Column in Miss Mix

Miss Mix column 6-7/2013 // Haza Hajipoori



Did the tv program "Dance" affected you as a dancer? And your thoughts about dance?
I grew as a person quite a lot. Before Dance I never would have thought that I'm capable of things or dance styles what I had to do in the program. Or that I could handle that much pressure that came along with the TV show. I always thought that in the dance world one has to have a great dance technique (I'm talking about ballet/jazz technique) to get any jobs as a dancer or to even be successful in a TV show like Dance.

My thoughts changed when I realized that with hard practice I am able to do the same stuff that a ballerina could. And a great thing was that through the TV show I could show all the viewers that a street dancer is as capable of doing things in which a ballet dancer or anyone else and that we too have technique! The show gave me confidence, I have always downplayed my dancing skills. And during Dance I was in a stage of life that was time for me to start to think about getting a "real life", that ones life can't just be dancing, but apparently it can.

What are you doing at the moment and what future plans do you have?
At the moment i'm fully employed as a dancer. I am in the Tampere Workers Theater's Princess musical, which had its premiere on the 5th of this month. Future as a dancer is unstable, you never know where you'll find your self tomorrow. I will keep on practising hard and hopefully I'll find jobs in the future too.


Who do you admire and why?

There are so many, I have had so many good teachers and dance colleagues around me. And because of them I'm the dancer that I am. Maybe one name that I would specially want to mention is Sara Hirn. I remember when she came to teach a workshop at Tampere. I went to her class without knowing who she is and what she does and I right away sort of "fell in love" with her. Her way of teaching is really good, she opened up the world of dance for me then. I remember thinking that when I "grow up" I want to be like her. And even today. She is really skillful as a dancer, a perfect example of how can one be a good street and jazz dancer at the same time. She has been doing a lot of work in and for the Finnish street dance scene. And right now she is doing important work with kids and youth at the 09 Helsinki Human Rights foundation. That's something that I want to do someday as well.


Miss Mix column 5/2013 // Archie Burnett



May issue was about Waacking! At times we've been quite confused and had many questions on our minds about this particular style. So we wanted to hear Archie Burnett points of view.  He is well known for his outstanding presence, willingness to share his knowledge about dance and the culture, and how he get's down at each and every jam, competition and after party! He really cleared some stuff for us through this interview, really inspiring and straight talk. Wanted to share this with you guys. I hope that it provokes your thoughts too! Thank you Mr. Archie!

What is waacking? Could you tell us a brief history of this dance style? How did it start and how has it evolved?
Waacking regardless how it is spelled is a dance created in the underground West Coast gay clubs in L.A. in the early 70's. Alternate lifestyle kids drew from the influences of movies and silent film. Inspired by that medium they transformed what they saw on film and translated that to movement onto the dance floor. As it was told to me by a few different sources of people who had a relationship with some of the architects of this dance, Andrew Frank, Viktor Manoel, Arthur Gulf, Billy Star Estrada and Tinker Toy and others not mentioned. I do not mean to offend anyone, but like any movement it takes many contributors to establish a "trend" or "fashionable statement etc". These are some if not the ones that stood out in the beginning. When television came into play Shabba-Doo, Ana Sanchez, Tyrone Proctor played visible roles in the popularity of the dance.

Photo credit: Andrew Eccles
The issue of music is a mute point. If "House"music was in the 70's they would dance to that. The music at the time mainly were songs Disco, Soul, Funk,and Fusions of the like. This does not restrict the dance in any way to only this type of music. If there's music, it can be danced to.

It's the music not the dance. Your one on one relationship with that music guides you to experience what the DJ has to offer. There are a lot of young dancers adding to the vocabulary in a physical manner but their emotional connection to what they do is absent. I attribute this to the side effect insecurities that the "Battle" mentality creates. What the dance has become now is quite different than what it was. Waacking was never a battle dance or an aerobics class. Period.

The all too familiar "I wanna dance but I'm not good enough to go in the circle. I don't wanna suck!" thereby I'm afraid to show who, what, and where I am in my life to the public, ergo imprisoning myself! First rule of thumb is the circle does not validate you! Get over it! When you dance from a real place, the door to freedom is opened and everything changes forever.

How did you get in to waacking? 
I grew up on the East Coast and was attracted to this dance on Soul Train a weekly variety show around 1974. I was amazed at the freedom and extravertedness of this dance. I was raised in a strict 7th Day Adventist home where dancing and any worldly thing was forbidden. Since the show aired on Saturdays which is the Sabbath for Adventists you could imagine the kind of "fire and brimstone" heat I was getting from my mom.

Yet, I danced, and this dance to me was my physical representation of total escapism and freedom. Bottom line, is we all need to be free! So my advice people is fight for your freedom. Remember only you have to live with you for the rest of your life. So, LIVE IT!
Photo credit: Andrew Eccles
What do you think about developing once own way of doing it? How far can one go, but still maintain the essence of waacking? 

