, purging the whack moves. One of the things my first crew used to say, the Fliridians, they used to say, you're the dancer you are. When you're dog tired, that's the dancer you are. It used to overwhelm me. I'm like, oh, so I'm really trash. But they mean it to say, like, when you're really tired. That's when you start pulling out things that you didn't know you had. [00:43:05] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:43:06] Speaker B: Because you purge yourself of all the other moves. [00:43:08] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:43:09] Speaker B: Now I find the beauty in that I'm holding that. [00:43:11] Speaker A: So true. And I'm like, trying to not kick myself while I'm down. Thinking about some of my first. It's been years now. I don't even know if this party still exists. But funk box in New York, is it still? [00:43:25] Speaker B: I don't know because I went in like 2018. [00:43:27] Speaker A: Long time ago. Right. Okay. So I think the first time I went to Funkbox was probably 2010. Wow. Or maybe 2007. I think it was around the first time I went on tour. And I remember feeling crazy that at 04:00 a.m. People were having their best rounds. [00:43:50] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. [00:43:52] Speaker A: And I was like, and they've been. [00:43:53] Speaker B: Going the whole night before the night long. [00:43:55] Speaker A: I peaked at like eleven. And I was like, ooh, I'm really doing it. I'm at the club, I am dancing. And I felt great. And then it was like one and I was like, I'm sleepy, I'm so tired. Yes. And I'm whack now. Also, my cool shit is gone and I can't repeat it because all of you are watching, right? [00:44:18] Speaker B: You all have been here this whole time. [00:44:19] Speaker A: And I remember being like, okay, that's a tell. It was a big move for me to get into it. And there was a big move for me to get to that point where I was like, oh, there are levels of this. [00:44:31] Speaker B: Yes. [00:44:32] Speaker A: And I'm still at level one. [00:44:33] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. And I feel like there's still levels when you get higher up on the pole. Some days you don't want to dance at all and you're like, why? And then, I don't know. I used to be so hard on myself for not wanting to dance every day. How could you? And then I just started going with the flows of my creativity and letting other things inspire me. And I don't have to train my hits every day like I used to when I was 19 to feel good. [00:45:00] Speaker A: Right? [00:45:00] Speaker B: I can just let it come and go. [00:45:03] Speaker A: Thank you for that reminder. I needed to hear that today. Got this. Do you have favorite freestylers? People that you would point to to be great examples of next level? The one I'm thinking of right now, who I watch as often as I can from ghetto funk collective Joshua. Obviously, I love locking. My dog's name is wrist roll. And this guy, I think the level that he has ascended to is locking as expression, not locking as a style. I feel like he is expressing himself with a vocabulary that we would call locking. But if you think that you just saw a sandpoint or a wrist roll, you didn't, you didn't, you didn't? No. It's really something else. Do you have anybody like that? [00:45:59] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. I don't know. This question has been hard to answer since I was a studio kid, okay. Because for me, I was always really inspired by people around me. So I couldn't say like, oh, it's me and Michaels. For me, it was like this girl in my class whose leg goes up here. Yeah, it feels very small town to me and it still is that way. So I don't know. And not to flex on my own crew, but this collective I'm a part of called the council, okay? Everyone in the group inspires me for different reasons. Just to have them so close to me feels like all of that is going to rain down on me if it hasn't already. Like I'm there, even though I don't feel like I'm there on a certain day, just being in that atmosphere and training with them and dancing with them and conversing, I'm like, whoa, this is next level. Whoa. [00:46:54] Speaker A: Okay, ready for the