Night Moves: Krumping in the 818
On Wednesdays at midnight, street dancers bare their souls at the 818 Session at Magnolia and Vineland. This week, Heidi joined the “krump circle.”
This is our first Krump Kolumn. That is, a brand new kind of kreation for me and Miss Paws, my faithful kanine ko-writer.
That’s Heidi’s new “krump” name after we were invited to drop in on a little-known ritual that has been happening once a week at Magnolia Shopping Center for more than four years. At midnight, right there at Vineland Avenue and Magnolia Boulevard, in the shadow of Carl’s Jr., Ralphs and El Pollo Loco, magic happens.
No krump dancer turns into a pumpkin when midnight tolls, but what happens here has been a Cinderella story for many. Krump, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is a form of freestyle hip-hop born right here in Los Angeles. The 818 Session, also known as the krump circle, has transformed the lives of professional dancers and amateur enthusiasts alike who felt confined by the limitation of established dance technique and the walls of the studio.
Most in the 818 Session are pros like Duece and Manny “Xclusive” Fernandez, who says krump allows dancers to “let our emotions out very clearly –we’re not able to do that with other dance styles. With this, there’s no limit.” Adds Deidra “Krucial” Cooper: “It’s a lifestyle.” Dancers come from all over the city, attracted by the relative safety of the area.
These are the people you see on tour with Madonna or Snoop Dogg, or maybe teaching nearby at the prestigious Millennium Dance Complex on Lankershim Boulevard, dancing here for free. The 818 Session is their sanctuary, where all are welcome including the cops who stop to make sure cruising cars, thumping rap music and aggressive-looking moves don’t mean something bad is going down. Performers say the peace officers become entranced by the dance.
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