ROOTED: Special Edition Featured Artists

Part of From the Ground Up: A Celebration of Hip Hop Culture

This celebration of the foundations of Hip Hop, created and curated by Maia Maiden, exhibits the skills and techniques of the finest choreographers in the Twin Cities. ROOTED: Special Edition, an extension of the award-winning ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening, is a high-energy performance where audience members can share space with Minnesota’s diverse Hip Hop community.

ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening is a celebration of the foundations of Hip Hop—the first and only choreographers’ evening focused exclusively on dance under the Hip Hop umbrella and its roots. Like kinesthetic technicians, the finest Hip Hop artists in Minnesota will illuminate the stage, featuring old-school favorites, up-and-coming talent, and women. ROOTED, the only show of its kind embracing the history of Hip Hop culture, has sold out every year since its debut in 2009. #DoItForHipHop

A+ Alan Mure, aka A+, is an experienced dancer, performer, and two-time Sage Award Nominee from the Twin Cities. Dancing for over 15 years, Alan has been sculpting his craft in multiple areas, as well as others he’s taken under his wing. He is the leader of Immortal Dance Team and head Choreographer for LegacyLive Entertainment. He is also a creative team member and choreographer for SHAPESHIFT, and choreographer for recording artists Anjanie and RajiTheOne.

ABIDE David Pellinen, aka Abide, started dancing in 1998. He has shared dance in urban communities worldwide, including Kampala, Tokyo, Nairobi, Amsterdam, Montego Bay, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa, Houston, Denver, Orlando, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and throughout his homeland of Minnesota. He has performed with KRS One, Naughty By Nature, Vanilla Ice, DJ Premier, Agape, Ryan Daniel, Xross, Tru Serva, Mello-D, Maria Isa, Guante, Big Cats!, Diamond D., DJ Los Boogie, NBA and WNBA games in Minnesota 2009-2014, and Super Bowl LII Halftime Show with Justin Timberlake. Abide co-founded Dance Orchestra, New Heist Dance Crew, The Pack, and 612 Crew.

ALL DAY, established in 2012, is a funkstyles dance crew based in the Twin Cities. Over the years, they have performed locally in several events and venues, as well as traveled nationally to compete in street dance competitions (battles/jams). They also teach classes and organize events that give other dancers opportunities to showcase and cultivate their artistry. As a crew, they strive to preserve funkstyles dance and its culture by teaching and representing its rooted origins. They also aim to increase the presence and awareness of funkstyles dance and culture in their community.

ATLANTIS13 stems from a reimagination of the middle passage, one where black bodies who tasted the ocean did not drown but, rather, created a world for themselves underneath the surface; a world free of brokenness, malice, and pain. Through this work, choreographers Peace and AJ actively challenge the upheld fallacies of a whitewashed history by earnestly exploring and conjuring the truth held in the cellular memory of black folks from around the globe. Joining Peace and AJ onstage will be Destiny Anderson, Jessika Akpaka, Ololade Gbadamosi-Alashe, David Stalter Jr., Gabrielle Abrams, Tumelo Khupe, Ryan-Olivia McCoy, Averie Mitchell-Brown, Nate Kay, and Desaré Cox. All of these artists have embedded their personal stories, histories, and relationships to blackness into Atlantis13 and what you see on stage is the direct result of their emotional and physical labor­­­—do not take it lightly.

AZARIA EVANS is a 19-year-old B-girl. B-girling since the age of 15, Evans found her start through a program offered at her high school.  Since then, dance has changed her life for the better and has traveled all over the United States and South America for breaking.

BZYCHLN 400-year time lapse is a collection of deaths of black ancestors from the last 400 years; deaths that have shaped our history to those that may be often overlooked, moving from the time we were taken from the land to our current time. Choreographer: Colin Edwards, aka bzychln. Dancers: Andy Mor, Cecil Neal, Canaan Mattson, Ian Marquez, Maurice Cosin-Jackson, Traejon Hodges, Waswa Kalema, Nebiy Tesfaldet, Jahi Henry, Jacques Walker, Jonathan van Arneman, Peace Madimutsa and Daniel Adu-Gyamfi.

