Shamond Powell

  • break dance, breakdancing, breaking, Red Bull BC1, shamond powell

Published April 21, 2020 on DanceTalks
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Andrea Cody:

Five, six, seven, eight.

Shamond Powell:

Hey, how’s everybody going? It’s Shamond.

Andrea Cody:

Hello, and welcome to DanceTalks.

Shamond Powell:

Hey, how are you doing Miss Andrea?

Andrea Cody:

Today is April 19th, 2020, and my guest is Shamond Powell. He is a member of Dance Houston, EZ Bar Mitzvahs, Life Time Athletic, and FLY Dance Company. Shamond, thank you for being a part of Dance Talk.

Shamond Powell:

Hey, love to be here. Feeling nice and good on this Sunday.

Andrea Cody:

Good.

Shamond Powell:

Juices are flowing right. Got the water bottle going. I’m ready to do this.

Andrea Cody:

Awesome. We want to know all about you, so would you please give us your life story.

Shamond Powell:

All right. So, my life story. Dance, with me, it all started in sixth grade. Things that inspired me to hop into this world, the things in reality was movies like You Got Served, Step Up, even movies like Kickin’ It Old Skool with Jamie Kennedy. I know it was a movie that was frowned upon, but back in the day, it was dope to me. People were killing it, and I just wanted to see what I could bring to the table. So, sixth grade, 2008 was the first year that I started to break dance with the after school break dancing class. We were called the Break Monsters at Westside Middle School. Then just all the years while I was there, I just kept on practicing. I didn’t take it as much seriously as I do now, but I was still a young lion, a young dust in the wind just trying to learn everything that I could.

By the time I was a freshman, so around 2011, I had already had a good understanding of body placement, weight movement, stacking, transitions. I just had an overall better knowledge of hip hop, jazz, contemporary, just all of the dance styles, but mainly breaking. Freshman year rolls around, and then that’s when I try out for this team called Inertia. At that time, Inertia was super big. I’m talking, Inertia was picked to represent the USA to the Chinese Delegation big. Me being on that team, I had no idea what I was stepping my foot into. I could definitely say it gave me some of the best years of my life as a performer, as a dancer, and overall just movement specialist. I can’t even explain it.

All the time I spent there, my teachers by the name of Ms. Roberts, the legendary Ms. Roberts killed it. I know she probably was a little harsh on us, but it was all out of love. It was just a little tough love. We all felt it, and it all made us better… you can’t get better by, you know, being in a nice little shell. You had to break through at first, and then you know Ms. Roberts is the best of friends.

Then for the male side, we had Mr. Joel “Judo” Rivera. That man right there is a genuine beast. The regimen that he put us on every year, something ridiculous. We’re talking about 60, 55, 50 those were sets of pushups in order, then we got to run around the entire school… It was just a whole thing going on. I definitely, definitely, definitely, definitely cannot thank him enough for morphing me into the man I am today because I know without all that extremes, and discipline, and due diligence, I wouldn’t understand what it means to be a performer, and be a professional in my craft, and know what I’m doing from the outside looking in, instead of trying to look like a newbie, and trying to think like, “Oh, I’m hot stuff.” It’s all about taking everything with a grain of salt. If something doesn’t come naturally, it’s all about trying and trying until you get it again.

One of my favorite things to say is, “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.” It’s a famous breaking proverb that’s been passed down from generation to generation. It’s not how you move. It’s not what you do and how you move, or how you get to A and B, or how you teach, it’s how you do it. It’s how that individual parts away with that knowledge. How did you actually take the steps to actually benefit to their needs? Instead of this speeding through the whole thing, and giving them that individual one-on-one time after, giving special interest to everybody during the teaching process. I just thank them for having me to pretty much know my limit, and know when to look for more knowledge.

Sorry, that was a whole, whole story and a half right there.

Andrea Cody:

Amen.

