Speaker 0 00:00:00 Welcome to words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host, Dana Wilson. And I move people. I am all about the tools and techniques that empower tomorrow's leaders to make the work of their dreams and live a full life while doing it. So whether you're new to the game or transitioning to your next echelon of greatness, you're in the right place. Wow. Wow. Whoa. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Well, Hey, I'm data. This is words that move me. I'm wow. I'm so excited. So excited. So lucky, so honored to be talking to today's guest, you will be able to hear it in my voice, the fandom, but I wish that you could also see it in my face, a true ear to ear grin for almost an hour straight and actual tears in my eyes, by the way, because today I am talking to the legendary pop-in Pete and I want to get right to it.
Speaker 0 00:01:16 So here we go. Let's do wins. We start every episode here at words that move me with wins. And today I am celebrating, getting to speak to the graduating class at AMTA, the college of the performing arts here in Los Angeles. Um, I was on a panel with some of my faves, Mandy Moore, Brian Nicholson, Jaron Reese, and Cassidy Noblet. It was so cool to check in with them and to check in with this upcoming generation of talent. Um, big, big, thanks to the organizers, Stephanie and Jess, uh, for organizing and for really filling my cup, big win. Um, and hopefully lots of future wins for the class of 2022. I'm celebrating y'all. Uh, so that's me. That's my world. Now, you know, now you go, what is going well in your world? What are you celebrating?
Speaker 0 00:02:28 Nice. Congratulations. Keep winning. I am so proud of you. You're doing it now. Let's do it. If you've ever gotten to talk to, or spend time with one of your actual heroes, then you know exactly how I felt talking to Bob and Pete. This is how I feel. Every time I get to train with him or talk to him, um, he is truly one of my favorite dancers, teachers and straight talkers. Uh, he is one of the people that I go to when I'm looking for a solid perspective and a perspective specifically that's different than what mine probably is. Um, so I'm really, really excited to share this conversation with Pete because his experience as a dancer and as a professional is very, very different from mine and very, very different from yours, unless you happen to be dance history, royalty like pop, and Pete is, um, this conversation left me even more in awe of this man than I already was, which is super in awe. And, um, I know you're going to love it. So without any further ado, let's do it. Enjoy this conversation with the one, the absolute only pop in Pete,
Speaker 0 00:03:59 Bob and Pete, welcome to the podcast.
Speaker 2 00:04:03 Well, definitely I think this is my second time doing. I think I did one a few years ago with you.
Speaker 0 00:04:09 Well, I am thrilled and honored to have you here right now. I'm really excited because I love, well, I love your dancing. Number one, this is a given, but I also love the way you use your voice and your platform. I think you speak clearly and pointedly, but I also think that you're a critical thinker and I think that you consider many different positions before you kind of take a stand on something. Um, I also think you're really funny. So I'm going to have to really work, to stay focused. Um, I have like 7,000 things I want to talk about, but first let's, uh, I will yield the floor to you and let you introduce yourself. Simply tell us anything you want us to know about you.
Speaker 2 00:04:58 Well, I'm six foot, two black man from America, born and raised. I was born in Fresno, California, moved to long beach in 1978, started my career of learning or started learning how to dance, the popping and Boogaloo style for my brother Googled Sam. Then, uh, when, professionally as a professional dancer in the, in the industry in 1978, uh, when I was 16 years old. Uh, so, you know, I've been around, I've been around doing this for 44 years now and, um, you know, I'm still going, you know, I love what I do. I love dancing. I love sharing. I love giving, you know, the whole thing. It's like, it's, it's, it's really therapeutic for me, you know, I mean time hard and we all go, you know, go through what we go through. But at the same time, this stance in the end in entertainment pretty much saved my life.
Speaker 0 00:05:57 Hell yes. That's a wonderful introduction. Um, I will add to that only that at least in my mind, you are dance history, royalty. Your brother is Boogaloo Sam who created the dance popping and you are an original member of the electric Boogaloos. Um, can you tell me a little bit about seeing the dance for the first time? Could you tell me about when, when your brother showed it to you and kind of talk about the early days? Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:06:29 When I first saw the actually what happened was my, uh, my brother, we have different, uh, uh, mothers, same father, uh, and we moved, um, my mom and our father to long beach, Sam stayed back in Fresno. His mom, Sam always was one of the best dancers out of the siblings. So what happened? He started doing these different dance styles. Now I left then again, I was a dancer, you know, of course, Sam called me one day and said, man, I'm doing this new dance style called popping and Boogaloo. And he's trying to explain, you know, I asked what, what is popping? And you start, well, you, you make your muscles jerk and jumping. So I'm on the phone, listening him describing and me trying to do it someplace imagining. And then I said, what is Boogaloo? He saying, well, you, you make your body roll and twist and I'm, and I'm literally going like this role in my mind, this was a terrible, whatever the heck he was explaining is exciting.
Speaker 2 00:07:38 What I was doing exciting. It's exciting that he was explaining it to me. So a couple of weeks later, he, he showed up. He came to visit to long beach from Fresno, picked him up from the grace Greyhound bus station, got home, got to the bedroom. I said, let me see this dance and what he proceeded to do in my imagination. And what I seen in reality was of university. And I was stunned. My, my, my chin could detach my jaw and detached with my face and hit the ground. And I've saw him grow up. I know he can dance, but I didn't. When he started popping, then I said, let me see . And he started doing all this all kind of isolated movement and rope. I was that, that had my head, my mouth while I did like, cause I, I was like, what, wait, how are you moving like this? How is that? That smooth? So it was a big shock. And I think that day now pop Boogaloo was very, when I saw it, even though it's very melodic and in slow and movement, in a sense, you know, it was very difficult. Popping was difficult. Popping was the rigid heart. I, no, I think I can learn that that's the style of gravity gravitated towards, so I taught, I asked him to teach me how to do the popping
Speaker 0 00:09:03 And popping Pete.
