How to dance like nonstop
Marquese "Nonstop" Scott Interview | Highsnobiety
The story of Marquese "Nonstop" Scott almost reads like a Hollywood movie. And, being from LA, maybe that's kind of appropriate. His uniquely fluid style of street dancing looks, and is described as, gravity defying, while his name alludes to the fact he’s rarely standing still.
The man now commands a YouTube subscriber count of close to 2 million, as well as racking up over 350 million views on his videos. However, the self-taught dancer only really began getting his moves on tape in the early days so he could track his progress.
Fast forward a number of years, and Nonstop is pushing himself to the limit, transforming the side of a California building into his own personal dance floor 115 feet above the ground. The stunt literally defied gravity and was captured in the Ballantine’s Presents Nonstop’s Breakin’ Gravity film. It was also the summation of four days of intensive training between the dancer, the “vertical dance” arts company, Bandaloop, and Ballantine’s Scotch whisky – whose own founder believed in staying true to the real you.
If nothing else, Nonstop’s journey represents the power of this mantra perfectly: staying true to himself and dancing, and living, the way he wanted. It also represents the democratic force of the internet and its ability to catapult people with real talent towards superstardom. We sat down with Marquese 'Nonstop' Scott to talk about the project, his style, his sneakers and how he battled to stay true to himself and to have his dance style recognized by the scene.
Highsnobiety Hey Nonstop, so thanks for sitting down with us. That video with Ballantine’s Scotch whisky, you were training for something like four days for that, right?
Marquese "Nonstop" Scott Yeah that’s right, four days.
HS What was that like on your body? Was it anything you’d ever experienced before?
Nonstop It was definitely a different kind of strain. I was using a different set of muscles that I wasn’t used to using. I had to adapt. It was definitely a challenge.
HS How long have you been dancing?
Nonstop I’ve been dancing for 21 years. I started when I was 12. Long long time…
HS I heard in the movie that you perfected your dancing styles whilst battling on the streets of Crenshaw, LA. What does “battling” mean exactly?
Nonstop Oh that's like when you battle in competitions and there’s a whole bunch of dancers that enter the competition, and then they figure out who’s best, out of all the people who enter.
HS Oh okay, cool. So you're completely self-taught, that's right?
Nonstop Yes. Yes I am.
HS How did you learn to do what you do? What’s your inspiration with how you move?
Nonstop Just being around other dancers: You pick up information like that, and then I applied that to my own style. Because when I first tried, when I started out popping, that’s a very popular dance that has its own rules. And I didn’t really like the rules so I decided then that I was gonna try and do my own style of dance and my own spin on it. And that became what's now known as 'animation’. Cos animation was itself a certain style of popping but it was never brought to the forefront, so what I did was bring that style forward.
HS So your style is called "animation? Because it just seems so fluid?
Nonstop It’s kinda like when you watch a cartoon and see an animated character, so you want to create an illusion that you’re not real. And that’s the whole concept behind animation – making yourself slide, waving, slow motion – and in the same way that is has the foundation of popping, it has the foundation of animation.
HS Was your style easily accepted by people?
Nonstop Well back in the day in LA, the style that I do now, that I still do, it wasn’t that accepted back then. I used to enter competitions, time and time again, and I would never win because they’d say stuff like: "Oh, you’re not popping. " But then now, now that this type of dance style [animation] has gained so much popularity, now they’re starting to say that what I do is popping.
I can say that it has been accepted among the community now as a style and there’s so many more dancers in this movement now that it’s almost undeniable. The culture has accepted it and it has become a viable style. So it has changed the dance game very strongly.
And this happened around about a year after Pumped Up Kicks. I think people in the beginning, they might have thought that this was just a trend or that it was gonna die out within a year, but that’s probably when it became popular.
HS Why do they call you "Nonstop," then?
Nonstop Y’know I never stop dancing. I’m always, always dancing. Sometimes I’m dancing and I don’t even fully realize that I’m dancing. I may just be having a conversation with someone face-to-face, but my hands will be moving, not knowing that I’m dancing. They’re always dancing, nonstop dancing! Sometimes I’m like "oh man! that’s catchy!" and I can't stop it.
HS And you have a lot of videos. How many videos do you have cos I lost track at around 100…
Nonstop I think I have a total of... over 200.
HS How many?
Nonstop I think… I think so…
HS And how and why did it all start? You were wanting to basically track your moves and track how well you were doing them, right?
