Featured Artist Q & A:
This September we break it down with breakdancer, videographer, and Internet phenom, Vince Horiuchi. His path to dance fame was not without obstacles. Instead of following a safe career in engineering, the b-boy followed his dreams of becoming a professional dancer. Vince’s passion for making moves and inspiring others can be seen at dance competitions worldwide and on his popular YouTube channel, VincaniTV.
Read what fuels his creative spirit below:
1. How did you get into breakdancing?
I grew up doing martial arts, watching ‘70s kung fu videos in Chinese; I was mesmerized by how the actors moved. Then when I saw b-boying, it felt like déjà vu. All of the energy from my martial arts training just naturally transferred to dancing.
2. When did dance transition from a fun pastime to professional activity?
Someone once told me that being a b-boy would never be more than a hobby — that becoming a professional dancer is a pipedream. But at 17 years old I was flown out to France for a breakdancing competition. Although I faced a few bumps in the road during the trip, my dance crew won the event. From that moment on, I realized that breakdancing is what I wanted to do with my life.
Breakdancing competitions have taken Vince far and wide,
including the rainy city of Amsterdam. (Photo by Vince Horiuchi Photography)
3. Do you have a favorite dance move? Or genre of music to dance to?
I don’t really have a “favorite move” per se, but I can say that music is everything. I love finding new genres and new artists to listen to — I enjoy pretty much everything. Music is my inspiration.
4. You are involved with a number of local youth art programs – including the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission Model Arts, I Can Do That! and the Any Given Child Programs. What gravitated you to work with these particular organizations?
Giving me an opportunity to do what I love is reason enough to work with them; but above and beyond that, these people are just really great. They take care of you as an artist.
When I first started teaching breakdance, I was working in local studios and was greeted by a lot of ungrateful kids that didn’t really appreciate what I was doing. However, once I started working at schools, I interacted with kids that were genuinely interested in learning the dance moves. These kids also needed something and someone to inspire them. The service I was providing was actually making a difference in their lives.
5. What do you think of the Sacramento’s/Northern California’s dance scene?
The scene here is awesome. It has grown a lot in the past 10 years. I think that one thing that we are missing, however, is outside support. We dancers do everything on our own but when I recently traveled to Europe, I noticed that the city government and local businesses were supportive of what the local b-boys were doing.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring breakdancers/b-boys?
Find your love in this dance and do it for that and only that. Don’t do it for fame or fortune, because you will find yourself lost and confused. Passion is the one and only thing you need to be successful.
Catch Vince’s heart-pounding moves (and Sacramento landmarks)
in his widely popular YouTube videos. (Source: VincaniTV)
7. You are also a talented videographer. Your YouTube channel VincaniTV has over 134,000 subscribers(!) What motivated you to create your own channel? And how do you keep your content fresh?
During the spring of 2011, I was faced with a dilemma. The teachers in the schools at which I was working were getting laid off and because of the budget cuts in California, the first thing to go was the arts. This meant that my classes would not be around for long. I started looking for ways to teach and to keep myself occupied, so I created the VincaniTV video channel. My YouTube channel is dedicated to providing youth quality dance tutorials and knowledge about hip hop culture. After a week into it I had over 1,000 subscribers. Today, two and a half years later, I have reached my original goal of reaching 100,000 subscribers.
Since I teach regularly, finding material to shoot is pretty easy for me. I feel obligated to make sure that my viewers learn moves correctly. I am working on videos that show kids how to train effectively, eat right, and that educate them about the people that came before them.
8. Tell us three interesting, lesser-known things about you.
– My parents were both visual artists, so I grew up making art. I paint with watercolors and dabble in ceramics.
-I have a black belt in taekwondo.
-I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Sacramento State.
9. At such a young age, what do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment to date?
With dancing I have been able to travel all over the globe, but nothing beats being a teacher. Creating a platform for others to learn from is my greatest accomplishment. I went from teaching hundreds of kids a week to teaching thousands.
10. What does the rest of 2014 have in store for you?
This year I have been doing a lot of planning for my future breakdancing content so you will just have to wait and see! I have also been competing a lot more recently so I’m in the midst of training for them at the moment.
Keep up with Vince:
Interview by Sacramento365’s Content & Social Media Coordinator, Jamila B. Khan.