Speaker 2 00:09:06 Yes. Right, exactly. Exactly. And they're showing me the technique and I sucked at it sucked.
Speaker 0 00:09:17 It was shocking to me.
Speaker 2 00:09:19 It was so foreign to me, I would say. And again, I can dance. I mean, I can do the robot. I was all that when I was young, probably because I had to learn how to track my muscles in four different plays, a little snap back my knees to track my muscles in my chest, in my neck and head. And in my arms, my tricep in my form, thus doing this with a medically to a beat of music, thus thinking about, uh, positions and angles, thinking about movement and groove. That was a lot. So it was very difficult for me, but I, you know, I practice hard
Speaker 0 00:09:59 Clearly. Clearly you practice as hard as you hit now. Um, I think one of the things I learned from you that I think goes on said, or unrecognized to an untrained eye, because when people look at popping, what stands out is the hit. But what is so important to consider as you're dancing, it is the relaxing in between like going from 100 to zero versus like, like, you can tell a difference. And I think that's what makes the hit looks so hard is that your muscles can like a, like a sprinter. They can go so wicked fast and then back to relaxed, zero like nothing ever happened.
Speaker 2 00:10:48 Yeah. And that was one of the most difficult things, you know, is because you had to learn how to contract, you know, of course, contracting you're Muslim. We all have 10 stuff onto the lax, which now you have to do this in, in, in rhythm, some kind of cadence, uh, to expound on something hit is actually not the word. When I learned how that's, what it's called, you know, popping the pop. When somebody me to teach you, I'm gonna teach you the technique of the pop, which is now I'm a teacher tracking muscles. And all this hit was a word that was said in a, when we started saying it and it was brought around, it is a, it is a, um, an emphasis on if someone was, was doing whatever style they're doing at a high level. And it's how you say it. Somebody say, if somebody was popping hard to, because he was popping or she was probably hard, it wasn't me saying, oh my gosh, he's hitting him because of the power or the pop of that technique. It was I'm saying that because he or she is on a level, like
Speaker 2 00:11:56 It is doing something very well you can do. Now. Even when we see people waving, oh, you hitting them ways. And what people throw up because the power, because when you sit, when you said in the reference of somebody popping now, when I'm looking at somebody and popping in a totality of them, that's the, that's the technique. There sound that the, the movement, the group movement, the, uh, um, you know, creation, the aesthetic movement, all this, all of these fundamentals that goes into this dance, then I would look at it and go shake your head. Like, damn, he's hitting. So we didn't have, that's why it's never, that's why there is no hitting battles. There is no hitting, uh, you know, like I'm like, Hey, come to the, uh, uh, my class hitting class. It is popping, popping as the dance pop ING. The pop is the technique. Thus, the person's doing it is described as a popper. I call it a three-piece. Okay.
Speaker 0 00:12:56 Thank you so much for that clarity. I so appreciate that. So if I'm to make sense of this, the, the pop is the technique. This is the function of the muscle. And then hitting is the, like, like the impact of what the person sees. It's like the emotional takeaway. That's like, oh, like you just like, like you got hit with some.
Speaker 2 00:13:19 Yeah. And it's in the totality of it. It's just not, like I said, it's not just based upon how much power, because there are some people who don't pop as hard as some in what real heart, where they have enough, the technique is sound, but it's rhythm and the movement and how they just groove it in the funkiness. That's when you say, damn, he's hitting mesh stuff,
Speaker 0 00:13:41 We do edit here on the podcast. So we can just bleep. I think you're, you're, you're very responsible with your language. I don't think I recall you swearing ever.
Speaker 2 00:13:51 I do what is needed, but, uh,
Speaker 0 00:13:53 For emphasis only.
Speaker 2 00:13:55 Yeah, yeah, man, for real. So, but like, I'm, you know, I'm very conscious about where I am and who I'm around and know that I don't curse in front of a lot of older people, like my age. Sometimes
Speaker 0 00:14:11 I love that your age is older. We're going to talk about that in a second. Hold on tight. Um, okay. So you mentioned that you, you went pro like you became a professional in 78, you were 16 years old. What is, what does that mean? Like what makes someone a professional at that age? Was that the first time you got paid to dance was that the first time it was televised? Like w what does that mean?
Speaker 2 00:14:37 Yeah, it's a guy paying for a gig. I mean, you know, being, it can be this on stage, you know, you can be in a play, you can be in a live show, you can be television, movie commercial, anything that's in the, in the entertainment industry. And when I say in the entertainment industry, entertainment industry doesn't mean it's only Hollywood. It doesn't mean it's a movie, commercial TV, anything. When I go overseas to teach class and to do what I do, that's an entertainment, you know, uh, situation it's. Um, so when I got that first job, which was, uh, which was a stage, um, show in lake Tahoe, and we was getting a monthly check and we were, you know, we got, had to get in a union, or my first television show, I had to join AFTRA, which was only $329 at that time. And They changed. And then suddenly didn't know what I got into sag. Sag was only at five, something like that on the side. So I didn't break it. So, and it was separate to one together at that time,
Speaker 0 00:15:48 Right before I got lucky, I wasn't after a member at the time of the merger. So I kind of got a sorta slid in there without the hefty sag dues
Speaker 2 00:16:01 I was saying, and then I didn't pay my dues. So I had to re up, oh man, when you're not, when you, you know, in those days in the industry, if you're not working all the time, who's going to keep up with dudes. I don't have money. I'm living in, I'm living with parents. And, and we're getting after it's, after we would do a, do a gig, do a television show, we go get, go, go and get unemployment for that gig. Because now that gig is over. So we sign up for unemployment for a television show and we would get like $44 a week. But he was like, well, we got to get something out of this because, you know, we, it wasn't like, you got to understand that in those days we were specially asked
Speaker 0 00:16:42 No dancer contract.
