Queen P Makes Moves: The Beat Ya Feet Dancer Talks Keeping D.C. Go-Go Music Alive & Representing For Women In Dance

Go-go music is so outstanding in Washington D.C. and its surrounding areas that it’s nearly part of the air.

Whether booming out of automobile audio system or enjoying at household occasions, the percussive sound finds its means into the environment, whether or not you’re an energetic listener or not. Go-go has roots in 1970s funk with iconic performers like Chuck Brown (thought-about “The Godfather of go-go”). However, as years glided by, the style began to evolve, the tempo quickened, and shortly, a brand new dance fashion emerged.

“Beat ya toes” is a mode that entails fluid footwork and energetic strikes, and dancer Porche “Queen P” Anthony is aware of all about it.

 

Queen P began beating her toes in 1999, just one 12 months after the fashion was created by Marvin “Slush” Gross in D.C.’s Barry Farm neighborhood.

Since then, Queen P has delivered her strikes at school hallways, neighborhood church buildings, and go-go venues all through the D.C. and Maryland space. Go-go acts like Backyard Band (BYB)Critical Condition Band (CCB) and Raw Image served as her soundtrack.

“Raw Image got here out with some severe warmth,” Queen P stated in a chat with Global Grind. “When they’d the track ‘Shake It Out,‘ it’s one thing about that document…I was in the home drilling myself with that.”

Queen P hit the nationwide stage in 2009 when she and her crew, the Beat Ya Feet Kings, made it to MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. After a strong run on the present, Queen P continued to construct beat ya toes tradition by educating the dance throughout the nation.

However, again residence, the momentum began to die. Even although beat ya toes saved an underground following, the recognition for the dance began to dip. “Beat ya toes is sort of a cat,” Queen P stated. “We preserve getting these lives. It’ll die after which it’ll be alive once more, and we’re working out of lives. I instructed dancers if we don’t capitalize on it this 12 months, that’s it.”

Now, at 32 years previous, Queen P continues to unfold the beat ya toes dance with workshops, movies, and merchandise. She even had a notable cameo in Ciara‘s music video for “Dose.”

 

Check out our fast dialog with Queen P under the place she describes working with Ciara, go-go tradition, and being one of many few ladies in beat ya toes dance.

So you instructed me you educated in several types like fashionable dance, jazz, and hip hop. Then, you began beating your toes in center college. Was there the rest that contributed to your fashion in the present day?

From ten years previous and on is once I actually began educating myself on leisure and efficiency high quality from watching music movies. So The Box (T.V. channel), Video Soul, BET’s Cita’s World. When I might come again from college and do all my homework, I might simply flip it on and get proper to it. So like watching GinuwineUsher, and I’m an enormous supporter of Missy Elliott.

But I’ve at all times been extra of a fan or supporter of the creatives behind the artist, so just like the choreographers and the artistic administrators. I understood that the artist isn’t solely chargeable for their songs.

How did the Ciara music video come about? 

My dance mentor is Jamaica Craft and he or she is Ciara’s artistic director. She had been ready on the best venture to make the most of my expertise and it simply so occurred to be “Dose.” I actually was shocked as a result of my title was within the video and that by no means occurs for a dancer…to get that sort of shout out.

 

You’re representing for the women in beat ya toes. Do you are feeling like you will have a particular expertise being a girl within the tradition?

There was some extent the place I felt disrespected locally of BYF. I’m a girl in a male-dominated motion and it’s not simple in any respect, particularly once you’re only a natural-born chief. I obtained a whole lot of pushback inside the group I danced for and from others round 2009, particularly when myself and the kings have been on America’s Best Dance Crew.

What’s the local weather for girls within the tradition now?

There have been a whole lot of ladies concerned again within the late ’90s, however I consider in some unspecified time in the future for ladies, it wasn’t as common. Right now, there are females who do the fashion, however they don’t wish to determine with ladies. I grew up watching artists and dancers again within the day who wore free becoming garments and hats — tomboy swag I assume you may say — however they embraced their femininity. I’m one in the identical. There’s younger girls who I’ve educated within the fashion, however they simply haven’t embraced it as a lot as I’ve over time.

 

What’s your imaginative and prescient for beat ya toes sooner or later? 

My want is that it turns into as world and revered because the Krump motion, and the rawness of the fashion doesn’t get tampered with or watered down.

What about go-go tradition as a complete? 

Well if we proceed to get assist from the go-go neighborhood, they may see how essential we’re to preserving them within the ears of listeners as effectively. The dance motion is ready to bridge the hole. Dancers are the brand new DJs. We break music as effectively.

If we don’t transfer as a unit, I consider the dance will unfold and get greater, and in essence, go away the music behind. The extra folks we get familiarized with the go-go sound as dancers, then we’ll have the undivided consideration of individuals in different areas, and so they’ll tackle a love for not simply the dance, however the music as effectively.