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New inspirational quote: Emil Zatopek

March 10, 2011 Leave a comment

If one can stick to the training throughout the many long years, then will power is no longer a problem. It’s raining? That doesn’t matter. I am tired? That’s besides the point. It’s simply that I just have to.

Emil Zatopek, winner of three gold medals in the ’52 Olympics in the 5k, 10k, and marathon

Categories: Uncategorized

Three questions with David Elsewhere

March 5, 2011 Leave a comment

David Elsewhere’s dancing style and training philosophy have provided the greatest source of influence on this site. It is only natural that I contacted him so that he could represent himself in his own words. Here are three replies he sent to me.

Your practice methods and philosophies are a great inspiration to me. The principles require an incredible sense of self-reliance. Dance the way you want, trust your judgement, practice alone, transgress labels and catagories if necessary, rely on your memory and your own originality. Has this self-reliance always been a trait of your personality, or did you gradually learn the importance of it for your dance?

My self-reliance was mostly something I had to train myself to do.

It is only natural to be influenced by others especially when you believe someone else has a greater ability than you. I admit that I was influenced by and imitated a lot of people, but I eventually realized that it was more rewarding to be as independently thinking as possible.

I remember when I was a very young child I used to paint and draw really creative, extraordinary things. Of course my scribbly artwork as a child didn’t have the craftsmanship of a trained illustrator which I would later go to school for, but they did have a certain quality of creative freedom and innocence. I wasn’t afraid to draw a picture wrong because I didn’t know what wrong was.

Similarly with dancing I try to go about it in the same free spirit that I had as a child, before I was taught there is a right and wrong way.

Describe how Skywalker, Squid, and Salty influenced you. Are there any other dancers who played a significant part?

I was Squid’s friend since 8th grade. We both got into dancing around the same time in High School. He already knew how to do a few basic robot moves, and the backslide. He also seemed to naturally learn the basics a lot faster than I did. So I was really influenced by his style throughout the first few years I danced since I practiced with him so much.

Salty I saw in a breaking contest video within the first year that I started dancing. My mind was blown the first time I saw him dance and I became totally infatuated with learning his particular style. I would watch his footage over and over and then try to mimic his moves. I did this for many months, until I realized that it was almost impossible to copy his moves exactly. I would video tape myself and I would always be disappointed that I could never quite replicated his style. However my dancing wasn’t bad at all and it had my own unique personal flavor. Eventually I gave up trying to mimic him and stopped watching his footage altogether. This was very liberating and probably my biggest breakthrough because it was when I really started on my own path.

Skywalker I saw at Rave once probably a year or two after I had started dancing. Again I was amazed by his skills, mostly his uncanny waving ability. I started waving a lot more after I saw him. Since I didn’t have any footage of him to watch, I was only able to see him again in my memory. This definitely forced me to put my own spin on his style.

Other dancers which really influenced me would have to be: Mr. Animation for his popping ability, Bam Bam for his ground moves, Flattop for his isolations, Kujo for his philosophical outlook, and Midas for his style mixing.

You said in an interview that before the Kollab2001 clip went viral, that you thought that your dancing wasn’t really going to go anywhere. Did it really seem that unlikely at the time that a unique style like yours wasn’t going to lead to some kind of attention or success?

I could imagine my dancing getting some attention, but at the time it didn’t seem likely that my career as a dancer would suddenly take off the way that it did.

I was no stranger to the web before Kollab2001. The Detours video had been out for a while already and none of the video clips of me that where already on the internet got a lot of attention. Up to my kollab2001 performance I had been trying to make money off dancing for a long time doing various small gigs, street performing and selling the Detours video, yet the money I made wasn’t enough to support myself. Shortly after the Kollab2001 I had a falling out with my manager which prompted me to put dancing aside so that I could concentrate on my college courses. A year later the Kollab2001 clip appeared on the net and I had already graduated college and was working full time as a video editor. I hadn’t done paying dance gig in months and suddenly I was getting more offers than I could imagine.

Part 2 coming soon.