In between the studio, hotel and copious amounts of Starbucks, Ynot took the time to answer a few questions about his art, life, what’s hot and the upcoming Top Rock City Event at Destructive Steps 4 this Saturday, 14 July 2012.
Who is Ynot?
What defines you and your style of dancing?
I think the music and the feeling I have at that moment defines me when I dance. My style is based on my life experiences and the time I spent with the culture of Hip Hop.
How did you become interested in Street Dancing?
I was a jazz musician and stumbled into funk and soul music. I was a real quiet kid and really just into art. I took a trip with my mother to New York one night and we saw a street show in Times Square. I couldn’t believe what I saw and from there I was hooked! I had movements to attach to my love of that music. A physical expression and that is amazing.
How long have you been dancing?
I started dancing in 1995. Popping was the first style I tried because I thought it was dope. After about a year of Popping, I started breaking.
Who is your mentor?
I’ve had many. One of my longest and most involved has been Crazy Legs. I met him when I was 16 and we became friends. Presently, I’ve been connecting a lot more with Mr. Wiggles. We are the same crew and we are all partners now. Family.
Do you have a favourite move?
I love all moves, from the simplest move to the most difficult. It’s all about how you rock it. You can make a simple move look crazy fresh and powerful, but then you can also make a difficult move look effortless.
What would you say is the most emotional and physical trying aspect of being a dancer?
Well of course there is financial struggle in the beginning and then also the toll it takes on your body. What I’ve learned though is that after you’ve been doing it for so long, you just can’t stop. If you do your body starts to depend on the training and the constant moving to maintain itself.
How do you keep in shape?
I physically train, more than I practice now. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. I run and I work on my core. That’s all we need for BBoyin‘… stay light and tight – that’s it!
Dancing is considered an art. Do you agree?
It absolutely is an art. It involves creativity and expression. The only time dancing is not an art is when your approach becomes too physical.
Please tell me about your visit to Australia within the next week?
Well I just got to Sydney from Brisbane. I had a great time there; the dancers’ response was fresh. I’ll be here (Sydney) teaching classes, doing performances and judging the Destructive Steps battle.
As with many arts, some dancers give up on their dreams. What would you say to keep them inspired and motivated?
Well it depends what it is you want and how far you’re willing to go for it. The energy that comes from my movement comes from a struggle that is unique to me and my personal experience in life. I went through a lot to get here and I am not stopping… ever. Some people aren’t built to do certain things and I think they realize that as they go on. For me, if you have a ‘dream’ and you are passionate about it, then nothing will get in the way of your success.
Lastly, the number one song that you love jamming to at the moment?
Catch Bboy Ynot with Mr Wiggles performing their Top Rock City show at Destructive Steps 4 on Saturday 14 July 2012
Anthony ‘YNOT’ Denaro
His introduction to art and music came when he was nine years old, playing saxophone and enjoying jazz music. Then he stumbled upon Hip Hop by studying Jazz music, Blues, Soul, Funk, and then R&B.
Following the Hip Hop culture, he traveled to Hunts Point Community Center, Bronx, New York. That is where he met Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew.
As he recalls, choosing art as a profession does not guarantee a steady income or any income at all. He made many sacrifices to move things forward. Money does not always come quickly, and failing once can be the end of you.
His moving to Arizona started when he realized that his love and experience of dance and art was something he really wanted to continue doing.
In 2012, he met Melissa Britt at ASU, and that is the start of his going back to school. Not expecting anything, he was accepted into the MFA program.
He explored his design ideas and delved deeper into the meanings of why he dances.
He currently teaches an online course at ASU and looks forward to building a more Hip Hop based curriculum for the University here and across America.