Finding my Dream Job
by Bboy Vincanity
Someone once told me that being a bboy would never be more than a hobby, that being a professional bboy is something bboys only dream about, and that I was stupid for dreaming. I was 17 years old, had been exposed to the hip hop culture for only about three years, and was worrying about what I was going to do for the rest of my life. My parents wanted me to go to college to pursue being an Engineer, although after four years of taking Drafting and AUTO CADD classes, my motivation for Engineering was slowly drifting away. Although I feel like my career as a dancer has just begun, the journey I took to get to where I am today has taught me a lot.
Fresh out of high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. My parents were both visual artists so the idea of a starving artist was not new to me. Growing up, money was always tight — we couldn’t afford to join to soccer team like all the other kids, so instead we were surrounded by the arts. Although art was a big part of our lives, I’m sure my parents did not want me to walk down the same path they had been down before. Around this same time, I was given a number of opportunities to travel to battle both nationally and internationally. Finally everything clicked, “I want to become a professional dancer and, despite what everyone tells me, I am going to be successful!” I love to dance, so why not? How you ask? No clue, but what I did know is that my parents were making me move out, so I had to figure it out soon. With the thought of paying for my own rent, college, car, gas, other bills, and the amount of food I eat, I started contacting and making visits to every dance organization in Sacramento that I could. Within a month I had a job or workshop at almost every dance studio in the area. I went to school from 7:30am to 3:30pm, taught dance classes until 8pm, practiced until 11pm, and then repeated that process the next day. This was all so that I could travel and go to battles on the weekends.
After about a year of teaching for a living, I found myself barely getting by with the money I was making, so I decided to network some more. Soon you could find me going to Arts Integration seminars about how to bring art classes into schools, writing up grants, and meeting with different youth organizations about why art is so important to have in their kids’ lives. I soon transitioned from teaching for studios to teaching my own classes at community centers, after-school programs, and for a program called “I Can Do That,” where I worked with special needs kids. There I found the demographic I wanted to work with. These kids lived in neighborhoods that most people are afraid of — places that make people cringe when I speak of them. In these neighborhoods, I found kids that didn’t just want to learn the Art of BBoying, but needed something and someone to inspire them. I found kids that came from households where they did not always have someone pushing them to do something with their lives, and I wanted to be that person. If I could show them that they could bboy, one of the most difficult dances and art forms, then they could accomplish anything in life. If I could change a kid’s mentality, then I could change his or her life. For the next four years of my life, this is what I did.
In May of 2010, I graduated from Sacramento State University as a Business Management Major. Right away I was offered a job working 9-5pm, six days a week in San Jose (two hours from Sacramento) and was making a six-figure salary after the first year. This stumped me at first. Why would I stick with my current job where I am making close to minimum wage and probably qualify to get food stamps, when I can be making rain with money? Why would I continue to struggle, when I had just been offered the easy way out? At this point in time I was teaching at a homeless shelter and during my class that week I found my answers — the expression on kids’ faces when they discovered the same love for hip hop that I had found when I was younger, seeing the transformation from a shy and hopeless kid to an optimistic and goal-oriented one, and the feeling I personally get when hear music and hit the floor. Why would I ever trade that? Dream job? Money? At this point I felt like I had already found my dream job. Forget the money!!!! Dance is my dream job and now that I was finished with college I just had to refine it.
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. Bills, rent, my car, gas and food were things I still needed to pay for so I would have to take a second job to help support myself. In addition, I needed to find a way I could still reach out to the kids I was teaching, even when I wasn’t around them. That’s when I discovered how to use YouTube as a platform for teaching and connecting with young people. I had some friends who were going to school for film and they gave me advice about making quality videos, so I took their advice and ran with it. I used what money I had to buy quality video equipment, wrote out my mission for my channel and started filming. In August of 2011 I launched my YouTube channel, VincaniTV: www.Youtube.com/vincanitv
VincaniTV is a channel dedicated to providing youth with quality dance tutorials and knowledge about hip hop culture. Within a month, I had emails coming from all over the world with kids asking me questions about dancing. From teaching the hundreds of kids a week I had been teaching to teaching thousands of kids a week soon became an extremely motivating factor.
Today, two and ½ years later, I have reached my original goal of getting to 100,000 subscribers on YouTube, a demographic of individuals mainly ages 13-25 from literally every corner of the world. Since the Internet is now one of the outlets kids are using to learn, I feel obligated to make sure they learn 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. I am not sure where I will be in five years, but feel like I am moving in the right direction. In Sacramento I currently teach 16 classes in elementary, middle and high schools. When I am not teaching, I am planning, filming and editing videos, doing photography, training to improve my dancing and of course entering battles. I am very happy to see the development from within our community of the non-profit UDEF and excited to see the roll-out of the Pro Breaking Tour, which I believe is a big step for us in professionalizing the competitive side of our dance in a manner which will attract much needed sponsorship support and charitable contributions. My journey has only just begun and I am very thankful to be surrounded by positive people, positive dancers and a positive dance community pushing for bigger and better things. This is my passion, my love, my dream, and things can only get better from here.
Bboy Vincanity (Vince Horiuchi)
- “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” Buddha
• Coffee Break: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW5izCR_F0E
• Vincanity Battling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yIrLUHNJL8
• Vince’s Work with Special Ed Kids: