DANCE & DJ
Michelle Q grew up in a a small town called Porterville, the kind of town with two rival high schools, one main street, and luckily for her, at least one dance studio. In that studio, she was eleven when she learned how much she loved to dance, and it was influential in helping to battle her shyness.
"I was a big ball of nerves and worry before a performance, but once the music came on I turned into a different person - so I kept looking for that person over and over again, on any stage I could."
She studied Fly Girl routines, Janet Jackson and Paula Abdul videos, Soul Train to Star Search performances, and the list goes on. Dedication to practice, mixed with her studio training, gave her the confidence to choreograph and teach.
"Problem was, before I could make anything up, I needed the music, so I figured out how to use my parents 2-tape deck 'special' karaoke machine to mix songs. What made it special was that it had tempo controls for each tape deck. To make sure the beats matched from one song to the next, I used my piano metronome to gage how fast to play the next tape. The hard part was pressing the "record" button at JUST the right time, because there was a lag time to when I pressed it, to when it would actually record. I would spend hours on it til it sounded the way I wanted. Each transition with a beat consistent, or with a change that made sense. I was training to be a DJ and I didn't even know it."
When she went to College and found they didn't have a dance team - she found a way to start one.
"The College basketball games back home were a big deal, because the team was really good, and in our small town, it was the place to be. With a packed house, it was the biggest rush to perform during halftime. So my goal became to be a Laker Girl one day. I went to LA to try out, and didn't even make first cut. I took it so hard because I thought for sure I would make it. It was a rude awakening but I didn't want to give up. I figured if I couldn't be a Laker Girl, maybe I was meant to become something else."
In 2003 she joined a Hip-Hop Dance Crew called Undefined and performed at Max't Out Urban Dance Invitational showcasing renowned teams like Culture Shock and the now World Famous Jabawokees. Later that year, her dream to dance on TV came true, when she was chosen to compete as a Finalist on UPN's television series Dance 360.
"I was able to meet dancers from all walks of life and experience. I saw the difference between studio dancers and freestylers. To be a trained dancer usually meant being technical, structured, and looking like everyone else you were dancing with. Freestylers danced with the freedom and soul I felt . I wasn't embarassed to show things I took time to make up and perfect, but I noticed I held back a lot when it came to freestyling in front of people. I was battling my own brain and unsure of myself. I wanted to learn how to truly let go and let the music tell me what to do."
She spent the next year at freestyle practice centers like Youthaflame and Homeland and transitioned from a World filled with auditions, judges, and stages, for one of sessions, cyphers, and connecting communities.
A 2003 Product Development Graduate from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, in 2005 she opened a store called Alter Ego in Fullerton, a street boutique that united independent designers, artisans, musicians, DJ's, dancers, and photographers under one roof. That same year she founded Ladies First, a traveling all-female DJ and live artist revue, and through it all, she herself had become a DJ.
"My ears were always out searching to hear DJ's who played music so good, I couldn't help but move. I loved how they played a combination of songs I had never heard before, mixed with songs I didn't get to hear anymore. It was their inspiration, motivation, and support, that helped me see I could be a performer again - but this time as a DJ. It's a crazy feeling being able to express who you are thru the music you play, and watching people express what they hear back. I get to tell others where I come from, what I believe in, where I hope they go, and how I want them to feel, without me ever having to say a word."
Her DJ sets touch on everything from Disco, Funk, Soul, Hip-Hop, R&B, Freestyle, House, Breakbeat to World Rhythms. She searches for music with melodies that soothe, beats that hit, and words that make you think. She's been invited to play alongside the best of the best in her craft at events all around Southern California, and at the Mandalay Bay and Mirage in Las Vegas.
After graduating from The Academy of Radio and Television Broadcasting in 2010, she landed a position with the Los Angeles FM station, HOT 92.3.