Here is what I think about that, the root base should be the same. For instance, you see a movie like "Transylvania" that movie has so many moves and emotional situations that you can translate into this dance. I think popular culture is fine but how it translates in film is the way to go as opposed to print (which is VOGUE).

The basic elements of the dance do not change but the vocabulary can be added to as long as it's coming from a real place. Cartoons are great part of this dance. That source has a multitude of possibilities, so I am saying try to keep your root base sources in their lane because if you don't, then there is no clarity and it becomes something else.

So when you take a workshop gage your teachers age, how connected emotionally to what they do and do you believe what their body is telling you. This is an "all the way in" dance. Not a "surface" dance. Anyone can learn a skill but can they speak through that skill emotionally is the key.

About the arms. The arms are the physical expression of the story you are telling. This dances influences are silent film and movies. To communicate without words. It's not enough to just throw your arms in chaos and not say anything. People lived like this, lived through this and this was their lifestyle. A physical reflection of the things that affected them. If you Whack(Strike), then strike! There are different dynamics in the intensity of a strike thereby giving the dancer a greater vocabulary.

About the legs. This dance was never meant to stay in one place. It is a choice. What I see is a disconnection between feet and body. People nowadays are thinking too much and are not allowing the natural thing to take over. It's not rocket science. If you need to move left or right, front or back, just move. People forget to put themselves into the dance as opposed to a series of rehearsed moves. That may be good for choreographic purposes but is it the life's blood of the dance? No.


Check Your Body at the Door: Archie Burnett from Check Your Body at the Door on Vimeo.





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Check Your Body At The Door

Archie was also part of the production team and one of the featured dancers on this document! If you haven't seen it order it here NOW!

On the official website www.checkyourbodyatthedoor.com you can read more about the document project, dancers and their history and watch some great footage:

"Check Your Body at the Door is a documentary about some remarkable underground-House dancers in NYC. Filmed during the golden decade of the 1990s, it follows a core group of master free-stylists to the clubs, to their jobs and their everyday lives. Archie Burnett, Brahms “Bravo” LaFortune, the late Willi Ninja, Brian “Footwork” Green, Barbara Tucker, Ejoe Wilson, Conrad “SP” Rochester and Asia Moon, among many others, talk about why they dance and what it means. Also filmed in the studio against a white background, in silhouette, or in light pools, their virtuosic moves and choreography are striking." (source http://www.checkyourbodyatthedoor.com/home)





Miss Mix column 4/2013 // FootworkingZ



April issue was about Footworking. We interviewed King Charles and Prince Jaron from the Footworkingz. They have toured with Madonna at her Sticky and Sweet tour, performed and done competitions, and most importantly spread out their knowledge about Chicago footworking. 

Jaron on the left, Charles on the right
What is footworking? Describe the styles main charters. Music etc.
KING CHARLES: This dance style is a high energy genre of movement in which the feet move to House, Ghetto House, and Juke music reaching tempos of 160bpm.

The history of the style, where and how did it start and how has it evolved if so?
KING CHARLES: The style started on the south and west side of Chicago back in the early 80's in warehouses and other type of venues. There was no specific style at first. People were just dancing freely. But the more popular the music became, so did the dance. People started creating trendy dances to do in public and at the parties like "the perculator", "the whip", "the pressure cooker" "jacking on each other" and some footwork here and there. Footwork was done for fun. But, by the early 90's the dj's were experimenting with the music again, playing it at a faster tempo and making the message more ghetto. Footworkers started to get more aggressive and technical with the style. Now-a-days, we footwork to Juke music and footwork battle traxx. A lot of footworkers of the new generation don't know about the old school dance moves. They only focus on the "werkz". We're the beginning of the 3rd Generation (out of 5 generations). And the last hope of keeping the OLD and the NEW connected. Things will always evolve, but we can't forget about the past.

How did you get in to footworking? And when?
PRINCE JARON: I got interested in foot working in 2002. I saw a few friends dancing against each other in a big circle in high school. The crowd was yelling and going crazy over the battle. Their movements was so fast, creative, and filled with so much energy. It was eye capturing to me and I wanted to learn right then. I proceeded to ask questions, and eventually I started getting taught by people who showed me foundation and style. I ended up practicing, making up combinations, and adding my own creativity concepts to what i learned. I fell in loved with it ever since...Footworking Is My Life
KING CHARLES: Going to my first "juke party" in 2000. I saw people juking and then i saw people footworking in the circles to the juke music. I was super inspired after that. I didn't know that it was already BIG in chicago. I had a lot of catching up to do. So i did. lol

What do you love about it?
KING CHARLES: The Mentality. You have to be ready, whenever and however to get down, and go hard. Its an uncontrolled pool of energy. You just gotta learn how to swim.
PRINCE JARON: I love everything about it. I love that it is a beautiful art form of dance, a positive outlet for self expression,to be free, to release, to show personality, creativity, passion, aggression, and so much more. Life is not easy, and can be very difficult at times. This art form of dance, has been my sanctuary. It has help me to be able release anger and happiness creatively on to the dance floor. Many may confuse it with it only being just fast steps, but it is a perfect combination of physical activity, social interaction, and mental stimulation. Dance is a second language, and I use footwork to communicate to my audience on how I feel. Thru footwork I can speak my mind freely, and express things that words cannot. The floor is my canvas and I am the artist! I also love the energy, moving at 160 beats per minute is a Great Workout that definitely keeps me in shape lol. Footwork has changed my life, it has me living my dreams, traveling seeing the world, and it has me in the position to help, motivate, teach, and inspire others to do so as well.