Speaker 2 00:16:44 You know, it wasn't like a lot of television shows like on that, that was hiring street dancers. It wasn't, you know, hip hop had not jumped in. So there, the, the award shows only dancers that they was using was, was jazz dance. Cause people like that, wasn't using us in, in behind, um, artists that wasn't happening. So you would have someone who like Tony basil, who would, who, who would get a job that she's the choreographer or, or she's a CoStar up. And she would bring us in, we'd do skits or dance, skits with her, or shabby Urdu and all these people. But other than that, it wasn't, you know what I mean? We'd soul train. We got paid for the second one, not the first one, which is, you know, union scale. So the second one was 200. And at that time, $275 for the performance growing up in the industry got better, but it's not great.
Speaker 0 00:17:37 Yeah. I wouldn't say it's, I wouldn't say it's improved with inflation. I'd say barely. Um, but on the subject of professionalism and what makes a professional, you and I talked a little bit about, um, this year's super bowl halftime show and the attention that production has gotten regarding volunteers as field cast. Um, I would love to hear your thoughts on performing for free. Is this something someone has to do or should do or should be able to do? Or is this something that no one should ever do? If you're a professional, you should not be dancing for free and no one should ever ask you to what's. W where do you stand?
Speaker 2 00:18:21 Oh, I mean, for one, I don't know. I mean, I, under me hearing about a little bit of this going on now, what is the difference between last year and the years before? Uh, you know, it's, so I'm asking, uh, a person or persons, Hey, we cannot pay you, but you know, you have opportunity to be on stage and yada, yada, yada, then you, if you say, okay, now if they put it out like that, but if I'm looking at a situation where a company, you have billion dollar industry, okay. And you want people to walk out on, on a platform or a performance, whether you physically doing a dance or you holding a flag and walking out, or you you're, you're somehow a person holding the next person's hands and make a ring around something should get paid for it. Because if you're going to, uh, if they are paying that dancer and or whatever, you sh there should be some compensation.
Speaker 2 00:19:25 If it's told beforehand, I guess it's up to the individual, no dancers on soul train, far as dancers on this dance show back in the day, never got a check, never got paid compensate for nothing they did, but they was told that it was told. But if you sit there and someone says, you're not going to get paid. Now, that's why I say this. It's a, it's a, it's a thin line, you know, because we're, we're asking, where are the dancers from this, uh, halftime show game, uh, uh, paid because they dancing for the artists is the, you know, uh, Mary J's dancers or whoever is going to be there, or are they getting the check? They get the check. But if anybody that makes up a collective she'll get paid because I'm going, if you're going to pay them and then disregard the other people that helps make the collective performance, then I have a problem. Then don't pay them. Because if you regard them as special or, or this and that, then you, then you look at someone else situation or whatever, and think less of you going, yeah. Y'all know, y'all don't, you don't need to get paid. Why? Because you're not physically doing anything, but I'm here holding a sign, a flag of making a picture. Along with that dancer,
Speaker 0 00:21:00 I'm imagining like the absence of those people would be felt if you had a fully empty field. No, no reflective mirrors, no Palm palms, no rush of movement on the field. If it was totally vacant, you would feel a void. Like the audience at home would feel that wow, you know, type of, type of thing. So I, I think I'm with you in that if you are contributing value, you should be receiving value. And I, I, however, I also see the other side, which is, I think this game is particular is unique in that it's taking place in Los Angeles, which is a hub for professional dancers. There are, the stage itself is only so big. So you can't actually fit 500 people on the physical stage, which I'm sure they are building a physical stage, I think. Um, but like, what are you going to do with the rest of that field space?
Speaker 0 00:22:06 That will be on camera at some point. So historically you fill that field space with traditionally non-professional people not trained people, but in this circumstance, you, you've got a city full of professionals professional, by definition, being somebody who's received money to do this and trained specifically to do this. Um, but, and you've got those people who are like, wait, what? I have the opportunity to put Superbowl halftime show on my resume. Yes. But I have the opportunity to be near Dr. Dre to, to watch Dr. Dre perform from like front row C or F, or to watch him tech, to be witnessing to, to like, you know, this iconic person. I can definitely imagine the desire to want to be there. And I think where we've landed now I'll link to the latest article, um, that I've seen that, you know, the latest professional coverage of the issue says that SAG-AFTRA has struck a deal with the producers of the show and no dancer, no professional dancer will be asked to perform for free.
Speaker 0 00:23:16 The union is strongly discouraging their members from participating as an, uh, as, as field cast or as a volunteer. Um, and also this, this game, this show is legendary in that it is providing the highest number of dancer contracts ever over a hundred to my understanding. So a lot of progress, but still a lot of problem. If the person, if the group is a part of, if the person is a part of a group that is contributing value, then I, I feel you, my friend, especially from the Superbowl, there, there ought to be some form of compensation, but that's such a slippery, slippery slope to say, how profitable does the game have to be in order to not accept volunteers? Or what is the fair wage for a person who has no training and is being asked to hit a mark and hold a hand or chew some gum and bounce, you know, like, how do you determine that? What is a fair exchange?
Speaker 2 00:24:21 But at the same time, I looked at it like, what is, what is a professional? Just goes, you, you know? Yeah. Like I say, yeah, you get paid, but there's people out here that's been in the game for a minute. That's gotten paid or two or three paid jobs, been on television. Doesn't make them, you know, no more qualified to me than someone giving people directions, Hey, this is what we doing. Because when I got in the game, I didn't know enough accounts. We did everything on field. Hey, I need you. I need you to be, you know, we need 12, 12, 8 counts to get from this section to that section. Where's this in the music. So I hear me and say, oh, you mean from the horns to the drums kick in that's 12, that's 12, eight. Oh, oh, well, I just, I just know when I, when I hear the music, I know what's getting ready to come in and I'll stop at that point.
