On Sunday, June 10, Union Station will host its second Improv Floor Jam in the Historic Ticketing Hall. This free event will feature live performances and classes from 2 to 5 p.m.
“I love to improv and to create on the spot,” said Ricardo “Boogie Frantick” Rodriguez Jr., 36, who will hold a “popping” street dance workshop on Sunday.
“In L.A., we’ve always used the term ‘pop-locking’ which is a slang term for the style itself,” Frantick said. He described popping as a West Coast-dominant style that became popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
“Popping has a long history of ‘animation’ movement – where you illustrate sound through the movement of your body. It’s based off the foundation of funk music. A lot of styles incorporate it,” Frantick said.
People might recognize popping from Michael Jackson music videos, said Frantick. He added that Jackson was taught by Pop’n’Taco, one of ‘the OGS of popping,” from Long Beach.
“[Dancing] is a really helpful way to engage the community,” Frantick said. “It’s a way to engage people from different ways of life without violence.”
The program is presented by Metro Art and The Open Floor Society, a nonprofit dance organization working focused on empowering underserved youth through dance and art. Frantick said he is called “The Godfather” of The Floor and always recommends it to people who have never danced before.
“It’s like the kind of thing you would only see in the movies – you’ve got B-boys and B-girls spinning on their heads, salseros dancing in the corner, there’s musicians there playing live music…it’s really a beautiful thing,” Frantick said.
The event will also feature an Afro-Caribbean funk band lead by bass player, Oskar Cartaya, a percussion workshop with Latin Percussion and flamenco lessons from Manuel Gutierrez.
Union Station is located at 800 N Alameda Street, Los Angeles.