Shamond Powell:

Pretty much though. Yeah, ever since I graduated in 2015, I was blessed to be a part of so many different things that involve the Houston community, like being involved with Dance Houston, being involved with EZ Bar Mitzvahs, FLY Dance Company, just my feet anywhere I can get into. Yeah, I’ve definitely think that experience got me to where I am today. I couldn’t thank anyone less. Well, especially my friends too, my support along the way. Guys like my old crew, my friends, my big supporters, Samantha, has been my homegirl ever since my high school days. She’s just been helping me get back to the level I was before because I’ve had some days where I’ve been down in the dumps. Sometimes you just need that little positive thinking … to get you back in the saddle. I definitely have my friends to thank. I have my family to thank, my teachers, even you Miss Andrea for getting me to places. Even if I’ve never told you thank you before, I just want to say I appreciate everything you’ve done for me. I appreciate you looking out for me. I thank you so much for being able to help me through my ups and downs, just being there. This ride has been phenomenal.

Andrea Cody:

It’s awesome. I love you and I’m so glad I know you. And the very thought of you just makes me burst with joy.

Shamond Powell:

Aww. Don’t make me blush.

Andrea Cody:

There you go. There you go. I know we, what was it? Was it last summer or like the summer before at summer camp, y’all, you started calling me mom, and it was like… what a bond! It’s so awesome.

Shamond Powell:

It is. You’re still my mom.

Andrea Cody:

For sure. You mentioned China, I remember when that happened with the Friendship. There was a Friendship Festival or something, right?

Shamond Powell:

Yeah.

Andrea Cody:

I think when that happened, I want to say Sharon and Joel, God bless them. Wow. They’re still amazing. I just had to take a second to say that, too. They needed a video to submit, and they had those … I think you all had done the Mavericks already. They had videos, but what they needed and used was the video from a Dance Houston production at the Wortham, and just having the company on this big stage, full lights, sound, and giving us that artistic, professional, theatrical look. Maybe they submitted the Mavericks video, too, but you guys were just so ready for that, to represent the United States.

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah. They definitely wanted us to be on our A game. No slouching at all. That was definitely a big opportunity. Being a part of something like that, and especially knowing the circumstances, and knowing … Yeah, that was …

Andrea Cody:

Were there any other really major milestones for you that you just feel like have defined your career in dance so far?

Shamond Powell:

Definitely, off the top of my head, I would say winning competitions outside of state is one. Going out there and proving my skill, and actually coming back with a W. That’ll put a smile on my face every time. The time when we got to go teach a class in… [static] That was killer. Let’s see, what else? Going to New York. That was killer, just seeing what the bright lights and big city looks like for the first time. That’s insane. Going to Florida is insane. Probably not in the current day and age, but still, Florida is dope. I’ve only been there twice, both of those were for competitions. I got lucky on one of them and came back with the dub, but the other one, not so much. Still, the overall community out there, they’re welcoming. It’s lively. It’s very engaging, much different to other communities I’ve been to. That’s an important milestone.

There’s this jam that Dance Houston threw a couple years back. It was called Living in Five Elements. There was a format called “Seven to Smoke,” where one person has to battle either six or seven people. They have to consecutively rack up eight points. Depending on how long it goes, it could be this 30 minutes only. It could even last for an hour. But whoever is left with those eight points is declared the winner. My experience, I had to the third round because my earlier rounds, they were enough, but I started getting a little tired, and I just decided, “You know what? I’m just gas out right now so that way I can have more energy for later, and hopefully be able to finish it out.” Because I only had a little bit, so I was a little lacking behind everything, but I made sure the next time I went up, I was not losing. I was going to stay in my spot. Like, “I’m not leaving.” Because one person was one point away, and if I were to lose, then that means he would be the next up guy, and I was confident that if he were to go up at the next time, he would win. So I just couldn’t let that happen.

So I did everything in my power to just make sure I stayed at the top, and for the last four rounds that I did, I won all of them. I came out with eight points at the end even though I know it’s a little confusing going to … I know I said I saying rounds and eight point. There’s these things called ties. I was also fortunate enough to get two of them, so I had to go again right after. I was a little exhausted, but hey, I think I’m just glad it was over. I almost threw up when it was over.

Andrea Cody:

I remember that. Oh my God.

Shamond Powell:

I’m saying, they had to bring me to a corner, take off the shirt and everything. Oh, man. It was funny now looking back at it, but definitely during the time, it was pretty stressful.

