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Versa-Style Dance Company to Perform in Malibu

Versa-Style Dance CompanyLos Angeles’ most dynamic troupe Versa-Style Dance Company will bring their stylistic and educational dance performance to the Smothers Theatre stage at Pepperdine University in Malibu on Saturday, October 5, at 8 PM.

Versa-Style’s Pepperdine performance will feature the debut of their latest full-length production, ORIGINS of Hip-hop. This production consists of high-energy, unadulterated hip-hop movement that will explore and push the boundaries of the origins and roots of street vernacular dances such as locking, popping, hip-hop and krump. Audiences will walk away with a different view on hip-hop dance culture and will be vividly immersed into the depth and beauty that unites us all.

Founded in 2005 by Artistic Directors Jackie Lopez (Miss Funk) and Leigh Foaad (Breeze-lee), Versa-Style Dance Company has taken Los Angeles by storm, fusing dance styles that are energetic, uplifting, and culturally meaningful to the community.

Versa-Style Dance Company has some of the most committed and conscientious young artists in town, representing the diversity and beautiful complexity of Los Angeles. Their work fuses hip-hop styles such as ‘90s hip-hop, house, popping, locking, whacking, and boogaloo, and Afro-Latin styles such as salsa, merengue, cumbia, and Afro-Cuban. As a reaction to the widespread media misrepresentation of these dance forms, Versa-Style specifically performs for the youth of Los Angeles to instill the roots, history, and social and political issues surrounding the art of their generation; they aim to break down barriers of race and socio-economic backgrounds using dance to promote the freedom of expression, freedom of individuality, hard work, and self-discipline.

Lopez and Foaad share a common passion for dance and performance. As L.A. natives, they embrace the culture and honor the history/legacy of hip-hop dance by passing it on to the future generations. They have been guest choreographers for Santa Monica College, L.A. Valley College, Columbia College, and University of Utah. Lopez and Foaad served as cultural ambassadors for the US through the Arts Envoy Cultural Exchange Program in which they were able to perform, teach, and lecture in countries such as Israel, Egypt, India, and Colombia. As a mainstay of hip-hop culture, Lopez and Foaad have traveled to several hip-hop dance battles nationally and internationally, winning many victory titles in places such as Korea, Italy, Canada, and France. In addition, their biography premiered in their documentary Furious Beauty at the L.A. Film Festival where it garnered glowing reviews.

Most recently, they were awarded with a Lester Horton Artist Appreciation Award presented by the Dance Resource Center in June 2015. Currently, they are both Adjunct Lecturers for UCLA’s World Arts and Cultures/Dance Dept. They owe a lot of their fortune to the legends and culture of hip-hop. The ensemble also continues to host community classes and intensives, and train up-and-coming dancers ages 15–20 in their Versa-Style Next Generation program.

Ticket prices range between $10 and $40. For additional information about this performance, visit the Center for the Arts website.