The footage FootworkingZ vs Footwork Godz was crazy, unfortunately wasn't able to embed it.



Raw material!





Miss Mix column 3/2013 // Akim & Jeffrey





The March issue was about Locking. And here's Akim "Alpha Extreme" Bakhtaoui and Jeffrey "Muscleman Jeff" Kam, the young talents of a group called Will Funk For Food. They have competed all around Finland and abroad. We really admire their creativity, stamina and explosive movements. They are best known for their locking skills but are also really versatile. You might have seen them in TV show Talent, and Jeffrey also did great and got far in the TV show Dance last fall. They are also competing at the Pakko Tanssia semifinal on this Saturday. So tune in to TV2 at 20.30, and remember to vote!!
Will Funk For Food, Akim in purple tie, Jeffrey in yellow

What is locking?
Locking is a dance style created by Don Campellock Campell. It was born around the beginning of the 70's at the west coast of the United States and got more known through the TV show Soul Train. Locking is mainly based on funk music and its main characters are tight sort of "locked" moves and different grooves.

How did you get into locking?
Akim: At first I danced show dance which wasn't really my thing so I wanted to try something different. I somehow ended up at Teemu Korjuslommis classes where locking really hit me. And now it's my main style.
Jeffrey: I found locking at Step Up dance schools Christmas party where was I was dancing with a hip hop group. I saw Teemu Korjuslommis student performance. So I went to ask Teemu if I could join the group even they were adults and I was 9 years old. Teemu said that of course and here I am.

What's best about locking?
Akim: First I got drawn with the funk music that was played at the classes, but when I got deeper in to it I found the tight and explosive power and the smooth grooves. Combining these two elements is challenging, which makes the style interesting. I’m also excited about the growing locking scene here in Finland!
Jeffrey: The best thing is the freedom, that I started to understand little by little understand while dancing and training. Every time I dance locking I sort of forget everything else, it's like some sort of therapy weather it's a good or bad moment.

What is/are your favorite locking movement?
Akim: Stop & Go!
Jeffrey: All the power moves, meaning all the big and impressive moves!
Who are your locking idols?
Jeffrey: I have many idols, but when it comes to locking Patrick Pires aka P-Lock is the greatest. In my opinion he has been the best locking dancer for the past 10 years and probably for the following 10 years. He's a great guy. I've met him many times, and once for a longer period when he was teaching at a dance camp in Sweden. 
Akim: My crew Will Funk For Food and P-Lock from France.


Akim and Jeffrey at Funkin' Stylez Finland 2012


Will Funk For Food at Tokio Dance Delight 2012



Miss Mix column 2/2013 // JaMam's Cats


We saw a our first dancehall battle in Street Star at the beginning of Marc. And it was really interesting to follow that, when we had no clue who's doing the right move or what?! The host Niki explained that dancehall is in a way different from freestyle dancing. The main purpose is not so much to be original, but to do the moves and stuff that the song tells you to. So to do so one really has to know the songs and what she/he's doing! Fascinating!

So in to the world of dancehall! We interviewed Evaleena "JaMami" Vuorenmaa, the leader and main choreographer of a dancehall ragga group called JaMam's Cats from Tampere. The group consists of twelve people and it was set up in the autumn of 2011. 
JaMam's Cats on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JaMamsCats
JaMam's Cats on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/jamamscats

What is JaMam's Cats?
The group was created to increase dancehalls visibility in the street dance Finnish Championships. After a while we noted that we really had a strong and positive atmosphere inside the group. And the enthusiasm to do different things and act outside the competition circles grew. So now we're more focused on being a performing group.

One of our main goals is to increase dancehalls awareness as a dance style and as a street dance style. Through this we also hope to make Jamaican culture more familiar to people. As a Finnish group we cannot naturally bring out the Jamaican culture as a whole, so we focus more on the dance. And at the same time we aim to encourage everyone to explore the roots of dancehall and the culture that it represents. Dancehall crosses the lines of being just a dance style, it contains much more that just the joy for dance. We also find it important to form bonds and co-operations among dancers and dance groups. To do together without boundaries!

Photo by Teemu Heljo www.teemuheljo.fi
To be specific we call our style dancehall ragga, because we take some influences from other dance styles, for example hip hop dance. For this reason and for our respect to dancehall and the culture that it represents we are not using only the term dancehall. Even we take our stuff and the topics we represent seriously, JaMam's Cats doesn't take itself too seriously. And you can surely see this from the groups performances and from their energy. 



What is dancehall?
Dancehall is a dance style and a way of life which was born in the streets of Jamaica. Unlike in other street dance styles most of the dancehall moves have a name, meaning and even a history. In Finland the most visible style is the women's own style, the so called "Queen style". But dancehall is so much more than just  "booty shaking". In my opinion Melpo "Douple Trouble" Mellz from Sweden summed the core of dancehall very aptly: Dancehall is a combination of feeling, energy, theatricality and attitude.




How did you find dancehall?

I found dancehall through Youtube, and inspired by that I searched for more information on knowhow by touring around Finland and Europe, taking classes from different teachers and taking part on dance camps. The others in the group haven't done dancehall for that long, many of them have got familiar with the style through this group. The group is educating itself all the time, like one should when working with dance.

Where can one learn dancehall?
You can find dancehall classes in most of the big cities in Finland. Maria Serena Järvinen and Meri-Tuuli Hirvonen are teaching in Helsinki, Dhg Eeva-Liisi "snow White" Pietiläinen has her classes in Turku and I teach in Tampere at Dance Studio Hip Hop House Tampere

What's best in dancing?
One of the best things to me are the terapeutical features, one can go through things and express something that might be hard to bring out otherwise. It's the passion, just couldn't imagine being with out it. Workingin a group the best part is when everyone shares the same passion and are able to share feelings to the audience as a one ensamble. Sharing experiences doesn't always need words.

JaMam's Cats is competitin for a final spot at Pakko Tanssia tv series this Saturday. So TV2 at 20.30 people!


Miss Mix column 12-1/2012 // Matryoshki in Jazz

Here's the Matryoshki in Jazz interview uncut! Read their super inspiring blog www.matryoshkiinjazz.com and learn more of what they're about!

How would you describe you crew? What do you do? What makes your crew special? 
MIJ: We all dance House, Jazz Fusion, Locking, Breaking, Hiphop.We are the only female team in Europe, representing  and revivingthe virtually unknown JAZZ FUSION (BEBOP) - dance style of  80s clubculture in England. We  perform with our shows, which combine energy of house dance and aesthetics of jazz, as well as collaborating withmusic bands and DJs on the same stage throughout Russia and other countries.


MIJ: We are not following fashion trends - we create these trends ourselves! We are always trying  to create something new in dance and in the way we look! And we also have some inner rules of our lifestyle that  helps us keep on improving and makes us special:
-Don't be lazy
-Work hard
-Not less then 5 deals in a day
-Be  informed in all news and events of modern actual culture life
-Always inspire and be inspired... 


How would you define your dance styles?
Everyone can define their style in dance with this words:
Snezhana Ezhkova aka Snow, 23: energy, freedom, airiness, following the music
Elena Tatarenkova aka Lea, 24: expression of the character, emotions, playing with freedom, thesource of inexhaustible possibilities. We can do better than anticipated!
Alesya Dobysh aka Lesya, 23: clean and distinct, sure and impetuous.
Marina Pravkina aka Mari, 26: as a breakthrough of the stored energy and love, flying body in all directions and favorite jazzy-footwork mixture of jumps and twists! 

How did you meet each other?
MIJ: Initially we know each other because we  are in street dance culture and always hanging out together, met in dance rooms, battles and clubs. Then we understood that we all got the same taste  and thoughts according to dance and actually to life at all and started to practice together and make some projects. 

You have a very unique style in clothing, where do you get your inspiration from? And where do you shop?
Lesya: The way I look  depends on my mood! Sometimes I can get inspiration from late 80's fashion with their bright colors, high-waist jeans, leather or wide-shoulder jackets. But most of the time I prefer more classical England-influenced style with male-type details. I usually buy clothes when I travel! I like COS, American Apparel,Urban Outfitters, Monki and some scandinavian designers.

Snow: Sometimes I have an image of look in my mind, and try to find clothes which I see in my head. Of course it all came from inspiration by photos from blogs, websites, from people I've met and first of all from my MIJ girls! But many times I just go to the store see something, like it and get it! Basically I do shop not in Russia. My favorite stores are Monki, American Apparel, Oysho, COS, TopShop, H&M, Urban Outfitters,Vintage Stores of Berlin, Stockholm, New York, Amsterdam and St.Petersburg.

Lea: I prefer  wide comfortable clothes. But it all depends on how I feel at the moment. The most simple things. Anything with an unusual fit. Apparel should reflect the spirit of your inspiration. I am inspired by the history and legendary personalities of the art world such as Miles Davis, James Brown, Salvador Dali, Antonio Gaudi, masters of Kung Fu and Shaolin. Moscow is a big city but it's difficult to find nice Vintage stores there! I like New York (Brooklyn(!)) and European stores.

