Thursday, June 26, 2008

TruEssencia Dance & Wellness Bio

Deena ‘SnapShot’ Clemente
Wanda ‘WandeePop’ Candelario

New York Ricans, Dance collaborators, business partners and childhood best friends, Deena Aka: Snapshot & Wanda aka: WandeePop, share a passion and a history created during an historic era. Both were raised in the South Bronx (Longwood and Fox) on the same block during the early 80’s. The Bronx was where they developed their dance skills and strong dance culture in neighborhood house jams, outside park jams, block parties, talent showcases in the Police Athletic League (PAL Lynch Center) and local cable station programs, with their dance crew “Unique Force”. SnapShot & WandeePop learned about discipline and focus for their craft through daily practice sessions at the PAL Lynch Center and battles with other neighborhood dance crews that posed a challenge. They were a strong force to be reckoned with. But it was not until years later they realized how important those days on Fox street really were. Deena and Wanda began their journey on the streets to discover what is known today as Hip Hop. Today you can find them taking their street knowledge and history into the studio teaching Organic NYC style Hip Hop.

One major pivotal career point was the help, teachings and encouragement from SnapShot’s brother Steve ‘Mr. Wiggles’ Clemente, and honorary brother Jorge ‘Popmaster Fabel’ Pabon that put them on the path to study Funk-Styles (Popping, Locking) and B-Girl Skills (Breaking & Rocking) in combination with their hip hop party dancing.

Their Second inspirational pivotal career point was meeting and working with Robin Dunn (EDEntertainment/Rhythm Technicians) on various stage productions. It was with Robin they learned about hard work, committing to one’s spirit, energy, focus, dedication and discipline to the art of dance in more depth then they ever imagined. Not to mention putting counts to choreography and learning how to break down the moves in a class setting.

Deena `Snapshot' Clemente was born the youngest of seven and her family has always been a source of inspiration behind her education and career. After obtaining her BA in Communications she worked for MTV Networks as a Pre/Post Production Coordinator. During this time Snapshot continued to build her resume in dance education, auditions and projects. During her undergrad years at CMSV (College of Mount Saint Vincent) she and WandeePop were founding members of the very first dance squad on campus. Presently that squad, Flava, is now an official club and still going strong. They remained the teachers and choreographers of the squad from 1991 until 1999. SnapShot was also given the best opportunity to tour with `Jam on the Groove' (the very first and best hip hop theater show out of NYC) with GhettOriginal Dance Productions. She had her first choreographers’ credit for Aaliyah’s (RIP) ‘Got To Give it Up’ and II the Extreme’s ‘Got Me Going’ featuring Cormega from WuTanng Clan & Nas shot in NYC. Other credits include Japanese television show with popular Japanese recording artist, 'MAX' in NYC and an Oxygen Networks commercial. Snapshot is currently established as a Certified Personal Trainer and Wellness Coach in the NYC/NJ area. You can also catch her competing on stage for fitness and figure competitions.

Wanda “WandeePop” Candelario remembers her sister Ceci as being very instrumental in her decision process to pursuit the arts; while continuing her education in Business Management. She has a long line of credits that range from films Hav Plenty, Box Marley, to music videos, commercials and industrial video for House Film which she is the feature dancer.

Even as teachers of their own open hip-hop party dances and funk-styles’ class Snap, PoP & Lock, which they teach at the Ailey Extension, they are still disciplined students of technique and performance. One of their more recent performances was in the New Victory Theater ‘Legends of Hip Hop’ with Rennie Harris. They also collaborate with four other inspiring B-Girls (HoneyRockWell, Miss Twist, Pauline & Seoulsonyk) on a company called TruEssencia (TEC). Representing the true essence of women in Hip-Hop they perform and work on projects ranging from the Rock Steady Anniversaries to opening up for La Kalle Block Party in Madison Square Garden, where WandeePop was given creative rights and you can find them in the book ‘We B-Girls' written by Martha Cooper. Since then they have opportunities with the most elite teachers, choreographers, dancers and mentors in today’s industry.

TEC is also affiliated with The International Hip Hop Speakers Bureau created by Saidah Brown, where they are producing workshops educating through Hip Hop for Health. The HH4H Workshops consist of Health and Wellness education combined with hip hop choreography, strength training, cardio combos, flexibility drills and nutritional tips.


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