Nonstop Yeah, it was basically to keep progress – I’d upload a video maybe once a month record a video once a month and then I’d maybe go back to it two months later, and see if my style was different, or whether it was improving, or was just staying the same. And then as soon as I started uploading the videos that's when I started getting a following. I wasn’t doing it to get any kind of following to begin with but I’m definitely grateful.
HS What was it about that 60th video – the Pumped Up Kicks one that just kinda skyrocketed and helped put you in the position that you’re in today – what was it about that video that made it so popular do you think?
Nonstop Honestly, I think it was a matter of timing. It was just the right time and the right place where I shot the video, and it was the right song, and... well it ended up being the right dance moves.
HS Where were you shooting it?
Nonstop That was a bowling alley, believe it or not.
Nonstop Yeah. That was just right by where I lived.
HS It looked like a church.
Nonstop No everybody thought it was, y’know I guess with the architecture of the building which almost looks as though it’s come from overseas. But it worked anyway.
HS You seem a fan dubstep, and of high-tops as well.
Nonstop Well right now I have a pair that are my favorite for dancing in, and a favorite pair that I just like to wear casually. For dancing in, that has to be my Jordan XIIIs. They are amazing to dance in. They look cool and the toe support – well, the overall support of the shoe is great; they’re made to play basketball in so they’re meant to be strong. And as far as my everyday casual shoes, probably the Jordan X or XI. They’re definitely my favorite shoes right now.
HS You said in your film with Ballantine’s Scotch whisky that you’re a naturally shy person and you mentioned that dancing had helped you to overcome this.
Nonstop Well before dance came along, I wasn’t really a popular or outgoing person. I was always with myself. I had a few friends coming up through high school that I kicked with but I wasn’t really a social person. But then when I started dancing, it draws people towards you. So I dance, first and foremost, but then after you’re done dancing, they come up and talk to you. So it’s almost an ice-breaker and they’re talking about dance which is something that I love, so it’s easy to then talk. So that made it very easy for me throughout my career to then open up and become a social person.
But, if somebody were to just come up and talk to me about something other than dance, I’d be just like, err… what’s going on…? Know what I mean?
HS Sure. But I think it’s pretty amazing to see somebody who’s genuinely an artist and doing what you’re doing and then being a success at it, like from the ground up. When you first started, was this ever a goal that you were going for or did you just roll with it?
Nonstop Definitely... Definitely did not imagine that one day… I mean, I wanted to be successful and make a career out of it but it is definitely not what I imagined. I almost thought that I’d be able to, y’know, get a gig here, get a gig there and make it okay. But it’s far beyond that now.
HS So what are you working on next? Anything that you can elaborate on?
Nonstop Yeah, I have a couple of concepts that I wanna do. The next concept video that I wanna do, for instance, is underwater.
HS Wow… That’s cool.
Nonstop That, and a feature film maybe. There’s some offers on the table, but I have to wait until the concept is right.
View Ballantine’s Scotch whisky Presents Nonstop’s Breakin’ Gravity film and check out Nonstop’s YouTube channel.
Nonstop Movies: ‘Step Up Revolution’
What happened to the dance film genre? When did it get dumbed down so much? I grew up watching and loving dance movies such as “Breakin’,” “Beat Street” and “Flashdance,” and while they didn’t have the most elaborate storylines, at least they conjured up decent and realistic stories around the dance numbers. “Step Up Revolution” however, doesn’t even bother with realism at all. It’s all about how many dance numbers they can put together in 90 minutes.
A group of young dancers in Miami calling themselves, The Mob, aim to change their lives by winning $100,000 in a YouTube contest that rewards the first video to get 10 million hits. Divided among some 50 dancers, that’s a cool $2,000 each. After taxes, it’s just enough to buy a new tracksuit and pair of fly sneakers. Never mind that the money the dancers spend on costumes, props, special effects and electronics for each of their flash mobs probably already exceeds the prize total. I’ve never seen such impressively dressed and technologically savvy dancers as The Mob.
There’s also the evil rich developer, Mr. Anderson (Peter Gallagher), who plans to wipe out the underprivileged section of town where all the dancers live and play to build a gigantic luxury hotel and retail complex. The dancers, of course, oppose this development, not thinking ahead to the thousands of construction jobs the development would create and the thousands more when the new development opens to the public, not to mention what the tourism money would do for the local economy. Oh no, they don’t care about such things. They just don’t want to be inconvenienced to move and don’t want to lose their local hangout.
