The Girls Club || BEV

One very close, and extremely talented friend of mine, Tamina Pollack-Paris is putting on the must-see show of the summer! Her roster of strong passionate woman from The Girls Club are presenting, BEV: The Woman Behind the Icon on June 30th at The Beverly Hotel.  The Girls Club will showcase moments in history and highlight underrated iconic women that have revolutionized music, art, dance and fashion in their eras. Stories will be unveiled through live, immersive exhibits for art lovers and innovative, thought provoking performances.

Drink, Eat, and Dance the night away.
The party ends at the stroke of midnight.

2 VIEWINGS
– 1st Heat: Doors at 6pm. Show at 6:30pm
– 2nd Heat: Doors at 7:30pm. Show at 8pm

Purchase tickets at eventbrite or thegirlsclub.ca/bev

MUSIC BY: DJ Fly Lady Di FASHIONS CREATED BY: Som Kong VINTAGE FASHIONS PROVIDED BY: The Toronto Vintage Society JEWELRY BY: Shop For Jayu HAIR BY: Jazma Hair Inc. MAKE UP BY: Natalia Solar ***SPECIAL GUEST PERFORMER*** Toronto’s most talented Drag Diva Miss Tynomi Banks

Get a little taste of The Girls Club talent from Tamina’s Madonna Submission video:

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Tamina Pollack-Paris 

The hustle is real! We're out promoting on Queen West all week, come chat with us!

The hustle is real! We’re out promoting on Queen and King West all week, come chat with us! xoxo

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BESTIVAL 2015 || Toronto Island

Photography and Words by Kate WotherspoonGrandtheftIMG_5833
I attended Bestival this year and it’s the first time the music festival has made it’s way to Canada from the UK. Artists like Flume, Grandtheft, Banks, Florence and the Machine, Clean Bandit, Sbtrkt, Jamie XX, Nas and many more made it an incredible experience. I decided to take my camera and document some of the action. Nothing compared to one of my fave music festival photographers, Sarah Bahbah, but I hope you enjoy them nonetheless. xx

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A Jacket Story

Words by Kate Wotherspoon
Street Style Photos by Tommy Ton, style.com
Images provided by Lotus Leaf Communications

Let’s be honest here…fall is by far the best season for fashion. The more layering the better and a great statement jacket keeps us on trend while staying warm and cozy. Whether you’re a fan of the classic parka or motorcycle jacket, having a variety on hand keeps your winter wardrobe interesting.  For one, if you’re chilled and don’t get a chance to show off your bangin outfit it’s all the more important to showcase the outerwear.  Don’t be afraid to layer a leather vest on top of your pea coat or throw your jacket over your shoulders for a super chic look! Check out key styles below!

Anoraks & Bombers

parka combo

Anorak Jackets || Left to Right: MinkPink & Raindrops

|| Left to Right: MinkPink & Raindrops ||

Motorcycle Style & Leathers

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Biker Chic || From Left to Right: Dr. Martens, Guess, MinkPink

|| From Left to Right: Dr. Martens, Guess, MinkPink ||

Male Influence

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Slice of Androgyny || From Left to Right: Dr. Martens & Guess

|| From Left to Right: Dr. Martens & Guess ||

Style Feature || Dane Ram

CALGARY, APRIL 2013

Photos by Dane Ram
Words by Kate Wotherspoon

Japan. China. Switzerland. England. America. Spain… No, this is not a geography class, those are just a few places where Dane Ram finds himself teaching dance workshops on the regular.  No big deal right? (insert sarcasm look here…)

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What a cutie! || Feather earring: Gift, Beanie: A warehouse in Beijing ||

This globe trotter is originally from Ottawa, Ontario and moved to Toronto shortly after graduating high school to pursue his dance career further.  He not only took his talent to the next level in Toronto but then took it across the world with a move to China!  He began directing and choreographing shows and not only did his connections with other cities develop, his passion and choreography grew stronger too.