next phase of conversation? [00:46:57] Speaker B: Come on, I stay ready. [00:46:59] Speaker A: Wrist roll with it. Is the name of this portion rapid. [00:47:02] Speaker B: Fire question stressed already? [00:47:05] Speaker A: We'll start very easy. I don't know why I've been asking these people or asking lately, asking my guests these questions, but it kind of breaks the ice in an easy way. Okay, favorite dessert? [00:47:17] Speaker B: Oh, regular cheesecake with a strawberry on top. [00:47:20] Speaker A: Okay, cookie or cake? Cookie. Ice cream or coffee? Ice cream or coffee? I meant tea or coffee, but you can tell where my braids are. [00:47:29] Speaker B: Whoa. [00:47:30] Speaker A: Tea or coffee? [00:47:31] Speaker B: Tea. [00:47:32] Speaker A: Dogs or cats? [00:47:33] Speaker B: Dang, I know dogs. [00:47:38] Speaker A: I was just going to say, you know she can hear you, right? She can hear me. [00:47:40] Speaker B: I don't want her to turn on me. Dogs just love you no matter what. I know. [00:47:45] Speaker A: And cats kind of don't love you. [00:47:47] Speaker B: They don't need you. I'm saying this. I got two cats and the dogs. I don't know. [00:47:50] Speaker A: Okay. I really just feel like cats are so independent. They're so independent that they don't need me. And I'll be real with you. I need to feel needed. [00:48:00] Speaker B: I need to feel needed. And that's okay. [00:48:02] Speaker A: So fine. You could do a collaboration with anyone, living or dead. Who is it? [00:48:06] Speaker B: Whoa. [00:48:08] Speaker A: This isn't real, by the way. I can't pull those kind of strings. But just imagine. [00:48:12] Speaker B: Dang, I might be red for filth, but Michael Jackson, this is fantastic. [00:48:19] Speaker A: I have to break. I always break from these. I call them rapid fire. But let's just be real. It's an opportunity for me to take monologues. [00:48:26] Speaker B: Yes. [00:48:26] Speaker A: Riley and I were driving and playing fuck killer Mary, which is one of my favorite games. It's a great way to pass the time. And what was it? Prince Michael. Who was the third? Michael? Oh, no, they were separate. Prince Hozier. I have a crush. [00:48:46] Speaker B: Really? Yes. [00:48:49] Speaker A: Like, you know, if he's side by side with Prince, that it's a big Elvis. Elvis. Okay, I'm not going to recount the exact one, but do you want to play? [00:49:01] Speaker B: Play with those three? [00:49:03] Speaker A: Yes. [00:49:03] Speaker B: Okay. One more time. [00:49:05] Speaker A: Hosier. I know. It's fine. Elvis and Prince. I think I know where this is going. I understand that. Jose. His name is Andrew, is a six foot four man from Ireland who just sings and writes like an angel and might not be typically hot, but holy. [00:49:26] Speaker B: Shit, I'll marry him. For me. Feels like a nice life. [00:49:29] Speaker A: He's the greatest poet of our time. You will feel love. [00:49:33] Speaker B: I feel like I will feel art and love and maybe live on the hillside in Ireland. [00:49:38] Speaker A: Very green. No matter where it's surrounded by green and water and. Yes. So you can tell where. [00:49:45] Speaker B: Okay, I fuck prince. Seems like a great old time. I'm going to have to kill Elvis. [00:49:51] Speaker A: Damn fair. I think it happened anyways. I mean, it's just right. Okay. I think our big takeaway was like, I don't know that I could be criticized by prince. I don't know if I could survive, well sleeping with him, because I just assume that he has had. Was the source of the greatest sex of all time. [00:50:21] Speaker B: Has to be. [00:50:21] Speaker A: Has to be. [00:50:22] Speaker B: Must be the way they were flocking to him. [00:50:23] Speaker A: Come on, he's five two. [00:50:26] Speaker B: Oh, baby. [00:50:28] Speaker A: Something has to be happening. [00:50:29] Speaker B: Something is. [00:50:29] Speaker A: Other than he's a great musician, but something's going on. And I just don't know if I could receive criticism from the source of the greatest sex of all time or the sexiest man of all time. What if he was just like, I. [00:50:45] Speaker B: Don'T know if I could take that. That's why it can only happen once. So you can't marry him. That's why you