Inspiring quotes

On being self-reliant

David Elsewhere, source

Being myself – as corny as this might sound I think that being myself has been one of the most important attitudes that I have maintained. By “being myself” I mean dancing the way I sincerely want to dance, regardless of what others think or what the latest trend is. Being myself, has kept me motivated because I am doing what I truly want to do.

Trusting my own judgment – This is very much related to “Being Myself”, because being your true self requires some degree of trust in your own judgment. By “trusting my own judgment” I mean having the faith and confidence in my own taste and creativity to determine how I want to dance. Listening to feedback is helpful to me; yet ultimately I try to always trust my own judgment.


On building confidence in your dance

Otis Funkmeyer, Liquid Metal interview

One of the biggest things that my journey to popping has taught me is that if you stick with your passions, you develop a sense of character that can not be taken away from you and it sticks with you in every endeavor you become involved with.

Dan Colen, music composer and publisher

It’s such a weird self-confidence that an artist has—to conceive of this thing that serves no function and say, ‘I’m going to really work hard for it and give it and it’s just going to matter to people.’ You really have to believe it all on your own.

On the importance of not thinking while dancing

Michael Jackson in Martin Bashir’s Living with Michael Jackson. source

Michael Jackson: Thinking is the biggest mistake a dancer could make. You need to feel. You become the bass, you become the fanfare, you become the clarinet and the flute and the strings and the drums.
Martin Bashir: So you almost become the physical embodiment of the music.
Michael Jackson: Yeah.

David Bernal on his dancing name. source

Meaning of “Elsewhere”: 1) The direction I attempt to push my style. 2) The Zone – the state of disconnection I experience while dancing. When I focus on my movements to the point that I am oblivious to my physical setting, I am mentally elsewhere.

Bruce Lee, source

Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.

Anonymous,, source

When our brains learn a new skill, we learn it step by step. With practice, the process becomes implicit, meaning it can be done without really thinking about it. In high stress situations, the part of the brain that first learned the skill comes back to the fore, and tries to perform the skill explicitly. This is why some athletes have a tendency to “choke” under pressure. Once you start thinking about doing something, it suddenly becomes very difficult and awkward to perform. Of course, this only applies when the skill in question is something you have done a couple thousand times. The reason it becomes so effortless is because we repeat it so often.

Parliament, Free your mind

Free your mind, and your ass will follow.

On focusing on the process instead of the end result
David “Elsewhere” Bernal, Oye Mag interview.

The thing about dancing is that it takes so long to develop these styles and moves. I’ve been dancing for eight years, and I’ve experimented for countless hours. Some of these moves have taken me years to perfect, but they only take a few seconds to perform. And then if people see one of your moves a couple of times they say it’s old. Talk about a lot of work for not that much pay off. Dancing is for people that want to do it for the love of it.

Skeeter Rabbit

I personally believe we focus too much on [technique]… rather than on much more important things, like, the influences and purposes which cause us to experience the feelings which produce the moves. Many times we are too busy focusing on the correctness of the actual technical move itself, And not the power which has inspired the move in the first place.

Madd Chadd, source

I guess my biggest tip is to be patient with your dancing, and not to ever feel like you have to rush or to get anything done in a certain small period of time. Take your time, change it up a little bit, show some variety.

Spacecapital, Westcoastpoppin interview

Don’t focus so much time on thinking about getting to the destination, just enjoy the process. So enjoy the process of learning this dance and getting better in it, and in time you will become a good dancer.

Bruce Lee, in John Little’s Jeet Kune Do, p. 354

Don’t be in a hurry to “fix” things. Enrich your understanding in the process of discovery.


On creating your own style.

Spacecapital, interview.

I believe the one thing the current generation is missing is self. I believe they just have to look into self and try to be more of themselves. They are doing very good when it comes to dancing, they just don’t focus on self. Stop looking outside so much and look inside. That is what is missing today, back in the ‘80s we did all the same movements, we added ourselves to it and I think that is the biggest different. Why is it that so many dancers look so much alike? They look so much alike because people don’t want to take their time and truly learn this dance, so everybody is taking the shortcut routine. This is why the unique dancers today standout more, it’s because they are being themselves.


On learning the foundations and fundamentals

Jamey Andreas, The principles of correct practice, p. 18

When you see the complexity of what you think is simple, then you will see the simplicity of what you think is complex.

Charlie Parker, in Robert Greene’s The 50th Law, p. 323

Master the instrument, master the music, then forget all that shit and play.

Chinese Proverb

To know and not do is not to know.

On desire and satisfaction

Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, p. 365

We are told that talent creates its own opportunities. But it sometimes seems that intense desire creates not only its own opportunities, but its own talents.

George Bernard Shaw, source

As long as I have want, I have a reason for living. Satisfaction is death.

Brian “Footwork” Green, Liquid Metal interview

The mistake we all make is when we think we have arrived and stopped practicing and learning from others and ourselves.

Johnny Depp, interview on Inside the actor’s studio

I think that satisfaction, total satisfaction with your work, is death for an actor.

On focusing on mastering one skill at a time.

Otis Funkmeyer, source article

As someone who has gone down the dead end path of trying to master every single style, let me give you the advice that Boppin Andre gave me–perfect something and then move on. Don’t learn waving and tutting and gliding all at the same time. Start somewhere, learn that, and THEN try something new.


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