DANCE: Pioneering B-Girl Ana ‘Rokafella’ Garcia Makes Her Mark on ‘MAKERS’
WOMEN IN HIP HOP: ANA ‘ROKAFELLA’ GARCIA (NEW YORK)
Last summer, I had the honor of featuring Ana ‘Rokafella’ Garcia on my blog, and I’m happy to say she continues to uplift Hip Hop culture and share an empowering message for us all. As a trailblazer in modern dance, her unique experience joins a collection of inspiring women’s stories now airing on MAKERS, the historic PBS and AOL video initiative founded by Emmy-Award winner Dyllan McGee.
Garcia, who was raised in East Harlem, proudly reflects on growing up Puerto Rican and how she made her presence known in the male-dominated world of B-boying at the time. “Growing up, Hip Hop was just emerging, so it was just all around me, and I felt like I was absorbing it,” she tells MAKERS. Her mastery and moves gained respect among crews and eventually went beyond the streets of New York to a global audience. These days, rather than spending most of the time ‘battling,’ Garcia devotes her energy to family and mentoring others via her non-profit arts organization, Full Circle Productions, with legendary breaker and husband Kwikstep.
“It’s very limiting to see a woman always in a thong shaking her butt, that’s just one percentage of what the women in Hip Hop are doing,” Garcia says in the MAKERS video. “I’m letting people know, you can be a woman and be a badass breaker. When you see me, you’re seeing excellence and that men don’t have a hold on the word ‘excellence’.”
Continuing: “If I’m just keeping it to myself it doesn’t help anyone and it doesn’t push forward the vision that we’re trying for people to see and understand: that Hip Hop is a culture, it’s expression, it’s freedom and it’s positive.”
Full Circle Productions: http://fullcirclesoul.com/
Huffington Post article (Latino Voices): http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/01/ana-rokafella-garcia-makers-interview-video_n_3691469.html