have to marry Hoseier. [00:50:50] Speaker A: The one time. I think that was my first answer. [00:50:54] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:50:55] Speaker A: Yeah. Marry Hozier. Fuck prince. Kill Elvis. Was that my answer? I love this game. Do you want to play? Yeah, give me one. [00:51:04] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. Okay. Celebrities. [00:51:09] Speaker A: Anybody? [00:51:13] Speaker B: We've never done this on the pod before. I'm kind of stressed out. I'm stressed, too. [00:51:18] Speaker A: It's now become a very adult podcast. Also, I used to really think that my listeners were, like, convention kids and then they aren't. [00:51:26] Speaker B: I love to hear that, though, because then it allows you, like, a little bit of freedom. [00:51:31] Speaker A: Yes. Also, I swear, like a sailor. Yo, my mom, I get it from her, and she hates that I say that, but it's fucking true. She knows. She always is telling me, like, stop fucking swearing. That's my mom's famous line. [00:51:43] Speaker B: Okay, beautiful. Thanks, mom. For the example. Yeah. [00:51:49] Speaker A: I'm literally tense. I'm like, my hips are freezing up. I'm so stressed right now. [00:51:55] Speaker B: Okay. [00:51:56] Speaker A: As if it's like you're about to. [00:51:58] Speaker B: Walk into a room. [00:52:01] Speaker A: Okay. [00:52:02] Speaker B: Do you know who Paul Walker is? May he rest in peace. [00:52:04] Speaker A: Yes, baby daddy. Okay. [00:52:05] Speaker B: Paul Walker. Wolf will Smith. Okay. Come on. [00:52:12] Speaker A: I like where we're going. [00:52:14] Speaker B: Falker Will Smith. And let's do poppin'Pete. [00:52:20] Speaker A: You just really fucked me. Ooh. You just really fucked me up. Podcast guest, by the way, Pop and Pete, come on. He's gonna have to come back once we reveal the answer of this shit. Oh, you really fucked me up. It's Poppin'Pete, right there for, like, my entire dance life. That would be like, fuck, pop and pee. I want to know. But now, especially because I know that man I adore and highly respect, I think I would marry Bob and Pete. [00:52:59] Speaker B: I mean, seems like it'll keep you laughing for the rest of your life, too. He's pretty funny. [00:53:03] Speaker A: I'm not going to lie. It wouldn't be bad to be financially supported by a Will Smith or a Paul Walker, but I love making my own money. It's part of who I am. And also, let's be real, they would probably make me sign a prenup if I got into that sort of arrangement. So that's just where my head goes already, thinking about the end of the marriage. Right? Okay. Classic yes, man. Yeah. That really is my answer. Mary Pop and Pete. [00:53:34] Speaker B: Okay. [00:53:35] Speaker A: I'm going to fuck Will Smith, period. And Paul Walker. You are really good looking. I'm sorry, but something about when they're already deceased as well makes it easier to say that you would kill them if he was living, that would have been a harder choice. I know. [00:53:49] Speaker B: That's why I get nervous playing this game, because I'm like, I don't want to kill nobody, but I got to kill somebody. It's the game. [00:53:58] Speaker A: Okay. I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to do it. You're a married woman. I'm not going to do it. I do think it would be fun to have a podcast, a spinoff podcast that's just dance edition, fuck killer Mary, and just get people into all sorts of trouble. [00:54:12] Speaker B: Oh, yes. I like to do that behind closed doors all the time. Especially when you're in a cast of people. [00:54:18] Speaker A: One of my favorite onset games to be playing. And you can see because sometimes you're playing as a group and then you can see later on spin offs of, like, just three people. And it's because the other names are the ones that are being used in that round of fuck, kill me. We're back. We're back. Okay. Although we could. That's a great game. An album that you could listen to forever. [00:54:44] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness. [00:54:45] Speaker A: Let me take it back. You have to listen to one album forever. What is it? You won't get any other ones. It's just the one. [00:54:52] Speaker B: The miseducation of