Posted  on May 5, 2017  in Events

The Reasons Why

Anywhere you look, you will see Hip Hop.

Maybe you realize it, maybe you don’t – the culture is alive and thriving all around us, in every industry from music and dance to fashion and art.

Hip Hop has become such a popular worldwide phenomenon in recent decades that most people celebrate it only in its evolved form. We memorize bars by our favorite rappers on the radio and rock the freshest new kicks and hats.

But there is a reason Hip Hop grew to be as powerful and pervasive as it is. There is a reason its messages still resonate with people across generations, backgrounds, ethnicities, and economic statuses. There is a reason dancers, DJs, MCs, and artists have dedicated their lives to preserving and innovating their respective art forms. There is a reason we love Hip Hop so much.

The reason is the roots.

We’ve all, for one reason or another, felt afraid. We have all struggled with prejudice, loneliness, and defeat.

So did the pioneers of Hip Hop.

As DJ Kool Herc and the rest of the inner-city youth partied on the streets of West Bronx, New York, something unexpected happened. They used music, breakin’, MCing, and graffiti as tools to express themselves to the fullest, in an environment where nothing and no one else seemed to accept who they were. They found – created – a safe haven to be.

Hip Hop started as, and continues to be a place of possibility, creativity, acceptance, respect, and freedom. For all people.

Who we are

Culture Shock Los Angeles is dedicated to preserving and expanding the positive impact of Hip Hop culture by educating the youth, bridging different dance communities, and practicing a lifestyle embodying Hip Hop’s values.

Photo by Noah Henderson

Our annual event titled “Hip Hop Has History,” or “H4” is a culmination of all these things – outreach, education, and entertainment.

We offer dance classes in Hip Hop, street styles, and choreography, invite pioneers of the culture to speak in panels and discussions, recognize notable figures of the movement, and host battles where dancers could showcase their individual talents.

This year’s event was split into 2 days – one day specifically for the youth, and one day for for adults.

Here’s a little recap of #H42017 weekend!

Photo by Noah Henderson

What happened?

Saturday, April 29, 2017 – Kid’s Dance Day

 

All kids under 17 were invited to participate in Saturday’s “Kid’s Dance Day” completely free of cost.

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

They learned the basics of krumping, breaking, new jack, popping, locking, MC, DJ, house, whacking, and even leadership tools.  

CSLA’s Jazmyne Jenkins teaching New Jack

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

CSLA’s Jeff Labastida teaching DJing with the Academy of DJs

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Photo by Jessie Ma

Learning how to scratch!

Photo by Noah Henderson

Photo by Noah Henderson

CSLA’s Alyson Van teaching freestyle concepts

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

CSLA’s Kameko Ogg teaching the importance of balance in Breakin’

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Knicole Haggins teaching intermediate/advanced Hip Hop

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

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Photo by Jessie Ma

The kids grouped in twos to dance battle each other at the end of the evening. 

Mini Shockers practicing their routines

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Photo by Jessie Ma

They came up with short combinations of choreography with each other and practiced improvising on the spot in front of an audience. 

Matching costumes!

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Photo by Jessie Ma

“Thank you to all who made Kid’s Dance Day a huge success! We hope the day encouraged artistic exploration, provided insight into the rich history of the Hip-Hop culture, and left participants feeling energized and inspired.”

– Allison Tanaka, CSLA Executive Director

Sunday, April 20, 2017 – Hip Hop Has History

 


Sunday’s H4 featured many Hip Hop pioneers as well as newer generations of educators.

Urban Choreography with Vinh Nguyen

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Urban Choreography with Bam Martin

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Whacking with Kumari Suraj

Photo by Noah Henderson

Photo by Noah Henderson

“Mentality Behind the Movement” discussion with the Kinjaz

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

During lunch, CSLA recognized Viktor Manoel for his achievements and contributions to Hip Hop by awarding him the H4 Award.

Allison Tanaka presenting the H4 Award to Viktor

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma

Viktor is an OG Punker who continues to spread his knowledge of the dance and culture with the world.

Congratulations, Viktor! 

Photo by Noah Henderson

Photo by Noah Henderson

“H4 gave dancers an opportunity to link with pioneers and teachers of different generations and bridge communities that don’t typically cross borders. Truly an experience that puts artists closer to their heart, and operate from a place of authenticity.”

– Leo Matsuyama, CSLA Dance Captain ’16-’17

The night ended with another round of 2v2 all-styles battles, this time with the adult participants of H4.

DJ RPM, AKA Raffy Piamonte of CSLA spinning for the battles

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Photo by Noah Henderson

Technical skill, individuality, and creativity for days!

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Photo by Noah Henderson

Femme Fatale, AKA Marie Poppins and Lily Frias, wowed us all with their talent and personality.

Marie and Lily in battle

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Photo by Noah Henderson

Winners of the battle with judges Rascal Randi, Bboy Vincanity, and Kumari Suraj

Photo by Noah Henderson

Photo by Noah Henderson

One of the most memorable moments of the weekend was one of the breaks during the battles. The entire room erupted in a massive dance party, led by a group of attendees who started party dancin’ in the middle of the floor.

All organic, all fun, all good vibes with old friends and strangers alike – THIS IS HIP HOP!

Photo by Noah Henderson

Photo by Noah Henderson

 

“This year’s H4 was filled with incredible instructors who shared more than just artistry and movement, but the spirit, essence and power of the art forms they represented!  The energy was so extraordinary as it was one of encouragement and contagious good energy. Loved the fact that Academy of DJ’s join us this year to really rep that important Hip Hop element and the battles on both were lit with extraordinary dancers, good music and a hype crowd to keep the momentum flowing! Of all the things I am proud of most, it is that this event once again represented CommUNITY, peace, love, encouragement and inspiration FOR ALL PEOPLE who attended.”

– Arnel Calvario, President

For those who attended, we hope you enjoyed your experience at H4 2017!

Now, let’s keep the momentum going…

 

Where do we go from here?

Honoring and celebrating Hip Hop is not a one, or even two-day event.

It’s something Culture Shock aims to do constantly, through our service in the Los Angeles communities.

Want to be a part of our mission? Support by donating here!

If you can’t donate, you can still help our movement in simple ways:

Take the things you learned and teach others. Take the inspiration and inspire others. Take the joys of Hip Hop and live it, every day.

 

Photo by Jessie Ma

Photo by Jessie Ma