Speaker 2 00:25:14 But my thing is just because someone is, is out there saying, oh, I'm a professional dancer. Okay. That's okay. That's it is that title. And this person is not a trained person. Doesn't mean that person, because at one point that person who says that there are professional and trained were not trained. They got their first gig. They tried to bus them to the scene. They got paid for a gig. Hey, this is your first time doing this. Yeah. We're not paying you because you don't get to experience first. Then we'll pay you after. No, get any, anybody out on that field doing anything professionally, a number of it. It's like going, well, I'm a professional actor, but I'm doing a nun, a union movie, you know? Yeah. We know the pay scale is different, but it's still a movie. No, one's goes to the movie and look at a movie and go, wow, braking. Uh, one in 1984. Was it a non-union movie? Just looked at us as, oh, it's a movie with some dancers and some actors up there. My thing is who knows who's professional or not professional in that field. It's no one knows. Oh, they're dancing.
Speaker 0 00:26:22 You think? I think I can tell, but I'm a professional. So I can tell,
Speaker 2 00:26:28 I can tell to your right, many, many people who, with who hold dancers who hold sad cards. It didn't many gigs that I look at them and say, what the,
Speaker 2 00:26:45 How did he, how did she, and he get up all day, you know? Cause they got the hookup don't mean nothing. My thing is those people in a who's watching that halftime show the, the hood. That's going to be watching Dre. The world's gonna be watching Snoop. The nation is gonna be watching Mary and, and M and M and Kendrick. These people going to be sitting at the end, they homes going either. What is this? Or why is this? Or this is so great. They're not going to look at you looking at dance and going, Hey, Hey, Billy Bobby, Leroy, come over here. Look at that dancer right there. I know they didn't pay that dancer. Oh, look at that. That field cast. Look at the how, oh my God, the flags should be over here. But the flag is over here. He shouldn't get paid.
Speaker 2 00:27:36 This is just going to be a whole bunch. This is just spectacles happening. This thing's going to be happening. That camera's going to be right on them down, uh, figures, open up to the field. Why some dancers close it back up to the dam artists, open it back up to the, to the, to the, to the stadium. And no one, even in that, even live inside that stadium is going to determine who's who's professional or not. And who's getting, who's getting paid or not. That's beside the point. What people should just look at and say, everyone is performing before me in this show or halftime show, you're getting a check degree. Or the level of payment may vary. All good. Lolis up. Everybody's getting something in the pockets
Speaker 0 00:28:30 Case closed.
Speaker 2 00:28:32 It is my,
Speaker 0 00:28:34 I think it's an interesting question. Like what is the value and who gets to decide it? If it's the audiences that get to decide who has value and who doesn't, then we're all in big, big trouble because they don't know by definition, a lay person doesn't know anything about the thing. So if you let the audience decide, if you let the audience decide the value, then we're in big, big, big, big trouble. Um,
Speaker 2 00:29:00 'cause they don't know. They can go. Everyone should get $20,000 because they look at it like this. It's that good? So how much do you think they should get paid? At least Lisa Amelia. How about say it's not about cause the audience don't know, honest actually will overpay performers in theory and thinking, because looking at what makes them feel good. If it's, if the show sucks, they don't go. I don't think none of them will pay. They suck. But if you say in a, in a, uh, like what value would you put on this performance to, uh, to the each individual dancing they had to pay? I think they initially get 5,000, 10,000 people will bring in high. They will not bring it low because when you put in that, in that preference or that, in that reference people almost you could, they almost being challenged to think, oh, I must say something better than cause I don't want to look like, uh, uh, give him, give him that paper.
Speaker 0 00:30:02 You're illuminating something for me. That's like in my views, the primary difference between a dancer and I'll say a professional dancer and a professional athlete. And I, I I've heard the argument go a thousand different ways. Like our dancers athletes. The biggest difference to me is that a professional athlete is measured and merited. According to a point system that is strict stark and clear, you got a number of points per game. You kept someone else from getting a number of points per game. Now, listen, I am not a sports person. Admittedly, I cannot tell you much else about athletes or sports, but I know that their value is quantifiable. It's measurable. There is a team that will win. There is a team that will lose their fans can then brag. People can bet there is a clear winner and loser and is simply not the case with dance.
Speaker 0 00:31:04 Most of the time, it's subjective. Even if you're looking at a battle scenario where there is a winner and a loser, it's up to a panel of judges that decide. And that's just those five people's opinion on that day. It's not to say that that dancer is actually better than the other dancer is just to say, like on this day, these five people thought that that person was better. So there's no, there's no system for measuring our value. And therefore it's hard to say like, oh yeah, you should get paid more or you should get paid less.
Speaker 2 00:31:37 I mean, and now actually it is, if you're speaking in terms of a battle, that's different because now it's pitting my skill against your skill now, whatever the judge inside or the audience decide. But if you're talking about an a, that's why I say I am an, I am a, a dance athlete. I have, I get neat, uh, problems. I know a couple of people dancing had to get knee surgery, just like a, a basketball player or football player. Um, you know, so, um, the injuries of certain things that we do in dance can be, you know, uh, looked at as the same as somebody playing basketball or football or attendance or any of that. Now the value is just like that. Now in, in, in sports, you have, you know, you have the upper tier, you know, you get to the NBA, but you still have, you have the, uh, uh, the G league, which those, if you don't make it to the professional sense of getting a contract and getting cooking multi-millions or several hundred thousands, you still good enough, but you're not good enough.
Speaker 2 00:32:50 So they put you in the G league until they call you up, which is, you know, so they call you. If you're in there, you play, you got to schedule you only making probably like, you know, $2,000 a game. They just keep you and keep you tuned up your, your mother team, the Lakers have, have a G league team that they can go and say, someone would get her set. And on that roster, the Lakers, they can go down wanting to bring up somebody from that from, from the G league G league players got skills,
Speaker 0 00:33:21 But here's my point, those G league players, which by the way, goes to show how little I know about sports. Cause if I heard the word G league, I would be like, oh, they must be the best. Okay. So the G league is not a mess, but it is a point system or a objective form of measurement. That is what brings those people up. It's not like their essence or their popularity. It's like, they gotta be showing it in numbers. That they're, that they're a value enough to be moved up to the pros. Am I right?