Lauryn Hill. [00:54:53] Speaker A: Nice. How many Grammys did she win for that? Like eleven. Oh, my goodness. I swear it must have been seven. Could you look that up? [00:55:00] Speaker B: Yes. [00:55:01] Speaker A: Very curious about that. [00:55:02] Speaker B: The people need to know for sure. [00:55:03] Speaker A: What's the last song you belted out? Like, full voice sang? [00:55:08] Speaker B: Okay, so Jill Scott has a song called he loves me. He loves me. Yeah. The live version from, like, this early 2000s performance in an award show that specifically the video is like a vhs that they just slapped on YouTube. And the way she sang that live version, I've memorized it all. [00:55:36] Speaker A: Wow. [00:55:36] Speaker B: And, yeah, that's the last thing I belted out, probably. I think that was like two nights ago. [00:55:42] Speaker A: Fantastic. [00:55:43] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:55:44] Speaker A: I have Christina Aguilera stripped on loop in my car right now. [00:55:48] Speaker B: Yes. [00:55:48] Speaker A: I think the first song, other than that, there's like a prelude. Is it unstoppable? Is that what it's called? Is it called can't hold us down? [00:55:58] Speaker B: You sure? Come on. [00:56:00] Speaker A: What's the one that I'm thinking of? There's a one word song that is also my jam. Can't hold us down was good. But it's not like she's not, like, singing it. I mean, fighter, obviously. Beautiful. I mean, come on. That album I have belted. That might be, if you ask me this question today, the one album I could listen to forever, if the last week is any indication, it is Christina Aguilera infatuation is very good. Underappreciated. That's the one I was thinking, I. [00:56:31] Speaker B: Haven'T listened to a whole album in. [00:56:32] Speaker A: A while, but it's all I do right now. [00:56:34] Speaker B: Really? [00:56:35] Speaker A: It's all I do right now. [00:56:36] Speaker B: The only time I do is at the gym and it's the Britney spears blackout album. [00:56:39] Speaker A: Nice. [00:56:39] Speaker B: I don't know why I have to feel like a different person at the gym. Because I hate the gym. [00:56:43] Speaker A: Yes. [00:56:44] Speaker B: So I have to feel like a pop star. Like war. I have to. Exactly. [00:56:48] Speaker A: Whatever it takes, man. Whatever it takes. Okay. Music video you wish you were in. Okay. [00:57:00] Speaker B: So the first one that came to my head was remember the times? And the other one was, you basically. [00:57:04] Speaker A: Are in that video as far as I'm concerned. I can see it. I don't know whose face I'm replacing with your face, but I can see it. [00:57:11] Speaker B: And for the life of me, I wanted to be in work it. Missy Elliott. [00:57:14] Speaker A: Yes. [00:57:15] Speaker B: For the life of me, like, I wanted to be. [00:57:21] Speaker A: She was really unfuck with a bull. Yeah, you can't undo that. [00:57:26] Speaker B: You can't. It's done. It's history. Get your legendary. So good. This is going to sound like. So I don't know, such a random thing to be like, oh, this made me want to be a dancer. But it really was Alison Stoner. [00:57:39] Speaker A: Was it? [00:57:40] Speaker B: Yeah. Because I was young and I was a little girl too. [00:57:44] Speaker A: Fan fucking tastic. [00:57:45] Speaker B: Yeah. And I was watching it and I was like, I thought you had to be a grown up to be a. [00:57:49] Speaker A: Professional dancer or to dance like that. [00:57:52] Speaker B: Yeah. And I was like, oh, I didn't know you could do this as a kid. I want to do it. [00:57:55] Speaker A: Nice. Oh, I love that. Okay, when you're not dancing, what are you doing other than writing books? [00:58:00] Speaker B: Reading. [00:58:01] Speaker A: Awesome. What's your favorite book? [00:58:03] Speaker B: Whoa. [00:58:04] Speaker A: Okay. [00:58:04] Speaker B: Children of blood and bone by Tomi Adeyemi. It's going to be a movie soon, so if you haven't read it, you should look it up. [00:58:11] Speaker A: Amazing. Is it? [00:58:13] Speaker B: It's a fantasy. Like afro fantasy. So she uses real deities from a nigerian faith, a Yoruba faith called ifa. And she kind of takes that world and mixes it in with fantasy