This article is way overdue, but I figured it would be a good way to celebrate Barcelona’s first day of re-opening outdoor activities (under strict guidelines) since the COVID-19 pandemic began ravaging Europe.
If you’ve never been to Barcelona, you need to add this city to your list of places to visit. Barcelona is perfect for longboard dancing, and if you’re traveling with non-longboard friends, they will also have a ton of awesome stuff to do.
Enter faceless – an idea I have had for a long time
If you know me well, you know that I am also an avid “normal” dancer. I spend a lot of time with latin dance styles, mainly salsa and bachata, and I also love locking.
I think most people already have a pretty good idea of what latin dance looks like, but I would imagine locking is pretty unfamiliar to most of you. Well in a nutshell, locking is one of the original street dance styles (like break dancing, hip hop, house dance, etc) that was born in the 70’s. It focuses on eccentric moves, and quick pauses.
Typically it is danced to funk music. Check out the video below of the creators of this style of dance to get an idea of the style:
For the longest time, I have been wanting to create a video that tells a story about all of these passions of mine.
Latin dance, locking, longboard dancing – I mean they’re three things that are distinctly different.
But one thing they ALL have in common, is that they all require you to find your own state of flow. Without flow, it’s all just soulless movement.
I am normally the one behind the camera in a lot of longboard videos I am involved with, but for this video I really wanted to be the center figure since it’s my story.
So during the trip to Barcelona, I teamed up with Alberto from Video Rebels. Alberto is a really cool dude who has a passion for film creation, he’s also a fellow skater, and he knows the city extremely well. So I knew he would be the perfect person to bring this project to life with me.
Below is the result of a day of solid work, many laughs, many good memories, and trying to figure out how to skate and dance with a mask on haha (much harder than it seems).
Why the mask?
The masks serves as a bit of an homage to one of my favorite dance crews, the Jabawockeez. They always dance with masks on so the audience’s focus is only on the dance, not how a person looks.
I wanted to send this exact message with Faceless. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you are from, or what style of dance you do. As long as you find your flow we’re all one big family of movement.
Behind the scenes
The mask made things much more difficult
I touched on this earlier, but it really made everything harder. I am glad the video came out as good as it did, because my depth and space perception (especially on the board) was all messed up. Additionally I consistently had a layer of sweat just pressed against my face, and it made breathing quite difficult.
Timi (AKA Bike Girl lol) came in last minute
When I landed in Barcelona, I still didn’t have anyone I could do the latin dance sequences with because I didn’t know anyone in that scene in the city. So originally, the video was only going to be longboard dancing and locking. Timi was introduced to me by a friend the night before, and she was on scene ready to shoot at 830AM the next day. Prior to this video, I had never met her.
Why do I “shut down” in one part of the video?
A part that may not be clear, unless you are super familiar with latin and South American dance styles, is at 2:08 Timi pushes me away, and I “Shut Down” and I look sad. In the following sequence, she is dancing Samba, which we built into the video last minute. We figured since she unexpectedly brought another style to the mix, we might as well tell her flow story as well. I’m “sad” here because I have no idea about Samba and cannot dance it with her.
We shot this entire thing in one morning
Between myself, Alberto, and Timi, we really were a good team. We got things done quickly and got around the city from location to location very fast as well. Considering how much footage we got, this is quite a feat. It was so much fun though!
Wrapping it up
I hope you dug this video, something a little different to check out. I’m certainly not the most advanced skater out there, but I really like seeing my own style and rhythm come into the picture and start to transcend all the things I love.
Embrace that. Whatever it is you are passionate about off the board, try to bring those ideas or that energy with you next time you go longboard dancing. You might just discover something new about yourself.