IN THE SPOTLIGHT: STEPROCKING WITH DANIEL JEROME

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To start off a [possible] new series of interview blog posts, i managed to catch my friend Daniel Jerome for a quick interview. Based out of Spanaway, Washington, Daniel Jerome [or Steproc, as his bboy alias] has always had a passion for dancing since he was young. His skills manifested through breakdancing initially, and making choreo in his garage, to branching out into hiphop choreography and teaching at a local Tacoma dance school, Koncrete Movement.

 

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teaching at Arlington, Texas at a Homegrown workshop.

 

 

Most of you may know DJ as a member of the Seattle based crew Art of Movement; which has led to DJ becoming a backup dancer [and moral support? haha] to his friend Jay Park whilst on tour globally – you may have seen him on stage, or in Jay’s video clips ‘Abandoned’ and ‘Know Your Name’, or perhaps discovered his talent on your own through his choreography videos on YouTube.

 

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DJ on the left hand side; Abandoned mv.

 

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DJ flipping on the left; Abandoned mv.

 

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Andrew Baterina and DJ.

 

 

Nowadays DJ is hard at work with his crew Chapter 1NE – DJ and his good friend Isiah Munoz started up this crew on August 4th, 2010, and in Daniel’s words stands for “never forgetting your roots, regardless of where we end up in our dance careers, the beginning when and how we started will always be an important part of our lives. From making choreography in my garage, to teaching at a studio, to performing on a stage in front of thousands of people, to becoming something on youtube, to traveling teaching around the world, wherever I go..I will always remember who I was when I started.”

 

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Chapter 1NE at World of Dance.

 

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speaks for itself:)

 

 

Chapter 1NE has currently 8 new additional members this year, of whom share the same love for dance – i look forward to seeing these guys mature into an established dance crew!
DJ will be ceasing his teaching at Koncrete Movement and moving on to greater things in Texas…what kind of things, you ask? Thats for him to tell you in time to come:)

 

 

Want to know more about Daniel ‘Steproc’ Jerome? keep reading…

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1. How long have you been dancing for? What made you interested in dancing?
I been Bboying on & off for about 8-9 years. Modern Urban Hip Hop for 3 about to be 4 this December, 2012.
With just dancing in general, it was for girls haha. I’m not very good at talking with a girl, so I thought why not dance for them? But maturing and realizing more of dance through bboying, I was interested on how creative someone could be mentally, visually, physically. Basically I liked all the cool moves.

 

 

2. What made you veer more towards choreography rather than breakdancing?
I love b-boying & choreography equally. I think with choreography there are no limits. With dance in general, including bboying, there are no limits to what you can do, but bboying is it’s own culture & lifestyle. You wouldn’t see me bboying to Chris Brown’s “Sweet Love” haha. In Choreography I can create anything to anything, perform, entertain, & act out any song. Plus job-wise, I feel I have a better chance of making an impact in dancing with my choreography, teaching, & performing around the world. (someday soon I hope)

 

 

3. Who is your biggest dance inspiration and why?
In bboying I have had a lot of favorite bboys, but I was always more focussed on myself than what another person is doing. So there was never a bboy that “inspired” me, if any…it would definitely be my crew AOM. Individually, our styles are all very different from each other. That to me is very inspiring. Choreography-wise, I wanted to dance because of Chris Brown, Michael Jackson, Usher, etc. But specifically when I started, Andrew Baterina, Brian Puspos, Jackie Lautchang, Tony Tran, Jun Quemado, Shaun Evaristo, Lando Wilkins, Matt Cady. It sounds like a list of favorites, but I have more favorites and new inspirations like Parris Geobel & Erica Sobol. The reason I have that list above is because I have been following those guys before ABDC got to season 29 (there isn’t really that many seasons) haha. Definitely biggest inspirations are my friends AOM & CH1.

 

 

4. How did you go from choreographing in your garage to where you are now? What did you do to help yourself improve [time devoted to dance, etc]?
I get a lot of the same questions from different people on how to get better at dancing, both choreography & bboying. The answer is: Studying/learning & practice. I would tell you just practicing, BUT it is very very important to learn & study. If you don’t do that, what are you practicing? You can practice for years on years on years, and still be at the level you are when you started. If you study how to move the body, what makes someone that inspires you so good, and apply just everything you have learned to yourself. You can grow. The more you learn and study, the more & faster you can grow at anything, not just dance. I was in my garage studying/practicing, put out videos for myself to watch, attended local dance events & met other dancers, those got me a teaching job at a dance studio & performances.

 

 

5. What do you think you would be doing now if you weren’t bboying/dancing/choreographing?
Nothing. Well, maybe playing the piano, drawing, photography, videography, all the artsy stuff. But I’d really just be doing those as a hobby, and attending school.

 

 

6. What has been the highlight of your career so far?
The number of supporters I have been able to gain through the years of just putting out my work, the work that has been given to me by Jay (shows/music videos), & teaching in Oregon most recently. I hope to teach in more cities in the future.

 

 

7. You’ve worked pretty closely with SoReal Cru’s Andrew Baterina, what are your feelings on that?
A blessing. He is one of the reasons I started choreography. Like I said before I always wanted to dance because of Michael, Chris, Usher, BUT that was only a dream. Seeing Andrew’s work way back when gave me the guts to actually try choreography. Instead of dance being a cool way to get girls, he showed me that it’s a creative process full of fun & expression. I have learned a lot indirectly from just standing/performing next to him. Going to continue dancing with him when I move to Texas very soon!

