Born to dance
St. Albert teen finds artistic voice through street dance
By: Anna Borowiecki
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
Josh Beauchamp Q&A:
What Canadian city would you choose to live in?
"Vancouver. They have lots of good dancers and it's an awesome place."
If you won a million dollars what would be the first thing you'd do?
"I would say 'why' and then I'd go buy something – a lock for my bedroom door."
If you could choose celebrity parents, who would you choose?
"Robert Downey Jr. and Beyoncé."
If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?
"Ian Eastwood. He's the biggest guy in dance right now."
Hip-hop was born in New York's mean back streets where tough guys avoided gang violence by breakdancing through disputes.
Now more 40 years old, hip-hop has gone mainstream and one clean-cut St. Albert teen is boogalooing his way to the top.
Josh Beauchamp, 13, has a wholesome appeal, strong technical prowess and a slick style that charms both audiences and competition judges.
In fact, Beauchamp was the grand prize recipient of K-Days Talent Search, a win that garnered him a $3,000 cheque.
“I really didn't think I'd win. I thought I'd make it to the finals but I didn't know after that,” says Beauchamp. “But when they called my name I was speechless and amazed.”
The Grade 8 V.J. Maloney student danced Funky Fresh and Dressed, a character solo. Using a series of rhythmic hip-hop moves, his character goes into a high-end store where a salesman entices him to try on shoes, a hat and glasses. As he tries on each item, the character frees himself to attempt different breakdance styles.
Beauchamp's mother believes he's more than a one-hit wonder. In watching his behaviour, she realizes her son was born to dance.
“When he was little and we were walking down the mall he'd be dancing. In his bedroom, he dances. When he brushes his teeth he dances. When we were waiting in line for a nice restaurant, he'd be dancing. He can't sit still,” chuckles Ursula Beauchamp.
The slim dancer leans back in his chair, smiles and nods in agreement. It's not as if dance overtakes everything. He skateboards, hangs out with friends and plays video games. Halo, Call of Duty and Skyrim are high on the list. And he's worked his muscles at taekwondo, baseball, soccer and gymnastics.
“I did find them fun. But dance meant something more to me. It kind of expresses what I feel. It's kind of like you can do whatever you want and it represents what I feel,” he notes.
Many adolescent males shy away from artistic expression through dance. However, Beauchamp embraced the cool explosive power of street dance while watching Benji Schwimmer, a two-time winner of Fox's long-running So You Think You Can Dance.
“He jump-started me. I thought he was really good. He could pull off any style and I wanted to be like him.”
Since then Beauchamp has studied at 3rd Street Beat and The Kore under the mentorship of Carlo Atienza and O.J. Damaso. Never tired of mastering the energetic moves, Beauchamp spends about 16 hours in the studio each week.
His technical dexterity was evident at the Hawaii World of Dance, when The Kore sent down a crew. They returned home with third place in a group dance.
“In the next couple of years, I'm going to bigger competitions and I want to keep on improving.”