Renzell Roque talks influences, Brian Puspos, The Future Kingz, and more

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What’s going on man, go ahead introduce yourself

Wassup bro! I’m Renzell Roque. I’m a Dancer/Choreographer/Member of The Future Kingz.

How was life growing up?

I was fortunate enough to grow in a close-knit family. I was lucky enough to have people like my Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts, and Parents around to guide me through everything in my first 18 years of life.. I was actually a very clumsy kid and would break a lot of my grandmother’s expensive vases that we had around the house. I wouldn’t say I was the black sheep of the family, but I definitely knew that there was something about me that was very different. I know when I was in 4th grade, I was already a surprisingly fast typer because I was ALWAYS on the internet.. Haha. I was a terrible liar growing up, and my family hated me for that. You know what I mean? Like, you just know when a kid is lying. Yup, that was me. I grew up moving around a lot, but I always found it easy to maintain some friendships. From elementary to my early high school career I was a very shy kid, I was horrible at making eye contact with people, shaking hands, all that n a bag of chips. Everyone knew me as the “Cool Asian Kid Who Dances”, and I kind of just accepted it.

 

When did you begin to find a passion for dancing?

You see, I grew up around dance. Both of my parents were the leaders of their own dance crew in the early 2000s. Their crew was called the Naughty Yauzah Crew, or N.Y.C. for short. My parents actually met at a party, through a dance battle. My mom totally whooped my dad’s ass.. And so the story goes on, they would hold practices in our basement, and there, was a younger me fully intrigued by their dances. It wasn’t until the beginning of my 8th-grade year, where I knew that I wanted to try and pursue this whole dancing thing.. I started off making freestyle videos in my bedroom, and posting them to my Facebook, YouTube, and Tumblr account. At the time, Tumblr was poppin’ like that, and ya boy had quite the following. There I began to build a small fanbase, and tend to them by uploading these dance videos. My freshman year, I met the brothers (Isaiah “Sosho” Fonts & Allen Washington) and that’s when I knew for sure I had a passion dance.

 

What was it about dancing that intrigued you?

Honestly, when I used to dance back in middle school, it would attract females. So for me, it kind of helped me step out of my comfort zone. BUTTTTTT, the real reason why dance intrigued me is because it gave me the same feeling as just listening to my favorite song. I would literally watch people on YouTube dance, as if I was listening to my favorite song. I don’t know if you know the feeling, but that’s what it was like for me.

 

When you first got into dancing, what were the styles you first were practicing?

Breakdancing, Crip Walking (NOT THAT I AM A CRIP), and Urban Hip-Hop.

 

Since the early days, how have you begun to see your style change?

Well, I went from not knowing how awkward I looked with my awkward 13-year-old body to finding out what my body was fully capable of as far as dance goes. I used to be heavily influenced by Brian Puspos.. STRICTLY Brian Puspos.. but after a few bad critics on some of my earliest freestyle videos, I decided to explore other dancers’ styles and see if I can mold myself into a newer version of.. myself. I still am in the process of finding my own style, but if you were to watch me from the very beginning, you could definitely see a difference.

 

As a dancer, would you say your style is consistently evolving?

YES, YES, YES, A MILLION TIMES YES. Eventually, your style will get old, repetitive, and nobody, most importantly, yourself, will get bored. CHANGE IS GOOD. CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.

 

How did you meet the guys in TFK?

I met the boys at our high school’s Variety Show auditions. I saw Allen dancing in the hallway, and quickly hit him with that, “I can do that too.”, line. I met Isaiah through my counselor, Mrs. Cordova, near the main office. Isaiah basically was playing it by ear, and asked me if I was interested in joining this group that was previously called, “TFK”. There was no meaning behind it. It was literally just, “TFK”.

 

You’ve been in the crew for almost 4 years, how has it been working alongside the guys?

BOY, let me tell you. Working with the boys has been nothing but constant progress. We’ve literally made it known that we are BROTHERS. We are FAMILY. These boys have made me who I am. They helped me find myself, and most importantly, my purpose. I would give my life for these boys. We’ve built our chemistry through practice, times of excitement, times of loss, times of stress, basically every emotion you could ever think of. It would be hard for me to consider myself anything besides a brother of The Future Kingz.

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What has been your favorite memory since being in the crew?

Crying on stage at World of Dance 2015, holding the trophy up.

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Where do you see the future going for TFK?

WAAAAAAAAAAAY UP. ALL THE WAY UP. NOWHERE BUT UP. I see nothing but progress, more progress, more triumph, more chemistry, more stressful studio nights, and some more progress.. and some friendship on the side.

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Over the years, TFK has become a huge national recognized dance crew, have you seen a lot of the early doubters turn around to become fans?

Honestly, not that I know of.. but I know for a fact that some of them feel salty as hell. If they’re fans now, then that’s cool too haha.

 

How did you feel when Sosho said, with the addition of Renzell, it changed everything for the better for TFK?

It made me feel more valuable to the brotherhood. There was a time where I constantly craved recognition.. until I found the formula for it.. GRAB IT YOURSELF. Isaiah told me that as well. You can’t expect recognition, you have to grab it.

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When it comes to your technical choreography, where or who do you draw your inspiration from?

The Food Network. I watch a lot of cooking shows, surprisingly. I love food so much. If you’ve ever seen a cooking show, that shit is mad dope.. They make the simplest dishes, look like a million bucks. I think the concept of that itself is what drives me to create with high expectations. That’s also been a major drawback for me in the past, I was never satisfied with my work, and that lead to me never release anything. I also draw inspiration from watching other dancers on YouTube.. but who doesn’t haha. Oh yeah, I can’t forget my brothers too. I steal a little bit of stuff haha.

Describe your creative process behind creating new choreo

Find a song

Listen to song repeatedly

Study lyrics

Relate lyrics to yo life

Record yourself freestyling to song

See what you like, keep what you like

Drill that a couple hundred times and there you have it, new choreography

(DRILL MEANING: PRACTICE)

How was it being able to dance for Chance at Open Mic?

I consider myself very lucky that I had that chance to perform in front of him, with my boys Nick, and Will. We didn’t even expect ourselves to perform that night, but once he called our name we got mad hype. We were sitting in a room full of about 200 other Chicago artists ranging from poets, singers, rappers, and other dancers. Chance randomly picked the artists to come up and perform, and we thought we weren’t going to be picked. BUT, we were, and that was amazing. Chance really liked our performance, and so did the crowd. I’m sure from that day forward he remembered us.. He even followed me on Twitter that night.

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Do the comparisons to Brian Puspos ever bother you?

I mean, nahhhhhhhhh. That’s the big homie. I’ve had the honor of meeting him, opening up for him, AND dancing WITH him. He knows who I am, and so it don’t really bother me. Shout out to Brian though.

 

What could we expect from you as the year ends?

I’m leaving to the Philippines on September 21st! I will be spending 5 months out there grinding, and representing for The Future Kingz.. with some friendship on the side. I’ve also got a couple of projects that I will be dropping.

 

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would those words be?

Humble

Focused

Sensitive


Written By: Nicholas Rud

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