Irvine, California is known to be a huge hub for street and hip hop dancers, most notably Kaba Modern and the annual dance competition –Vibe Dance. The Protoypes are different dancers from various groups out of Irvine and since their conception in 2011, they have come together beautifully! A crew that thrives on funk styles such as popping and waacking while putting a modern day swag on their choreography will sure stand out at Hip Hop International this year! Make sure to look out for more from The Prototypes!
“Founded in 2011, this eclectic group of individuals hail from all over the SoCal dance community, representing groups such as Common Ground, Kaba Modern, CADC, Barkada Modern, CSLA, Reality Check, S2K, and SGBM, among others. The Prototypes aim to breathe new life into the often forgotten foundations of our dance culture, reinventing and improving itself with each performance.”
Where are you from?
The dancers on Prototypes are from all over Southern California, but we all meet up in Irvine.
When did The Prototypes originate?
The Prototypes were founded around October 2011, and our debut performance was Vibe Jrs.
How did the name The Prototypes come about?
A prototype is a first or preliminary model of something from which other forms are developed or copied. We formed this team on the premise of us wanting to do something that hasn’t been done before; we wanted to be the first to breathe life back into the funk styles with a modern twist. With each performance we aim to inspire people to do the same.
Who is in the current crew?
We have 25+ members who represent a multitude of teams which range from NSU Modern LA to 220 in San Diego.
What types of styles do you incorporate in the crew?
We focus mainly on the fundamental funk styles, such as popping and waacking, but we are generally open to most all styles.
What types of competitions does the crew battle in as a crew? Individually?
We are strictly an exhibition crew and most of us are retired from the competing scene. So what better way to satisfy our competition fix than to compete at Hip Hop International.
Who are your biggest inspirations or influences?
Our inspirations have always been the people that have paved the way for the fundamental styles of hip hop. They are the ones who inspired us to do what we do today.
What does it take to prepare for something like Hip Hop International?
In a sense, preparing for HHI is no different from the way we prepare for any other show or performance. We are all goofballs, and practice isn’t practice unless we’re joking around. We still manage get work done. However, we are still asking our dancers to be extremely dedicated and that we work as a team. If one person misses a practice, we add a practice. We play hard, but we work even harder.
Whats the most exciting thing about preparing for Hip Hop International?
We are most excited about sharing the stage with the US and the World, and being able to showcase what we’ve worked so hard on.
Tell us about coming from Irvine where hip hop dance is well known
It is really inspiring because there is so much talent in Irvine. We’re constantly learning and constantly growing because of the people that surround us.
What are some funny things about the members of the crew?
You can always catch someone instagramming at some point during practice. There is always a few of us singing “Call Me Maybe.” We just love joking around with everyone and enjoying each other’s company.
Any guilty pleasure songs or artists to dance to?
One of our directors, Nigel, always choreographs to Scrillex. Singing to Call Me Maybe usually instigates some random awkward dancing. One of our members, Kris Chow always dances to KPop.
For the past few performances, we’ve had our own ridiculous rendition of We Are Young by FUN. We will randomly belt it out in English accents.
Whats ahead for The Prototypes in 2012 (other than Hip Hop International)?
We were fortunate enough to be asked to perform at Carnival the week before Hip Hop International, a few of us will be teaching ORG Summer Camp and Stylz Intensive. We will also be releasing some concept videos, and planning to hold open auditions sometime at the end of the summer.
Words of inspiration for dancers…
Don’t give up; it comes with time and practice. If you can’t get something now, I guarantee that if you keep doing it, you will be able to achieve your goal. All it takes is hard work, time, preparation, and understanding that every person is different in the sense of how fast they can pick things up. Don’t get discouraged, just keep moving forward and pushing yourself to your limits. Don’t stop for anything or anyone.