Jose Urbano – On The One
Jose Urbano is a 23 year old Filipino, born and raised in Hong Kong. He has a love for music, dance and design and “everything that brings good vibes in the world”. For this reason, Jose has sought to give back to his community by creating an dance battle event which he has called “On The One” (find them on Facebook here).
We caught up with Jose to find out more about his thoughts on identity, belonging and about his event, “On The One”.
Jose Urbano – on “Home”:
“I was always ready to move wherever life took me, because that was honestly what I envisioned myself doing.”
I might not have a concrete definition of what “Home” means to me. Never before was there a reason to define the meaning of this word. I was always ready to move wherever life took me, because that was honestly what I envisioned myself doing.
Street Dance – An Identity
We were having a Christmas party in school and everyone was really getting down to the music, taking turns to dance. Suddenly someone called me out to dance and I froze. I didn’t have anything to show, I couldn’t express myself. I felt ashamed as I rejected the spotlight and turned away.
That was probably the first moment when I decided that I would define my identity, and started learning street dance. Seeing all these people on YouTube made me really want to learn street dance. I was mesmerized by the freestyle aspect of it; I couldn’t wrap my head around how people could come up with these moves on the spot. It was after that dreaded Christmas party that I took my first Poppin’ dance classes.
“I could not speak the language, which instilled a fear of not being able to get along with others.”
A New Culture
I mean, it was super cool to learn all these moves, history and culture that came with the style, but at that time, I was missing something fulfilling. Sure I knew all these moves, but I had no one to share it with. I really wanted to seek out the dancers in Hong Kong. This proved to be my biggest challenge. I could not speak the language, which instilled a fear of not being able to get along with others. I wasn’t familiarised with Hong Kong culture; in fact, I experienced a huge culture shock (and it honestly felt pretty depressing). The worst thing was that I had no idea where to find this community of underground street dancers.
“In Hong Kong, the community is so tightly knit together that it makes you want to improve your dance every second.”
Thankfully, I met a lot of people that were friendly, caring and supportive of someone new entering their circle. From then on, I got to know hundreds of people: locals and internationals, which “leveled-up” my dance exponentially. I was exposed to dance battles, choreography competitions and midnight practices. In Hong Kong, the community is so tightly knit together that it makes you want to improve your dance every second.
On The One
“To me, street dance allows me to give a part of my heart and soul to whomever is watching.”
To me, street dance allows me to give a part of my heart and soul to whomever is watching. I admit I’m not at the level where I want to be, but I’d like to think that I make an impact on people’s lives when I give my all to my dance. That’s why I decided to give back to my community by organising a dance battle called “On the One”.
No one asked me to do it; I just felt like I needed to do it. It’s not about profit or fame, but it’s about giving back to my community.
I am very happy that street dance got me to where I am right now. I wouldn’t have met so many amazing people. I’ve learned extensively about myself and have learned to enjoy music on a higher level. I can confidently say that street dance has helped me find my own definition of what “Home” means to me. I would never have chosen anywhere else but Hong Kong to start my street dance journey and I am eternally grateful.
Be sure to follow “On The One” on Facebook. Tickets are still available to their next event in Hong Kong: Oct 15, 2017.