Speaker 2 00:33:55 Yeah. That's true. That's true. That's
Speaker 0 00:33:58 True. And we don't have a similar point system. We don't have those metrics.
Speaker 2 00:34:03 It's not like we have that point system. We have a thing called what have you done? What's your resume Popular. You are, there are, I've been dancing along with many, many, many, many, many, many people in this, in this game period
Speaker 0 00:34:19 Guarantee guarantee of you're listening to this podcast, E Pete's been dancing longer than you, unless you're totally.
Speaker 2 00:34:29 Yeah. And that's your Toni basil, but 44 years for me. And, but there's, there's dancers choreographers, whether it be the Les twins, Marty Kudelka, uh, you know, and when I'm saying, and you know, and many others, but I look at somewhat person like this, I look at even as, as a point system will say, Hey, I'm not that bitter guy who that's a loony off. How the hell they can pay more? No, because I look at popularity. It's like, you're, you're the, it's like, you're the LeBron or the so-and-so or the Colby's of the, of, of the thing. Now, in terms of your measure, you're measuring of what you have given because there's, there is people out here it's not about their skills, because I've seen a lot of choreographers who, who, uh, who don't have the skill level that they have the resume to back up.
Speaker 2 00:35:25 Because as long as you're getting work, anyone else going to value on that nigga say, well, he or she may not be better than so-and-so, but they have worked with the best. So we're going to get him. We want to work with those, those, that person. Yes. Skill level, mean Dan's level. You have to have it, but at some point it doesn't matter. Low is that Dan resume is law. So everybody tout their resumes. What have you done? What have you done for us lately? So my thing is, I didn't even use my resume for years. Like, you know, I say, man, I'm a dancer. I don't, I'm not crawling off the back of other people. Not saying that other people do it, like something wrong with it, but I never did that. I never showed like here's this was people I've worked with. And then people started doing it.
Speaker 2 00:36:12 They said, we need your resume. We need this. What's your, oh, here. Oh my God. Now was it, was that a Henderson? It hindrance for me could have been what I understand the game. If you got that, that means you wouldn't. No one is going to, you know what I mean? If you got like, if they hired Marty, Marty going to get his value of what he, who he is and what he done based on his work and because his, his, his, his skill level got him the resume references. So it's that point system still got, like, I would tell people there's the outside crowd is trying to get, you know, looking in over the next show, people back, it's trying to get into the, it's trying to get to intercore. Once you get to the inter in that whore and you become that, then you arrived. You had to enter it and you're looking out, going like this. You, you, you, and then the people looking at you who heard it going go, we want him, we will hurt. That's what's going on. This what that guy on the outside is just as good as him, or maybe even better. What's his resume. He hasn't done anything.
Speaker 0 00:37:25 I think things are changing now a little bit resumes, like the, the actual representation of job bullets on a piece of paper seems less relevant now than a following, uh, a number of a number of followers. Um, but on the subject of resumes and gigs, I'm not interested in hearing yours, but I am curious for someone who's been doing this for so long, I would love to hear about the outstanding ones. Like what, what is it that you were remember on your death? Bed Is not, is it a gig? Is it a battle? Is it like, what, what stands out
Speaker 2 00:38:09 What's now without I know what you're saying now. Now what stands out for me is the fact that my brother Boogaloo, Sam taught me how to do this dance. Because without him teaching me how to dance, then I wouldn't have a resume. I wouldn't have a chance to dance and perform or, or to choreograph or some of the top artists out here, or me, if no one looks at it like that, who taught you or gave you that first? That's the person that's sparkling. Whether you're watching television or watch it. Now, you can say, I can hear we can pinpoint gigs or this and that. But the only reason why I got those gigs, my most important time of my life and the one and only is with unlearn, how to pop in my brother, Sam, cause I want you to be a fireman. So me, you and I wouldn't even be talking right now at Pete. So I wasn't really putting out the fire last night. My thing is to say most important day of my life over Michael Jackson, over the movies over anybody is when my brother showed me the dance.
Speaker 0 00:39:12 Damn we could in this conversation right there. But while I have you, I have to ask at least a few more questions. One, um, is regarding a post that you shared recently on your Instagram, you shared a video of a Las Vegas show called Manhattan from 1997. You were 35. And that shows very important to me. Do you know why? Because I am 35 right now. And when I watched that footage, my knees about blew out the back of my legs, watching you get down, um, do you drink magic potion or take Pilates or do you dance every day? Do you hurt? Like it explain the physical side of it for me as somebody who's, you know, you're 60 years old and still, this is your living, correct? Yes.
Speaker 2 00:40:09 They we'll try and make a living at it. So it's still hustling lessons, crazy things, but you know, growing, you know, growing up, especially when I first got into popping Google, all the styles, I was very, I was always very limber, very agile, you know, cause I was, I was skinny. I was like skinny, skinny
Speaker 0 00:40:30 Also on your Instagram, a photo of you at 14 years old, which is one of my favorite things, period, the fit is so fun.
Speaker 2 00:40:38 Uh, so, but in terms of, I mean I have arthritis in both knees right now only because I doing a lot of ground rules, early twenties or late teens, early twenties, all the way up to hours, 44. So all the, you know, the going up and down and it just, and it's just, uh, stretch out my ligaments. And then I got, I think I got to the age of 44 and that's when I figured some of those, you know, my knees and stuff. And then I had gained a lot of excessive weight that went from, from always being a thin person. And, and I went from like one 60, I was 27 and I started drinking like weight, gainer protein stuff. And I went from 1 65 to two 10, but I'm still trying to generate the same movements. Now I have more weight and it just damaged my, my joints. But doing as I started getting older and seeing that stuff I couldn't do anymore, I wish then in turn, turn, I start enhancing the things that I can, I could do. I should say I could do. So I started getting more power using my arms more my legs standing up. It's the ground rules that you don't see me. I don't go down low as I used to. And that stopped that when I was in my forties.
