by: Tad Racca
Welcome to the newest edition of In The Mind, a series about getting an inside look into the mind of a dancer and their creation process. Meet Jaylen Pea! He’s been dancing for about 7 years now since his junior year in high school. Jaylen is currently active dancing with Syndicate, and is assigned to Clear Talent Group while traveling back and forth from the Bay to LA. Let’s see how he got started creating one of his recent pieces, Whuteva by Remy Ma.
Tad Racca: Can you talk about the song you choreographed to?
JP: This song is called, Whuteva by Remy Ma. And the feel of this song is pretty much, “I’m a bad bitch.” You know, most of my pieces are being a ‘bad bitch’, but there’s like different levels. This one, in particular, will get physical with people. So if you say or do something, “they” don’t really talk about it, they just attack. The weird thing is that they love it. They get off on this, and they have so much fun messin’ people up. That sounds very bad and horrible, but that’s the character that I’m playing.
TR: So how did you come about this piece? How’d you get choreographing to this?
JP: I was going through my library, and I wanted to create something new. I put it on shuffle, went through about 10 songs, found this song, and I just connected to it.
TR: In terms of movement, did you have any thoughts about how you wanted to tackle this piece?
JP: Whatever I feel off a song, things just happen. Usually, I never really sit down and think about the movement, I just go. I just move as soon as the song plays.
TR: Is there anything specific about the song that you connected with? The lyrics or how the song sounds?
JP: Okay first of all, I wanna put it out there that I DO NOT condone violence at all! I am not that person at all, and I’m actually really nice! It’s always fun to play a character that you’re not, or you never usually are. But what connected with me the most had to be the chorus because it’s just super fun. The chorus says, “Whutevaa! Whutevaa!” -and going back to saying that “she” gets off on beating people up, “she” has a lot fun with this stuff. I feel like that just tied everything in.
TR: Can you talk about any part in this piece you wanna talk about more in depth?
[00:20] JP: So this is me grabbing someone’s hair, and throwing them on the floor.
TR: I didn’t even realize that. Haha!
JP: Haha, yeah I did, I did.
[00:32] JP: So that part, I just wanted to detach myself from the movement, and just tell everyone who the hell I am. Remy says “R to the Eezy” in the background, so I just wanted to make that seem like I’m to stepping up in someone’s face. The rest of piece which happens at [00:50], I just wanted to let loose, beat em’ up, and just have so much fun grooving!
TR: I like how the circle panning thing captures the whole class. That was tight!
JP: Yeah, right? I liked that too.
TR: Did you wanna talk about any of the dancers in the video?
[1:15] JP: I paired off certain people because I thought they just meshed so well together. So throughout the video, you’re gonna see all who are partnered up to see how they contrast, pretty much.
TR: Do you usually do that?
JP: No, I usually don’t do that. It was the first time I did this, and since the chorus was pretty easy, I taught it pretty fast. I basically cut the chorus, and then I put it on loop. So I said, “You two come out, and then you two come out, and so on.”
TR: So it was like a soul train thing going on?
JP: Yeah! Like a soul train-type of thing. I like that!
TR: Did you encounter choreo block at some point or any struggles you had in this piece?
JP: I think I did, yeah. But it wasn’t for too long. Usually when I get choreo block, I just sit there and think about what I need next to do in particular. I take a step back, and just listen to what’s the next thing I’m gonna hit. Once I figure that out, I try to proceed to it again. I think it just worked out for me with this piece.
TR: Where did you create this? Or where do you usually create?
JP: Well I did create this piece at a completely different place. Where I usually create is in my home, mainly in the living room. I move one couch so I have more space to dance. It’s not much room, but it’s enough for me to move, and once I get into the studio, I could go off.
TR: Favorite time to create?
JP: Pretty late, like 10pm. Something about night time, that’s when the creative juices are flowing.
TR: Last, but not least, do you have any thoughts you want to share to everyone?
JP: Lately, I feel like I haven’t been holding back which makes me think, “Why haven’t I done this before?” Like I wasted some time, but not a lot really. I basically could’ve been doing this a long time ago. So in other words,
Don’t hold back. Wherever you are in life, you just don’t know what’s gonna happen the next day. Just do it. Whatever you need to do, try to do it at your best if you can.
Thank you for being in this, Jaylen! As you guys already know, Jaylen is a part of Syndicate and is a regular teacher at On One Studios. Follow and learn more about Jaylen here. You can look and find out whenever he’s teaching by looking at our fall schedule! Tune in the week after next for another upcoming interview!