 

 

8. Going on tour with Jay Park and being involved in his music videos and performances, how much of an experience has that been for you? What has been the coolest/most interesting aspect or experience from it? What has been the worst/weirdest/hardest?
A very very big experience. Doing dance like that, is the professional side of it all. So in my garage it’s all for myself and fun, but performing routines with a big named artist, you are representing him. Same as music videos. If I’m shooting a video for youtube it could be hours. If I’m shooting a video with Jay, it could be days. The coolest aspect has definitely been the travel, because I get to see other parts of the world I never thought I’d be able to see, and the difference from how a place might be from where I live. Another one would be performing for a very large audience. It’s hard work practicing it, but the second I’m on stage, it isn’t work anymore. I love doing that.

 

 

9. Craziest fan experience [personally and/or with Jay]?
With Jay, there are lots, only because his fans are hardcore! Someone doesn’t get to see Jay as often and the feelings he gives them are crazy amazing. So when a fan sees him in person, it’s superstar status lol. As for me, the craziest (not in a crazy way, but more awesome) would be when this girl Alexia, met Isiah Munoz & I at Kollaboration Seattle. She was crying, and I have never had that happen to me before. I’ve had people come up and ask for pics and autographs, but this person was crying and it made me see the effect I could have with what I do. Not that I want people to cry, but I just take what I do for granted at times because it is normal for me. Like I just do what I do to keep myself happy, and seeing that I have supporters is always an amazing feeling for me.

 

 

10. Coolest country you have been to thus far? Why?
This one is pretty hard. I want to say Singapore [Beckii’s note: WOOHOO! \o/ haha] because I stayed at Marina Bay Sands, which is a very very big/nice hotel! I think that is what it’s called anyway. I love all the countries I visited though because of the different foods. I love food haha.

 

 

11. Favourite music to choreograph to?
I can do it all, but I kinda like emotional/sad music haha. My choreo to a song like that would be “Don’t Judge Me” by Chris Brown. Second after would be fun upbeat old school tracks like some old Chris Brown, Usher, Justin Timberlake.

 

 

12. When does choreography come the easiest to you – what do you do to get yourself out of ‘choreographer’s block’?
Relating to the question above a little bit, when I’m emotional. Well not super dramatic emotional, but when there is a lot on my mind to think about. Not anything specific, but an example would be maybe a past relationship with someone. I would use those feelings and unanswered questions of why something didn’t work out. Or just the whole idea of love, and represent what that means to me in whatever the song may be. I think what I’m trying to say is it’s easiest when something is taking place at that time in my life. Good or bad. To get out of choreographer’s block I might watch a video that inspires (not just dancing videos) or eat food, because it gives me energy on the body/mind haha.

 

 

13. Are there any specific meanings behind your tattoos?
Well the tattoo I have on my neck is “AOM” which represents my crew Art Of Movement. Regardless where ever we all end up in life even in the future when I’m old and wrinkly, I will always remember the importance of friends/dance. The events that have taken place with my crew, which there are a lot a lot haha. The second one on my arm is a quote about dancing. “Dancing with your feet is one thing, but dancing with your heart is another..always dancing”. It sounds a little cheesy, but a tattoo should have deep meaning behind it and this one represents how much dancing means to me. It reminds me of why I started and is a way for me to give back to dance for all it has done. Third, but not last I hope, is “love” located on my right wrist. Another person has “endless” on their wrist and together it equals “endless love”, which just represents the special relationship I have with this person. For me, “love” also just represents how important it is to have it. It is a need with family, friends, dance, without it all I’d feel like nothing.

 

 

14. What is it like working with everyone in Chapter 1NE and when you started teaching classes at Koncrete Movement?
Very very fun & inspiring. I say inspiring because we all share the dream of becoming a known choreographer just wanting to share what they do with the world. Performing and being at events together with the local CH1 is always fun, even just being at Koncrete Movement (formally Koncrete Studios located in Tacoma, WA).

 

 

15. Any interesting/quirky habits?
I like to dance….all the time. If I was at dinner with someone, I’d be dancing sitting at the table, music or no music haha. If we were walking together at the mall, I am dancing at the mall. Have you ever seen someone dance & brush their teeth at the same time? That’s me.

 

 

16. Last words?
I want to thank anyone who supports me & my work. You guys are what keeps me me going strong with my dancing! Thank you Beckii for being an awesome person. Thank you friends & family for al you have done for me. Thank you dance for giving me more of a reason to enjoy my life. Anyone wanting to dance..go take classes, study what makes good dancers so good, be dedicated to your craft, don’t ever give up because you dance for you! Peace.

 

Thanks Daniel!

 

 

Check out all the videos below to see DJ at work;) and support!!:)

this ‘blast off’ choreo is actually DJs…dancing it with Jay at ISA 2010:)

 

He can be contacted for bookings at: iDanielJerome@gmail.com

 

Youtube Channels:
www.youtube.com/user/djdanieljerome
www.youtube.com/user/iDanielJerome (choreography only)

Twitter: www.twitter.com/idanieljerome

Tumblr: www.danieljerome.tumblr.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/danieljeromeobispo

Instagram: danieljerome

 

 

until next time!

 

 

– beckii xo

 

p.s if there is any feedback about this interview etc, please let me know in the comments below! thanks!

 

 

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Comments
2 Responses to “IN THE SPOTLIGHT: STEPROCKING WITH DANIEL JEROME”
  1. Rudy says:

    that was a good interview Beckii and Daniel Jerome.

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  1. […] beckii got the ball-rolling by interviewing american hip hop dancer/choreographer daniel jerome aka steproc (check out the interview here) […]



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