2004 - The Year of the Monkey, in review.


It's been a fun filled year with shebang!, full of amazing highlights, both little ones and astronomical ones!!! Somehow I have managed to find a great balance between my personal life, work, play, and more play! In no specific order, some of my personal successes and memorable moments include the following: Enjoy!

-Receiving from shebang! for my <gasp!> 30th bday, a wicked painting by EGR of me breaking with the crew! Thanks guys! It now hangs between my Master's and Bachelor's diplomas.

-Finally making my Blazin' business cards courtesy of Ray's awesome talent. I love them!

-Getting my windmill!!!! Yippee!! You can teach an ol' dog new tricks!

-Walking with shebang! on cool hip Queen Street and randomly seeing our break picture in the window of Aritizia (Che's fabulous pics).

-Ranking top 8 in the 2 on 2s with Ms.M at the World B-boy Championships in London, England! Being paid in cash in the sketchiest of manners " straight out of the movies " briefcase and all! Crazy dreams do come true!

-Featured in a BravoFact! short film entitled "Triple Booked" in Moving Pictures 2004. I always wanted to be in one of those short films, and there I have it! A nice momento of my "Blazin'" alter ego.

-"Touring" with the Beastie Boys at the ACC in Toronto, and in front of my ol' hometown crowd at the Corel Centre in Ottawa. Being surrounded by the Beastie Boys, and saying goodbye to them all on behalf of shebang! What a crazy moment!!!

-Not winding up on the editing floor in the Kid Cut video "Party Anthem", always get a kick watching it when it comes on Much. That's me, that's Ms. M, that's me, that's Ms. M and me!

-Teaching classes all around Toronto to eager, keen students, and getting free dance classes (salsa!), and free practice space to boot.

-Making it into the Freestyle Session Seattle video! Sigh, I remember my first break video. Well copy of a copy of a copy of a break video.

-Oh my, I almost forgot!! At Break and Enter, being surprised by the gift from our dedicated students -the most wickedest cake with a picture of our crew airbrushed on top (+ breaker lego people). Much love to you all!

Somehow in my "old granny age", I'm happy to say that I'm still making breaking happen. It keeps me young in spirit and in body. I1m grateful that I have found my passion in dance. It's taken me beyond my wildest dreams. Well, it's 2005 now. I guess its time to dream even bigger!


From World B-Boy to Battle of the Year, there are many, many highlights for 04. But my moment was this one.

Years ago I went to a BS 2000 gig in Cleveland. If you're a Beastie fanatic like I am, then you already know this is a side project for Adam Horovitz (aka Beastie Boy Adrock). At the end of the show, I gave him a shebang! business card. This is what led to our first big deal show, touring with Le Tigre, and then years later, the highlight of my b-girling - performing with the B Boys in Toronto and Ottawa in November.

Can it get any better? That's why I've retired. But that new kind of retirement, like Jay Z.

mae hem:

My year's highlights:

-Meeting and dancing for the Beastie Boys and Mixmaster Mike. MMM rocks!

-Battling at Battle of the Year, Montreal.

-Battling at Freestyle Session 8. Well, session in general was great (minus the couple of hours set back on the first day). The talent per square inch was just unbelievable. The highlights from session are: us battling; Toronto/Montreal making top 8; the tumbling comp on the top floor; the 2nd day battles were crazy; Massive Monkees: I love them. They do routines and mean it! LOL.

-jennrock's "I'm So Excited" performance. Yes, it was a performance. I wish we had that on tape! So we were are at a jam and they randomly start playing The Pointer Sisters and jrock starts, at first, casually dancing but then it escalates to this full fledged lip sync performance with air piano and everything! Oh, it was priceless! Words don't do it justice.

-Teaching and seeing my students get better :)

-Throwing another successful Break&Enter.

-Going to England courtesy of Just Fabulous.

-Ms.M and I doing a mini tour with Eternia. That was mad cool! Thanks to Arcane and Adverse for booking us. Shout out to the Maryland b-boys (Alem, Russel, Ben, etc.) and everyone else that we met.

-The Back to the Underground: Sickest Six Series. Those were dope battles and each and everyone I went to was hella entertaining. I will miss bttu and I'll miss Dyzee - wish him all the best in Seattle...

-At one point I did six windmills!!! They were hella sloppy but damn that had never happened before this year. Maybe the next year they won't be sloppy ;)

My lowlights:

-RIP to the guy who got shot in Richmond, VA.

-Feeling out of place at World B-boy Champs.

-The gang police at Session 8. I've never seen gang police before. Closing off highway exits so that we don't end up in their precious Long Beach was a low that I didn't think was conceivable. Of course, we were staying there, contributing to their bloody tourist economy. Conclusion: Long Beach sucks.

-George Bush winning the popular vote.

-Missing Wanted and Storm's performances at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal coz we were stuck in traffic getting out of Toronto. Boo.

- Not going to all the battles I wanted to go to. Is there enough time and stamina in the world to to make it to all the dope battles out there?

Ms. Mighty:

2004 was supposed to be "Year of the Woman" for both mae hem and me. A year
focused on developing our more adult qualities, specifically our feminine qualities. At the end of 2004, feeling only minimally more 'grown up' and 'feminine', we opted to retroactively rename 2004 as "Year of the Teenage Girl" and launch into 2005 a little less overzealously, cautiously dubbing it "Year of the Young Woman (maybe someone who's in their first year of college or university)" Here's to wearing more skirts, blow-drying our hair, keeping our nails in good condition and 'getting it together' in 2005!

Ms. Mighty's Highlights of 2004:
I feel like I'm growing into my name a little bit more each year. At times I felt I wasn't really living up to it as "Ms. Not always Mighty" or "Ms. Needs to do a little more strength training".

World B-boy Championships:
Did that really happen? Did LL really lick his lips at us?

Visiting Tokyo:
Dancing is on a whole other level there. I loved watching so many people eagerly practicing in subway stations and in front of office buildings, using their reflections in the glass windows as makeshift dance-studio mirrors.

Madonna Reinvention Tour Auditions:
Inspired a whole series of events leading me to where I am today: Los Angeles. Read all about it in Herstory.

Beastie Boys @ ACC & Corel Centre:
We always seem to be blessed by working with artists who are so down to earth and really 'real'. Thanks again to Adrock for making it happen, jennrock for not losing her cool despite this being a Tiger Beat experience for her, and Mix Master Mike for being so awesomely talented. Once again, did that really happen? Shout out to: Mike our 'wrangler', the dogs, Adrock, MCA, Mike D, Thomas in Wardrobe, Money Mark, & Alfie. Thanks to the girls for including me despite me being 3000 miles away.

Working with 'Hank', teaching him to b-boy for a showdown rivalling the one in Zoolander. One of the most hardworking and determined guys I know. Learned tons about the deaf community and realised once again how universal the language of movement really is.

Shooting 'This is Daniel Cook Break Dancing' - Working with mae hem with the nuttiest but most brilliant kid I'll probably ever meet. Shout out to B-boy Black Dragon aka Daniel Cook.

BOTY NA qualifiers @ Just for Laughs Fest:
Wanted crew continues to inspire me with their innovative fusion of b-boying and other dance forms. I felt we really came together as a crew doing what I think is our best show to date. We did Choreography without anyone quitting the crew and pulled it off! We also really enjoyed watching other crews do routines, am I right ladies?

Thanks to shebang! & Ms. Mecc for always being my best friends and supporting me 100% along the way.

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