I love the Internet. Through the magic of Twitter I found a style of dance I never knew anything about. It’s called krumping. I watched some of the videos on YouTube and it got me really excited…you see, I could feel the emotion coming out of these dancers. It was the most moving thing I have seen in a long time, and I’m really happy to be able to share it with you here today by talking with Arsene Hodali in our next installment of the series, “10 Questions With…”
Can I have your name, location and age?
My name is Arsene Hodali, I live in Toronto, Ontario CA and I’m 19 years old.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and how you became involved with dance.
The easiest way to see what else I do is by visiting my blog at http://www.danceproof.com/. I became involved with dance when I was 16-17 years old. I went and signed up for a hip-hop class on a whim. I loved it. I got over my shyness though dance, I learned to be carefree through dance, and I learned how to laugh at myself though dance.
1. For those who don’t know what krumping is, can you describe it?
The best way I can describe krumping is “the hard-core rock version of hip-hop mixed with contemporary dancing”. It has the same roots as break dancing, as it did come from the streets, was used as an alternate to violence, and incorporates many of the same moves. It also has some roots in old-old school native american/african tribal dance.
2. How did you get into krumping?
I got into krumping, again by accident. When I turned 17 problems at home caused me to drop out of the hip-hop dance program due to me not being emotionally attached to all the “happiness”. I saw “RIZE” (a documentary on krumping and clowning) later on in the summer and was immediately captured by it’s message of dancing out your sorrow and anger.
I searched Youtube, saw some instructional videos, and learned from them for a while. But they didn’t really help. I then sought out some more experienced krumpers in my city, and eventually finding them, they agreed to teach me. We grew into NORTHBUCK Ent. (best krumpers in Canada) and the rest is history I suppose.
3. How is krumping different from other dance styles?
Krumping is different from other dance styles because it incorporates emotion and attitude into it as a necessasity. For example you could be an amazing “technique” krumper and do amazing things, such as b-boys do. But you would easily lose a battle against someone without these fancy moves if they show heart, emotion, anger, happiness, cockiness, etc. in their dancing. There’s even times when people don’t actually move and it’s amazing. The closest dance style I see it resembling are breakdancing, and contemporary.
4. How easy is it to learn krumping?
Krumping is easy to pick up, hard to perfect.
The basics are simple. Chest pumps, arm swings, arm jabs, travels, buck hops, army moves, etc. and can be taught in one day.
However, learning how to properly arm swing, arm jab, buck hop while timing to the music, telling a story, and entertaining the audience is extremely hard, complicated, and is an art in it’s self.
5. What has being involved in dance done for you?
Being involved with dance has opened me up as a human being. I’m more social, more carefree, and more understanding in life. One has to learn how to not really care what other people think in order to krump (one of the least understood dance styles).
Krumping has also given me a sense of family. I’ve never really been close to my family, and thus never really had a sense of family in my life. But, through krumping I became closer to the people i krumped with. We became family. When I say NORTHBUCK is my family. I literary mean, they are my family. I would fight for any of them, any time.
6. I understand you are going to be involved in an instructional DVD project. Can you tell readers a bit about that?
The DVD is one of those things we want to make and don’t want to make. We want to make it because so many people asked us to make one so we can teach them from afar (we can’t personally teach people in Italy, Russia, Argentina, etc.). But, we also know that the founder of krumping (Tight Eyez) has instructional DVDs out that teach people these basics. They are classics and a staple in a die-hard krumpers library of DVDs.
We are in the process of making a instructional DVD not to replace the DVDs the founder made, but as an add-on. The DVDs were made over 6-8 years ago, and A LOT of things have changed in krump since then. New basics have been added, new moves, etc. And we want to cover these new areas.
7. How often do you dance?
I, and a lot of krumpers, dance everyday.
When I hear a new krump song, you’ll usually find me engrossed in krumping for the next 2-8 hours after. It’s that addicting. Krumping, as we see it, is not just a dance, it’s a lifestyle.
What ballerina can tell you that when they lost their mom, they danced out their emotion? What jazz dancer can say that? I literally krump anywhere that music exists, if I hear it, I krump…. it’s addicting.
8. Can you describe how you feel when you are dancing?
When I krump I am at my happiest. It’s a feeling of opening up my heart to the world, whether angry, happy, or sad.
btw- Krumping is also used for praising God. It’s actually a key part of it that I forgot to mention. In fact Krump is actually spelled K.R.U.M.P. and stands for Kingdom Radically Uplifted Mighty Praise. It was started as a way to praise God (on top of the release anger, and stop violence aspects of it).
9. What type of music is used for krumping?
You can krump to anything with “soul”. But if I had to put it into a category I would say you can find yourself mostly krumping to jazz, hip-hop, rap, funk, soul, etc. Rap being the dominant one.
10. Do you have any other experience with dance besides krumping, or was it your first exposure?
As I said I used to hip-hop dance for a while before krumping.
And speaking of www.NORTHBUCK.com, you should check out our videos there. There are videos on our performances, battles, sessions, etc.