Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rumi Quote

My yoga teacher read this Rumi quote and paired it with Sigur Ros', "Fjogur Piano" during savasana today:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the sould lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. 
Ideas, language, even the phrase 'each other' doesn't make any sense. 

Needless to say, I felt complete bliss. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Grey's Anatomy: My First Televised Flash Mob

Who ever thought that a hit drama series like "Grey's Anatomy" would hire dancers?

I sure didn't.

And that is one of the reasons why I was thrilled a few weeks ago to dance on the show. Another reason why I was so excited for this project was because it was my first time working with the genial and warm Tyce Diorio:

Me and Tyce :)
Between 2008 and 2009 I had the chance to assist Tyce in a few cities when I was an Elite Protege for The Pulse on Tour. I also had the opportunity a few years ago to be a part of the creative process for his amazing piece on breast cancer on "So You Think You Can Dance". However, I have never gotten to work for him in a professional setting. Tyce is wonderfully energetic and creates a positive atmosphere for his dancers. Here is the special flash mob scene he choreographed for "Grey's Anatomy":

Tyce is an incredibly accomplished dancer and talented choreographer, and I have admired him ever since I was a young teenager. It was special for me to reflect while on the "Grey's Anatomy" set the days when I took his class at Company Dance and the times I assisted him on The Pulse. It's crazy to think that I've known him for nearly a decade!

Another great part of the project was working alongside some industry veterans. Some have been working dancers since before I even started dancing, and many have seen the dance world morph into what it is today. It was fascinating hearing their take on the way dancers currently approach the art form. Youtube and the internet have affected dancers' lives, from the way we share our choreography to the way we approach class taking. There were some enthralling conversations on emerging dance styles and the recent proliferation of job opportunities for dancers.

Overall, I had an amazing time working with the eclectic group!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Entity: Ultimate Brawl 2013 and Will's M.F.A. Thesis Concert

Last weekend I had the opportunity to dance with Entity at Ultimate Brawl (UB) 2013. UB is a hip hop dance competition organized by the hip hop dance group, 909. I always enjoy performing at community dance events because there is a greater sense of respect and support than at non-community dance events. I also enjoy watching the community teams and seeing how they have evolved and/or progressed.

It's been a long time since I was a part of the creative process with Will and Marissa (I believe my last number with them was the Aliyah one), and I was fascinated with how they brought our latest piece to life. Especially interesting to me were the parts where there were two or four dancers. I've never choreographed a duet or a small group, and I loved seeing how Will and Marissa created moments in which two dancers not only danced in sync with each other but also interacted with each other.

I think "As the Sky Settles" is one of my favorite Entity pieces to date. Watch how the different moments in the piece are flawlessly unveiled, and how the piece flows seamlessly from one vignet to another:

Marissa and Will are so talented at what they do, and I feel grateful to be able to learn from them. It's been four years since I began dancing with the group, and I forget how lucky I am to be a part of the duo's unique artistic vision.

Members from top/botom & left/right: Courtney Bradley, Krystal Matsuyama, Alec Guthrie, Emily Silber, Tess Hewlett, Grayson McGuire, Mikael Villela, Ashley Paige (Gomez), Will Johnston, Aimee Ferguson, Me, Marissa Osato, Victoria Acker, Aisha Gibbs (Missing: Bailey Stump, Ray Naval, Anthony Westlake, Diana Schonfield, and Liane Aung)
Entity's next performance will be at Will's M.F.A thesis concert 5/13 and 5/14 at UCI:

The hour-long show includes a variety of work pertaining to Will's thesis research. We've been rehearsing for a few weeks and I've gotten a sneak peak of the other pieces that are in the show. I am blown away by everything I've seen so far, and can't wait to share the stage with all the amazing dancers that are participating! 

RSVP for the FREE show at:

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cher Lloyd: Radio Disney Music Awards 2013

I had the wonderful opportunity to perform with Cher Lloyd at the first ever Radio Disney Music Awards on April 27, 2013:

Nick Florez and RJ Durell were the choreographers for this project, and it was fun to be in the studio with them and the other Cher Lloyd dancers again:

Dancers: Yoori Kim, Deja Riley, Angela Gacad
With RJ and Nick backstage
It was fun to see how Nick and RJ were able to transform the piece to be more thematically in line with the music video. Unlike the bright and playful costumes during our "The Today Show" performance, the costumes for the Radio Disney Music Awards were all black with gold accents. Nick and RJ also tweaked the choreography to give the performance a "spookier" vibe.

Hopefully this won't be the last time I perform with the Brat Pack! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Choreographing for Evoke Dance Company: "Living Like You Do" by SBTRKT

I was recently invited by Evoke Dance Company to choreograph a piece for their end of the year showcase in June. Of course I was very honored they asked me, and I was excited at the opportunity to conceptualize and choreograph an entire piece on my own!

After just three sessions with 19 of the team's members, I finished the three minute piece to SBTRKT's, "Living Like You Do."

I don't have footage of the routine in its entirety, but here is a snippet of choreography from the piece that I taught in a class at Edge PAC:

Thank you Josephine, Justine, Jennifer, and Evoke Dance Company for having me! I can't wait to see it on stage!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

An Adventure to Remember: Coachella

Coachella is the music lover's mecca.

Yes I paid both arms and legs for my special yellow wristband, but it was well worth it! Not only were the performances amazing but the overall experience of Coachella was also incredible. Who knew that camping in a dusty desert for 3 days and 2 nights could be so fun?

Team Coachella ended up being a wonderful mashup of school friends and non-school friends:

Jeka, Kelly, Dana, Angela, Stephanie, Maria, and I all got cozy in one campsite. While it wasn't uncomfortable having two tents on one plot, it would've been even better if we had another little plot on which to set up a "hang out" area.

One of the most memorable moments of the trip was when Jeka, Kelly, and I were about half a mile away from the campgrounds. Dana called to remind us of the "no glass" policy, and all three of us looked at each other in surprise. Of course none of us had read the fine print! We immediately pulled off to the side of the road and did what we had to do. Desperate times call for desperate measures!

The next morning I was awoken by the following: 1) Our next door neighbors talking loudly about ways in which they'd like to die 2) the disgusting heat and 3) the neighbors across from us blaring dub step music. After a few refreshments we headed into the venue for an unexpectedly long day:

Can you tell we're exhausted at 6PM?
On the second day we tried conserving our energy by starting the day a little later. My absolute FAVORITE set was The xx. I've been in love with their music for a few years and I listen to them nearly every single day. Hearing them live was one of the most magical experiences I've had to date: 
These guys...
Getting buck at 2 Chainz
Heart literally skipped a beat watching The xx
And I don't know how, but we managed to stay alive for a third and final day of music euphoria. One of the greatest parts of Coachella was enjoying the festivities with new and old friends alike:
How is it that we've been to elementary, middle, high school,  AND college together? 
Fun dance friends
Marcia and Steven from the Willow camp!
My first Coachella experience was certainly one for the books!

So who's down for Coachella 2014?