The legendary 59-year-old street dancer Darrio Phillips shares his life’s philosophy and secret to keeping in shape.
Darrio is someone…?
Who loves people and dance and tries to live a spiritual philosophical life. He’s hooked on learning a little about everything, but adores his imagination even more.
Tell me about your style of dancing?
It is Freestyle. I see it as the freedom to express all the light and dark complexities of my life – the playful and moody way to have fun and use my imagination. One of my favourite dance styles today is Krump and as far as moves go I’d say it has to be Grooving.
How did you become interested in Street Dancing?
What gets you up and keeps you going day after day?
Thankfulness and appreciation for every day because it’s a chance to play at this ‘life thing’. And also having friends and family who are always supportive.
Do you have a mentor?
Yes. God, my Mother, my Dad, my two daughters and my son that’s on the way.
In your opinion what is the most trying aspect(s) of being a dancer?
You have to stay in mental and physical shape and you have to continually challenge yourself. Sometimes you have to reinvent yourself to stay in the dance game.
What is your pre-performance ritual?
A small meditation – just letting go of all the mind ‘stuff’ and trusting.
You have been dancing since 1982. How do you manage to keep in shape?
Right now it’s a lot of walking, a little stretching, no smoking and no drinking alcohol. I’m also looking forward to getting into Yoga and Pilates.
In your opinion what makes dancing an art?
It’s finding ways to create, and express, all sorts of things that sometimes you can’t always express vocally. It keeps the mind open to self-expression, or imitation of whatever you want to say.
Dancing is always evolving. In your opinion what have been the biggest changes in Street Dancing?
Dancers are getting back to Freestyling and individuality is becoming a bigger part of ‘the act’. Dancers are no longer just a member in a crew or team, but also solo performers.
If you are considering joining a crew, you need to…?
Show that you have something unique and special to contribute to that crew, like ideas and to have the willingness to listen to others ideas. Also be willing to lead and follow.
As with many arts, some dancers give up on their dreams. What would you say to keep them inspired and motivated?
You have to keep reinventing yourself and adjust to the challenges and obstacles that the dance- game throws at you. Some opportunities you’ll get and some you won’t. To some dancers it’s never been the dance itself that’s made dancers quit the game, its paying attention and listening to those who don’t have that dancer’s best interest at heart. Like the advice of those so called ‘well intending’ relatives or friends, who encourage them to get a ‘real job’. Dancers sometimes forget what got them into dancing in the first place. They need to go back to “WHY” and trust that.
What is the song you currently love jamming to?
Right now it’s Krump music – History by Lil Maxumus.
Join, Darrio, the man behind Australia’s biggest Krump event, Clash of the States, on Saturday 21 July at Granville Youth Centre. This event will feature more than sixty dancers from around the country, all gathering with the common goal; toshowcase talent, exceptional moves and the best in Krump. Doors open at 1pm and admission is $15. So get your Swag on as the Bucks battle it out.