like powers and people with these different skill levels. A lot of people call it the black avatar, the last airbender, because that's what it kind of feels like. [00:58:38] Speaker A: It's just. [00:58:39] Speaker B: And I grew up in the Yoruba faith with my family. [00:58:43] Speaker A: Help me remember because I only know a few oshun. [00:58:46] Speaker B: Yes. And there's Yamaya. [00:58:48] Speaker A: Yamaya. [00:58:49] Speaker B: Baba luaye. Obatala. [00:58:51] Speaker A: I did not know that one. I think I learned of only through african dance and learning, working towards being more familiar with the african diasporic movement, I learned a handful. And I remember just feeling like this is the most natural way to explain movement. It did feel, like, magical. It did feel like, because I don't know if you noticed, but I have a healthy lord of the Rings, which is embarrassingly, exclusively all white cast, I will say that. But I have a knack for the fantastical. If it's science fiction, if it's outer space, if it's elves and wizards and shit, like, that really sticks for me. And so I think when you explain movement through the context of magical forces and powers and things that only your imagination can work up, you wind up having a really remarkable dance thing to look at. When you explain dance through, like, point, toes, shoulders down, it's less remarkable to look at. But when you explain it for it as this is the goddess of sweet things and honey or like, waves and tumultuous waters, then, yes, you get dance. That's fucking remarkable. [01:00:01] Speaker B: And dance is a main part of worship in that faith. So it just kind of makes sense. It makes so much sense. [01:00:08] Speaker A: Okay, the name of the book. One more time. [01:00:09] Speaker B: Children of blood and bone. [01:00:10] Speaker A: Okay, fantastic. Thank you for that. [01:00:13] Speaker B: You're welcome. [01:00:14] Speaker A: Okay. A couple of last ones. What scares you. [01:00:19] Speaker B: For the longest? I think I'm trying to work out of this. The thing that scares me the most is feeling like I'm not utilizing everything God gave me. [01:00:30] Speaker A: Whoa. [01:00:32] Speaker B: Because, I don't know, I've created stuff. I feel like we have all these different passions and gifts and things that. [01:00:38] Speaker A: We'Re good at and that we could. [01:00:41] Speaker B: Even be better at. And I always want to know that I'm striving my hardest to get better or to massage these things that I love to do. And, I don't know, my fear was always, like, looking up, like, years later and being like, wow, I wish I could have devoted time to that. [01:01:00] Speaker A: Or, like, wow, it really fell short there. [01:01:03] Speaker B: I feel like that can get unhealthy really quickly if you use that against yourself. [01:01:08] Speaker A: For sure. It's a great way to white knuckle grip yourself into doing all the things and burning out or finding an unhealthy, complete lack of balance or something. Something, I'm sure. [01:01:20] Speaker B: I feel like that's what made me so fake busy. Fake busy. Especially when the pandemic started. [01:01:25] Speaker A: Fake busy. [01:01:26] Speaker B: I was so fake busy when everything was closed and the pandemic, I was like, oh, I have to wake up and do this. I'm doing yoga, blah, blah. And I was like, why am I doing all of this? There's literally no place to go right now. [01:01:38] Speaker A: Which is why you were doing all that. What lights you up? [01:01:42] Speaker B: What lights me up? I think sheer joy. I think that's why I'm a dog person, because they're just full of joy no matter what. Children. I think that's why I love the clowning community so much, because everything is just so fun. Like this dance. It's really an outlet for them. It's not a job yet. It's not an Instagram follower thing. Just training, getting whatever they have to get out. And they're having so much fun while they're doing it. [01:02:11] Speaker A: That's huge. [01:02:12] Speaker B: And it's fun for everyone to watch. It's like making the neighborhood brighter. [01:02:16] Speaker A: That's awesome. [01:02:16] Speaker B: I think just watching sheer joy, it brings me joy. [01:02:21] Speaker