Herstory: 2006 - The Year of the Dog, in review
by shebang!

So it seems that somewhere in the year I switched my runners and donned on a pair of heels. Over the past year, I have weaned myself off breaking for a more ''civilized''form of dance ... yup ... international ballroom dancing.

With my hubby in tow, we claimed the title as ''Canadian National champs'' in the pre-bronze level in both Standard and Latin (the lowest level to enter in international ballroom dancing, but hey you got to start somewhere!). Our many trophies are gathering dust on our trophy case - it's rather ridiculous.

But despite my more civilized take on dance, this didn't stop me from doing a few corporate gigs: breaking for product launches for Herbal Essence, Blackberry and Nike, and even being consulted by Nike for streetdance wear. As well, one cannot resist the urge to pose for pictures in break freezes when travelling around the world. A wicked pic of me in Egypt posing at the temple of Hatshepsut, the only female pharaoh to rule Egypt, my arms crossed, freezing in a headstand like the stoned temple guards--only upside down. Dainty break freezes by the Pyramids in the desert with my oh so conservative demure skirt.

This year I became an avid fan of ''So You Think You Can Dance'' and ''Dancing with the Stars''. This even included a road trip to Buffalo with shebang! and peeps to see the live tour of ''So You Think You Can Dance.'' Man, Allison is a wicked dancer.

The shebang! break classes at good ol' Trinity church came to an end after many o' years. No more church visits on Wednesdays. I instead taught for one session at Street Dance Academy , mae hem's recent dance studio venture. But, alas, now I have retired from teaching break classe. An end of an era ... but you never know when one will come out of retirement. Perhaps I'm waiting until I become one of those infamous break Grannys.

p.s. Don't worry, jennrock, one day I will ''throw down'' at a ballroom competition and show them how it really is, just like in the movies.

p.p.s. shebang! is now in Wikipedia. I can now rest in peace.

John Kong put it perfectly in Denise Benson's year end wrap up where he summed up 2006 with two words, "Serato" and "Myspace" and I couldn't agree more!

With many DJ's switching to Serato (a computer based program that connects MP3's from your laptop to two pieces of vinyl that spin like regular records on turntables) playing records has taken on a whole new meaning. DJ's that were never DJ's became "selectors" playing everything from techno and electro to 36 mafia, Justin and Fergie and Reel to Reel at grungy dives for a new crowd of fun loving youngsters sporting skull bandanna's, gold chains and moustaches who think everything is "ironic". "Mash-up" became a genre of music with people like Diplo, Hollertronix, and The Rub exploding onto the scene and bringing in new sounds like Bmore and Baile funk, introducing scenster trendsetters MIA, Spankrock, Kid Sister and the like. New nights took off with stupid names with the mashup sounds featuring DJ's that really don't know how to DJ. And let's not even get onto the topic of rock stars turning in their guitars for turntables and Serato, and celebrities spinning for thousands of dollars at the Guvernment night club.

All this random ironic-ness led way to genre-specific nights returning and theme related nights where you will hear a certain style of music and you will never have to worry about hearing Britney or Paris Hilton in the mix. It's become very competitive and promoters and DJ's have to dig deeper and think of more concept nights and find the right niche.

As for me, I've enjoyed checking out different nights, listening to all kinds of music and observing the trends and picking up what I like in between. And there has been some awesome music that has come out this year! I have LOVED all the old hip hop shows that have come to Toronto, except for ''Rock The Bells'' which luckily I didn't go to! I've taken up breakdancing again and kind of reached one of my goals (playing records for breakers and then running out from behind the decks and getting in the circle). But, it was at the SDA opening and I was nervous as hell, so I couldn't really execute my world famous headspins or windmills.

I've accepted and embraced MySpace and am continuously amazed at how so many artists are connecting around the world. Because of programs like Serato they can be played in clubs by DJ's without ever having to press a single and they can tour without even having a record out! Speaking of Serato, I completely relate to the purists but I still think Serato is the way of the future, hell I buy reissues and I've even played cd's! I just hope that 2007 does not lead to some of my most favourite record stores going out of business. But who knows? Vinyl has outlasted everything else. Anyone remember cassettes?!

My year started out into Africa, with a solo journey to Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda. It was an enriching, educational, and empowering experience. On my way back to Canada, I visited our friend b-girl Kris in Dresden, Germany. While in Deutschland, I attended a b-boy practice where breakers shake hands hello and goodbye, practice power, and apologize for not dancing enough. When I returned home, I was ecstatic to step into Street Dance Academy, aka the crew clubhouse. Congrats again mae hem! 2006 was definitely the year of the studio. To think, shebang! used to struggle to find practice space. Other highlights include babies, b-girl roadtrips and movie dates, house class, visiting Ms. Mighty in LA, and making Wikipedia. While each member of shebang! is doing her own thing, I look forward to the crew's new dimension in 2007.

mae hem
Accomplishments: Street Dance Academy opened its doors on September 11/2006. And I built everything in it! I can do drywall, drop ceilings, floors - who knew?

Highlights: I'm a tia! How cool?! Bennie is sooo AMAZING!

Lowlights: '0' training. I now suck. How can you own a dance studio and suck at dancing?

Tragedies: 2006 started out horrible. My uncle died on New Years.

Goals for 2007: Vacation! No talk about SDA, no phones, no emails, no work. VACATION!

Ms. Mighty
2006 was the year of settling and establishing, of slowly building on the foundation poured and laid in 2005.

Ms. Mecc: The super web-mistress has expanded and diversified to earn the title of "supermom". MeccMama has managed to have one of the cutest babies ever and keep in step with the rest of us. WOW! One of my heroines.

I am so happy that this studio exists! I'm so proud of mae hem for getting the ball rolling and giving Toronto exactly what it's been missing. It's like my home away from home. I couldn't ask for anything more, except, well SDA-LA.

++Kickin' it Old School++
Who knew a movie about a man-child who awakens from a 20 year breakdancing induced coma could be so much fun to make? I was so blessed to work with so many talented people.

++TALKSHOW with Spike Feresten++
Just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier ... Along comes Ms. Mighty b-girling in a pregnant suit.

++Lux Aeterna++
Finally a company that combines all of my dance skills into one! Watch out for our "lyrical breaking", it's poised for world take-over in 2007.

++Diavolo Dance Theater++
Being asked by Jaques to join the Education Company was a huge honour and I've had a blast working with the "Thundercats".

++LA Visits++
Mom, Dad & Kater
JaeBlaze & Fatima

Resolution: FLOSS


2005 YEAR IN REVIEW by shebang!

Click here to see Blazin's Highlights

Click here to see DJ Dalia's Highlights

Click here to see jennrock's Highlights

Click here to see mae hem's Highlights

Click here to see Ms. Mighty's Highlights

Girl Talk - by jennrock

altantic streetdance championships 2005 - by jennrock

2004: the year of the monkey - by shebang!

''Reinvention'' by Ms. Mighty

A dream I never even dreamed by Blazin'

The Year of the Goat by shebang!

Entering the Karma Sessions by mae hem

Judging by jennrock

International Women's Day 2003 by Ms. Mighty

qweenb 2002 by Ms Mighty