by Issie Lloyd, Dance Development Worker
I was lucky to receive a travelling scholarship from the Lisa Ullmann Fund to support a trip to the west coast of USA to train at the birthplace of the funk styles I live for! The trip starting in San Francisco where I watched two programmes of performances at the San Francisco Hip Hop Festival. This is an annual event which hosts opportunities for local and international acts within the hip hop genre to perform. It was a fantastic event, bringing new and fresh dance material to the stage. Refreshing to say the least!
I then moved onto LA, the birthplace of Locking and Popping. I had the privilege of meeting Suga Pop (who I have trained with in the UK previously through the support of The Arts Council of Wales) and Sweepy. Both trained with the pioneers of Locking and Popping and have individually developed the styles throughout their generation. Pop and Sweepy were so inspirational, always thinking outside of the box and showing me how much variety can be involved within these dances. I spent most of my time just gawping at how ridiculously funky they were!
My last stop in USA was in Las Vegas to train with the one and only Scoo B Doo, one of the pioneers of Locking. He showed me his original approach to Locking and how to individually develop and layer the style. Scoo B also brought Sundance (an old school Locker) to the class to give some feedback and skills. The session seemed so surreal, standing in a room with one of the pioneers of Locking, just jamming away. I was lucky enough to be awarded a certificate from Scoo B Doo for participating in a private class and training in his original techniques of Locking. A huge thank you to the Lisa Ullmann Fund for supporting this training opportunity. Another big thank you to Valley and Vale for allowing me to have this time to develop on my individual training and to learn more about the styles I teach by experiencing the funk styles REAL historical path.