If you’ve attended VYB shows or classes in the last few years, chances are you’ve met Justin. He’s our Project Director working hard to bring you shows like The Kanvas Showcase, bringing Prelude South to our local community, and organizing VYB collaborations and master classes. Originally from Atlanta, Justin came from a music background and has danced and trained with notable choreography instructors, and won scholarships from Monsters of HipHop to connect with industry dancers in Los Angeles. Most recently, he was invited to the judging panel for the premiere of World of Dance Florida. For our first In Focus spotlight, we’re proud to feature one of our very own.
In Focus: Justin Noh
You were recently on the judging panel for the premiere of WOD Florida. What’s it like to see your local dance community be recognized by industry icons?
“It’s been a long time coming. One of the main goals of VYB and myself has always been to bring together the dance community and really stand strong together. Having the chance to travel and witness first hand the communities in LA and NY, I know that we can be recognized right next to them one day as well. It’s not the lack of talent at all, but just the lack of foundation of the community. But everyone has to start somewhere and I’m happy to see how it has progressed especially recently. The world community is starting to notice that we exist.”
Do you think there’s a style or energy of choreography that is distinct and unique to Florida?
“I believe so. I feel that Florida has always had a sense of raw energy to dance which would explain why freestyle is so big here. If you look back to about 6-7 years ago, choreography was not big at all in Florida. Now thanks to how big dance has blown up via the internet and tv shows, you see this huge interest that has grown especially with choreography. I don’t think we can quite put a label on the style of choreography that is distinctly Florida yet people continue to evolve, but it’ll happen.”
Envision the direction of Florida’s dance culture in the next five years. Where do you see it headed?
“Like I touched upon earlier, I think at its current rate, Florida is really going to blow up. As long as the community sticks together and supports each other, there really is no stopping the growth. Who knows, maybe we’ll be THE place where people from all over the world comes to train. It could definitely happen.”
There’s so much talent of all ages and diversities across the stage. What’s your advice for those who are thinking about showcasing and competing for the first time?
“Honestly, it’s amazing seeing the talent on stage. I think the biggest piece of advice is to believe in yourself. I know it sounds corny, but it’s something I’ve had to deal with in the past as well. We get caught up in thinking that our choreography is not good enough or “cool” looking that we forget the reason of why we’re dancing in the first place. I won’t be naïve enough to think that there aren’t people who are just doing it because it’s the “IN” thing to do now, but for the people who are really about the dance…believe in yourself and what you want to portray. That’s what an artist is all about. As an dancer, we may not necessarily be able to express through words, but our movements will be loud enough for anyone to understand.”
I heard you’re making a comeback to the stage. What keeps you perpetually motived and inspired?
“It’s a comeback in general. I’ve been caught up with my normal job and running things behind the scenes with VYB that I’ve been lost and out of what it is I love to do. So yes, I’ve made a commitment and pledge to myself to make a comeback to dance in general. That includes the classroom, stage, and everything else in between. It’s that comeback season. Watch out!”