What drives you? brings you at peace? makes you ready to get-up-and-go in the morning?
Is it dance? Tricking? Music?
Because we hope to encourage others to build their own Empires, each collection represents that message for you (our supporters) to proudly wear. Whether it be dance, tricking, music or any other vocation, we are a lifestyle to support all your passions.
We feature others’ Empires right here on the blog and we want you to be part of the journey.
Michelle Dela Cruz found her passion for dance in high school, when her Filipino Cultural Club, Mabuhay, began teaching urban choreography on top of folk dance. Since then, she has danced for Future Shock San Jose, Hungry Kids, Hungry Bumz, and is currently dancing with Training Ground, in hopes of one day being a member of WSPA’s The Company.
It hasn’t always been the smoothest road pursuing her passion. Michelle actually had to sacrifice track and field, an extracurricular activity she participated in prior to hip hop, and worked hard in school to assure her parents that the time she puts into dancing will not deter her away from her academics.
“I had to prove to them that this is something that I want to do — not just a hobby, not just a place where I’m learning how to dance and they’re paying for the lessons, I’m paying to do something I love that I’ve grown to be passionate about. When I came into college, I still commuted from SF to SJ every weekend for Hungry Kids, so I didn’t even make a lot of friends when I was a freshman at USF. I risked my social life for my dance life.”
After dancing on a few hip hop teams and creating special bonds with her dance family inside and outside of the studio, she initially found it tough to fully commit herself to training for The Company.
“I’ve been dancing for quite a while and even before I decided to leave the Hungry Fam in order to go The Company route, I had a hard time transitioning because I didn’t want to leave a group of people I called family, but then at the same time, I’ve always seen The Company as my dream team. I’ve always admired them, I’m always taking classes from them whenever they teach workshops, and it wasn’t until this past weekend (Company Auditions for the ’15-’16 Season) where it hit me how much I wanted to be on Company and how happy I would be just being in the same studio as them, and participating in their huddles and chants. Although I didn’t make the team, hearing a lot of good feedback and receiving a lot of positive support from not just my old team members but from the Company members, it just makes me feel like this team is the team i want to be on right now. I just got to push myself so much more to make that goal my life.”
In Michelle’s #RoadToCompany, she says her biggest struggle is, “trying to be a better me as a dancer —not in a cocky way, but to improve my dance capability. I have to be more conscious of my dancing in every aspect — timing, facials, movement spacing — but through that, I’ve learned to love it even more. I’m finding different ways to stretch my ability and it’s great to notice things like, ‘ Oh, I didn’t know I could do this!’ or, ‘Wow, it’s not that bad I just have to keep practicing it.’ So I think for me with dance, the hardest thing I’ve had to do and the biggest struggle I’ve had to face was trying to just improve and not be comfortable.”
Outside of her dance empire, Michelle De La Cruz attends the University of San Francisco as a Psychology Major and Media Studies Minor. She also runs a fashion Instagram account and blog called @herlikings, check it out here!
Show us your Empire! Tag us in your post and use #myempireintheair or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.