Andrea Cody:

I love it. I’ve had my days sweating through clothes, and running out of breath, and all that. It’s so great.

Shamond Powell:

It’s the best feeling.

Andrea Cody:

Cool. But I mean, almost throwing up, that’s when I realized how hard what you were doing was.

Shamond Powell:

I always dreaded the day looking forward to them, but that’s why whenever the day came, and then … Like just get it over with.

Andrea Cody:

Just a correction. I think that was not a Dance Houston event, Living the Five Elements. Was that the Ether with Rad Crew?

Shamond Powell:

No. That was a different one. That was a separate event. That was the one where we had DJ Flame come into town.

Andrea Cody:

I just thought you said the “Seven to Smoke” thing was a Dance Houston production. I don’t want to take credit for that. I don’t think that was a part of it. I think-

Shamond Powell:

Yeah, it was a part of the first day. That was the prelim for H-Town Get Down.

Andrea Cody:

Oh, okay. Gotcha. That was one of the categories.

Shamond Powell:

Yeah.

Andrea Cody:

I see you. Okay. I believe it. Alright. Cool. So tell me about EZ Bar Mitzvahs, and what you get those kids doing.

Shamond Powell:

All right. So EZ Bar Mitzvahs, that’s a definitely entertainment experience. I didn’t know at first how to approach it, so I was … just being like the hype man. Now, doing it for a good number of years now, understanding the system and how to get the party moving, I totally get it. Pretty much, we’ll like the party enhancers. We keep the crowd moving. We keep the party jumping. If it’s dead for a little bit, then get the kids hyped, do a little freestyles. Some of us are poppers, some of us are breakers. Then whoever’s the MC, they’ll hype us up, they’ll introduce us. Then maybe we’ll have a line dance going on. Just get everybody involved, and everybody ends up stepping in.

Other than that, [phone buzzes] excuse me, my bad. It’s really just about celebrating someone’s, it’s like a 18-year for Jewish kids, a coming of age party for young ones growing up. Essentially, we just let them have a good time. We do the pompoms, have them dance on the chair and everything, do the dance in the circle. It’s all a fun time. I either learn the lyrics, sometimes I forget them because I know the lyrics so well. It’s a real good time. The fact that you get to go there and just inject party fuel into everybody, and just have everybody turn up to level 10, it’s dope. It makes me look forward to my Saturdays every week, just to make sure like, “Do I do this? Am I able to come through?”

I just feel like not a lot of kids are able to see break dancing, or they’re just not able to get out of their comfort zone a lot. It takes a lot for them to do something goofy. So you just need to have that goofy factor in order to have them step out there with you, and do some goofy stuff. It always makes me feel good because I’m a goofy person. I like doing goofy stuff. If goofy stuff puts smiles on people’s faces, then you already know, I’m going to turn it up to level 20, and make sure that everybody’s doing goofy stuff, and everybody’s comfortable and having a good time. It’s always nice to make them feel like they’re the cool kid, or the nerdy kid. We try to get everybody involved. We have dance circles to where we point at everybody, and they freestyle, and do whatever they want to do. If someone wants to rap during a song, we let them do that. We get really creative during these parties, and pretty much it’s all about letting the kids have fun.

Andrea Cody:

Awesome. I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to get invited to a Bar Mitzvah that we can attend, and I can see all this go down.

Shamond Powell:

Definitely. Definitely. Especially for Carnell and Lincoln. Oh, man. It’s going to be something.

Andrea Cody:

Oh, Carnell would love this. Oh my goodness.

Shamond Powell:

Probably the best one yet.

Andrea Cody:

That’s going to be fun. Definitely something to look forward to. Give us like about six years. We will see you on the dance floor.

Shamond Powell:

We’ll be steady prepping for it just for the day.

Andrea Cody:

Right on. Oh, yeah. Hey, that’s good thinking. Preparation. Now is the time.

Shamond Powell:

Always. You’ve got to stay ahead of the game.

Andrea Cody:

Cool. So it sounds like traveling has really just been a big highlight for you. Is that really, I don’t know, one of the most important benefits of the dancing that’s gotten you out and about?