Speaker 0 00:41:58 Yo, you just reminded me of one of my favorite battles of you. Please forgive me for just geeking out for a second. Um, I'm pretty sure it was. I know who you battled. His name is iron Mike and I'm pretty sure the year was 2014, but you take your first round of this battle seated. You roast this guy from a folding chair and I'm like, I can see it on my eyelids as if I had just watched it this morning. I I'm crying. Like I'm on the verge of tears. When you, when you, when you talk about like finding strengths that you can enhance that upper body got so strong, P I S I, and then of course, for your second round, you do stand up and you full body roast this dude. But I, those first couple pops in the chair, I almost said hits. Did he see that? I corrected myself. Those first couple pops in the chair. I was like blue. Like I felt like my skeleton blow out the back of my body. And I just, it's one of my favorite things,
Speaker 2 00:43:07 The man that, you know, and that was a impromptu moment because that was France who was battling and actually was, it was on a point system by rounds. By the time it got to meet, we had already won by points. So I said, and I told the guys before I went, I said, I'm about to take the chair out. And they said, huh. And I just grabbed the chair. And they were looking at me like, was he about to do with this chair is like my little brother. So he was looking at like, what is Pete doing? I sat down. I said, let me take a, I'm gonna take a chill right now. And I just, I just started doing everything on an impulse. And then he, then he responded with the chair thing too. And I was like, cool. That's how I grew up. You know, kind of grew up in his, in his thing is about taking risk. You know, even in the battles of that same of that, of that event. I went on the ground and I, I battled a person lying on my back, popping on my back, turning, using my legs to turn it, just go out,
Speaker 0 00:44:13 Um, for the V for the listeners at home, I'm flipping and be off right now from the safety of my podcast booth. Cause I know you can't get like roast meat. Well, you can roast me right now, but I just there's something about the, I didn't grow up around battles and I certainly did not grow up battling, but there is Ooh, the, the element of showmanship and challenge and mockery and like boldness it's. I w it's actually hard for me to watch sometimes because I'm like, oh, I can't believe they just thought, oh, they're just how much, how does that feel to be called out like that? Or mocked like that or punked like that. Like, it's actively hard for me to watch. Sometimes it's so intense and I love it,
Speaker 2 00:45:11 Man.
Speaker 0 00:45:12 I'm going to link to this video, this, this, this, what do you remember the name of the battle?
Speaker 2 00:45:18 It was pop lockbox.
Speaker 0 00:45:20 Okay. Um, I'm going to find it. I'll link to it in the show notes of this episode. Excellent. Educational and entertaining. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:45:28 Yes. Right quick. Now the thing that people are seeing now, the battles that people seeing now, or kind of organized, I call it organized confusion battles. When we did it, when I came first came out, we was literally, we would go to people, homes. We would knock on your door. We will catch you at the mall. We would, we would, this is not see we had, there were, there were a dance contest back then and you go to the club, you sign up to do what they do. One after each other, the audience, you know, judge or whoever they, who they like now, oh, streets. It's different. How they battle now because they battle in a, in a, in a structure of, you know, it's an event. Put your name on there. Yeah. They do. People still call people out in clubs here and there.
Speaker 2 00:46:13 Yeah. See, we didn't wait until you get in the clubs. What are you seeing? We should there's times that we will be driving in our car. Some other car would have a car full of guys and you would think, oh, this is about to be a gang fight or something. They playing music. You seem that you're doing, maybe lock it moving. And then we go, we're giving them you dance. We are dry or at a light. And they said, and they go, y'all want to get out. See, we didn't say battle on the west coast in 78 to 80 something. We say, you want to go against me? You want to, you don't want to get down. We say, pull it over. So we're cars are pulling into a gas station parking lot or, or more parking lot open doors, throw that musical cassette in boom, something wrong. And we out there getting,
Speaker 0 00:47:01 Uh, was there dancing all over the place in that time? Just people dancing on the streets all the time. Yes.
Speaker 2 00:47:07 Because then you could dance because even Hollywood Boulevard, where, where, uh, on, um, Hollywood and, uh, where the, what everybody do a little performance.
Speaker 0 00:47:18 Uh,
Speaker 2 00:47:20 How do you wanna hide it before he built all that? Right? There's just, Grumman's Chinese theater was the, was attraction on every weekend. People would, you know, we, people from far and wide, we living in long beach. That's uh, that's at least a 45 minute drive to Hollywood. You know what? Traffic's going to be an hour or something, but everybody's coming from every different way on the weekends. And it's just that Hollywood Boulevard used to be the cruise. Uh, all the street battles started happening on all the Hollywood and Highland right there on that corner where people perform now with all the little circles and circles of dances going at it, call and say, meet me. Oh man, you, you know, you call somebody up. Cause with no again, no, no internet telling me, me, meet me, decided how it wouldn't Highland, the mule Hollywood Boulevard. That's what we said. We never going to say, well, everybody knew what to go to Highland high schools. We go to your high school and call you out a lunch. We'll go to your high school, dance to your prompts, to your football games. They don't do that now because they, they, you know, it's not a thing now for, for the four kids. Now it's organized.
Speaker 0 00:48:30 We live in our phones now
Speaker 2 00:48:32 And, and, and the battles were not nice. People were, you were getting touched. If there was a thing where if you, you, you battle for, if someone hadn't had, uh, had they colors on, which is their jacket of day of the group or whatever is our value. I, to you for your jacket, if you lose, you got to give up the jacket, your identity,
Speaker 0 00:48:51 Your actual, like your flag.
