This Saturday is Crafty Bastards 2011, DC's annual craft fair and b-boy battle. Two years ago, it was one of the first battles I attended, and last year it was my first public b-boy battle, so I have a soft spot for the event. I'm not entering this year, but I thought it would be a good time to write a little bit about what I've been doing lately, dance-wise.
In February, I joined Urban Artistry as a performer and part of the operations team (helping on the web sites, mostly). Over the past year, that role has grown somewhat, and I'm now the Director for Interactive Media for the company. It's been a great experience to help UA grow, even in small ways, and I'm pretty proud of that work.
In the meantime, I've still been working on b-boying, popping, and strutting. The latter, a popping style from San Francisco, is something that I really enjoy: it has a lot of exaggerated gestures, which work well with my height, and it can be performed in stunning group routines. One of the inventors of strutting, Pop Tart, even came to Soul Society to judge and teach a workshop:
Dancing has also re-kindled my interest in playing bass. I've been doing a few open mics lately after class on Thursdays, practicing with other company members, and trying my hand at new genres. Whether the two skills are directly reinforcing each other, I'm not sure. But I do find it interesting that I "hear" music differently from people with a pure dance background: I tend to pick out individual instruments more than they do, for one thing, possibly just because I know which sounds go with what. It's not better or worse, but it is different, and I'd like to learn to listen from either "perspective" at will.
It's kind of ironic that all this is coming together now, as Belle and I get ready to move to Seattle before the end of the year. The dance community here may not have completely turned around my opinion of the city, but it's done more than anything else to open my eyes to a more vital side of DC. Leaving it behind will be hard.