Mari: I'd describe my style a composition of sportive and woman's elegance, because I love to combine some sporty things like sneakers and sweatshirts with some fashion girly stuff like kerchief, braсelets and dresses. I get my inspiration from all sides, but mainly from hip-hop artists (from oldschool to nowadays), movie's characters and from fashion shows, that I look through every autumn and spring! 
Because of my mixed style I can get my clothes from vintage markets in Europe during my trips and from fashion boutiques and outlets here in Moscow, where I love finding things from past collections with nice discount! My favorite fashion brands are Alexander Wang, MMM, Marc Jacobs. I wish I could shopthere every time.. !! :) I also enjoy clothes from mass market shops like Monki, Urban Outfitters, Zara, Oysho etc, where very often I can see copies of designer's things. 

MIJ: You reflect your personality by the way you look and carry your clothes. The same in dance. You are not a sportsmen, so why should one wear all these stretched knees trainers and over-washed t-shirts with the names of other events. It's time to set out STYLE by your dance and how u look like!!


Mari, Lea, Snow and Lesya
How do you see the Russian street dance scene?
MIJ: Russian street dance scene is rather yang, but rapidly developing. Dancers train hard, trying to develop their own style. But we think that there is a problem with lack of confidence among dancers. They should travel more, contact with dancers from all over the world. All this can help to open their minds, release their mind from complex. The mainthing is to be self confident in representing your own style, style of a russian dancer.


Miss Mix column 11/2012 // Lasse Hyttinen, Flowwi-magazine



Lasse Hyttinen
This time we did a small interview with Lasse Hyttinen, who is a multitalented all-rounder in the Finnish street dance scene. He's been choreographing the tv show DANCE, he teaches actively, has his own radioshow Ruff Cut with dj Esgrove, and organizes club nights such as Keep The Groove.

How do you find time to all that you're doing?
That's a good question. Sometimes I wonder that my self, but then I feel like I stay better concentrated when I can do a lot of interesting stuff. At times you have to get some distance of stuff and go to skate or to snowboard.

What has been the best about Dance-program?
I would say the whole opportunity, the experience and the whole set. it has been great to get to work with talented dancers, meet colleagues and learn and develop as choreographer.

Where do you get the ideas for the choreographs?
I get ideas from where ever, but usually they come from the music. First I try to find an interesting song, with nice rhythms, different feelings and emotions. The movement material comes by playing with hip hop dances foundation steps and by trying freely new stuff.

Your hint for people who got interested about dance through the program?
There's no wrong way! So try surf freely! If possible go to advance school and first try out many different dance styles. When you find the style that inspires you the most get really in to it and practice, practice, practice!


Flowwi magazine
Flowwi magazine is a online magazine focused on street dance culture. Other aspects of the urban culture are also taken in to account, such as graffiti communities, Finnish hip-hop music and DJ-operation. Magazine includes street dance history, personal pictures, reports and books and magazine reviews


Photographer Kai Kuusisto
Kai Kuusisto took some beautiful photos of M. One of those is also featured at his exhibition at Kontula Library.


Miss Mix column 10/2012 // Karri Koira





Karri Koira
We have had the dance and go crazy on stage with Karri Koira and Mc Ruudolf at Provinssi Rock, Tavastia, Flow festival and Block Fest. Living that rap life at the back seat of the Continental. Too many good memories!! Karri Koira's K.O.I.R.A. album is finally here!



Miss Mix column 9/2012 // Josua & Julius



Multitalented twins Josua & Julius
These boys just keep on amazing us with their presence, skills and style every single time. They've been M's dance students since they were 9 or 10 years old. On July we took them to Ihana cafe at Kalasatama, and sat down to talk about dance and their other interests. They're only 14 but the way they think about dance is so similar to how we see it and think about it; the reason we do it, all the satisfaction and good feeling that we get out of is but also all the ups and downs, mixed feelings that sometimes come with it. These guys really live and feel the dance culture and everything they do.

Josua and Julius practise mainly hip hop and house too. Freestyle sessions at M's class are very inspiring. The way they adapt instructions and overcome them selves. They always leave my jaw hanging. Josua, Julius and Viola (Rare Purple) won all originals represent -competition by adidas originals and basso with this video. The video is by Anetta Lukjanova. They won a poster photo shoot with Nina Merikallio. 



Josua and Julius have a fresh style in clothing, they do clothes and jewellery and manage to make amazing fleamarket findings. And as if this ain't enough they also do music as Jkabo.




Miss Mix column 8/2012 // Tribe NYC, bElles tour winner Sini

Tribe NYC 
We interviewed a funky group called Tribe NYC because their style is just so inspiring!

1. What is Tribe NYC?
Tribe NYC is a movement of fashion and music. We are a collection of artist that specialize in fashion, music, photography, dance, and graphic design. We also enjoy embracing the 80s/90s hip hop culture.