Speaker 2 00:48:54 Or even if you have a hat on, people used to try to pop in or whatever, you try to take the hat off their heads, throw it off ground and stomp it. That's a sign of you got, you got turned out. Nobody's got it. Did some things happen? Yes. But for most part, nobody got mad because anybody knew the game. We went mano Imani. And there was everybody at the same. You going at the same time, those battles is the most intense. Yeah. That's what I'm saying. You guys see them, which one-on-one you got to wait. We did it like boxers. It's just like, if you go to the boxing match and then the one guy come out on the corner and doesn't do anything. The other, no, it's, everybody's
Speaker 0 00:49:31 Jabbing all the
Speaker 2 00:49:32 Time. How we battled,
Speaker 0 00:49:34 Ah, this is so much more exciting than movies. I just hearing you explain this in my head is it's. I feel like I'm at a movie. This is awesome.
Speaker 2 00:49:44 Y a a I'm I wrote a movie like 2008. It's called skills is rated to R I've got, I've done rewrites on it. I'm trying to get, I wrote, wrote into, and it's about that life. It's about, you know, it goes from that street, but it goes toward to organize battle. But this organized battle only comes every 10 years. And no one knows where it is until you get, get to you, get that call or a text that should tell you where it's going to be. So all this time you got to be ready. But during, before you get there, there was all of these, these Oregon needs to make these uncontrollable battles. People coming to knocking on their doors, acting nice. Hey, they did that to us and asked mother. Yeah, we hear the battle. Your son. No, she said for real, oh shit. Okay. Well, there was rehearsing in our garage. She said, oh, they're in the garage. And she told the two guys and good luck and shut the door and they face. And they went on, they came, they came into the garage and got murdered up in there by all of us.
Speaker 0 00:50:47 What for what would show up? Of course, I'm saying this with your 44 year of 44 years of incredibleness burned all my eyeballs, but
Speaker 2 00:51:01 It was like, I'm going to challenge. I'm going to put my skills against your skills. I'm going to challenge whether you was popping what'd you do lot. I battled lockers. I bought old people doing different dances.
Speaker 0 00:51:10 That's another thing that the, the competition world today does not do. It's all very compartmentalized.
Speaker 2 00:51:16 My whole thing is, I mean, I've gotten my very first bad on, are we going to low? But my very first battle was someone came my friend, I would, I just kind of learned, got go. I got my popping down now, pop it, Provident. Lumby start. The dance started getting out. Not everybody could do it because it wasn't, you know, Sam wasn't teaching anybody. Everybody was learning as they see watching it. Yes. So some of my friend came, knocked on my door and say, Hey, Pete, this guy who won a battle, you who? This guy, he lives, uh, I said, where do you live at? And he told me street, which is like four blocks away. I don't I'm sick. I don't have a car. I ran four blocks.
Speaker 2 00:51:59 Strides got to the house. God. I said, he showed me say there. It was a kid was probably about 15 by my age, 15, 16, his little sister and his mother in the front yard. And I came up who, who would a desk against me? And she said, my son. And I said, okay, I'm gonna beat you in five moves. You, you can go. You want to go first? You go first. He went, you know, again, nobody, everybody was just learning. So I started doing Soki. Sam told me to do it. So I started, I did all, I said what to dam up. And I did an old man bootcamp. Fine. Then he looked and I said, did I win? He said, yeah. And I said, okay. I ran back
Speaker 0 00:52:44 Home.
Speaker 2 00:52:46 I don't need to talk no more. I just, I got up. I got on my wheels and I ran home. Those are, this is how I grew up. I will battle kids. I'm 16. So if you was 12 girl, you call me out. It's just, all I see is dance. I don't see. I know you're a female. I know you're a male. You don't different. If you have a battle of male, he's 14 and I'm a female is 12. I'm about to get you something.
Speaker 0 00:53:18 This I want to talk about. This dance is dance, and then I'm going to have to cut myself off even though I could really gosh. Okay. Um, I know that you trained in a little bit of ballet way back in the beginning. This is before Tony basil fused street, dance and ballet with her Swan lake, which was Emmy nominated, which you were in, which is fabulous, which will also be in the show notes. Please watch that. Um, but what do you think about cross training and what do you think about specifically funk styles and how they're evolving? Because I get this philosophy that like is dance. I don't see a genre. I don't see a sex. I don't see whatever you want to dance against me. I'll dance against you. But I also have heard definitely strongly the emphasis that like popping should say popping, locking should say, locking this isn't that this can't be that if you do that, then you can't do that. Like, what would you say to cross training and the evolution of film?
Speaker 2 00:54:20 I mean, you know, I think everyone should, when I came up, I was trying to whack. I tried to, of course I tried to lock on. Then when Tony said I am, when I'm going to show you guys some ballet, she said it I'll show you guys violate for it to help you guys. And y'all balance being on the bar, doing the toe, you know, touching the,
Speaker 0 00:54:43 I love toe touch. Y'all I just need you to know that pop and Pete, just with his arm demonstrated Atando or a degre. J a Digger J okay, good. Yep.
Speaker 2 00:54:54 It's like, you know, sitting there with whole, you know, we we've, you know, from where we, from holding that bar and she got, you know, I remember she did say nigga J whatever the word she was like, we won. We've kept saying nigga Shea. And she was getting mad, but it helped. This is why. And this is because of 20 basil and others to have Tony shabu and many other people that, that were my mentors coming up. I look at, I studied dance. I don't study one. John rhe, I study dance. I have to, I have taken stuff from ballet. I've taken stuff from, from salsa and flamenco dance that I see a little bit. And I put it into my pop and I take that little movement, but I, I, I blend it in because it's a movement now. I'm not trying to do the actual, you know, uh, correct foundation.
Speaker 2 00:55:44 But I saw a little how, even when my friend Yoda does the bar, not in how she hold, her hands are hot. All is that I use all I take it may not be correct, but I'll be doing it. That guy got, I got bad back because it's an inspiration. So, so my thing about CROs is it needs to be done and should learn as learners. You only want to learn one style, Bravo, one, learn to Bravo, 10, 15 dorm, all the, the question about people dancing, just only what the genre they dance with. It's only because they, they, we got indoctrinated into this thing of system of the style, how to organize it. Poppers gets poppers. Nah, I'm uh, I'm. First of all, I'm a dancer. Sea dancer had, when you used that word, you say, say what you say, ask somebody, what are you? Where are you? So I asked somebody, what's your profession. I'm a lawyer. I'm a doctor. So when you say I'm a dancer, you can say, I'm a lawyer like this. I'm a lawyer. What type of lawyer? Oh, I'm a corporate lawyer. Oh, well so-and-so lawyer. You still got to know under that title. What, what you are, I'm a dancer. What style of dance do you do?
