EPIK Dance Company, a “street fusion” company, gives dancers the opportunity to have professional experiences and make money doing the job they’re most passionate about.
Co-founders Sarah “Saza” Kent and Luis “Weezy” Egurrola were dancing together on the Phoenix Mercury Hip Hop Squad when they came up with the concept for EPIK. Egurrola is now the coach for both the Mercuty Hip Squad and the Phoenix Suns Solar Squad, as well as the in-game host of the Suns games. Kent says that there aren’t many other professional opportunities for hip hop dancers once they’ve participated with WNBA and NBA groups.
“We felt like we needed to create this opportunity for dancers,” Kent says. “We wanted to give a professional experience. We wanted to create stage shows and create opportunities for dancers to make money and continue to do what they love.”
EPIK focuses on having a good video platform in order to reach a wider audience. Viewers can appreciate their work from all around the world.
The nonprofit’s style is something they term “street fusion.” They blend street dance styles like hip hop and break dancing with concert dance like modern, jazz and ballet. Kent explains that a variety of choreographic methods are used to put the styles together. Each dancer brings a different background to the table, and they cross train on each other’s styles.
“I like to dance, and I think it’s fun, but growing up and being an adult I realized I have a lot of passion for it,” EPIK Dancer Melissa Torres says. “I want to be able to share the passion that I’m learning and hopefully just teach and share with others and bring them knowledge.”
The company will be presenting a performance of “Don’t Hold Your Breath,” an original production by Kent. It’s the story of a former party girl who may or may not be getting news that she’s sick, but doesn’t take the news too seriously. She eventually starts to examine her life and ask herself what she would do if she was given a second chance. The production not includes dance but also singing and musical performances. “Don’t Hold Your Breath” will be shown on March 9-11 and March 16-17 at the Helen K. Performing Arts Center in Phoenix.
For more information on the company including videos and upcoming live performances, go to epikdanceco.org.