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How I’m Re-Igniting My Passionate Love Affair with Hip Hop

At almost 28 years old, I feel old.

Old in the local street dance scene – and who can blame me, when I find myself surrounded by fresh-faced high school kids whenever I (rarely) decide to attend one of the events.

Being in the scene for 8 years now, it gets to a point where it all feels the same, and progress seems backwards. After running countless events, classes, workshops, battle competition and all things related to street dance, I’m in a period where I need to take a step back from the scene, remove all the external bullshit influence and reflect on what brought me on this path in the first place.

It all started when…

Back when I was 20 years old, a UNSW student with an enormous passion for hip hop culture… it was all a dream. I really did read Word Up! magazines and Salt ‘n’ Pepa were my rap idols. I wanted to make a difference through hip hop, through street dance.

My passion was pure, raw and fierce

I felt that hip hop could positively change people’s lives and that I could contribute to that cause; through blogging and running my own studio, educating people in the physical and online world at the same time. It was all about encouraging, acknowledging and respecting the freedom of self-expression through street art forms. I was ignorant and eternally optimistic, which is what I attribute my successes to.

Katrina street dancing in heels

Back in about 2007 when I started to do dance battles in heels

Then came the bullshit

Then, as with everything else, came the politics. The reality of business and turning profits, keeping positive cash flow. I opened a dance studio when I was 21 years old, not really knowing anything except that I loved to dance and wanted to share it with the world. My blogs gained massive success when all I did was write what I needed to say; I didn’t know or care about commercializing my words the way people try to make a dollar from their blog these days.

Hip hop culture has moved farther away from the mainstream in the past decade and part of me thinks, well less and less people care about it these days so anything I do will cater for a declining audience. The other part says “fuck it, that’s even more reason to come back and talk talk talk about something that has impacted your life so much, with a ripple effect on those who I’ve reached over the past 8 years.

Going back to where it began

So I realize that before I can move forward with my mindset, my writings and my actions, I should go back to where it all started; go on a journey to reignite that passion, restore my faith and relive special moments.

I hope others think about taking a similar approach, no matter what aspect of their life they want to revisit. I don’t know who’ll read this, who’ll care, but if you are and you do, drop me a note :)

Trina

Trina

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[Video] Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon ft The Roots – A History Of Hip Hop

I was real impressed by this performance on Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night Show, a mash up of classic Hip Hop and R&B tracks from the beginning to now, Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake did it live with The Roots… what!!! They did two parts and threw in the Dougie – love it.

Trina

Katrina Orpilla is an avid senior digital influence marketer and strategist at Citibank Australia during the day and a passionate street dancer, choreographer and owner of Ace Dance Studios in Sydney. Being President of the D2MG (dance, dj, mc graffiti) Hip Hop Society at UNSW in 2005 inspired the start up of successful blogs hiphopn.com (then moved to hiphop.org.au) and dancing.net.au, which helped her to become the product manager of an Australian-based urban music social networking site, and then eventually as a Website Manager at Citibank Australia in 2007. It was around this time that she decided to leave her executive position at the university society to establish a dance school in Sydney CBD called D2MG Hip Hop Academy, evolving into Ace Dance Studios in 2010.

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