CARNAGE THE EXECUTIONER has spent over 25 years making music, performing, touring the world, and educating both youth and adults from various socio-economic backgrounds. He possesses a knack for producing intense, thought-provoking music and establishing strong, healthy relationships. His specialties include teaching human beat boxing and songwriting, in addition to fostering personal and artistic growth. Carnage takes pride in helping all people find the voices they might not identify with just yet. He stands firm in his support and practice of positive self-expression and nurturing leadership skill building, while speaking in favor of social justice. His minimal-rest work ethic has helped him build an impressive artist resume that extends all the way to Europe and Asia.

David Stalter Jr. AKA The CrownDAVID STALTER JR. AKA THE CROWN is a 22 year old artist, born and raised in Minnesota. Stalter’s movements range in many different forms of street dances and cultures; practicing the philosophy of mindfulness to embody music and become one with it to create art. He believes dance is the creation of a painting where the brush is the body and the paint is the soul.

DEL SOUL Daniel Rosas, aka Del Soul, has been dancing all his life in the social dance scene. He is classically trained and certified in ballroom/social dances as a professional dancer and teacher, and has been able to compete and perform. At a young age he found breaking and immediately fell in love with the art form. Learning, training, and traveling with Minnesota’s finest, Del Soul is a full-time, international, breaking instructor spreading peace, love, unity, and having fun to youth alongside his crews, Deadpool and Social Club.

DesdamonaDESDAMONA is an international, award-winning spoken word and Hip Hop artist who has been performing, teaching, and producing work for over 20 years. She has opened for Wyclef Jean, GURU, Bahamadia, Sly and Robbie, and Saul Williams. Desdamona has worked in over 200 schools in the Midwest. She has also visited schools in France, conducting workshops and performances and has been featured on a number of French releases. In 2014, Des was featured in a national Back to School ad campaign for Kmart and in 2016, Desdamona released her 4th solo release, No Man’s Land, featuring a cast of women from the Twin Cities. Currently, Desdamona is working on a t-shirt line inspired by her music.

DJ DIGIE Roosevelt Mansfield, aka DJ Digie, is the owner of DigieMade LLC and has been a part of the Twin Cities Hip Hop music scene since the early ‘90s, DJing since 2005. He is an established Hip Hop artist, performer, producer, and photographer. DJ Digie’s countless projects and performances include producing 13 out of 15 tracks on his 2009 sophomore project Priorities, musically producing/sound-scaping Hip Hop Hopes: What’s Going On  in collaboration with the Theater and Dance departments at Macalester College, and performing at Super Bowl LII Halftime Show. Former 90-Now radio host of Saint Paul based WEQY 104.7, Mansfield produced five out of eight tracks on his album Deconstruction, released July 2019.

EPITOME-NO QUESTION Minnesota native Aneka McMullen, aka Starlashay, is a dancer, choreographer, ENQ Artistic Director, and old skool Hip Hop dance enthusiast. Starlashay has appeared in the award-winning productions of Lost Voices in jazz: Choreographers of the Minnesota Jazz Dance Company and ROOTED. She also appeared in the ground breaking Minneapolis festival, B Girl Be. Starlashay has performed with Threads Dance Project, C Dance Company in India, Women in Motion, Black Pearl, Nubia, and Brkfst Dance Company. Currently, she shares Afro-modern based movement with observers in the dance company BLAQ and performs old skool Hip Hop with Epitome-No Question, which she co-founded in 2007. Epitome-No Question celebrates the community conscious roots of Hip Hop culture. ENQ represents old skool because it best reflects the West African roots of the genre. Hip Hop with the “Hop” in it! As a dedicated educator, Starlashay also shares her love and wealth of knowledge in old skool Hip Hop dance with students through the Ordway residency programs as well as the MSAB artist roster.

FAIR WARNING McKnight Fellow Herb Johnson III, aka Fair Warning, aka J.Dot Tight Eyez, graduated from Perpich Center for the Performing Arts in 2010 and studied for three years at Lundstrum Center for Arts. Herb is now at the University of Minnesota as an Urban and street dance instructor. He currently choreographs and performs solo and in groups 612 Crew, Deadpool, and MIXTAPE at Cowles Center. His professional work includes, Momentum New Dance Works, iLuminate from America’s Got Talent, G-Easy Halftime Show 2018, and Super Bowl LII Halftime Show 2018 with Justin Timberlake.

