Episode 80 – Kioa Delos Reyes, Lost Tribe Dance
Talent Will Take A Break
Having been the hip hop instructor at dance studios from Shelley to Rexburg, hip hop is in Kioa's blood. He loved bringing this art form to East Idaho and seeing what it could do for kids, but he never thought that having his own studio would be the outcome.
Kioa had started other businesses prior to Lost Tribe Dance but until his wife brought this idea to him he didn't see the vision. “I went to college and graduated in communications,” Kioa said. He hadn't seen the potential of a studio making enough money to support a family and so the fear prevented him from moving forward.
Dancing traditional Polynesian dances in his home state of Hawaii was a part of Kioa's growing up but hip hop didn't become part of his life until after he graduated from high school. “My dance career didn't start until I took my first hip hop workshop. I was placed on a journey where, within a year, I went from learning how to dance hip hop to performing in front of America's best dance crew on tour in front of 40, 50 thousand people,” Kioa said.
“When it comes to our students the biggest thing is we want to make sure that they become better people because we know that in the future they might not be a professional dancer but they are going to be members of our community,” Kioa said about what dance teaches his students. Kioa said they also teach them about how to take instruction and learn to work in a team and be creative.
Kioa feels that one of the most important aspects of hip hop is the ability to freestyle and feel creative so his students get to tap into that side of them and gain confidence in their own abilities. Catcalling and applause are a part of every dance and the audience provides energy to the dancers. “The cool thing about hip hop is there's no stereotype, you don't have to be skinny, you don't have to be tall, you don't have to be a certain gender or ethnicity, it's for everyone,” Kioa explained.
Lost Tribe Dance has 5 instructors and they are gender-specific to the students. Kioa feels this adds to the student's experience. In order to introduce a variety of styles, there are workshops with outside choreographers that are provided from time to time.
COVID-19 has had an impact on the studio and they closed their doors for 1.5 months. In order to adapt they decided to go virtual but they had never had that experience before. They filmed multiple YouTube videos for their students. They opened the studio back up on May 1st and ultimately had their year-end show. “All we lost was three students in that process. A big part of that was our parents,” Kioa said. “I know a lot of different studios that did go under, that had to close down,” said Kioa. He related that it was a scary moment but ended up better than they had hoped.
When giving advice to anyone thinking of self-employment Kioa advises, “Grind through. Hustle, you've got to hustle, if you don't hustle it's not going to work out. Passion is awesome, and that's the drive, but you gotta hustle.” He looks for this same thing in his dancers and knows that talent will take a break but if you are willing to work hard you can be more successful than someone with natural talent.
The future of Lost Tribe Dance includes expansion and growth in the area. “Do this area well and get into Boise,” Kioa says. He hopes to do well in national competitions and put Idaho on the hip hop map.
Thank you to James at Servants Heart Entertainment for editing the show. Learn more about the great work he's doing at https://www.servantsheartent.com/.
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