EAST LANSING, MI – Spartan Dance Center instructors Hondo Shen and Tom Morosky each took home a first place prize last month in respective regional b-boy dancing competitions.
Shen, dancer, instructor and Lansing Community College student, competed solely along with 35 other entries in a head-to-head b-boy dance competition on Saturday, October 30th in the Taste of Victory 2 competition held in Grand Rapids by Teknique Street Dance Academy.
The competition was open to all dancers with 2 years or less experience in b-boying and brought in some of the top up-and-coming talent in the state.
Judged on the criteria of foundation, execution, dynamics, attitude and originality, Shen made it through the preliminary rounds all the way to the finals were he proceeded to dominate and take home the first place prize.
“I went into the competition thinking I would do quite well, but I guess I underestimated all the countless hours I have put into teaching and practicing at the studio,” said Shen in regards to his performance.
B-boying, for those unfamiliar with the term, is similar to what many people know as breakdancing from popular TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance or America’s Best Dance Crew. The term stands for Bronx Boy, which implies the New York City borough where the dance originated in 1973 as an escape and productive activity for troubled youths in the inner city.
It is often danced to hip-hop or remixed music and consists of popping, spinning, floor dancing and stylish poses. Competitions among b-boyers are called battles.
Shen isn’t the only SDC instructor to taste the sweetness of dance victory recently.
Earlier last month Morosky, a Medical Technology Junior at Michigan State University, joined his fellow Robotops crew to compete in U of M Hip Hop Academys’s “Diag Hip Hop Festival” held in the Union of the University of Michigan on October 2nd.
The competition highligthed 23 of the most talented b-boying dance groups in southeast Michigan as they contested to earn the top title and take home a cash prize of $150.
After Morosky and his crew advanced to the final round to be matched up with fellow Michigan group Canton Clan, special guest judges and b-boy dance veterans Bboy Born, Bboy U-Turn and BennyBen concluded Morosky and his fellow Robotops as the winners.
Though Hondo Shen has only been dancing for two years, he has created an extensive portfolio. After he started dancing and teaching at CASS Community Center in Detroit, he began to work with local dance groups like Extreme Pom Pon, PNC and Hardcore Detroit Crew, a group he still belongs to. Shen went on to compete and win in b-boy competitions throughout the state and Midwest. With his crew he has performed in the Tigers half-time show, Lions half-time show, World Salsa Congress Tour and concert performances with Evan Flows.
Tom Morosky is no rookie either. After he started teaching four years ago, Tom has since became Vice President of MSU’s Break Dance Club, a member of Robotops and Weapons of Rhythm and has competed and won competitions all the way from New York to California. He has also had the opportunity to perform in several shows, including the 2009 Thanksgiving Detroit Lions half-time show with Jesse McCartney and a half-time show with Automotion and the Detroit Pistons.
“We have a lot of talented instructors here at Spartan Dance Center and Tom and Hondo’s recent competition wins are proof of that,” commented Spartan Dance Center owner and director Tiffany Russell.
The center is located in downtown East Lansing and offers both an Adult Drop-In program for students and adults and a Jr. Spartans program for children ages 2 through 15.
Classes at SDC include salsa, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, b-boying, ballet, tumbling, zumba and more. Spartan Dance Center aims at being the most affordable and flexible dance studio in the greater Lansing area.