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Hollywood

Source: Queen Yan / Hollywood

Hollywood is making calculated steps. The 31-year-old choreographer has already built a career for himself, arranging moves for artists like Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj. But in the world of social media and dance challenges, he still works to stay focused on his craft in a way that’s authentic to him.

 

Growing up in uptown New York, Dyckman to be specific, Hollywood started dancing at the age of seven with hip hop as his main focus. He eventually got his big break around the age of 21 when he choreographed Lil Mama‘s “G-Slide (Tour Bus)” music video. Ever since then, the gigs have been rolling in, but not without a few surprises and obstacles. Peep our quick chat below, where Hollywood explains how a personal tragedy and a Black excellence pioneer helped him become the dancer he is today.

1. You’ve worked with a lot of major music artists. What were some of the ways you were able to get these gigs?

By promoting my work and creating visuals for artists with my specific vision. I also came up with social media around the same time everybody else was coming up with it. Some of my routines went viral and they got into the right hands, which is how I got the Diddy job, the Nicki Minaj and how I got Beyoncé.

2. Was there a particular quirk or something that surprised you when working with an artist?

When I worked with Diddy, it wasn’t that I was surprised, but it was more of a confirmation of how hard this man really works and how there’s not a “no.” If you want something done, it’s going to be done, but it’s because it requires greatness from everybody that is around.

If you’re not putting out great things, people don’t think they’re great. And if you’re putting out okay things, then people are going to attach that okay-ness to your brand. So it’s just about being very good at what you do, and working hard and being the best.

 

3. What would you say are the pros and cons of social media as a dancer, especially in light of recent dance challenges/crazes?

The pros are how quick you can be discovered , how the masses can see your work, and how you can influence and become a huge brand with endorsements.

The cons are how everyone wants everything quick and the over-saturation. Quantity does not necessarily mean quality, so a lot of people are just putting work out just to put work out and not a lot of us are really getting that quality.

As for the dance challenges, I think they are very inclusive to people that aren’t dancers and so it’s a good thing. On the other side, sometimes a lot of the inclusion separates the seriousness from people taking dance as an art and not just as a gimmick. So it’s like a balance. It’s good and bad sometimes.

4. Were there any obstacles in your personal life that heavily influenced your dancing?

The passing of my mother made me realize how short life is and how truly dance is my all. It has saved me from a lot of things and has refocused my mind to express myself and emotions through my passion.

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