BuildaBeast 2016 Choreographers Announced

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I am so excited for the 2016 BuildaBeast Experience!

Last year’s event was epic. Here is my post from a year ago. This year’s is going to be even better.

Here is the promotional video that was just released with the teachers lined up for this year. This is probably one of the best intensives in hip-hop you could ever attend – not only because of the great teachers, but also because of the great dancers. It is such a privilege to train with Will and Janelle and the immaBEAST family of dancers. Every single one is a working professional dancer and the top 10 minis, teens, and immas are among the top dancers in the world. Look at any job and you see them. I was at an audition last week with 200 dancers. At the end of the audition, there were 15 people who went to video. 11 of them are #immaBEASTS.

If you want a career as a professional dancer, come to #buildaBEAST2016. I have discount codes available if you message me. I am only able to give out so many, so first come, first serve.

Remember, the #buildaBEAST2016 event is also the warm up to audition for the team. The team changes every year as Will and Janelle only pick the best. Everyone auditions, including current team members. They do not play favorites – just pick the best dancers.

2016-2017 will be an amazing year of growth for #immaBEAST. Every year the team gets more and more opportunities. What began as a popular YouTube group has grown to booking jobs on TV (Ellen, SYTYCD, Voice, DWTS, BET and other Award Shows), Movies (Straight out of Compton and others), and Commercials (too many to mention). #Immabeast is represented by BTB Management, and BBR Agency.

Get Your Tickets NOW athttp://immabeast.co/buildab…
BuildaBEAST is a 5 day long dance camp event in Los Angeles, California taking place on July 18th- July 22nd 2016. Come take Master Classes from WilldaBEAST, Janelle Ginestra, Tony Tzar, Kinjaz, Kay Kay, Twitch, Hollywood, Andrew Winghart, Frankie J, Laure Courtellemont, Codie Wiggins, BDash & Konkrete, and MORE.

Get your tickets NOW before they sell out! http://immabeast.co/buildab…

Here is the promo for the event – you must be sure to come!

#YouTubeLA

Google Creator Day #YouTubeLA

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As you may know, I have been really publishing a lot of videos on YouTube the past year. It is something that became part of my career development strategy when I became a professional dancer. A lot of it was inspired by Will Willdabeast Adams, and his creative director, Brazil.  When I started my channel, Willdabeast had about 500,000 subscribers. Today he has 1.5 million. When I started I had about 25, and recently I got the attention of YouTube when my subscribers neared 10k. I was the only kid invited to Creator Day at #YouTubeLA, so my dad had to go with me.

First Observation – 10K is a magic number

Because I am in the entertainment industry, I personally know at least 20 dancers that have more than 10k subscribers. Many, like Jordyn Jones have over 500k. Because their subscriber numbers are so launched, I really did not see my 10K as a big deal. However, I learned from YouTube that it is a big deal. It puts me in the top tier of YouTube creators in the world.

To encourage YouTube creators, YouTube has developed 8 film studios with legit equipment in major cities around the world including Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, New York, Sao Paulo, Berlin, Paris, and Mumbai. When you hit 10K, you can unlock the YouTube space and use their film studios for FREE!

IMG_3032Best Practices

At YouTube Creator day, I was joined by about 70 other YouTubers to learn about best practices, discuss collaborations with other creators, tour the studio, and layout content plans.

There are 10 Keys to Great Content

  1. Discoverable – Will the content be found through search or related videos
  2. Accessible – can every episode be fully appreciated by a new viewer?
  3. Sharable – will viewers want to share these videos?
  4. Collaborative – Is the channel working with other talents?
  5. Targeted – is the channel targeting a specific audience?
  6. Conversational – Is there an element of speaking directly to the audience?
  7. Interactive – is there a way to involve the audience?
  8. Consistent – are there strong recurring elements?
  9. Sustainable – If the fans love it, can you make more of it?
  10. Inspiration – Is the content coming from a genuine place of passion?

If you are a YouTuber, or a video creator of any kind – consider your video content against these 10 content fundamentals.

What is the Persona of your channel viewers?

For me, I started publishing my dance to YouTube primarily to market my skills to choreographers who I was likely to see at an audition. Video has also become a popular way of submitting for dance jobs.  I direct book some of my work with choreographers who know me, or select me from my video. I am pretty sure that it was a combination of knowing the choreographer and my video submission that helped me book the Justin Bieber Purpose tour.

As my audience grew, I began to realize that my target was being reached by my videos, but the true personas of my viewers are kids like me; mostly other dancers. 81% are female and 19% are male.

YouTube has a hard time tracking kids (see Terms of Use).  So I think that my age range statistics are off. 16% are under age 17, 58% are 18-24, 15% are 25-35, and it’s all downhill from there.

One think I try to do is answer every comment on all of my videos. There, I see that most of the audience that comments are girls my age and dancers.