Shamond Powell:

It’s definitely one of the things I look forward to the most because if you were to tell me five years ago, I would have done everything that I’ve done now, I wouldn’t have possibly believed you because not only is that a lot to miles covered, but I just didn’t think I would have the resources necessary, but now … Oh, excuse me. But now, looking at me today, it’s crazy. I never thought I would be half of the places that I’ve been to, especially within the amount of time it’s taken for me to get there. It’s definitely a blessing. It’s definitely something that was unprecedented, and something that I guess just came with the territory.

Andrea Cody:

Is your travel being sponsored, or are you earning your money, taking dance jobs, and then spending it to go to dance events?

Shamond Powell:

It’s half and half. Let’s say if there’s a competition outside of state, then they’ll probably be a self-sponsorship unless I get a group of us that want to go, and then we’ll all pitch into something together. Then that’s a different case. Other than that, I’ve been blessed enough to have been sponsored for my trips. For Fly Dance Company, we have a little Fly van that we use. We all bunch up in that, and we just take it to town. Let’s say it’s something fairly close, then I’ll probably just Uber to there, and luckily whoever’s there working with me would stay on the same side with me. We would just carpool back to this side. Luckily I’ve been having a nice balance in between being sponsored and doing it on my own. It’s a healthy, nice, little balance.

Andrea Cody:

Great. What’s it like in the studio at Fly Dance Company?

Shamond Powell:

Oh, it’s a very creative room of individuals. Sometimes everybody wants their ideas to get heard, but not all of them make it to the floor. That’s mostly because sometimes the ideas that are brought up are good enough, and the ideas that maybe we’d want to use for a specific part, we’ll save it for a later part. That way, we already have a backup plan in store for whenever we need an oomph factor or something to transition, or just a nice little filler piece. It’s definitely no days off. From the time you start practicing to the time you perform, they want you to be fully committed.

Shamond Powell:

But it’s still dope. It keeps you on your toes, keeps you alert knowing when the next [inaudible 00:22:31] is, or being spatially aware knowing everybody is. It definitely helps.

Andrea Cody:

How do you describe their artistry?

Shamond Powell:

It will be like Kathy has a vision, and she presents us with the skeleton. She gives us the bones, we provide the meat. That’s the best way I could put it. We provide the flavor, and we inject our own little style into it. She gives us the way it’s supposed to be done. A little flavor into it to make it you know, pop. Then the creative director, Mister Casco, Mister Jorge, if he sees one of our ideas, one of us, he won’t hesitate to use it there, or like I said, for even one of our transitional or filler pieces. He’ll save this one piece so that way we’ll get back up and ready to go back at it. It’s like they always know at least what they’re doing, or what step to take. It’s always a nice little progression.

Andrea Cody:

Tell me about your tours with them.

Shamond Powell:

The tours, let’s see. I’ll tell you about Lufkin. I think it was one of my first tours that I did with them. I never actually did a school tour before, so it was something different. For how these go, pretty much we get there early in the morning, meet up with the stage hands, introduce ourselves, and pretty much get ourselves set up throughout the day. Pretty much how those go, a little bit educational. We give them the nice little show on the four elements of hip hop. We give them background. We show them the four pillars, the main things according to breaking, like freezes, toprock, footwork, power moves, all that good stuff and everything just so they have a better understanding.

Break dancing isn’t just what you see on TV, it also has a deeper meaning and a deeper history of things that you saw on Step Up, or So You Think You Can Dance, or America’s Got Talent. It’s different than what is presented on the media. I think it’s dope that we’re able to peel the curtain back a little bit and just show, “Hey, there’s more than just around and doing all this flashy stuff.” No, there’s organization to it as well. You gotta come correct. You can’t just come out there doing whatever. You got to come the way that everybody understands. I actually like the way that we do that because when it’s time at the end, when we present, we always take a couple of kids from the crowd to pretty much go over everything that they learned.

Andrea Cody:

Wow.

