Don’t let his age fool you – 21-year-old Franklin Yu, ex-co-director of ACA Hip Hop, has led the team to multiple victories and taught workshops around the world.
It can’t be easy balancing his role as a full-time student at UCLA, but his love for dance makes the hustle worth it.
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First learning about choreography on the Diamond Bar High School All-Male Dance Team, Franklin then segued into dancing on teams like Miniotics, GRaVy Babies, GRV, and ACA.
But before the teams, he started with freestyle dancing.
“Having experience with freestyle gives you an artistic foundation because you’re already making things on your own.”
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Because his freestyle foundations were largely popping-based, his choreography incorporates a lot of quick, powerful, controlled movements.
He lets us in on some secrets that help him dance fast, strong, and with (almost) super-human precision.
Core Control and Power Distribution
Engage (but not necessarily flex) your core, throughout the piece.
There’s never a moment when you’re not using your stomach and chest.
If you flex too hard, you’ll lose control and end up looking shaky.
If you don’t tighten enough, you’ll undershoot and have little control in your movement.
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It’s about actively thinking about your stomach to find that balance between too tight and too loose.
This will help you achieve that “dime stop” look.
You can do sit ups and push ups to help make that engagement and control come more easily.
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Precise Timing for Precise Pictures
When it comes to timing your stops, stop right ON the beat.
The “stop” was designated a specific count- the peak of that sound. Not the beginning nor the end.
If you try to stay “in the pocket,” you’ll be late. All of the counts in Franklin’s pieces require that precision.
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To look clean for sequences of combos and moves, you have to focus on stopping on each point of that “da-da-da” to make your moves more distinct.
Start slow. People think certain pieces are too fast, but that’s because they only see the final product.
Any piece that’s executed quickly has been worked up to that speed.
So start at a slow tempo, and drill. Work your way up by going quicker and quicker.
If you see someone doing it, know that it’s possible!
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The Big Picture
When there’s a lot of arm movements in a piece dancers tend to focus only on the limbs that they’re emphasizing in that moment.
But in the process, that makes you lose track of the entire picture.
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Every picture and every part that is involved, whether it’s your torso, a dead arm, your stance.. those are all intentional.
So don’t forget about the rest of your body!
Even if it’s not “a part of the move,” be aware of what it’s doing or where it is.
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These tips aren’t just restricted to popping or iso pieces – they’ll help you become better at executing any choreography that comes your way.
Thanks for sharing with us, Franklin!
Learn any (or ALL) of these pieces from Franklin on STEEZY Studio! Click here to get a free week!
Got any thoughts on being a conscientious and clean executor? Comment below and share with us!
This article was originally published on October 1, 2015.