Content Planning

YouTube suggests that channel owners manage their content creation into three categories. The first is called Hero Content. If you are a fan of my channel, you may know that I have been doing this once a quarter for about a year, sometimes more often. For me, Hero Content is when I work with a choreographer and a professional camera crew on a set location to build a concept video. If you look at my videos with the most views, those are the Hero pieces.

The second type of content is Hub content. For me, these are videos that were either from conventions or stuff shot in my studio. It is published once a week and typically on Thursday if I am not too busy.

The third type of content is Help Content. This content is aimed at inspiring your page viewers, answering questions and stuff like that. I have a series of dance training videos on stretching, some Q&A videos and stuff like that. These are also known as special video that occur every once in a while on your channel.

Collaboration StrategiesCollaboration

One of lessons from Creator Day is to Collaborate with other YouTubers. By working with other channel owners with similar or different fans, I can build my channel viewers and subscribers. I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of musicians and we know that they always need dancers. I have also done some collaboration with other dancers. They are super fun.  If you have a channel and you want to collaborate – let me know!

When We Were Young

Ellen Opportunity!

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Hey everybody! So.. BIG NEWS: My video has been posted on Ellen Tube! If you all share it, I could get on the show! This amazing video was choreographed by Robert Schultz, danced by Trevor Quezada and myself, and featuring beautiful music sang by Tanner Patrick. So… you should all share it on all the social medias! I mean, unless you’re too cool for that nonsense… Here’s the link!

Shout Out To The New Times

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Fullscreen_1_8_16__1_52_PM…….That moment when you look at the newspaper and find an article about yourself it it….

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO Ryah Cooley, the Arts Editor for the New Times. Ryah and her photographer Dylan Honea-Baumann came out to the SparkLab studio between Christmas and New Years Day to watch me train and to interview me for an article that came out today.

A few years ago, being interviewed for a newspaper article was nerve racking. Now that I have gotten the hang of it, it is really fun. Part of the fun is never knowing what they choose to write about.

I am really happy with how the article turned out. I think that Ms. Cooley did a great job of telling the story that I am just like every other kid – going to school and practicing my sport.  In dance, you do not have friday night lights, you have performances that sometimes, if you are lucky, make it to television. Short of that, I love putting videos on YouTube and it is fulfilling to watch my art engage so many people. Last month my videos hit over 1500 hours of viewing! That is just crazy.

Thank you New Times and thank everyone who pays attention to what I am doing. It is great to have so much support.

Check out the article http://www.newtimesslo.com/art/13285/cyberfamous-teen-dancer-from-arroyo-grande-hits-1-million-views-on-youtube/

 

 

Sean Lew and the Best Boys Ever

By | Dance, Friends, Stuff I Like | 2 Comments

There was a time when I was 8 or 9 years old when DPAC when to visit our sister studio in LA, Dellos Performing Arts. I met Sean Lew on Instagram for the first time. He is a year older than me and one of the best male dancers in the world. Sean and I were also both privately trained by Mr. Marco Cruz for years. Over time, I ran into Sean a lot at The Pulse on Tour and other conventions. We also often got calls for the same auditions and worked together from time to time, including The Voice. He and I are also teammates on #immaBEAST with Will Adams.

Sean Lew with Big Will Simmons and  Josh PriceThe dance industry is mostly competitive and cutthroat. But, there are a few enlightened kids that understand that is wrong. Sean is one of those. When I would travel by myself to train at conventions, I was alone and surrounded by kids that were there with their studios. Very few kids would go out of their way to make friends. Everywhere I have ever seen Sean, he has always been my friend and looked after me. I don’t have an older brother, but I imagine that if I did, he would be a lot like Sean.

There was a time a few years ago when Sean started choreographing his own solos. People had their opinion about Sean, some believing that he was too big for his britches. They were so wrong. Sean was born to dance and born to be a choreographer. His work is so good that he gave up competition after winning everything. As you will see from the video – his work is epic.

Today, Sean dropped one of the most amazing videos. Sean choreographed this trio with Bill Will Simmons and Josh Price. The three of them are easily in the top 10 dancers in America today and all #immaBEAST team members. These boys are the greatest and this video is sooooo good.

Watch this video and remember, “sharing is caring!” Share it on your social media so the world can see how talented these guys are!

How to Assist at a Dance Convention

By | Competition, Convention | No Comments

I am in an airport heading to the first Hollywood Vibe in St. Louis. I am so excited to see everyone again and begin the tour as Dancer of the Year. My dad and I had a conversation in the United Club lounge in San Francisco about the differences between this year and the last time I won dancer of the year. It inspired me to write this post because there is no manual for assisting or the other things that you do as a company member or DOTY for a convention. In some small way, you may want to use this as a guide.

Icon of the yearFirst of all, when I won Icon of the Year for Hollywood Connection, I was not really going for it. It was my second year on the competition team and my first year doing solos. My solo, Whatcha Want placed first place in San Jose that year and I won regional Icon of the Year runner up. I really had no expectation to win Dancer of the Year. I just went to Nationals and worked my but off and did the best job I could. I nearly peed my pants at the awards banquet when they called my name. It was a total shock. I was 9 years old at the time, and I toured with Hollywood Connection the next year and assisted in the junior room on stage in about 5 or 6 cities

That same year, I won regional Dancer of the Year for Hollywood Vibe and was invited to join Team Hollywood Vibe. Team Hollywood vibe members assist teachers. It also qualified me for Dancer of the Year. Last year at Nationals, after touring 4 or 5 cities with team Hollywood Vibe, I was fortunate enough to be selected as Dancer of the Year. This was totally different than Hollywood Connection. I wanted it. I knew that I would need to work really hard at home and at convention to elevate my skills to be a contender. It was my goal. Competition was fierce and I fought my emotions and doubt with courage and dedication. In truth, becoming a finalist would have been good enough. I don’t really know how they pick a winner when it is down to a few dancers. I can tell you that the other girls definitely were as good if not better than me in so many ways. It was a toss-up and I am grateful that I got it.

Convention as Dancer of the Year is a totally different experience. I do not compete, but I run my solo in each city. I will also be in the team Hollywood Vibe company dances. All of the company members are sent a video of the dance a week in advance and we learn it on our own. This is a really important skill to pick up. As a professional dancer, I am often sent video footage of a dance to learn in advance of rehearsal. We need to have the skills to learn a dance so that rehearsal is more about cleaning than teaching.

My dad asked me about the pressure I feel as DOTY. He wanted to know if it is harder to dance on stage in front of everyone versus being on the floor learning. The answer is “it depends on the choreographer,” and “it depends on what you are doing.” When you are learning the 8 counts, it is important that you focus on the movement and the timing so the dancers on the floor have a clear understanding of the choreography, especially if the choreographer doesn’t dance it. You need to rely on your body for technique. I try to go more full out when the dance is being taught, and less full out when running groups. Here is the idea. When the dance is being taught, they should be looking at the teacher and assistant on stage going full out. That is how you learn. But when running groups, the class should be going full out and we are there to give them the queues when they need it. I go at about 70 or 80 percent during groups and focus on accenting the details of the dance.

If you are assisting for the first time, feel free to DM me on Instagram with questions. I wish I would had a guide my first time. I was scared and uncertain and it would have helped to learn from someone that has been there before.

Happy Halloween

By | Dance | One Comment

Hi fam! I have three super fun things to tell you about my Halloween. First off, I was Flo from Progressive. Perfect, right?

Clark Center for the Performing Arts FoundationSecond, huge thank you to the Clark Center Performing Arts Foundation Board who provided me a scholarship to attend a ballet program this summer. As you might expect, these intensives are expensive.

Third, right after Hollywood Vibe in San Diego, we started work on a special YouTube video for Halloween to the song Animals by Nabiha (https://youtu.be/yT1bW3Cproc). The choreography was done by #immaBEAUTY Janelle Ginestra. We released the video on Halloween Day at noon.

A lot of my YouTube videos have been solo performances. Recently I have been changing that up because it is way more fun to dance with other kids. I cannot thank my friends enough for the hard work and time that they put into the video. There is normally one or two days of learning choreography. If you know Janelle, then you know that each rehearsal is about four hours and you go full out the whole time! If you think that taking a 1 or 1 ½ hour class at Millennium is intense – you have not lived. On top of that, they came back for a full day shoot directed by Helton Brazil Sequeira – or @directorBrazil.

I love every one of these girls and cannot thank them enough for their work #lilBEAST family rocks!

Jadyn Hernandez (@JadynHernandez715)

Jenna Z Alvarez (@JennaZAlvarez)

Savanna Kubat (@Savanna.Kubat)

Sofia Wylie (@Sofia_Dance10)

Tahani Anderson (@Tahani_Anderson) **Second Appearance – love her!

Vivien Lopez (@VivienLopez569)

Here is the video

Ok, wait – there is a fourth thing. 1 Million Views on YouTube – crazy right?

1 Million YouTube Views

 

 

 

 

Preview of Animals Dance For Halloween

By | Dance, Friends | No Comments

Hi Everyone!

The immaBEAST dancers supported me in the creation of this special dance for my YouTube page. The choreography was created by immaBEAUTY, Janelle Ginestra. @willdaBEAST was not involved in this project, but it is important to acknowledge that none of this stuff would not happen without his vision for supporting and creating opportunities for dancers. Thank you Will!

We are doing a really cool thing to launch the video. Each day between now and Halloween, a different instagram announcement will be dropped.

  • @jennazalverez
  • @vivienlopez569
  • @tahani_anderson
  • @jadynhernandez715
  • @savanna.kubat
  • @sofia_dance10

Thanks to @directorbrazil for all of his hard work producing these videos, and thanks to you for all of the support too.

Check it out