Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spotlight On: Foreign Exchange

Our new spotlight feature today is on a popping crew with international members: Foreign Exchange. Each one has made their mark on the popping scene, and as a whole they won the crew vs crew battle against Soulbotics Krew at How That West Was Won 2008. Earlier this year, they impressed the hip hip choreography scene with a performance at the World of Dance Tour in Pomona.

You can see their myspace site here: They also have a facebook site: (Photo above is from their facebook site.)

You can also see some of their work here:

In the early 2000s; it was rare to see active, prolific popping crews among the new generation of U.S. street dancers. In southern California, Motion Sickness was holding it down for San Diego. Animated Beat Mechanics (ABM) was making waves with members spread across the country. But since the mid 2000s; more popping crews have gained prominence including Machine Gone Funk (MGF), Funny Bones Crew, Soulbotics Krew, Funk Assassins, and now Foreign Exchange. So what makes Foreign Exchange stand out? First, they have strong foundation, training, and advanced execution of many styles in popping including tutting, animation, hard hits, waves, and boogaloo. Their command of these techniques was evident at WOD Pomona. Even if you were in the back row of the auditorium, you could see their hard hits displayed on stage. They have the skills and they aren't afraid to show them.

Next, Foreign Exchange has shown great teamwork and chemistry in their routines. When battling Soulbotics Krew at How Tha West Was Won 2008, they unleashed routine after routine, often using several or all of their members. Usually, it's hard to see commando routines with more than two to three dancers. But Foreign Exchange was sparing no expense. They went all out. Their teamwork was likely one of the strongest reasons for their win in this battle. At WOD Pomona and at a Choreographer's Carnival showcase in spring 2009, this popping crew also showed the ability to play with different "feels" to changing music styles. Their versatility and ability to play to the crowd was crystal clear.

And finally, their crew name suggests the success they've had at uniting poppers from different parts of the world under one roof. Any crew that has members in different cities can comment on how difficult it is to nurture team chemistry. But Foreign Exchange has found common ground in their shared passion for popping and street dancing. They're a testament to how dance is our universal language.

For this crew, it will be interesting to see their next steps in the popping world and hip hop choreography scene. Individual members have made appearances in the public spotlight including Hiroka (Hiro) who led We Are Heroes to become the season 4 champions for ABDC. Whatever their next move might be, we're sure that it will be hard hitting upon impact.

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