Of course the rich developer has a rebellious daughter Emily (Kathryn McCormick), who dreams of becoming a professional dancer, but falls in love with Sean (Ryan Guzman), who just happens to be the leader of The Mob. After joining The Mob and leading them in a protest flash mob against her father’s development, she sadly tells her father that she didn’t mean to hurt him. Um, yeah, you did. The flash-mob-as-protest-art-against-your-father’s-hotel was entirely your idea. The whole point of the mob was to hurt him.
The first protest flash mob didn’t work, but The Mob is a resilient bunch. They can come up with new routines and concepts, locations, costumes, choreography, music and props in mere days. After a second failed protest mob that leads to the arrest of a few of the dancers, their voices are finally heard in the finale when they return bigger and bolder at a press conference with the mayor and evil developer. As they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. Strangely, as the dancers dressed in thug gear and carrying what look like weapons approach the press conference full of rich old people, the rich old people gather around them instead of running away. The message is the same this third time, but because the dance routine is bigger and better, it finally dawns on the evil developer that these kids really do care about their crummy town, and he agrees to figure something out. What that something is, however, is never mentioned.
So okay, the writing is ridiculously terrible. Nothing makes sense in the story and the dialogue is lazy and laughable. The line “us against the world” is actually used not once, but twice, in two scenes. It’s obvious that the point of these “Step Up” movies is to crank one out every few years and to milk that cash cow. That would all be totally acceptable if the dancing was actually good.
“Step Up Revolution” doesn’t offer anything innovative in choreography or style, except for implementing the new trend of flash mobs into the story. I’ve seen these same moves nearly 30 years ago in “Breakin’” and other films. The only two routines that really have any dynamic energy are the opening and closing numbers. All the performances in between offer nothing new.
Maybe I’ve just outgrown this type of film. Instead of sitting back and letting the pretty dancers entertain me, I was constantly thinking, “Well, that’s just not practical.” The high school kids sitting behind me in the theater certainly seemed to be amazed by all the dancing and entertained by the what can marginally be called humor. Maybe I shouldn’t watch another film in this series until they make one called “Step Up if Your Knees Can Handle it.”
“Step Up Revolution,” 99 minutes, is Rated PG-13 and opens in theaters today.
Milonga life | Zhukovskie news
Home Culture Milonga life
How long can a person dance without stopping? Hour? Two? Three? It all depends on what kind of dance he is dancing. Today, for example, is Wednesday. And on Wednesdays, as everyone already knows, tango is danced in our city. Argentine tango. Many people think that tango is an energetic, sharp dance that requires good physical preparation of both the partner and the partner. For the stage - of course, but for the social dance floor, it is absolutely not necessary to have a split stretch and be able to do a hundred push-ups on your fists. nine0005
In the 1930s dance marathons lasting days and even weeks were incredibly popular in America. They danced until the last couple on the dance floor, that is, until all the other participants fell and were carried away on a stretcher over the fences. The last couple received a huge monetary reward. It was because of him that people were ready to die on the dance floor in the literal sense of this metaphor. Remember Sydney Pollack's movie, "They Shoot Down Horses, Don't They?"? The heroes of the film dance for money, dance until they faint, until they lose their pulse. Interestingly, in most marathons, nothing more than tango was danced. The fact is that the foxtrots and waltzes fashionable at that time were much more dynamic than the languid viscous tango, so tango has always been the basis of the music of the most killer marathons. And since the tango is just steps to the music (as the Argentines themselves define it), this dance is incredibly energy efficient. Couples do not run around the dance floor, but seem to float on it, gently hugging each other. One tanda (a block of four tangos) lasts an average of twelve minutes. During the milonga, the average partner dances twelve to fifteen tandas quite calmly, without feeling tired and completely at his own pleasure. And this is about three hours of continuous dancing. In short, driven horses are not shot in tango, or rather, they do not exist at all. Although from the side it may seem...