2. How did it all started and when?

We started about 4 years ago and continued to grow and develop our team to the point that we are at today. It all started because of the Internet, we were able to hear about one another online and then we decided that we should get together and make a movement out of this. 4 years later it's great to see that we are all still family after the growth of the group.

3. How many people are in the group?
Wow its hard to count them all because The Tribe is a worldwide movement. We have chapters on Canada, Miami, Chicago and we even are beginning a chapter in South Africa. Of course this all started with the NYC chapter but its way bigger than we ever imagined it would be, and for that we are proud.

4. What do you do together?
We are a family so we do what most families do, we hang out, have fun and support one another. We are amazed that this family has so much talent that we are able to use each persons skill set to benefit another in the Tribe. Not many groups have the opportunity to have everything they need in their inner circle, we are lucky to have such a network.

5. Where you get the dope, fresh clothes from?
Lol thank you for the compliment, we shop all over the city and even other states. We like to shop at thrift stores not only for the vintage wear that dates back to our time of fashion, but also because our style is relativity inexpensive. Not many people value vintage wear in today's era, because of that we are able to stand out...at a low price.

 

Miss Mix column 7/2012 // Ben (Legion X), Helsinki Human Rights (09 HHR)



photo: Kertin Vasser, http://visuaal.net

We had the pleasure to interview a German hiphop dancer, Ben Wichert, who won Juste Debout with his partner Salas earlier this year. From Ben you'll see what the freestyle hiphop is at it's best!

Here's the full length interview in English:
1. What is the best thing in freestyling/dancing in general?
The best in freestyle is that you can surprise yourself every time. It's a good feeling when u realize that you invent something just in that moment... the time during you are focused and concentrate and still let yourself going down with the music...

For me it's a test or a game. It's all about to take the risk. Maybe you are afraid to catch the wrong thing/movement/moment or what ever and you fail but that's the part of the game that I want to win all the time in my own freestyle.

2. Where you get your inspiration?
The most impressing in dance is, that everything can inspire you. It's my own environment that inspires me and shows me new ways for developing myself. Just simple things like water, reactions of people or the time are big inspiration. Those things for example can make u busy with practicing for a long time. Also other dancers are inspiration for me. You take something develop it into your way and style and then somebody else take a part from you and develops it in his way again. It's like an never ending story.

3. What is your best memory in dancing?
Best memory is when i found out that there is a Urban Underground Scene in France, Germany and some other parts in the world like USA and so on. I didn't grown up with the Hip Hop Culture, so the time I heard about it and found out some stuff was the best time in my life.

4. How you get strong self-confidence?
For beeing selfconfident u got to have a strong mentality and imagination. U got to believe in yourself. When I'm on the stage it's just me, the music and my enemy that's it... It's really not important what other think, i make my thing and try to give my best... If you give all your heart and show up how much u really love to dance there is no space for other stuff. If you reach this point u are more than self-confident and that's what i try day for day.


Ben's page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bengermany
Photo: Kertin Vasser, http://visuaal.net

Miss Mix column 6/2012 // Oaklyn

This issue was about dance and selfconfidence and a soulful new comer  in the Finnish music scene OAKLYN!


Our dreams just got true...
Oaklyn's debut album "Chasing the Sun" for ONLY 6$ available at Bandcamp nowhttp://oaklyn.bandcamp.com/ Support it!
Oaklyn at facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oaklynsounds
Just can't get enough of this album, 8 tracks of pure GOLD! Too soulful to be true!



Miss Mix column 5/2012


Miss Mix 5/2012 Party dress fashion for summer










































Styling: Badass crew
Models: Leila Kuusiniemi, Mette Linturi
Hair: Marko Mäkinen/Dandy
Make up: Sumi Moreno/Dandy
Photos: Fabian Björk

Miss Mix 4/2012 Badass crew column



Soul Train is an American music variety show that was on TV from 1971 to 2006. In the show were R&B, Soul and Hip Hop artists and talented young dancers. Soul Train was created by Donald Cortez “Don” Cornelius. He was the producer and also hosted the show from 1971 to 1993. He created the show, when he realized that soul-music and african-american artists didn't have their own spot. Soul Train brought the artists such as James Brown, Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin to the larger audience.

In addition Soul Train brought up talented dancers and was really important to the evaluation of street dance. Many of the street dance pioneers have first seen dance at Soul Train. One of the main parts of the show was the Soul Train Line, were dancers did two lines, other side men, other women. They formed couples and danced between the lines. Dancers were important for the show's popularity. People didn't watch the show just for the artists but for the dancers, to see their new moves and dances and also to see what they were wearing. Soul Train dancers were trendsetters and the personal style was really important to them as well as it is for dancers today.

