Podcast 103 - Moncell IllKozby Durden: What You May Not Know About Dance & How To Go From The Cypher To Teaching Dance In Universities
Moncell IllKozby Durden: What You May Not Know About Dance & How To Go From The Cypher To Teaching Dance In Universities
Welcome to episode 103 of DanceSpeak with Moncell IllKozby Durden. Moncell is currently on faculty at the widely respected USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance. Not only does he teach at USC, but some of the universities where he has taught include Drexel, Yale, Princeton, NYU, The New School, and Temple University. What is even more impressive is that Moncell did not gain a degree from college, rather he has lived the culture, learned from the elders, read continuously, and has never stopped learning.
The topics we explore in this episode span from an eye-opening perspective on how a teacher can go above and beyond to serve his/her students, to Moncell's entry into academia, to his cultural perspective as an African-American sharing a heritage that many have not lived (but want to participate in)... Moncell is inspiring in his unapologetic love for dance and the absence of needing approval.
One of my favorite aspects of this episode is the information that Moncell shares on different dances that I have barely heard about before. He begins to answer my question: who are the teachers of my teachers and how do I find their teachers?
Empower yourself with knowledge, let us know what you think, share with a friend, SUBSCRIBE, and make sure to keep the dance alive!
Podcast 102 - Episode 102 - a Live Interview at Chapman University With Kachi Alcazar talking Tour Life and the Preparation It Takes To Be a Pro Dancer
Welcome to episode 102 of DanceSpeak, recorded LIVE in front of a senior class of dancers at Chapman University. And whom did we interview? The wise and glowing goddess that is KAchi Alcazar (she's 24 but don't get it twisted, she's like a Lil' Yoda). Kachi originally entered the DanceSpeak world in a shared episode (episode 37) two years ago, as she was in the earlier part of her journey pursuing dance professionally. A little over two years later, Kachi has toured the world with both Kehlani and Camila Cabello, danced in awards shows, and gained a new perspective on her role as a movement artist.
Kachi shares with candor about how the experience of touring with an artist compares to the daydream version of if. She gives tips, insights, and stories from before she booked Kehlani and the realizations that have opened up new possibilities for her future. We talk about Kachi's choice to leave college to pursue dance and why she feels it may or may not pertain to others.
We get into conversations about stress, managing your health while on tour, handling your finances as a working/touring dancer, looking at the 'bigger picture' and... more. The interview gets rounded out with a question and answer from the dancers of Chapman University's senior dance class, and we do not hold back in giving as much as we can offer with every minute!
Podcast 101 - Phil Wright - How You Get Creative When You're Broke... Building A Career And Massive Social Media Presence From Scratch
Our guest for episode 101 is none other than one of the most undeniable forces in today's dance world: Phil Wright. Phil has made a name for himself as a social media maven who graces our pages with high-energy dance classes and most recently has been named the choreographer for MC Hammer's upcoming tour.
This episode is so rich with gems and stories that we could write a book for the blurb, so here are some of the highlights (hehehe): Phil shares about the ups and downs of his journey moving to Los Angeles, how he built his YouTube and social media following, the earlier days in Los Angeles when he had to drive an hour to take a dance class and didn't have a home of his own, hearing "no" a lot, what MC Hammer is like off stage, what Phil had to sacrifice on his journey to success, getting signed to a major agency but then not booking work, his business and the phenomenon that is The Parent Jam, Phil's typical day/schedule, his outlook on more difficult days and the self-talk he recommends, lots of giggles, and more!
Podcast 100 - Robin Antin - The Creator of the Pussycat Dolls and Co-Founder of Playground LA Shares How She Made It All Happen
Call your mom, auntie, uncle, bff, ex boo, cousin and let them know DanceSpeak has made it to episode 100 and our guest is none other than THE Robin Antin! Robin has established herself over the years as a choreographer, producer, director, designer and entrepreneur. She is a BOSS LADY and in our humble opinion represents what it can look like to blow the roof off of what it looks like to be a success in the dance world.
In this episode Robin shares about her family's influence and inspirations that ultimately lead to her thriving in the dance world. She walks us through the process that developed the Pussycat Dolls into the phenomena that they are. We then get into the creation of Playground LA, lessons learned in the process, and what has had it do so well!
Thank you to Playground LA and Robin Antin for hosting this episode in your studio space. We are geeked to have you have us have you. :)
Welcome to episode 99 of DanceSpeak with Dancer/Choreographer: Kaity Martinez. Kaity originally graced us with her presence in 2016 as episode 8 of DanceSpeak. At the time, she had clearly found her brand, her look, and was on a path to thrive in the dance world.
Fast forward to 2019 Kaity has worked with some of our favorite artists and you may have seen her on Lipsync Battle but that journey was not without unexpected bumps in the road. Kaity speaks openly with us about a major scare she endured in 2016 when she injured her knee at the end of the year. This takes us into a conversation around how to ground yourself and re-create one's identity when your passion/career is on the line. We then go into how Kaity made a comeback after her injury and the mentality and steps it took for her to bring her dance dreams into fruition.
