Our brand’s mission is to encourage everyone to build their own Empires. We strive to inspire others to stick their heads at cloud-level & turn dreams into reality. In this blog series – My Empire in the Air – we give a platform for our supporters to share their journeys.
– by Ray@Empire –
With no high interest in most conventional sports during his years in middle and high school, Jonny Tran found his passion in the form of dance.
Jonny started his life of dance as a breakdancer and was dubbed “The Breakdancer” at his middle and high school. His first breakdancing move was a baby freeze that he learned from his cousin and from there, he used Youtube as his platform of learning.
“During school, I’ve became known as ‘The Breakdancer,’ and that became my identity,” Jonny says. “As that started building, that’s when I started realizing I really enjoy dancing. It provided a lot of fun and it helped me find my self!”
To Jonny, dance was flexible enough to fit into his own life and was free-formed enough to express his art the way he wanted it to be.
“Initially I really enjoyed it because there was so much freedom in it,” Jonny says. “There is some structure, but the way you dance isn’t really determined by anyone else. If you want to do it differently then you have the freedom and choices to make those decisions.”
The passion for dance didn’t stop after graduating high school. Jonny continued to pursue his passion as he entered into college. He became a part of Hungry Kidz and Hungry Bumz for about two years. He created a project collegiate team, TMC, alongside his friends Joshua Moreno and Kevin Chau. Jonny now dances for Syndicate and is also creating conceptualize dance videos as well as teaching dance workshops.
“From dance, my biggest two takeaways from it are creating art in terms of like full length pieces of works, like videos…fully fleshed-out concepts and ideas and bring that to life,” Jonny says. “The other half is teaching! I found that, as I taught more, I developed a passion and joy being able to share with others and seeing others grow.”
Like many others who continuously follow their own passion, Jonny has many people he admires that help him stay motivated and inspired. Some of his top choreographers that continue to inspire him are Chris Martin and Keone Madrid. Another choreographer that continues to inspire himself is his friend, Chris Nguyen. They both started dancing around the same time and continue to push each other.
“Almost like a very friendly rivalry,” Jonny says. “Not like a ‘I’m trying to be better than you’ but just like, if he’s stepping up, than I feel like I have to step it up, you know. He pushes me to teach, or gets me gigs and vice versa. We really vibe together and we feed off each others energy and growth.”
For those who also want to pursue the life of dance, Jonny left us with some advice.
“One of the biggest things about dance is that you’re definitely going to experience a lot of mental blocks, choreo blocks, or you feel like you aren’t growing anymore,” says Jonny. “I took a Shaun Evaristo class, and I told him ‘I feel really stuck,…’ and he told me, ‘The number one thing is just keep on pushing, even if you feel stuck…even if you feel like you’re not improving. The main way you lose at that point is if you stop completely…you just got to keep pushing.”
Jonny also adds that you should never forget why you enjoy doing what you are doing.
“Having constant reminders of why you’re doing this, or going back to your roots sometimes of purely doing it for fun is a really good way to propel your growth and re-inspire yourself,” says Jonny.
**Below is a dance pieced choreographed by Jonny with our ‘Slogan Tee.’**