We had the honor to interview two of the Soul Train dancers, that still keep up their dancing careers.
Tyrone Proctor (58) from Philadelphia Pa and Chicago born Scoo B Doo (59) share their memories in this full length interview:
Tyrone
Scoo B Doo










How did you end up being a part of the Soul Train program? 
Tyrone: 
I first saw Soul Train in 1971. That the year I graduated for High School. I always love to dance and when I saw the show, I was determined to go to LA and be on Soul Train.
A Soul Train dancer by the name of Little Joe first took me on the show, where I met my dancing partner Sharon Hill and danced on the show from 1972 to 1980.

Scoo B Doo:
One night in Los Angeles California in 1971 me and some friends of mine were at a very popular club called MAVERICKS FLAT. The first girl Locker Domita Jo Freeman came up to me and my friends who were Lockers and told us that a lady from Soul Train named Pam Brown was looking for dancers, and then asked us would we like to go on this new show called Soul Train, and if we did we all need to meet at Dinker Park. We all said to her “DO WE WANT TO BE ON THE SHOW”. We were so excited we got there early.


What is your best memory of the show?
Tyrone: 
There so many memories, seeing and meeting all the dancers, watching all the artist who came on the show perform, to Don himself. Being in Right On Mag, going on tour with Soul Train. Also they would tape the show one weekend a month and we would live for that one weekend. Going out dancing every night of the week, and I do mean every night.

Scoo B Doo:
Domita Jo and I were in a dance contest one night at Soul Train. The judge that night was Legendary Soul Singer James Brown. We won the dance contest and he was so impressed with our dancing and the Soul Train Gang that he asked us to open up his show at the Los Angeles Forum which was his next engagement. That experience at Soul Train was one of my best memories.


How did the show impact the street dance culture?
Tyrone: 
Soul Train was ground breaking in so many ways. It was the first show of it's kinds to have the show dancers in a major mag. As teens idols.
Don was the first to do a national tour and have the tour open up with some of the dancers of Soul Train. Dancers all over the world, are still being taught the dances we did on the Soul Train til this day like: Locking, Popping, Waacking, the Bump, the Robot and so much more. The dancers on the Soul Train were visionaries.

Scoo B Doo:
If you were a dancer, and especially a Street Dancer and got an opportunity to be on Soul Train. Whatever your dance style was it went viral once people saw you on the show. For instance locking started in 1970, but once people saw it on Soul Train by 1971 it was being danced all over the United States, and then the world.



Miss Mix 3/2012 Badass crew column + Vaasan Rye Bread Add
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Miss Mix 12-1/2012 Badass crew column

We had a pleasure to interview talented Swedish dancers Niki & Martha. Here's the full length interview in english attached with some of their videos. The wonderful photos by Mei-Li Wu, Mei Visions. Enjoy!

Niki & Martha, Soul Sweat crew, Stockholm

These girls are our idols. Martha Nabwire (21) born and raised in Uganda and Ethiopian born Niki Tsappos (27) are the toughest females in the scene at the moment. Their energy and soulful groove have conquered the whole street dance scene. In March 2010 they won the high valued Juste Debout event in Paris and after that they have gained a lot of achievement and prizes. The most inspiring thing about these girls is that you can always feel their love for the dance.
Niki Tsappos (left), Martha Nabwire (right)

What do you love most in dance?
Martha:
- What I love in dance is that me & dance have a connection that I can honestly say I have never had with anything or anyone. It understands me, makes me feel understood when I'm misunderstood. You could say I'm "in a relationship" with dance. I talk more with my movement than I talk with words. So you could say it has helped me open up more. I love that dance helps me discover myself much more and it also helps me understand people & situations much more and it makes me feel great. No matter what the situation is, I know dance always got my back.

Dance has done a lot for me, I have met so many dancers and non-dancers from different cultures and countries through it, and made wonderful friends through it. For that I am forever greatful! So I can't really say what I love (MOST) about dance because it's just beyond words! I guess I have to dance it maybe for some people to even MAYBE understand...

Niki:
- I love that it is a form of expression, something natural that has been done for centuries.
Niki Tsappos
As a dancer, what do you think is the most important thing? What would you like to see dancers do more?
Martha:
- I think the most important thing as a dancer is to be honest! Meaning always be honest with what you are telling me in your dance. I don't just want to see a dance move but I want to FEEL a dance move! Because I feel like dance is just like talking. If I don't feel you or believe what u r saying I will not be convinced..then u might come out dishonest or lying.

So what I'm trying to say is that I want to see dancers really dig down and be honest with me with their dance. There is one thing just trying to "hit the beat" or whatever people call it. It might turn out nice but if you don't put a feeling on to that and be honest with feeling for me it's just like "oh no.." I don't say that to judge anyone but it's just what I feel when I see someone faking it. I just feel kinda sorry because rather you come in and dance and express yourself, than coming 0 impress..because that's when it really goes wrong.

So the most important thing for me is to always be honest with whatever you are potraying, if it's heavy or light just be HONEST in your dance and movements. Don't try to dance like everyone else, dance like YOU! Because dancers or non dancers that are just themselves, I think are the most interesting individuals.

