Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dancer in the Spotlight: BRANDON DUMLAO!

Hey everyone,

Here is the first dancer in my new "Dancer in the spotlight" feature. His name is Brandon Dumlao and I was fortunate enough to take one of his classes when I went down to San Fran back in 2008. He danced with Funkanometry SF and is currently dancing with NeverLand, a group branching off from the successful LostKids, created by Kyle Hanagami and Ellen Kim. Brandon was also recently seen on So You Think You Can Dance Season 6, as a replacement for another contestant in the top 20. Although he was eliminated off the first episode, Brandon proves to be an amazing dancer who doesn't take things for granted. I was fortunate enough to get an interview with this down to earth dancer whose hard work shows through his passion and determination.

1. When and where did you start dancing?

I started dancing when I was 8 years old in jazz in Concord, CA. I was pressured to quit by my father six months later and got into sports. I then picked up dancing (hip hop) in San Francisco, CA again at 17 under the direction of Funkanometry SF because I realized that it's something I really wanted to pursue and see where it takes me.

2. When did you start teaching?

I started teaching when I made Funkanometry SF in 2007. They allow their dancers to teach their weekly company classes to the public and I was given an opportunity to teach my "A Milli" piece in late 2007.

[I was able to take his "A Milli" class! Check out the video, find me! hint, blue t-shirt haha)

3. How long have you been with Funkanometry?

I was only on Funkanometry SF for the semester of 2007-2008. I am now dancing with NeverLand, a bigger company off The Lost Kids directed by Ellen Kim and Kyle Hanagami.

4. Have you been with any other groups?

I haven't had a long run with being on crews besides Funkanometry SF and now NeverLand.

5. What is your favourite dance style?

My favorite dance style is ballroom. I really want to get into that and getting a taste of it from SYTYCD made me want to get better at that. But overall, I love all styles of dance. It all expresses emotions, passion, and inspiration. That's what I love so much about dance.

6. If you could take a class from any choreographer in the world, who would it be
and why?

If I could take class by any choreographer in the world that I haven't taken from yet, it would be Lyle Beniga. His style, execution and choreography is everything I've been trying to explore with myself.

7. So how was the audition process for So You Think You Can Dance?

The audition process for SYTYCD was very fun! I love auditioning. It makes you a better dancer and performer by challenging yourself mentally and physically. I can't go quite into the details of this particular audition, but it does challenge every ounce of your being if that makes sense... haha.

8. After being so close to being chosen for the original top 20, what was your reaction when you were asked to return to the show to replace Billy Bell?

After being cut, and then being called to replace Billy Bell, I cried. I've been auditioning for this show for awhile and I've gotten better each time, but seeing that out of all the cuts they made, I was the next alternate and that felt amazing to hear and to experience.

9. So how was working with your partner Pauline Mata?

Working with Pauline Mata was such a great experience. She's like one of my best friends from the show because we met in Season 5 when we both got cut right before Top 20. To continue our journey together for Season 6 from LA to Vegas to the SYTYCD stage was an experience that we'll never forget. We're hoping to collaborate or work together in the future outside the show.

10. And your routine was the smooth waltz, what was your initial reaction?

The smooth waltz was surprisingly very comfortable for me to get. I was glad I didn't get hip hop because the whole reason I wanted to try out for the show was to show myself and everyone that I can tackle other dance styles. I love challenges and I just took this one head on. It made me fall in love with ballroom because being a hip hop dancer, I hardly do partner work, and that was a great thing to learn to help me grow as a dancer.

11. So what was it like meeting the judges?

Meeting the judges was cool. I never see celebrities as celebrities, so I looked at them as regular people, like an audience. That's kind of a good mindset to have when you audition so as not to psych yourself out in front of the judges. =)

12. What was the hardest part about being on the show?

The hardest part about being on the show not originally being prepared to be in the Top 20 because I replaced someone. So the hardest part was doing all the interviews, learning the dances, getting into show mode all in a day and a half because that's as long as I stayed on the set, but it was the greatest experience I've ever had.

13. What was your favourite part about being on the show?

My favorite part about being on the show was dancing on that stage and spending my experience with the best group of people I've ever met.

14. So is there a possibility that we’ll see more of you in Season 7?

I am allowed to come back and audition for SYTYCD Season 7 and am planning to. Nuff' said haha.

15. What advice do you have for other dancers?

My best advice for dancers is to not let anyone tell or make you feel you can't reach your highest goal in dance. You are your own driver on this journey to getting what you want. Never feel comfortable, always push for your highest potential even if you aren't confident. From every experience, you learn, you grow, and then you achieve. =)


Thanks for the great interview Brandon, we're rooting for you in Season 7! :)


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