GIRL KAUTION Mia Johnson began formal dance training at TU Dance Center and attended Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists. Training includes modern, ballet, jazz, Hip Hop, and West African. She is currently working towards a B.F.A. in Dance at the University of Minnesota. Mia is a member of collectives S.H.E. and Legacy: A Tribute to the King of Pop, and participates in various other projects and productions, including work with Alan Mure aka A+. She trains as Girl Kaution in krump under Herb Johnson III. She continues traveling to classes, battles, and events to further invest in urban and street dance styles.

GODSENT Joseph James, aka GodSent, started dancing in 2004 doing ballet, tap, and jazz. GodSent later learned a bit of ballroom before finding Hip Hop, where he started with breakdancing before moving in to the funkstyles scene around 2008. GodSent teaches funkstyles and Hip Hop at House of Dance Twin Cites and Moore Than Dance Studios. He is a part of the crew Y.M.L and is an all-styles dancer, with an emphasis on locking.

J. Dot MosiJ. DOT MOSI Traejon Hodges, aka Vortex, aka J. Dot Mosi, has been dancing for six years and krumping for about a year and a half. In 2017, Robert King aka Big Mosi brought him into his fam as Abstract Mosi. He took a step back for the majority of 2018 to study krumping and learn the culture before diving into it, and now krump is more than a dance style to him and something he deeply cares for.

KID KAUTION Raphael (Ray) Dow has trained for six years in ballet, modern (Horton style), and West African at TU Dance Center. He’s been perfecting his craft in multiple styles of freestyle Hip Hop and choreography for three years. In Minnesota’s Hip Hop scene, he is a part of all-styles crew Deadpool, and krump fam named Kaution. He was nominated for a Sage Award in 2016, performing in A+ ensemble for their performance in ROOTED. Ray is 2018 graduate of SPCPA, a high school in Saint Paul. Ray was also a part of The Wiz, produced by Penumbra and the Children’s Theatre Company.

LADY KAUTION Jaime Ramberg, aka Lady Kaution, has been dancing since 1989, is classically trained in ballet, pointe, tap, lyrical, and jazz, and has 16 years of teaching experience. She moved to Minnesota in 2009, and became involved with the choreography/performance scene, then the freestyle/battle scene. Within urban styles of movement, she began learning fundamentals of house dance and later redirected her focus to krump. She is now four years in and has become a member of the international, female, krump crew Wonder Women and holds the rank of Lady Kaution in her Kaution fam. Jaime continues to train, perform, and battle both in and out of the state and country with Hopes to also help build and unite the female community in Minnesota.

LADY MOSI Nadia Maliscke, aka Lady Mosi/Lady Encore, has been training in krump for over three years under her big homies Robert King, aka Mosi, and Monique Benson, aka Encore. She is an active member of krump crew Wonder Woman, a worldwide, all-female, krump movement founded by Monique Benson to empower women through dance. What Nadia loves more than dancing is being a mentor to kids, working with many underserved youth in North Minneapolis.

MOSI Robert King, aka Mosi, is a pioneer in the Minnesota krump movement. He started dancing 12 years ago and his passion for krump has taken him to new heights. He founded one of the leading krump families in Minnesota, MXK, and has competed on a national scale. His drive for krump continues to push himself and his krump fam to be greater people physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Nate CrashNATE CRASH Nate Maliscke started breaking in 2012, and since then has taken his passion around the globe. Nate has competed in some of the largest breaking events such as Outbreak Europe, Silverback Open Championships, and Freestyle Session. He has traveled and performed in six different countries with companies such as SHAPESHIFT, Break Free Ministries, and IMPACT Spain, doing anything from large-scale stadium events to small charity events. Nate has performed at The Lincoln Center, Cowles Center for Performing Arts, and The Barbara Barker Center for Dance. Today Nate is actively pursuing his passion of spreading light to others through his gift of dance.

O Ololade Gbadamosi, aka O, aka Gambit, is a Minnesota native who specializes in the style of dance called krump. O is mostly self-taught in this style and has traveled outside of Minnesota to participate in battles and take classes from other proven krumpers, including founders Ceasare Willis, aka Tight Eyez, and Jo’Artis Ratti aka, Mijo.  He has been a big supporter of Minnesota Hip Hop and leader in the krump community by teaching, hosting events such as The Uprizing, and being involved in Hip Hop based performances such as I’m From: Vol. 1, Mixtape, Mixtape Side B, Mixtape III, and ROOTED.

