If you were a follower of my vlog through Step x Step in the past you might have been confused on why it seemed that I just fell off the face of the earth. Well, the reason was because the week after my hagwon asked me to extend my contract with them till July, they decided to sell the school I worked at with no warning whatsoever, and I was forced to return home. I was quickly excited that I would be able to train more with the friends I have left behind and get to influence my community once again and show them how much I have grown. Unfortunately, things have not turned out how I wish they would have. Struggles finding work, friends moving out of town, and failed romances have left me in a different light currently.

I have found myself in a position that I hoped I would never come across, envying how I use to be. I hate to be in a mindset with my dance where I am jealous of anything I was capable of doing or in another case, how I was training. If you watched Curry’s Corner last year you saw that my normal training times were from midnight to 5am and the studio would be packed with dancers of all different styles and levels, they would all be sharing with one another and having a great time. Now that I am back in Tucson, Arizona I find myself surrounded in dancer’s drama with one another and power struggles to be seen as the best. The shift from living in a hip-hop hungry Korea to a torn apart Tucson has left me more than depressed at times. So I find it upon myself to make the changes necessary to keep on growing.

One way to ensure my growth this year is through goal making. In the past I would ride the bus and subway for an hour and a half to get to my studio in Seoul. During that time I would watch footage of battles and choreographed pieces and I would start to journal about what I would like to accomplish with that night of training and create a plan for drills and scheduling. At the end of the session I would write down what I liked and what I thought needed work on from my session. It might seem weird or redundant to journal about your own dance so often but in my experience that is when I felt the most intact with myself and with my missions and beliefs about dance.

I really discovered last year why I dance, which I believe is a big step for any dancer. To fully believe why it is that you dance is something that I think a lot of dancers don’t understand or lose sight of as they go along their dance journey. For myself, I dance to express. I embrace the challenge of performing and I am very competitive when it comes to battling but the reason I dance is to feel free. I remember when I started dancing was my senior year in college, I was wrapped up in television shows like “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “America’s Best Dance Crew.” I would see how the break dancers would fly on the stage with their backflips and clean executed windmills, how carefree a dancer would look with a perfectly pointed arabesque, and how animalistic a krumper would look with their throws and isolations. I remember I started to dance because I thought, “If they could do it, why can’t I?” So I went to an abandoned gym that was connected to my college and just started dancing in front of a mirror. I remember feeling free and having no clue what I was doing at all. I would explore movement with no preconceived thought of what foundation was. By the end of my time there I was covered in sweat and relieved of every stressor in my life.

Of course I have other ambitions in dance besides self-expression this year. And I’m not overly optimistic or sophomoric enough to say, “2015 is going to be my year,” like the hundreds of statuses and memes I read this past 3 weeks have stated. I’ve been grinding with dance and working hard with it for the past two years. I don’t think I’m going to get any big gigs in Vegas, win a prestigious battle, or even get the Tucson hip-hop community to come together. My goals with dance this year are to continue journaling with my dance journey, keep challenging myself to grow with concepts and style, inspire others in my community to express themselves with dance, and to have a moment in a battle where I do something so hype and mind-blowing that the crowd rushes the cypher. Along with those goals I also want to explore Krump and dancehall dance styles.

I want to encourage everyone that is reading this to write down your own dance goals for this year. Goals will help give you a sense of purpose and keep you on track with where you want to be. It has crossed my mind more than once on why C-Bass, creator of Step x Step, would want me to address his dance community. I’m not famous, haven’t made a dance video with a million hits, and I don’t roll with a prestigious crew. It has rattled me at times, trying to make sense of it but I think I have figured it out. It is because I am where so many people have been in their dance journey and where so many others are heading. I am on a journey to find myself through dance and to do great things through dance as well. A journey that I think you can relate to and I happy to share with you.

I want to thank you for reading and keeping up with my journey. I’m happy to see where I am going and even more excited to be sharing it with you.

So this is Justin Curry, Curry Pop.

Wishing you love, peace, and groove.

Catch you next time!

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