Shamond Powell:

… and then, some of them will freestyle after they’re done because they want to stay on the stage a bit longer, and they’re just getting that confidence, and feeling their peers. They’ll just wild out, and they’ll do dances, they’ll do things they saw on TikTok. It’s dope. It’s cool. It’ll be something we didn’t even tell them to do. After we give them the things that we describe to them to showcase, they’ll just go off and do their own thing. Sometimes you need them to get off the stage, and they just keep killing it.

Andrea Cody:

Cool.

Shamond Powell:

They’re just kids, it doesn’t matter, but they amaze me. It’s a nice opportunity to get everyone, just all around, out of their comfort zone just vibing with everybody. It’s a blessing.

Andrea Cody:

Did you perform with symphonies or just company?

Shamond Powell:

Say it again. I couldn’t hear you.

Andrea Cody:

When you went out of town, you said Lufkin, did you guys perform with a symphony or was it just you guys?

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yes. Those are different tours. There’ll be school tours that we have to do, then they’ll be symphony tours. The symphony tours were a little different. Yeah, we still arrive early just to get our set placements down. Get the timing right with everything, communication with the orchestra, setup and throughout the day work on specific sections, so let’s say, we’ll time them and make sure everything is set up right.

All right. Sorry. I had a little sound problem. Testing, testing, one, two.

Andrea Cody:

Cool. You’re good.

Shamond Powell:

Everything’s better?

Andrea Cody:

Yeah. Yeah.

Shamond Powell:

All right. All right.

Andrea Cody:

Welcome back to the show.

Shamond Powell:

Hey, you know. I was gone for a little bit. I had to step outside, but we’re back.

Andrea Cody:

Okay, cool.

Shamond Powell:

Good to be back. Orchestra shows, they definitely run a little different. We set up early in the morning, get our placements down, get our corrections, pretty much get all of our cues right. Then throughout the day, we’ll just be handing the different sections of choreography. Because what we’ve noticed is that the clips that they give us to practice to, and what it will sound like live, are two vastly different things.

Andrea Cody:

Awesome.

Shamond Powell:

Throughout the day, we’ll just be pretty much transferring what we know from what we heard on the music file that they gave us to what we’re hearing live. There’ll be specific hints of music that we pick up on that maybe we want to hit just for stylistic purposes. Maybe there’ll be some things that didn’t work, so we’ve got to readjust and reconfigure some things. It’s really a planning type of thing, whatever, to symphonic or orchestra type of show.

Andrea Cody:

So you’re kind of-

Shamond Powell:

You want to come correct.

Andrea Cody:

Yeah, you’re resetting your choreography to the live music?

Shamond Powell:

Yes.

Andrea Cody:

How do you share the space with them?

Shamond Powell:

They take up generally the larger back half of the stage. We only take up the first two quarters of the stage. Not too much, so we really base our dances around being width wise instead of being length wise because we’ll have more to use going outward than depth wise because we only have so much space.

Andrea Cody:

Right. More on the apron?

Shamond Powell:

Yeah, definitely. On the tip of the stage. That little oval point, yeah.

Andrea Cody:

Yeah, that’s the spot. All right. What was it like being in a musical theater production? You did Swing, Baby, Swing! in 2017?

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah. Definitely those were a new experience for me as well. The only other theater production I’ve really been a part of was stuff in school where I only had a little scene part. I think I was somebody off of Hairspray. I can’t remember though. I just remember I had a little scene part, and I know it takes dedication, and diligence, and discipline because it’s going to be a lot of rinse and repeat because you have to nail that specific part correctly or it’s not going to look good. It’s not going to be what it should be. Definitely that was a very humbling experience for me going into Swing, Baby, Swing! because the more that I do things, the more that it got easier for me.

At first, I wouldn’t say I was getting upset that I couldn’t get the footwork right, I was getting more bothered and annoyed because I felt like I was doing all the steps, but for some reason, I just looked different than everybody else. Maybe it’s because I was putting my own style on it, and that was something I didn’t need to do for that era in time because it came with a style on its own. I was probably just pushing it too hard, so I had to take a step back, listen to everybody, take everybody’s input, especially with Ms. Norma Miller, listening to what she had to say.

