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Raw interview: Poppin John (part 3)

July 3, 2010 3 comments

9. Can you remember instances where your creativity helped you through a troubling period?

To be honest, I cant really say there were instances, but I can say that every time I step on the dance floor all troubles all doubts worries just disappear and all I can feel is music. This fact has made this dance a addiction rather than a hobby. I use it for expression and the more I do it the more I need it. It gets to the point where I can’t go 2 days with out getting down for real.

10. You mentioned on your Myspace page that you believe in God. Can your remember an example where your spirituality strengthened your creativity? Can your remember an example where your creativity strengthened your spirituality?

Yes, I do believe in God and I would like to say I give God all the credit for the things I have, and that I have done. I see more and more of God in this dance and in the experiences I have with other dancers. It’s crazy, the people he has put in my life through this dance.

11. How did you join Soulbotics Crew?

SoulBotics was a joining of 2 crews. First there was me, RandmRok, and Sweet feet. We decided to team up and make a crew. We didn’t really have any names set, but then we swooped up Dnoi and it was us 4 for a few months. Then we met John Doe and his crew Diverse Souls out of Dallas (John Doe, 747, and Press Play). We had such a good click with them and their personalities that we just joined forces as a crew. We put down Breeze lee and PopNtod, so that makes 9 and we have been family ever since

12. How did you and Soulbotics Crew start producing your own tutorials?

Well, Learn2bust.com is my baby, so to speak. Me and my father came up with the idea for a website and planned it out. I went through a few web designers and finally got hooked up with a guy named Jason Daynger out of Albuquerque NM, and this gave life to our idea. I was teaching a lot of lessons alone for the first year and then I started asking members of SBK to help me with different styles for the site. I am planning on getting many other dancers the get down on Learn2bust in the near future.

13. What changes do you see in popping now then when you started?

The changes… Well, a big change for me was me deciding that I didn’t need to fit into the boogaloo world and that I could just do me and what I thought looked good. That was a big change and I feel that Gstyle has a lot to do with that fact. Aside from all the shit talk there are many great things that have come from that drama war….and another change for me is that poppin is much more serious for me. Its not a game anymore. I treat poppin like a sport. I stay in shape for it, I practice mentally. Before I was just having a good time with my friends.

14, What are your current projects and future plans?

Learn2bust.com is one of my main projects, but I have also just signed with a manager out of LA, as well as an agent from Clear talent Group. I’m trying to get more into the mainstream industry to get more work. Music videos, commercials, things like that. So hopefully that will be in the near future…I am also planning some competitions in the next couple of years so just trying to stay busy and grind out as much as possible!

15. Finally, can you describe your most memorable battle or moment in dancing (doesn’t necessarily have to involve you).

That’s a hard one! Well, here is a big one for me. Freestyle session, I think 10, maybe 11, before HTWWW joined in to cater for the popper and lockers. Cross one had us set in the lobby for the poppin battles. It was a 2 day jam, and we made it to the second day. This was our first battle as a crew Soulbotics. So the night after the first day, we ended up staying in Englewood at some random hotel, and there was a walled in parking lot with 2 cars in it. We sessioned as a crew for like 4 hours, making up 2 and 3 man routines. The next day we have to battle MGF. Me and John Doe went first, with a dope routine. The battle was the best battle I have ever been apart of.

MGF went on the take it and unfortunately Cross One didn’t have a camera in the room for that battle (and of course they were not letting cameras in the door). So that one went down live, just like it used to be: no second look, nada…there were many people who told us we won that battle. Members of MGF and the judges told us we lost because we didn’t have a full crew routine and they did.

It was a great battle and it created a very strong bond for us as a crew. I feel that that was the real moment when we officially became SBK.

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Featuring: Poppin John

June 5, 2010 4 comments

Being asked to choose my favourite dancer makes me uncomfortable, because I feel that I am disrespecting all of the dancers who have influenced me in their own different ways. But I can answer the question if it is posed a little differently. “Which dancer has the strength and qualities that you want to attain?” or “If you could only watch and learn from one dancer, who might that one be?”

In these cases, my answer comes without reservations: Poppin John. Isolations, dime stops, speed control, variety of styles. He excels in all of them. He happens to incorporate my favourite styles (what luck!), and his moves are always spot-on perfect.

Me stringing a line of praise and superlatives may come off as unconvincing, even disingenuous. So let me provide video footage of John’s dancing and point out why they blow me away like no other dancer. I embedded the videos so that they cut immediately to the part I want to discuss. That means that I’m going to post a lot of videos, but you don’t have to watch the entire clip (that’s your own choice afterwards).

My favourite moves involve head-and-chest isolations. I learned them first before attempting anything else.  A small number of dancers do it, but I have never seen anyone pull it off like Poppin John. Below you can see what I like to call “chicken head”

and here you can see what I like to call “head swipe” or “madd headd” (after Madd Chadd).

Note how isolated his head is from his neck and chest, and that it remains so even when he takes steps (not just standing around).

How about arm and body waves? No worries, that’s his specialty.

His footwork is varied and original. Look at his floating and gliding skills.

This clip below forced me to learn liquid hand waves.

Strobing is perhaps my greatest love, and there’s so little of it around (thank God for David Elsewhere, Tyson Eberly, Madd Chadd, and Flat Top). The best strobers are those that strobe more than just their arms.

I’m not the biggest fan of finger tutting, but tell me if this doesn’t bring a smile to your face.

Speed control. Moving your body real fast, then incredibly slow, perhaps even stopping on a dime, then going into overdrive again. Often overlooked, but it’s real important to build up contrasts in your dancing. That will make your dancing stand out. Check out his shoulders in this clip.

Too bad there’s no interview planned. That’d be too crazy, right?
You’d be surprised. Stay tuned for more.