A: Cosign, last one. And this is going to be big because you like to read and you fucking wrote a book. What are the words that move you? [01:02:31] Speaker B: What are the words that move me? [01:02:33] Speaker A: Yeah, this might be a quote or, like a north star kind of guiding principle. A poem, a mantra, an affirmation. Or it could just straight up be words. [01:02:43] Speaker B: This is going to be funny, but one thing that really stuck to me when I met my wife, Sheilpatra, who also. [01:02:50] Speaker A: Tremendous respect. [01:02:52] Speaker B: No. She's one of the most phenomenal dancers I've ever seen. [01:02:56] Speaker A: That was me collecting my face and trying to put it back together. She's really remarkable. And I love the way that you speak about her in the book also. [01:03:03] Speaker B: Thanks. That's what drew me to her. Like, I was in a whole relationship, a happy relationship when I met her. And I was just like, she's amazing. I have to know who she is. But when I started dancing with her and I expressed just, like, my fears and how I was feeling, my insecurities, she was like, you're good. Just every time you dance, every time you step out, pull your dick out. And I don't know why the dogs react. The dog said, oh, I'm out of this bitch. He was like, say less. [01:03:32] Speaker A: I'm going to have to go outside for that. [01:03:36] Speaker B: That moved her. [01:03:37] Speaker A: Just get your dick out. [01:03:39] Speaker B: Just every time you step out, pull your dick out. [01:03:41] Speaker A: Pull your dick out. [01:03:42] Speaker B: And I don't know why. That really sat with me. Like, even if I'm scared, I'm not feeling, like, the greatest or the most amazing dancer right now. I'm about to pull my dick out. I don't know, kind of vulgar, but. [01:03:56] Speaker A: I love that we've never had one quite like that. [01:04:00] Speaker B: I love. [01:04:00] Speaker A: Right. Because there is something to that that means or that I associate with power. Just like, pull your power out. But it's also being exposed. It's not just your power, it's your vulnerability. It's a part of you that not everybody gets to see. Like, that's a private part of you. [01:04:21] Speaker B: Yes. [01:04:22] Speaker A: Literally. Pull out your private parts. [01:04:24] Speaker B: Pull out your private part. [01:04:25] Speaker A: Yo. And that. It happened to be a cock and balls. [01:04:28] Speaker B: Yes. [01:04:28] Speaker A: I'm like, do it strong. [01:04:31] Speaker B: Lay that shit on the table. [01:04:33] Speaker A: Do you think of that often when you freestyle? Or is it only when you're having struggle bus? [01:04:39] Speaker B: I think it's when I feel like I'm in a space where I don't know where I fit. So it could be male dominated, like the freestyle scene. Sometimes I'm just like. Or it can be. I don't know. I started choreographing for this animated series called Monster High, and I've never done anything like that before. So I'm in these meetings with these people, and they're saying these things, and I'm like, what's happening? Just like, in spaces where you don't know, you don't feel comfortable in. Just got to step up and pull your dick out. [01:05:12] Speaker A: And we really do mean that metaphorically. [01:05:14] Speaker B: Yes. Please do not pull your pencils out. [01:05:17] Speaker A: Like, I'm in a meeting. I'm not really confident. Imagine, yo. But it's not on a podcast. It has to be true. That is the sort of shit. That's why I'm glad that this book exists, because it's like. Let me tell you the way that it really is. Yeah. Yoe. Thank you for being here. Thank you for doing this and shining your light on stages and on pages. I didn't even know I was going to say that. While I'm on a roll, please click the subscribe button. Leave a review and a rating. It really helps the podcast. If you like what you're hearing, share it. Thank you again. Get out there into the world. Keep it very funky. I'll talk to you soon. 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 REits, 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 wordstheveme.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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