I met Dane when I was living in Toronto back in 2009 and it wasn’t till this past fall that I saw him again in London, England of all places!  Since I was solo on my trip I was thankful to have someone to sight see with and since we were so busy discovering the city we didn’t take the time to sit down for the interview then.  Thanks to technology, we did the interview over Skype while he was waking up in the future in Spain and I was heading to bed in Canada.  Get to know Dane a little further by reading the interview below and goggle at his stylish photos!

outfit

|| Shirt: H&M in Los Angeles, Pants: A shop in Korea ||

shoes

|| Boots: A boutique in Madrid ||

Kate W:  Where are you now?

Dane R:  Barcelona, Spain.

KW: What is your current state of mind?

DR: Growth, manifesting more, focusing on not just having goals but creating new goals.  I’ve been very optimistic and fortunate for all these opportunities, but there’s always room to create more!  It’s all a game of manifestation.  If I you want something and truly believe in it, then “magically” everything will seem to fall into place.

KW: Where do you feel most at home?

DR: I’ve coped with thinking the world is my oyster!  I’ve been living out of my suitcase for so long, it’s hard to call one place home.  However, the people in my environment are amazing and I’m happy doing what I do so my answer would be the world!  I know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

KW: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

DR: “Don’t get stuck.”  Meaning, never become a product of your environment.  Learn and grow from your surroundings and then move forward with new inspiration.

KW: Which person do you most admire?

DR:  I like everybody!  Each person I know has qualities about themselves that I admire. I admire my parents, my students, my mentors, my sister. I admire people. Learning from everyone and being motivated by what they have to offer.

KW:  Black or White?

DR:  Something coloured, something bright!

KW:  Suspenders or bowties?

DR:  Suspenders.

KW: Favorite song to dance to?

DR:  I’m a big Michael and Janet fan.  They’re my first go-to’s and I love going back and checking out 90s music.  It’s all very therapeutic in a sense.

KW:  Dunk’s, Jordan’s or boots for class?

DR:  I always wear boots when I dance and it seems to take up all the space in my suitcase.  You just can’t go wrong with a pair of black boots.

KW: How do you decide your outfits each day?

DR:  I should feel good and comfortable in what I’m wearing.  Fashion has become part of my daily routine and I decide on my outfit by the type of choreography I’m doing and how long I’ll be dancing that day.  It’s not meant to sound superficial, but there’s a different feeling between being ready head to toe rather than rolling out of bed and going to dance class.

KW: If you could be in any music video, which one would it be?

DR:  Right away, I think of the type of video I want to create and direct not dance in.  I believe that’s where my career is headed.

KW: What would you say your signature dance move is?

DR:  Whenever I choreograph I try to introduce new movement that I haven’t done before.  However, my signature is how my choreography is very relaxed and fluid.

KW: Favorite fashion city?

DR:  Seoul, South Korea – only cause you’re allowing me to pick  one!  They do a lot of draping and adding of random buttons and zippers that don’t make sense but… you like it anyways. You can’t find that anywhere else.  I like “roomie” clothing and layering pieces when I dance.  The style there definitely speaks to that.

KW: Favorite dance city?

DR:  For training I have to go with LA – it’s such a hub, such a concentrated area and there’s always a lot going on.  I really love Toronto too because of it’s diversity.  You have dancers from multiple trained backgrounds and Toronto celebrates each independent style whether big or small.

KW:  How do you compare the dance industry in LA and Toronto to China and Japan?

Every country is like it’s own little world, and that’s how I’ve been able to fit in and adapt to everything I encounter.  The way people interact socially and culturally in China and Japan immediately permeates through the dance industry and independent artistry.

One of the biggest things is being mindful and respectful of that fact that it’s not “your” place.  Everywhere is so different, however, dancers are willing to put in more effort and less focus on  getting paid in China and Japan because the commercial opportunities in the East aren’t  as affluent in compared to what’s available in the West.

