Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin De Veyra.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’m Erin De Veyra, also known as Erin De Phunk (pronounced The Funk). I also represent Item Number Funk – street dance crew, Everybody Dance Now – youth outreach program, and Culturas Unidas – dance collective. I’m also sponsored by an underground hip-hop brand, TexasBlackSheep Clothing. As a kid, my family would always host Christmas Eve talent show back in the Philippines. My performance of choice was always dancing to some Michael Jackson. So you can say I’ve been dancing since I was a kid. Once I moved to the United States, my friends nearing the end of elementary school and through middle school got me into B-boying. We use to go up to random dances and battle other kids from other schools. Then high school came, and Americas Best Dance Crew started. This got me into choreography through the next few years of high school talent shows. I took a break my last two years since I was a varsity swimmer. Entering college, my interest peaked after being invited to be part of a dance organization. In this organization, we would learn street styles and create choreography with it. A year later, I became the director and one of the head choreographers. We would travel and compete at dance battles around Texas. As college was ending and I became a graphic designer for a magazine. An opportunity arose for me to compete for a few months overseas. At this time I knew I wouldn’t have another opportunity like this. I dropped everything and went all in knowing I still have time. After a few international wins and earning a place as a world finalist in my discipline of street dance – Popping. My momentum as a movement artist began to flourish.
Please tell us about your art.
I’m a popper, in simple form I’m a dancing robot. Popping has been my main discipline for the past nine years. It consists of muscle contractions, body control, beat manipulation, illusions, and isolations. My main focuses in the style is animation, waving, robotics, footwork, and floor work. What drew me to the style was the ability to make people question reality. For a split second, it feels like you created a magical moment. My inspirations can come from imitations of mechanical objects, nature, architecture, lyrics or sounds I hear in the music. Most of the time it is free-style and improvisation, but when it comes to performances, there is choreography aspect. Outside of doing battles, performances, workshops, and judging. Traveling and connecting with all these amazing people through a language of movement is a blessing. At times we might not speak the same language, but our dance allows us to understand. Some of the people I’ve met have become my closest friends and have changed my life. I hope I can inspire others to pursue the dance style so it can create a new generation for more dancers to come to life. If they choose to pursue other interests that’s fine as well. The main thing I want people to walk away with after taking a class is self-belief, hard work, and positivity.
Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
My advice for artists is to stay consistent and keep pushing forward. Sometimes you’ll struggle and hit a low spot, but when you’re down the only way is up. Also, don’t get lost in other people’s success or the way they became successful. Everybody has their own identity that makes them special. Capitalize on what makes you different. Last but not least, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes our pride as artists gets in the way of our own growth. Stay humble, consistent, and hungry.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Follow me on Instagram (@edv_phunk) and Facebook (Erin De Veyra)
Also, Follow my crew on Facebook and youtube – Item#funk
Bboy City, R16 Korea