Andrea Cody:

Hold up. Hold up. Out of the whole cast, Norma Miller picked only you. She loved your personality. So you may have stuck your neck out and really been out there, but I mean, that’s what she loved. You made her laugh so hard. I think you were on to something, and it might have just been too much to deal with because we were very limited on time, and we were in the middle of Hurricane Harvey-

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah.

Andrea Cody:

It was like, I don’t know. I feel like we’ve got to try something like that again soon.

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah. Definitely. I definitely think all of the minds in there definitely provided an atmosphere. Everyone was getting along. It was fun.

Andrea Cody:

Yeah, we loved it. We loved watching it, and I loved watching you, and I’ve reviewed the videos to focus in on a particular dancer, like LeAndre, and I didn’t catch the majority of what he had done. I think I was watching you most of the time, or just taking it all in, or honestly, dancing with my kids in the front row. It was fun. Yeah, I need to keep reviewing that to try to see what you guys really actually did, so we can move forward with a new mindset, I think.

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah. For sure.

Andrea Cody:

About that creativity, yeah.

Shamond Powell:

That would be dope.

Andrea Cody:

Let’s see. Why do you dance?

Shamond Powell:

Wait. What?

Andrea Cody:

So dance can be an art, a sport, a mating ritual, a historic preservation, a personal expression. I know it doesn’t have to be one thing to you, but what is it to you?

Shamond Powell:

Dance is everything. I honestly don’t know how I dabbled so far into it, why it’s so big in my life, but it just resonates with me so well. I don’t know. The energy that flows up within me every time something’s going to happen, whether it just be rehearsal or a performance, teaching. It’s just overall fun. I rarely have a bad day when it comes to that because, geesh, who can be sad when it comes to dance? The only time I can think of is when I can’t get a move, or especially when I’m trying to teach, and I can’t be heard. Even then, that just lets me know … Everyone’s having a good time. I’m doing my job in putting smiles on everybody’s faces. Everyone’s enjoying themselves. It’s just hard to be mad when it comes to dance. I love it. It’s incredible. There’s just so much movement, so much excitement. Just everything is like level 10. Just the community events around it, those are always top notch. There’s never a bad event. It’s just I love it. I love it. I love it. I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

Andrea Cody:

Awesome. You said that you can’t be mad. You just reminded me of heavy metal in the ’90s. I love music so I would always go to concerts. I would go to these heavy metal shows. Maybe I was there to see Guns N’ Roses, but like Megadeath was going to open up for them.

Shamond Powell:

Oh, so you were…

Andrea Cody:

These were of that era. We still have Austin City Limits, but there was a lot of stuff like that around town, where it was just at an arena, or I don’t know, places you never heard of before that were just a field. It would be a rock festival. No chairs. People would be up close towards the band in a mosh pit. I got in one of those a couple of times. You really come out banged up. It’s insane. We went crowd surfing, which was super cool.

Shamond Powell:

What? 

Andrea Cody:

You know it. That evolved into this-

Shamond Powell:

I have got to do that.

Andrea Cody:

… heavy metal went into punk rock and ska right after that. Everybody was like you’re either into punk rock, and you’re just going to pump your fist, or you’re into ska and you’re going to dance like a goonball. You know which way I went.

Shamond Powell:

No.

Andrea Cody:

I like punk. I was into punk, but ska swung me away. Then this local band, The Suspects, they have one swing song in their set. I wanted to dance to that song. So I went exploring for more swing moves because I was dancing by myself, but I would dance with just a girlfriend I was there with, and twirl her around, and we’d just dance by ourselves again. Just having fun. I was like, “That could be really fun if we learned a bunch of moves.” 

Shamond Powell:

Hey, yeah.

So we started doing that, and boom, I don’t know where ska went, but swing came up, and I was ready. I already had all the moves. I’ve been doing it. It was so fun.

Shamond Powell:

It just came to you.

Andrea Cody:

Yeah, and there was this, I think it was Mustard Plug had one of the ska anthems that was about, like, not hitting people on the dance floor. There was an era were that was our dance. Mosh. It was just moshing.

Shamond Powell:

I know I’ve never technically been in one. I know I’ve been in some make-shift mosh pits, but to experience the real thing, that’s a whole different experience.

Andrea Cody:

It was a bunch of grown, angry men. You wouldn’t dare at some of those. You wouldn’t dare.

Shamond Powell:

Oh, yeah. I’ve seen them get rowdy. They’re just straight up fist fights. I’m like, “Is it a mosh pit, or is it like Fight Club?”

Andrea Cody:

It’s a group fight.

Shamond Powell:

People had to work out some differences in there. I’m glad you came out though.

Andrea Cody:

Thank you.

Shamond Powell:

Good Lord. I’ve seen some nasty ones.

Andrea Cody:

Oh yeah. Sweaty, shirts off. Blah.

Shamond Powell:

Yeah, mud and oh no. I know that’s definitely a thing for its time. Those were epic moments where everyone is just like let loose. Just as long as nobody gets hurt, it’s dope.

Andrea Cody:

What was that? What’s it now?

Shamond Powell:

Really it’s just everyone just forcefully shoving. Who can shove harder? Who can fly faster? It seems like it’s more like a competition, like who moshes harder. It still seems like an overall fun thing to do. I just don’t know if me, personally, I would dip into that. I’ll probably be one of the people on the sides, be like, “Oh. He just got laid out. Oh.” Yeah, I’d probably be on the sidelines.

Andrea Cody:

That’s how I feel about break dancing. I don’t want to go out there and freestyle. Uh uh. By myself? I’d rather get punched in the face.

Shamond Powell:

It’s like, “Oh, no. I’ll sit back on this one.”

Andrea Cody:

Now, you want to be my partner? I’m okay with that. Does everybody have to watch? Geez, Louise, no. I don’t even know what the band’s about to do. That’s the point. Let’s just-

Shamond Powell:

Oh, man. All right. I’m sweating now.

Andrea Cody:

Me, too. Alright. Let’s talk about our cultural revolution. What’s happening? We are in week six, day two of a stay at home order.

Shamond Powell:

I’ve lost track. I have grown so much facial hair.

Andrea Cody:

Oh my goodness. So what’s it like for you day-to-day?

Shamond Powell:

Yes. Pretty much, daily routine now, I either wake up between 12:00 and 5:00. I get a nice orange if I don’t have anything on my mind for breakfast. Just a nice little fruit to get me kick started. Drink some water. Down at least one or two bottles to stay nice and hydrated. If it’s shady outside, I’ll probably go outside and do some stretches, or if not, then I’ll probably just stretch inside. My day always starts with at least 100 pushups a day just to keep myself, I guess to not plateau because I was working out like a lion before this quarantine hit. I was going to the gym every day to just really get myself ready for things coming up in the summer, or just things coming up in the future because I really wanted to get myself in the shape that I wanted to be in. I know everyone always tells me, “Oh, you don’t need to do anything. You look like this.” Well, that’s not good enough. There’s a specific level I want to be able to handle all the things that I do, just to make sure that I have enough energy.

After the 100 pushups, I’ll probably rest for about five minutes. I’ll do five, ten backflips just to make sure I still got it. I walk around my apartment block just to get some nice fresh air. If it’s a really good day, there’s this trail right next to the Beltway that I walk over to. I usually take at least 30 minutes running there, or I’ll just walk over there and find a nice little spot to go over some dance steps, work on footwork, toprocks, just things to keep my body moving and enjoying the nice air outside.

After all that’s done, it will generally be about two or three hours by the time I’m done that. That way I can come back home. I can just focus on what else I need to do, because I moved into this apartment less than a year ago, and I haven’t gotten around to tidying it up because I was always busy every day. Now that I have time, I can actually make it look nice, hang some things up. I can hang my trophies up. I got a … for a trophy wall-

Andrea Cody:

Cool.

Shamond Powell:

… and different things that I’ve accomplished. … most of them, they have…

Shamond Powell:

Testing, testing, one, two.

Andrea Cody:

Hey. He’s back. Are you playing with your trophies?

Shamond Powell:

I’m sorry. I think it’s whenever I’m moving my head down so it’s back on my pillow, that’s when you’re losing me. So let me just sit up for you.

Andrea Cody:

Are you falling asleep right now?