Niki:

- Be true to yourself! Dance from the heart.
Martha Nabwire
What has been most challenging in dance? 
Martha:
- Wow. I would say the one of the biggest challenge for me was when me & Niki did Juste Debout 2010. It was so crazy because I remember in 2008 when a friend showed me one of the JD dvd from 2006.. and I was like "wow!!! these must be some of the best (hiphop) dancers I've ever seen". So I dreamed that one day I will be on that stage but I didn't think it would happen after 2 years haha.. so it was really challenging  & felt kind of unreal dance against really good dancers from all over the world...very nerveous haha and in the end taking home the title. woohoo :)

But that doesn't mean the challenges were finished. Life itself is a challenge but we just have to keep on going and stay strong because facing challenges does make you stronger if you are willing to face it. And that is something I'm also trying to do...face it.

Niki:
- Hmm...a big challenge is not to let your own or others insecurity affect you.

What do you do when insecurity hits you?
Martha:
- When insecurty hits me I get up again haha..but of course there are times when it hits you really hard that you don't even have the strength to get up or u don't know what to do. What I do is I always talk to those people that I hold dearly because I know there's always a good advice. But most importantly I always go back to my Family...because I'm always around dancers and events, and going to country after country (which is great)...but sometimes a lot of that takes a lot energy...and being away from my family.

So whenever I feel insecure I either go back to Uganda for a while or my mums. She & my country(home) is the best medicine I would say. Just being around her or talking on phone gives me a lot of positive energy and selfconfidence and I don't even think she knows it..and just being around the neighborhood I grew up and around my cousins and friends..it's just something that gives me a lot of strength. After all, there is nothing like family. So that reminds me the reason why I'm dancing! Getting away from the same things or people for a while really helps a lot. Everybody need it sometimes I think.

Niki:
- When I feel insecure I jam with Martha! Or try to do something that makes me play full, then I can enjoy my dance more and have fun with it.

I still feel nervous before shows or battles. I like it, it gives me a rush and reminds me how meaningful this dance is to me.


Something that has inspired you lately. Basicly anything.
Martha:
- There is always inspiration everywhere and anytime, we just have to be open to recieve it.
First & foremost - Biggest Inspiration ever is My Mother. She is not a dancer no,no.. haha but for me she IS my dance itself! Learn a lot from just watching her. And to be honest I don't usually get most of my inspiration from dancers, it has nothing to do with dancers, it's far beyond that.

Secondly my home Uganda. Always inspire me in ways that I can't describe...I will have to write a whole book about that haha because it's a lot from just that place & the whole Africa of course.

Also something that has inspired me lately: Buddhism.

When it comes to Dancers that have inspired lately I would say:
- my friend Khoudia. When she dances it's just indescribable! Her aura is just beautiful!
Batalla & Majid Kessab, 2 hiphop dancers from Germany! wow
Bruce Blanchard from Belgium - His movement and him. Just Flawless!
- Hiro house dancer from Japan - inspired me to work harder, that man NEVER sleeps! and he is such a beautiful dancer!
- Whole Krump movement right now!

But like I said inspiration is around us ALL the time, we just have to open our eyes and really see it. The universe, a chair, a bird, anything & everything is inspiration :) But that is what I think :)

Niki:
- Cuba has been a nice inspiration for about a year now, can't get enough!

Videos:
A trailer of the upcoming document "Dear Dance...":


Martha & Niki " Take Two", Funkin' Stylez in Dusseldorf, Germany


Juste Debout 2010: Niki&Martha vs. Criminalz Crew


Miss Mix 12-1/2012 Badass crew column
Thanks to Mikko "Custom Painted Sunglasses" Björk, Finland crew!! and Kertin Vasser.


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Thanks Anneli Kanninen, Jonté Moaning, Anna Abreu + dancers, Markku Haussila, Saara Sarvas and Little Shao.


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Thanks to Veera Luoma, Leila Jarallah, Costo, Legend Da Beatslaya, Olli, ARS 11 Kiasma.

Miss Mix 10/2011 Fall/winter fashion



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Photos: Fabian Björk
Hair & Make-up: Sumi Moreno
Model: Ella

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Thanks to Saka Fam: Saku Räsänen, Maria Huotari, Oona Edelberg, Kaj Bärlund, Jere "Iskulaatikko" Pehkonen, bElles and Sigg.

Miss Mix 8/2011 School fashion





Style: Badass Crew
Photos: Fabian Björk
Hair & Make-up: Sumi Moreno
Models: Shila &Reetta
Location: Etu-Töölön lukio


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Miss Mix 8/2011 School fashion



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Thanks to Bad Newz MP, Juan Kim Photography, Stand Out Nail and Erykah Badu.


Miss Mix 1-2/2011 Badass crew interview

Text: Eeva Louko
Photo: Sampsa Pärnänen