This episode is intended to inspire, while uncovering the realities that many dancers face in their journeys. We hope you enjoy!
Podcast 98 - But is it Hip-Hop? A no-holds-barred conversation on the appropriation of hip-hop with Jade 'Soul' Zuberi
Welcome to episode 98 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Jade 'Soul' Zuberi. The title basically says it all. This episode is dedicated to Hip-Hop. More specifically, to how the term 'hip-hop' is used in educational/studio spaces. The use and misuse of it. The 'why should we care' around it. This episode is truly a discussion between your DanceSpeak host (Galit, woot woot) and Jade. We even left in some of the parts we thought we'd need to edit out.
Hip-hop deserves to be talked about in a way that honors its heritage and we dare you to listen to this episode with open ears and heart. With love, we ask anyone who consumes hip-hop in any manner, to consider the conversation. Episode 98 here we go!
Podcast 97 - Im-Power-Meant Panel: Defining Happiness, What TF is Success, What Makes Good Art and More
Welcome to episode 97 of the DanceSpeak podcast where we deliver you a recording of a panel discussion from Jojo Diggs' Im-Power-Meant weekend in Los Angeles. The panel includes Jojo Diggs (Jabbawockeez/Diggs Deeper), Myself (DanceSpeak, WNBA), Luis Almario (Physical Therapist/Dancer), Pamela Health (The "Yes" Coach), Dana Wilson (La La Land) and Jade "Soul" Zuberi (Winner of Body Talk 2019).
The panel is really more of a cypher panel where we exchange ideas and address unanticipated questions. Topics include: the pressure of the pursuit of happiness, why certain people don't make it and others do, the question of what success looks and FEELS like, what makes good art, and a discussion around the success ceiling that the dance world can experience in comparison to other entertainment forms such as film.
Our discussion is raw, present, and intended to spark conversations. The "cypher panel" which you're hearing is part of a larger entity, creative soil (more info can be found on Instagram @creative_soil).
Jade "Soul" Zuberi
Podcast 96 - How A Dancer Took Over One Of The Greatest Studios In Los Angeles - Teresa Espinosa On Preserving the Debbie Reynolds Legacy
Holy Moly! We are up to episode 96 of the DanceSpeak Podcast and this time our episode 52 alum, Teresa Espinosa, is coming through for her second interview. She is on an unimaginable journey the world could've never expected to take place! Am I excited enough?
A little background... Teresa Espinosa is a veteran dancer and choreographer with credits that include Magic Mike, Britney Spears, Janet Freakin' Jackson, and... so many many more. So... yeah... Teresa is a big deal and yet she's very humble. Flash forward to 2018-2019, Teresa is now the owner of the widely respected Debbie Reynold's Studio now known as Debbie Reynolds Legacy. This is the studio where Michael Jackson rehearsed for Thriller, and decades of venerated dancers have learned and rehearsed.
At the end of 2018, the dance world gave a tearful goodbye to the physical Debbie Reynolds studio, as it was torn down for construction, in spite of the efforts of Teresa and the dance community. Here we are in 2019 and the Debbie Reynolds Legacy is being hosted in the space of Starwest Studios, Burbank, CA.
I have been beyond curious about Teresa's journey since we last spoke, and in this episode she sits down with DanceSpeak at the new space and shares with us openly, vulnerably, with inspiration brimming on the edges of her words!
Podcast 95 - From Broadway to LA, How to Show the Industry What You're Made of with Dominique Kelley
Welcome to episode 95 of DanceSpeak with Dominique Kelley. He's done Broadway, he's toured, he was in Disney's the Princess and the Frog, he's danced on film... and on your favorite TV shows, he's got wit for days, and will warm your heart. With over 25 years under his belt as a professional, Dominique is the epitome of a seasoned dancer.
Topics that we explore in this episode include: what some of the pillars of a successful career are, what Dominique would be doing if he wasn't a dancer, the choice to go to college as an artist, training as a young professional dancer, getting unstuck around inspiration, what a proper jazz dance education looks like, Dominique's rare love for auditions, audition advice for dancers, transitioning into becoming a choreographer, dance activism, negotiating on dance jobs, tips on getting specific around the work you want to book, advice on working with professional kids and teens, the gems that can come out of rejection, and more!
Welcome to episode 94 of the DanceSpeak podcast with Peter Pinnock: an influencer who aspires to inspire. Peter shares how he's made his career his own and the journey that has lead him to the opportunities he has today.
Peter is as open and conversational as one can be as we dive into topics that include overcoming injury, recommendations to those considering traveling as a dance teacher, views on what his generation wants for dance, his dreams as a dancer, booking work before having representation, and more.
Also, we talk about love, dating, and all that good stuff. After all, dancers are people too... right? Trust, we had fun on this episode and did not hold back one bit!
After 15 years of experience in the dance world, Galit has worked as Assistant Choreographer for Prince, danced in numerous music videos, including Pharrell Williams' "Happy", has been featured in two dance publications, and currently works as a dance instructor and conditioning specialist in Los Angeles and around the country.