It is still very light in the spacious pub with large windows overlooking the main Zhukovskaya street. Smells like lilac. She is covered in raindrops, freshly plucked, and stands in a large beer mug on the bar counter. It is intended for today's birthday girl Tonya - she was lucky to be born in a riot of lilacs! For the third hour, Tonya has been dancing without sitting down. As soon as the music subsides and the partner leads the girl to her table, a new partner appears on their way and, smiling, holds out his hand for the next dance. Tonya lost count: the first was Grisha, then Volodya, Lyoshka, Denis, Hera, Kostya, another Lyoshka and Yura. Then Sergey and Dima. And also Sergey Sergeevich, Sasha and Artyom. And another unfamiliar guy, it is not clear where he came from, probably a summer resident (in Zhukovsky, Tonya knew everyone who danced the tango). And also a respectable man in a gray jacket and glasses (a business trip, not otherwise). And then, it seems, Lyoshka again, and Kostya, and Sasha. Tonya blushed, rubbed her heel and rubbed her forehead against someone's dishonestly shaved chin. She knew that the limit of her abilities was coming, but she could no longer stop - the music beat in her and rushed about, not allowing her to sit down. Taking a sip of water from a tall glass as she went, she danced and danced. And then there was a congratulatory “birthday dance”, and Tonya once again danced her favorite tango with everyone in turn and received a bouquet of daisies from tango friends. And so, when her strength was already completely running out, Kumparsita began to play - a tango heralding the end of the milonga, Tonya collapsed on the sofa. “Ton, let’s go, the last one!” - Kostya held out his hand, offering to dance. Tonya smiled, stood up, hugged her beloved partner and courageously danced the farewell tango to the last chord. Returning home, she forced herself to shove flowers into vases, collapsed on the bed and instantly fell asleep. And she dreamed of a milonga, and again she danced with Kostya, Grisha, Lyosha, Sasha, Serezha and everyone, everyone, everyone, her favorite dance. nine0005
Julia Gurevich, head of the Argentine tango studio in Zhukovsky
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"I'm interested in finding a passion for dancing"
“I'm interested in finding a passion for dancing”
This week's Territoria festival featured a promenade performance by Swiss choreographer Nicole Sailer. Spectators walked around the center of Moscow, looking into the windows of buildings in order to see people dancing there.
We met with Nicole and talked about what the concept of "choreographer" means to her, why she likes to work with non-professional dancers, and what struck her in Moscow.
Interviewed by Vita Khlopova
The House Dances Promenade was created in 2008 in Lausanne when Nicole Siler invited several non-professional performers involved in various types of dance to dance in the windows of ordinary apartments. Spectators, armed with binoculars, a map and a player, looked for the desired apartment according to the plan, stood in front, turned on a given music track and watched the performers. A rare dance performance where you have to do physical activity yourself, winding kilometers around the city. nine0059 Since then, the performance has been shown in many countries, and finally reached Moscow. Although site-specific works are already familiar to us, in dance this is one of the first experiences in this format. We talked with Nicole about how the work with Russian dancers went.
- The performance "House Dances" was created 10 years ago, in 2008, in Lausanne. Tell me, how did you come up with this idea to swap performers and spectators, forcing the latter to walk around the city, looking for unfamiliar dances in the windows? nine0016
- Then I wanted to work more in the documentary direction, so to speak. I didn’t want to make a performance based on history, but it was more interesting to talk about the dancers themselves. Who are they, what is dance for them, where did their passion for movement come from. This is the first. And then I still wanted to leave the theater, study other forms, and, probably, even leave this circle of modern professional dance. For example, the world of salsa dance is a separate huge dance world, but it does not have any points of contact with the world of modern dance. And I was interested to know about him. nine0005
— In 2008, was such a genre of dance, let's call it site-specific, already popular in Europe?
— Yes, even then it was very fashionable, although it seems that everything was just beginning.
Photo — Arya Dil
— You decided not to hire professional performers for this production. Tell me why it was important to you?
- This question is often asked, but how is it, professionals dance better. But to be honest, I'm not sure that they are that much better. In fact, this moment is very interesting to me: the love that I have in my heart for dance, it changes all the time. It's like in a relationship: at first we are in love, and this gives us wings, but then this feeling transforms into something else. It doesn’t get worse, it’s just that passion can leave this love, leaving devotion instead, for example. When I was 16 years old, I went to a nightclub and could dance all night, and it was love, for sure. Look, even now I get goosebumps when I remember this (laughs). And with professionals, everything is different. They dance well, I don’t argue, but it’s more interesting for me to find this passion for dancing among those for whom this is not a profession. nine0005
— What requirements did you have at the casting?
- I was looking for people of all dance styles and all ages. By the way, here in Moscow, I received more than 200 applications. I have never had such a large number of applicants.
— How many people usually applied?
- About 20-30, no more.
- We love dancing in Russia, what can I say :) But these applications were all from amateurs, or did professionals also try to get on the project? nine0059
- There were a few professionals, but they quickly realized that this was an unpaid project.
— How was the casting in Russia?