KW:  Which city would you be able to stay in for at least 5 years with no travelling? Which one would fulfill your passion the most?

DR:  Tokyo, Japan.  The cityscape, the people, their love for dance is so passionate.  The people there are all about working hard because opportunities are in limited supply.

KW:  What are some songs on your playlist right now?

DR: “Wish Your Love Away”- Brandy, “Crush” – Jennifer Paige, “Demonstrate” – Jojo, “Holler”- Spice Girls and Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience album!

KW:  Can you name your all-time breakfast dish?

DR:  I haven’t had a proper breakfast in so long but nothing in this world will ever beat my mom’s breakfast.  Full on omelettes, fruit, Danish pastries, hash browns, breakfast sandwiches etc. Anything else is completely unparalleled!

KW: Thank you for your time Dane!

winkdaneram.com @daneram 

Thanks for reading. For more photos check out my twitter and instagram! @keightw

Style Feature || Lenny Dela Pena

CALGARY,  NOVEMBER 2012
Photos & Words by Kate Wotherspoon

Lenny Dela Pena, otherwise known as Lenny Len, was an Island kid from Manila, Philippines and moved to San Fran in the early 80s and then Toronto at the turn of the millennium. You may have seen him as one of the resident judges on MuchMusic’s television show, New Music Live Best Dance Crew or caught one of his highly acclaimed Vimeo videos.  He is an established choreographer and Director with Alpine Music Group (NY/LA) and founder of the recognized Flavor Shop in Toronto. Lenny Len is a teacher, entertainer and director that has been elevating the knowledge through movement & dance, music and film over the last twenty years. Some of his credits include Ne-Yo, Rihanna, T-Pain, Ludacris, Melanie Fiona, Jeremih, Jrdn, Esthero, August Rigo, K-Os, Jodie Connor, Ron Sexsmith and he took part in choreographing the 2010 Olympic Closing Ceremonies in Vancouver. Lenny’s vision and work has also extended to his mentorship for artists like Nasri and August Rigo who are renowned for writing #1 hit records for Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Musiq Soulchild, and One Direction.

Yes, the list does go on and amongst all this greatness, I was able to interview Lenny over some breakfast at Galaxy Diner in Calgary. He stopped in for a week to teach classes at Pulse Studios and will be back by the end of the month before he heads to Egypt with his wife, Lauren.  Below are some shots of his laidback skater apparel and our interview. Enjoy. xx

Lenny Len

Jeans: Ksubi

Tank: Made himself || Check out that ink!

Boots: Burgundy Velour Dr. Martens

Hoodie: American Apparel || Sunglasses: Louis Vuitton

Kate W: What is your current state of mind?

Lenny DP: Happiness.

KW: What has been your main inspiration choreography wise?

LDP: Music. Always looking for the right music…good music.  Always looking for music that is stimulating, soulful, playful and music that makes me want to boogie. I want to be inspired.

KW: What are your top three songs right now?

LDP: I’m on a slow jam right now…bringing it back to my elementary school days in San Francisco. Milly Vanilli- “Girl I’m Going To Miss You”, Anquette – “I Will Always Be There For You” and Coming Of Age – “I’m Coming Home To Love”.

KW: What is your favourite dance city?

LDP: Toronto, Home of Do Dat Entertainment and School of Luther Brown – I’m a Lutheran!

KW: Do you have any other cities you feed off of for inspiration?

LDP: I always look to New York as the flyest state ever, but being from California and growing up with the beautiful and undeniable energy of the arts in San Francisco is also another mecca for me. Other than San Fran and New York,  it’s Toronto, because that’s what shaping me right now.

KW: What are some inspirations of yours, style wise?

LDP: I’ve always had an eye for it…Anything that makes me feel fly as shit. I don’t have a specific style, but I did grow up as a skater, so I feel I have that skater vibe in me, but at the same time I do like shit that fits and because of my ink, I like to express that as well. I like the classics and I’m a big Doc Martin fan.

