look book

The Look Book Goes to a Dance Battle

The Perelman Performing Arts Center hosted voguers, break-dancers, and waackers, among others.

At the Motion/Matter: Street Dance Festival. Photo: Frankie Alduino
At the Motion/Matter: Street Dance Festival. Photo: Frankie Alduino

Javier “The Icon Javier Ninja” Madrid (pictured above)
Dancer and choreographer, Staten Island

Any signature moves?
My ax split. It’s when I kick my leg up and catch it and then I just fall into a split. I didn’t know I could do that until a bunch of years back, when I did it one day and I was like, Oh my God, I got a new move.

How did you get into voguing?
I was out in the Village at Stonewall on a Wednesday night. I was underage, but I had a fake ID. That’s where I met Willi Ninja. He became my mentor, my teacher, my friend, and my family. He’s the godfather of vogue. I saw him dance, and that was it. I was like, This is what I want to do. I ended up being his last protégé before he passed away in 2006.

So how did you do?
I got second place. I’m actually surprised because I was getting over a sinus cold. I was trying to breathe — I was congested — but I still did it. The show must go on.

Tomoe “Beasty” Carr

Dancer, North Bergen, New Jersey


How far did you make it?

I lost at top eight. I was pretty sad about it because I had a winning streak going. I danced against Huu Rock. I’ve danced against him multiple times, so I think that got into my head. I’ve won and lost to him, but we were at a tie. Now he has a one-up on me, so I need to get even.

Connor Holloway

Brand director, Crown Heights

Samara “Princess Lockerooo” Cohen

Choreographer and director, Upper East Side

Ken Swift

Dancer, Los Angeles

Brandon Giddens-Morris

Dance instructor and photographer, Westbury


What’s this move?

It’s called a Nike Pike. It’s done at the end of your dancing set. So think of it as if me and you were having a conversation; instead of me just getting up and walking away, that would be the equivalent of me adding an exclamation point at the end of my sentence.

Barbara Brandt

Art-nonprofit event producer, Upper West Side

Caitlin Byrne

Dancer, Bedford-Stuyvesant


Do you remember what your first ball was like?

We were in Virginia, and I walked Virgin Vogue, which is for people who have been in ballroom for less than a year, and I won. It was literally my first ball that I walked, and I just had the energy.

Nicola Camilleri

Historian, Upper West Side

Rennie Harris

Director and choreographer, Philadelphia

Takushi “Huu Rock” Minami

Dancer, Woodside

Skylar Brandt

Principal ballerina, Upper West Side

Omari Wiles

Dance teacher and director, Bedford-Stuyvesant


You don’t seem new to this.

Oh, no. I have been given the pleasure of being called a legend, and I hold that title dearly. I am a founding father of the House of Nina Oricci, and I’ve been battling for the past 20-plus years.

Terry “Cebo” Carr

Dance-studio owner, North Bergen, New Jersey

Mantis

Dancer and dance instructor, Kensington


Your name is Mantis?

It’s my dance name. When I first met my mentor, Rokafella, I was very skinny and unassuming. And then when she saw me dance, I was stronger than I looked. And the mantis is very small, but they eat creatures bigger than them, and the female mantis kills her mates. So she felt that was an appropriate name for a B-girl because the breaking scene can be aggressive.

Marisol Deluna

Fashion designer, Financial District

Daniel Camargo

Ballet dancer, Upper East Side

Daeun “Onjay” Cho

Dancer, Sunnyside

David Castro

Street-dance professor, Jamaica


How did you do?

I mean, I won. I was chosen to represent popping, so I had to do good. I am the premier popping teacher in New York City, and some of my students came, so I had to represent. But I was like, If I get second place, I’ll be cool with that. As long as I get paid, I’m comfortable. 

Photographs by Frankie Alduino

Tomoe “Beasty” Carr

Dancer, North Bergen, New Jersey


How far did you make it?

I lost at top eight. I was pretty sad about it because I had a winning streak going. I danced against Huu Rock. I’ve danced against him multiple times, so I think that got into my head. I’ve won and lost to him, but we were at a tie. Now he has a one-up on me, so I need to get even.

Connor Holloway

Brand director, Crown Heights

Samara “Princess Lockerooo” Cohen

Choreographer and director, Upper East Side

Ken Swift

Dancer, Los Angeles

Brandon Giddens-Morris

Dance instructor and photographer, Westbury


What’s this move?

It’s called a Nike Pike. It’s done at the end of your dancing set. So think of it as if me and you were having a conversation; instead of me just getting up and walking away, that would be the equivalent of me adding an exclamation point at the end of my sentence.

Barbara Brandt

Art-nonprofit event producer, Upper West Side

Caitlin Byrne

Dancer, Bedford-Stuyvesant


Do you remember what your first ball was like?

We were in Virginia, and I walked Virgin Vogue, which is for people who have been in ballroom for less than a year, and I won. It was literally my first ball that I walked, and I just had the energy.

Nicola Camilleri

Historian, Upper West Side

Rennie Harris

Director and choreographer, Philadelphia

Takushi “Huu Rock” Minami

Dancer, Woodside

Skylar Brandt

Principal ballerina, Upper West Side

Omari Wiles

Dance teacher and director, Bedford-Stuyvesant


You don’t seem new to this.

Oh, no. I have been given the pleasure of being called a legend, and I hold that title dearly. I am a founding father of the House of Nina Oricci, and I’ve been battling for the past 20-plus years.

Terry “Cebo” Carr

Dance-studio owner, North Bergen, New Jersey

Mantis

Dancer and dance instructor, Kensington


Your name is Mantis?

It’s my dance name. When I first met my mentor, Rokafella, I was very skinny and unassuming. And then when she saw me dance, I was stronger than I looked. And the mantis is very small, but they eat creatures bigger than them, and the female mantis kills her mates. So she felt that was an appropriate name for a B-girl because the breaking scene can be aggressive.

Marisol Deluna

Fashion designer, Financial District

Daniel Camargo

Ballet dancer, Upper East Side

Daeun “Onjay” Cho

Dancer, Sunnyside

David Castro

Street-dance professor, Jamaica


How did you do?

I mean, I won. I was chosen to represent popping, so I had to do good. I am the premier popping teacher in New York City, and some of my students came, so I had to represent. But I was like, If I get second place, I’ll be cool with that. As long as I get paid, I’m comfortable. 

Photographs by Frankie Alduino

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The Look Book Goes to a Dance Battle