- When I saw that the number of applications had exceeded one hundred, I realized that it was necessary to conduct a pre-casting, otherwise we simply would not have time to watch everyone physically. As a result, about a hundred people sent their videos, after watching which I invited about 40 people. Of these, I selected half for my project. Of course, watching 200 people live is impossible. nine0005
- What was the task for the video: dance whatever you want, as much as you want, be yourself?
- Yes, improvise, do whatever you want. But I still looked for different dance styles to make this work interesting to watch. For example, in Moscow, there is one flamenco dancer, and when she started dancing, it became clear that such a dance would look incredible in the general palette of directions.
- That is, in each city where this performance was held, there was a completely different set of participants in the style of dance? Weren't you looking for the same pattern? nine0059
— No, the task was just to find different stories.
— How did the rehearsals go?
- I arrived about two weeks before the premiere. At first there was a casting for three days, it was also necessary to visit the locations for the dance, which took a lot of time. As for rehearsals: I had to follow how the work was going in each window. We have six of them in total, and each shows a completely different style: flamenco, butoh, balboa, zouk, improvisation, hip-hop, and even folk dances. It turns out a very bright palette of dances. nine0005
- But you, as a choreographer, helped them with the text of the dance?
- No, I gave them freedom. I didn't put anything. I could, of course, help them in creating situations in which they could hold out for an hour and a half. Because, for example, it is very difficult for a hip-hop dancer to dance for so long without stopping. Or, for example, a couple dancing a balboa dance - this is a very physical dance, very difficult. How to find time for small pauses, how not to get bored during this dance. But, it’s true, most people said: “And I never get tired while dancing.” nine0005
— So they are dancing continuously, not knowing that at that very moment someone is looking at them?
- No, of course they don't know if anyone is looking at them at the moment or not. You have to dance as if you were dancing at home, for your own pleasure.
- When we watch them from the street, we turn on the player with certain music. Do artists also listen to the same track for an hour and a half?
- No, they can dance without music. In fact, they really really do what they want. nine0005
- Usually there is a moment in the theater when the viewer is given the opportunity to see the performer, thank him with applause, give flowers, and so on. It turns out that here you are depriving us of such a chance?
- Well, not really: the promenade is only the first part of the performance, after which there are two more parts. When everyone returns back to the exit point, they watch a documentary about the making of this work in 2008. This film is trying to tell just about the passion for dance that we talked about recently. And realizing that in the film and in our project there are still different dancers, I added the third part - a video installation with interviews of Russian participants. nine0005
— In your works you often combine dance and new technologies. Tell us why you are interested in working at the junction of these two worlds?
- I am attracted to movement and picture. And that's where they are. When I watch a movie, there is also movement and a picture in it. The dance on the stage is a picture. It is not so much the content or story, but the feeling and image.
“Of course dance can tell stories, but that's secondary. First there must be an image.
- For you, the beauty of movement is more important than a story?
- I think so. I'm more interested in working in a conceptual manner. Of course, I always have content, but I don't tell a story. More precisely, even like this: I am not telling a story, but stories. I don't want to take on plots, I want the dancers to talk about their own.
— What and who inspires you in this world of new technologies and dance? Well, for example, maybe Merce Cunningham or Chunky Move?
- I don't think there is anyone in particular who inspires me. I love going to museums, I love visual arts. I am inspired by the image. My work does not converge only to the use of new technologies. You mentioned Cunningham, well, of course, he had a program with which he created works. nine0059 But I have productions where there are no new technologies, but only dance. And what I need is to change the way I work. For example, my latest work, we created a sound promenade with a specially created program on a smartphone. And there was no fixed time, as, for example, here, where the audience still had to appear by a certain hour. And there you could watch the work whenever you wanted. It inspires me to test new features in order to showcase my ideas in a different way. nine0005
- Expanding the boundaries of dance in your work, did you not think that the name "choreographer" might no longer be particularly applicable to what you do? After all, this is much more than a dance.
- I think it depends on what we mean by the word "choreographer" and by choreography. In this production, I do not choreograph, but ask them to improvise. It seems to me that everything I do is connected with the body. But the "body" is not only a dancing body, because every ordinary everyday gesture can be staged. For example, I made an installation in the Solyanka Gallery, let's call it a "video dance", but there is no picture. There is only text and sound. Description of the dance. For me, the dance that you imagine in your head is also choreographed. Therefore, everything I do is very "choreographic", even if it is not always "dance". Or even if sometimes there are no performers. In the theatre, for example, the body and gesture are not always at the center of the performance, but for me this is the most important thing.