QUEEN GAMBIT Tumelo Khupe, aka UrbanMelo, aka Queen Gambit, is 23 years old. Originally from Botswana, Africa, she is a part of Urban Empire Dance Crew.  She has been studying and dancing in the Twin Cities for about three years. Currently obtaining a Bachelor of Art in Music Theater with a dance minor from Macalester College, her personal dance style is influenced by animation, modern, and Afro house. She recently has been taking krump seriously and Hopes to further her training in the style as her connection to the dance and culture deepens.

SOULJA O Raised in the south suburban areas of Minnesota, Averie Mitchell-Brown, aka Soulja O, always found ways to entertain herself through art. After first dancing on stage at the age of 11, she strives to make any aspect of dance her life, taking classes in ballroom, West African, breaking, jazz, and contemporary. She has worked with artists such as Kenna Cottman of Voice of Culture Drum and Dance, Aneka McMullen of Epitome-No Question, B-boy J-Sun, Leah Nelson, and Maia Maiden, among others. Mitchell-Brown is a University of Minnesota – Twin Cities graduate, aspiring to touch as many lives as possible with her love, light, and talent. She wants to travel the world learning about cultures, and teach cultural awareness and empowerment through arts in the black community.

SQUAD 7 KINGDOM is a Hip Hop/all-style battle crew whose purpose is to grow as a team and compete on a global scale. Founded in 2013, Squad 7 Kingdom has earned a reputation of being one of the top all-style crews in the Midwest, having competed nationally, as well as part of large scale events such as PULSE Twin Cities, Day of Dignity, and other community outreach events. Today, the crew consists of 11 members and is continually pushing to better themselves as individuals and as a unit.

STAIN Edward Nehemiah Lucas, aka Stain, aka Fission, was born and raised in North Minneapolis; as he moved from place to place, growing up was not easy. Lucas started dancing four years ago, focusing on animation, Hip Hop, and funkstyles, then switching to krump two years ago. Since then he has performed at such places as the Mall of America, the Ordway, Cowles Center, and the University of Minnesota. He was a featured choreographer in Listen  (2018) and Sistah Solo|Being Brothas  (2019).

TISH JONES is the founder and executive director of TruArtSpeaks, a poet, performer, educator, and organizer from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She has performed at CBGB, Kaplan Theater, The Walker Art Center, Intermedia Arts, The Cedar Cultural Center, and more. Her work can be found in the Minnesota Humanities Center’s anthology entitled Blues Vision: African American Writing from Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2015), the 2011 and 2013 Saint Paul Almanac, and the Loft Literary Center’s Nation of Immigrants audio CD. One of Springboard for the Arts’ 20/20 Artist Fellows and graduate fellow of the inaugural Intercultural Leadership Institute, Jones has always had a passion for bridging arts & culture, civic engagement, and youth development. Senior Field Building Strategist for Youth Speaks and co-director of Brave New Voices, her work explores the ways in which art can function as a tool for social transformation, liberation, and education. For more on her personal praxis in this arena, see Jones’ TEDxMinneapolis Talk on Spoken Word as a Radical Practice of Freedom.

VASTHY ANANG is a young, emerging artist in Minneapolis and entering her freshman year at the University of Minnesota. Born in Cameroon, she began showcasing her talents by partaking in dance recitals and dramas at church and school. She continued to grow artistically when she came to the United States, making an impression within the Minnesota dance community during her first dance battle in 2015 at Patrick Henry High School. After performing with B-Boy J-Sun in ROOTED in 2016, Maia Maiden invited her to participate in the Pantsula piece of ROOTED 2018. She also worked with Al-Tawam in Mixtape Side A and Mixtape Side B.

VIRGO Creator of Kasai Dansu Crew, Cecil Neal, aka Virgo, is a self-taught, talented, award-winning Hip Hop dancer and choreographer. His numerous achievements include Science Museum Choreographer – Annual Youth Science Day, Asian Media Access Battle Live Winner (2019), performer with the Minnesota Orchestra (2019), 4th annual House of Dance Twin Cities Hip Hop Award Winner (2018), choreographer/performer in ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening (2014-2018), World of Dance Top 25 Head Bangerz Brawl all-styles Battle Chicago, and SteppingStone Theatre’s talent show winner (2012).

Maia Maiden Productions