Shamond Powell:

Oh, no, no. I was just moving around a little bit earlier. I was getting up to get lunch, getting a little hungry.

Andrea Cody:

Cool.

Shamond Powell:

But now, we’re all good. We’re settled. Is everything all Kosher?

Andrea Cody:

Oh, yeah. You want to go tell us about the rest of your day, or you want to move on?

Shamond Powell:

No, that was pretty much it. I’ll usually whip up some lunch, and then I either take a nap or pickin’ up on some of my shows. I’ve been actually getting into watching a lot of scary movies lately, but I think it’s because I watch them in the day. Don’t bother watching them at night.

Andrea Cody:

How are your classes going online with your students?

Shamond Powell:

Every week, I just feel like they’re actually getting better and better now. At first, there was a weird little obstacles to try to get over because it’s everybody’s first time doing something like that, but now, we’ve got a nice little system going on. We’ll meet up every week. We work out with them. We stretch with them. Then we teach a little something something. That usually goes well. Everyone, they get the … Sometimes we tell them to mute themselves, and sometimes they just tell each other to mute themselves that way they can hear us more. It’s nice. The cooperation and the communication going on right now is just smooth. I love it.

Andrea Cody:

Cool.

Shamond Powell:

I just try to find something better to do every week. Even next week, we’re planning on having everyone come through a nice little review. They’re going to learn some. We’re going to work out. It’s nice to know that I’m keeping everyone active during times like this.

Andrea Cody:

Cool.

Shamond Powell:

Yes ma’am.

Andrea Cody:

What do you have on your horizon for this week?

Shamond Powell:

For this week, I’ve been planning on really just more of the same. I’ve been trying to have a couple of my friends, not a lot, of course, of my friends meet up, but just a couple of them to where we session, we talk a little bit. Just because I want … How do I put this in a sentence? I don’t want everybody to just not slack off during this time. I know it’s a perfect time to chill, especially if you’ve been working a lot before this happened. Definitely take the time to recharge and get everything settled. Take the time for you, but also I don’t want anybody to get behind on their goals, and just start getting out of their habits, and breaking into their old habits. I want everybody to stay active, and stay diligent, and stay moving, just because I feel that’s what we would want. I feel like no one would want to just slouch into this regression to what they were doing bad habits before. No. I’m all about progression. I want to see better things for everybody. If I’m the person that motivates people to at least drink some water, or go outside, or at least do something to help better themselves throughout this time, then I feel like then I’m doing my part.

Shamond Powell:

We all have time to do something, just got to make time to do it.

Andrea Cody:

If we come to the realization that stay at home is just our forever, what would you want for us?

Shamond Powell:

What would I want for people staying at home?

Andrea Cody:

Yeah.

Shamond Powell:

Definitely develop a schedule. Develop a nice little regiment where, “I’m going to do this today. I’m going to do that tomorrow. Maybe take a break on this day, and then get right back at it.” Kind of like a diet plan, a workout plan. Just something that you know you’re going to stick to. Something to keep you disciplined throughout this time, or something to keep you responsible throughout this time because through this time, I wouldn’t say it’s all about it, but I just want people to be accountable for being the change during this time, or just taking the initiative to change someone else if that’s the case, or get a journal. Each day, accomplish something that maybe you didn’t think about doing before this quarantine happened, like fishing a page in a book, or getting a good stretch, or nailing a move. Just something that you can achieve today. It can either be doing more pushups than you did yesterday. Just something that keeps you going, something that’s motivating throughout this.

That’s probably what I would want. But also, stay positive and stay blessed because now is definitely not the time to get negative about anything. Be blessed that you still have a roof over your head, people to spend time with. Communicate. If you haven’t talked to someone in a while because we were so busy, take the time to reach out. Mend some broken bones, heal some broken bridges. I’m all about coming together and seeing the greener side to everything.

Andrea Cody:

My guest today is Shamond Powell. Shamond, thank you for being a part of DanceTalks.

Shamond Powell:

Hey, thank you for having me on. It was a blessing to do what I love to do. I just hope everyone stays safe, stays positive, and we’ll get through this together.

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