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Where were you born? Born and raised in Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C.
Year of Birth: 1985
Year Started Dancing: 2008
Main style of dance: Breaking
Influence to start dancing?
Ko-Bust: Growing up, I never danced. I was terrified of looking like a fool. But as you get older, you tend to care less what people think of you. In my 20s, I started to see hip hop all over TV and movies, things like “America’s Best Dance Crew” and “Step Up”. I realized that I wanted that to be me so bad. So at the age of 23, I finally decided to take my first dance classes, which were taught by an amazing crew in the D.C. area called Urban Artistry. They introduced me to this dance culture, and I’ve been going hard ever since!
What are your dance dreams?
Ko-Bust: Mainly, I just want to be a contributing member of the dance scene. I want to actively participate in events, and have my presence be felt. I’ve never cared much about winning. Really, I just want to be in a place with my dance where I feel free, confident, clean, and original. But winning an event would be nice, too!
What goals have you accomplished in dance?
Ko-Bust: For me, it’s a huge accomplishment every time I go out in front of other people and dance. I grew up afraid of dancing. It’s taken a lot of hard work, mentally and physically, to get to a point where I feel okay putting myself out there in front of people. And I’m still working on it all the time!
What obstacles have you overcome?
Ko-Bust: There are new obstacles every day- mental and physical. Whether it’s obtaining a difficult move or finding the courage to go out on a stage, dance constantly forces me to push myself harder than anything else in my life ever has. In fact, my day job now feels so much easier in comparison!
What has been your most difficult obstacle you’ve had to overcome in dance?
Ko-Bust: One of the biggest obstacles I overcame was my late start. I started dance at age 23. A lot of dancers in the scene are already incredible by the time they reach 23. But I really think that age is just a number when it comes to dance- it’s not a limiting factor. The only limiting factor is the amount of work you’re willing to put in!
What has dance given to enrich your life?
Ko-Bust: First of all, dance has brought so many amazing friends into my life, people who I never would have met if it weren’t for dance. Also, dance has kept me in shape! Dance gets me really motivated to exercise, which is something that I was lacking before I started breaking. And finally, dance gives me a sort of “energy” that’s hard to define in words, you kind of just have to feel it for yourself. But once you try it, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
How do you perceive yourself as a dancer?
Ko-Bust: I’m constantly trying to figure this out! I know I’m not a super-aggressive person, so I don’t want that to be my dance style. I’ve always looked up to dancers who have a lot of character and humor when they dance, and I’d like that to come out in my own dance. But that’s easier said than done, and it’s something I’m still working on all the time.
What do you appreciate about your dance?
Ko-Bust: I really like my “freezes”, which is where you hold yourself in a stylized and/or difficult position. It’s so fun to go from a turtle freeze into a headstand into a handstand, and then back down again. And I’m starting to get a lot of my freezes on my left side too (my weak side!).
What has School of Breaking done to benefit your growth as a dancer?
Ko-Bust: School of Breaking has given me so much! Before I started teaching classes at School of Breaking, I was a student here. In fact, I was probably content to just be a student in the back of the dance class for the rest of my life, but Chase and Tommy really pushed me to get out into the dance community and participate in events. And eventually, they encouraged me to apply my background as an elementary school teacher and teach some of my own kids dance classes. Without the support and encouragement of School of Breaking, I’d probably be practicing in my apartment instead of going to dance events!
What are the next challenges you want to take on as a dancer?
Ko-Bust: I want to travel more and connect with dancers around the world. Dance really is a universal language. I can connect with people who don’t speak a word of English just by practicing with them. I also want to make the round of Top 8 at an event in the next year. For a while, I was never making it out of the preliminary round at breaking events. And then this year, I made it to a Top 16. So next up, it’s Top 8! AND THEN TOP 4! LET’S DO THIS!