Speaker 2 00:57:06 Ballet, right? I'm a rattling, but people get caught up in the I'm a popper. Oh, I'm a locker. Well, I won a battle. No, two different dances. We go on, are you a dancer? Yeah. How long? How sure do you, or you have your skills? I'm very sure. So am I in my skills? So let's do this.
Speaker 0 00:57:35 Yo, my friend, I'm just ear to ear. Grinning, listening to you talk right now. I really could do this all day long. I want to thank you so much for your time. I want to thank you for being my teacher for teaching me. Well, I do want to say that I, in addition to being a phenomenal dancer, one of my favorites in the world, you are an excellent choreographer who does more than makeup moves. When Marty brought you in to work with JT, you taught us, you didn't just spit out some eight counts and say good luck. And I'm so grateful for that. Um, because of that, I have a love for this American street style. I have tremendous respect for it. I know not to drop my heels. And I'm just like, I'm so grateful for you for your time. Thank you so, so much for being here today,
Speaker 2 00:58:38 Going back. I mean, the first time I met you in making short and I met you at one of them at one of Marty classes. And I remember this is the first time I met Yoda. Um, I met her in Japan, but first I seen her dance. She was in a class. You, I think Abe a bunch of people. That's kind of like looking. And I remember looking at, you know, my first time seeing, seeing Marty lie and I seen you going, Hey, she has a black inner, so I get it because my whole thing is because it's not like, it's not like white people, can't dance. That's not what I'm saying, what I'm saying. That there's a, there's a certain group that I know that is inherently, that I grew up on that I can see when I seen in people. And I go, and I saw you dance. I remember you just, you just, just wide eye bushy tail,
Speaker 0 00:59:36 This bright little, yeah. Brighter than I am now because I was probably 19.
Speaker 2 00:59:42 But how you move? How you, how you interpret? Because I, you know, I was, I, at this point I was, uh, I saw Marty. I was a fan of Mari's when I found out he had did the early, the JT stuff. I didn't hold it. That one video. I didn't, I like damn, you know, I find that I'm a fan. And when I seen how he moved and how you guys mimicked in word and became what he put out. I was like, and this was my first time, like around the choreography, the choreography seeing really burst. I was blown away and you stood out you and Ava. Uh, and again, I just thought
Speaker 0 01:00:21 And Yoda, oh my God, I miss dancing with her so much Yoda. I love you so much.
Speaker 2 01:00:26 But, uh, it was other dancers that were, that, that I know now that were in the class that were young, that became like, oh, I remember you in the class. So I want to say to you, like, you know, working with you on all occasions that I had the opportunity to work with you. One thing I do, and I love much, not only that, you know, you will remember the choreography I do and then teach others correctly. And I, when, when, when I, you know, and I did the, the man in the woods, so when I did the park, well, JT, the pop-in part, and then you learned it and was showing others and correcting others. Oh no, no, you gotta, it's gotta be. And I did. And I was sitting back going, damn,
Speaker 0 01:01:17 She'd right. Was I right? I better be right.
Speaker 2 01:01:21 No, no, that's what I mean. That's what I say. That's what I, because of how you came into this game and how you and the people that mentored you and, and just your, your own enthusiasm and your own passion for it, you always want to make it right. Cause you are very, you're very hard on yourself. Cause I know we had these conversations, especially in the street dance style, you're going, I got to get it right. And I got to learn from the people who do it. Right. So I want to thank you. You know, I love you and all that. And I know we gotta go. So I actually, I got to go shoot this video.
Speaker 0 01:01:46 I appreciate you so much. We'll do this again someday. Okay. Bye. All right, my friend, that's it. That's Pete, what do you think? I love this conversation. I love all the juicy context that Pete gives and I love peeking into the world of dance that existed before I was born. It's crazy to me, um, that he's been at this longer than I've been alive and I think that's awesome and inspiring. Um, I hope you feel inspired to value your body, your talent, your passion and your position. Um, I, I think that this conversation is an example of how much has changed and how little has changed at the same time. Um, and that that's okay. Like both of those things can be true. I think that as long as we have bodies and music and people, then people will always be dancing. And as long as we have each other, it's likely that we'll probably always be sharing our dances.
Speaker 0 01:03:04 And that may be in the form of a tech talk or of a battle or a house party or a garage jam or the Superbowl halftime show, um, dance isn't going anywhere. And as long as pop and P is around, dance is going to be really, really funky. Thank you all for listening, Pete. Thanks again for being here for talking. Uh, now go, everyone, go watch. Break-in watch all the pop and Pete battles and judges demos and Instagram videos. You can get your hands on. Uh, many of which will be linked here in the show notes of this episode. And, um, of course go out there and keep it exceptionally funky. I'll talk to you soon. Bye.
Speaker 0 01:03:48 This podcast was produced by me with the help of many music by max Winnie logo and brand design by Bree REITs and the big thanks to Riley Higgins, our executive assistant and editor, and also a massive thanks to you. The mover who is no stranger to taking action, I will not stand in the way of you taking action. I will not cannot stop you from downloading episodes or leaving a review and a rating. I cannot keep you from visiting the Dana wilson.com to join our mailing list. I will not ban you from my online store for spending your hard earned money on the cool merch and awesome programs that await you there. And of course, if you want to talk with me, work with me and make moves with the rest of the words that move me community, I will 100% not stop you. Visit Dana wilson.com to become a member and get a peek at everything else I do. That is not a weekly podcast. Keep it funky everyone.