Over the years she's been a special events DJ for World reknowned Companies like Skull Candy, Christian Dior, Sephora, Nordstrom's, Mosley Tribes, Tom's Shoes, Adidas, and Puma. She's made her mark in the LA Music Scene being invited to perform at the 1st ever Generations Urban Art Festival, 3rd Annual One Nation Hip-Hop Summit, 25th annual Thanksgivends Benefit, and with DJ Crews Awthentik Vibes, Edifying Beats, Queen's Corner, Anything Fresh, and Urban Underground. She's been a guest on radio shows like KPFK 90.7 Breakbeats & Rhymes, and was asked to DJ for Ladybug Mecca at the 5th Annual Divine Feline Benefit in Los Angeles.
"I've been a fan of hers since '93, after hearing "Cool Like Dat" when she was in Digable Planets. The first year I started DJ'ing I found her 12" single 'If I Need to Move On' and that song helped me get thru a tough time in life. She's been such an inspiration, being able to be her DJ was a surreal moment I won't ever forget."
So what's new for Miss Q in 2013? She's a freelance video reporter for OCregister.com, videographer for Zona Deportiva at UFC events, a dancer on the L.A. Zouk Performance Team, Co-Producer, DJ, and Actress for the upcoming HOTT( Hip Hop Theatre) web series, Actress on the upcoming Dr. Who web series, and you can catch her every 2nd Saturdays spinning vinyl at her monthly residency with DJ Ello and Hybrid at Chapter One in Santa Ana (now try saying all that in one breath).
"This year is to complete my first album (that I've kept putting off.) What I love about writing songs is letting go what I feel and putting it down on paper and then finding the courage to say it out loud. I was shy for so much of my life, as an MC, I feel like I get to catch up on all those years I didn't speak up."
I asked her, "What do you think of when you look back on everything that's happened?" She smiles and says, "It's been a crazy winding roller coaster if all I do is look back. I just try to hold tight, hanglide through what's next, keep looking forward, and get better at seeing what's all around me. I've learned the view changes everything."
EDUCATION slideshow music video
Michelle Q "Super Hiphoppa"
DJ'in for LADYBUG MECCA @ Divine Feline 2011
Michelle Q showing what she likes to do.
Dancing Sideways @ THANKSGIVENDS
Dancing on UPN's Dance 360 TV Series
DJ'in for THE BROTHERS NEXT DOOR @ House Of Blues
DJ'in for DIVINE DAUGHTERS @ Urban Underground
THE SUPERHIPHOPPA CREW @ L.A. Fresh
DJ'in in HASSAHN PHENOMENON'S music video "All Night"
BEYOND COMMON Commercial "Be You"
Dancing & Acting on DEBORAH JANE'S HIP HOP THEATRE
LADIES FIRST Benefit Ball for GRACE CENTER filmed by UMMC.org
Dancing @ The Laboratory
WRITE & RECITEThere comes a time to recite, just like this....here is the part where you CLICK
A spoken word artist once said...
"I think everyone should write...it's a way to see if you get thru situations or not. How did you change from first word to the last? When you get to the end of the poem, do you like where you're at? If you do, you have something to always remind you how to get there again. So...you say you used to write for fun when you were young? I think you should do it again."
THE WORLDWIDE BEAT
Performing @ URBAN UNDERGROUND HALLOWEEN with CADDY ONE
Performing @ YOUTH & POWER 2011 with DIVINE DAUGHTERS
Performing KEEP ROCKIN' with DIVINE DAUGHTERS
Performing @ VAUDVILLE REVUE
Performing @ ONE NATION HIP-HOP SUMMIT with POETIC S.
Performing @ PALABREANDO in Monterey, California
Q: What's Q&A?
A: The innovative line of adjustable clothing made using fabrics from around the World.
Q: Who is it for?
A: Women who embrace change in themselves, the power of their being, and the beauty of their femininity.
Q: Where did it originate?
A: The imaginations of Michelle Quiba & Yvette Anderson.
www.QandAworldwide.com COMING SOON!
photography by: FX
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