KW: Do you dress mostly by your mood or the day’s events?

LDP: My mood and weather.

KW: If you were to dance in the outfit you’re wearing right now, would you change anything?

LDP: Probably my Docs, because they’re heavy as shit! I would rock the jeans if it was a performance and it called for it, but if it’s a dance class, I would want to be comfortable and I would change that too. Comfort is huge to me, and the way I feel is the way I’m going to look. If I feel good, I’ll look good and if I look good, I’ll feel good, right?

KW: What’s next for you?

LDP: That’s a good question. What’s next for me is the next level, the next discovery, what am I going to discover next? As a career, I’m always learning and figuring out what the best lane is for me.  I’ve been mastering the art of direction where videos and music are concerned but that’s still a long time coming. I’ve been doing it for a minute, but I still have a lot to learn.

KW: What has been your greatest extravagance?

LDP: I think my biggest accomplishment was getting a puppy! Little Jamie Foxx! The way Jamie makes me and my wife feel, gives us a new responsibility, a life threatening responsibility. My puppy is a life form, a life force that I have to be responsible for. Everything else is easy.

KW: Which artist or choreographer would you want to collaborate with the most?

LDP: Well, I would always like to collaborate with my teachers, those who showed me the way, and enabled me to where I am today. I’ve had the best teachers on the planet, so I would always go back to them. From Luther Brown, to the Flow Master, my choir teacher, Norman and my dad. As for an artist, it would be my homeboy, August Rigo from Def Jam/Alpine Music Group, he’s my fav writer and singer in the game.

KW: Black or white?

LDP: “Blite”.

KW: Which shoes do you wear when you dance?

LDP: Air Force Ones! I used to rock converse and was always wearing all kinds of skater shoes and Luther Brown was the one who told me to get a pair of Air Force Ones. He said “fix your shit” and that changed the game. Now my shoe playlist is on point!

KW: What is your signature drink?

LDP: Diet Pepsi.

KW: Signature breakfast dish?

LDP: Eggs, bacon, tomato slices and white bread with butter on it.

KW: How do you take your coffee?

LDP: Double, double!

KW: What are some of your favourite brands?

LDP: Alexander McQueen, even though I can’t afford it right now because I have a puppy! I used to like Louis a lot, but gear wise I like to support the locals. Gabe Angelo has a new clothing line that I’m feeling, called 4i Clothing and John Varvatos always has some good stuff too. Material wise, it always comes down to comfort and fit.  If that shit is right I’ll rock it out. It’s not about a major brand, it’s about if it’s me.

KW: What are some qualities in clothing that stick out to you?

LDP: The fit, graphics are secondary and if it was made nice and the material is comfortable.

KW: What was the last thing you bought?

LDP: Some Nike Air Force Ones from Chinook Mall.

KW: Favorite fashion city?

LDP: NYC, always.

KW: Do you have any fashion idols?

LDP: Pharrell and Kanye. But because I have all this ink, I like to keep it classic when it comes to my clothing. The island and skateboarder style is very laidback and comfortable. It doesn’t matter what I wear, it’s how I wear it and how I feel. My energy will exude and transcend into what I have on.

KW: Thanks so much Lenny!

Click on this video to watch more from his channel!

Follow us on twitter: @Keightw @LENNYLENZZZ 

Share, re-blog, comment! Thanks for reading.

Luther Brown || T-DOT || Let’s Get It

I don’t even know what to say about this. Luther Brown’s choreography never disappoints and Toronto is reppin’ hard in this video.  YES CANADA! If you need a reason as to why Do Dat Entertainment reigns hard and has paved the road for so many Canadian dancers and artists, simply watch this video. *Warning*: You may scream out of excitement and find your jaw continuously dropping.

Follow @LuBrown @MarkASamuels  @Do_Dat_Ent

www.dodat.com www.lutherbrownonline.com