Dancersglobal proudly presents:
The brain-bangin, I.aM.mE. reppin…JaJa Vankova! JaJa, gives details on her plans to move to America, how it felt to win ABDC season 6, advice for those who want to follow in her footsteps, and much more. Here we go….
Can you share some of your background so people can get to know who JaJa is?
My name is Jana Vaňková, and I was born 21st March 1992 in small town of Děčín, Czech republic. Since I was small I was always interested in dancing. I started with freestyle and battling then later started doing choreography. My dance career started in 2006 with Out Of Bounds dance group, where I started to learn hip hop, and as an individual I learned poppin and locking techniques of other styles and freestyle. Later I led this team. Out Of Bounds, is national champion of Czech Republic for 2010, and semifinalist of Czech Got Talent 2010.
As an individual I am winner of Dancer Of The Year and national champion for 2008. I got victory in many battles. I also choreographed theater shows, performed in commercials, and I was a backup dancer for Haddaway. In 2010 I started with I.aM.mE. Crew in Houston, Texas. Phillip Chbeeb led this international team, I.aM.mE. to Victory on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, and we featured on Paramount’s League of Extraordinary Dancers Season 3. America has opened new possibilities for me to be creative and how to become an artist.
How did it feel to fulfill your dream of winning ABDC with your crew I aM mE?
It is kind of unreal I never thought that I will be in this competition, because I always watched ABDC just on youtube, and it was for me something unbelievable. And definitely, I never thought that I will be the winner. Just the invitation from Phillip Chbeeb to come to dance wih I.aM.mE. was for me the biggest success in my life, and when I first stand up on the stage I was so excited and nervous in the same time. The people did a great atmosphere there.
What kind of doors have opened for you since the show?
I have better chance to get a work visa to stay in America, and work there with I.aM.mE. after victory of ABDC. Because normally it is really hard to live there and work for people from Czech republic, almost impossible. Now I can stay with I.aM.mE. and travel with them. That´s my dream that I always wanted – travel and dance.
Who are some of the Choreographers/Dancers you hope to work with someday?
Mmm I never thought about that. I actually never thought that I will even work with Phillip Chbeeb aka Pacman, because I met him just one day here in Czech republic and he was a great dancer, choreographer and teacher for me. I never thought that one day I will find him like my best friend that he changes my life. So that´s why I never plan and never think about those things, because I never know what will come. Only thing I know that I would like to be in a movie, because I really like to play like an actor and that´s one thing that I wish it will happen.
How different is the Dance Scene in the Czech Republic, from other places in the world you’ve been?
It depends. In Czech Republic are lots of freestylers and they are good. Choreography scene is not good in Czech. The biggest difference between Europe and America is that America create and Europe just follow. That´s why every dance style become from America. There is also a big difference between New York and Los Angeles. In New York is big freestyle scene and you will find the best house dance there, by contrast in LA are lots of choreographers and locking and popping.
Have you ever attended Hip Hop Jam or Hip Hop Kemp? If so, which one do you like the most?
No I have never attended HHJ or HHK. But I attended Street dance kemp in Czech republic, it´s the biggest dance event in the world with workshops, parties, jams etc.
What are some of your interests outside of dance?
I will disappoint you probably, but I do not have any. I would like to have some other interests, but first if I do something I like, I do it full out and I do not have time to do anything full out because of dancing. Second nothing else makes me so excited like dancing. Maybe sometimes I like to read a book or watch a good movie, go with my friends to the cinema or make a trip with my family.
What advice would you give to dancers who want to follow in your foot steps?
Just be yourself and keep up the hard work. Never give up and always be honored for what you have. Be a man without pretence, always believe and always learn.
Describe what Dance means to you personally?
I got this question really often, all the time in some interviews and I am always thinking about that a lot because something like that I can not even describe with my words. Dancing is for me language with no words and everything what I want to say I can say perfectly with dancing and everybody will understand me. My life inspireS me, though not in a good way and that´s why I have lots of things to say to the world and I want to say it – with dancing and my feelings.
What’s next for JaJa?
My next step is to move to America, start new life there, travel with I.aM.mE. and finish my school there. I never plan anything in my life, I leave everything to chance. I will take everything what my life will give me. In addition, I’d like to share a BIG thanks to Phillip Chbeeb. I love my crew – Who are you? I.aM.mE!
Thank you JaJa! I wish you and your crew I.aM.mE. continued success. Here’s a bonus video for your fans courtesy of Shawn Welling. Shawn is planning to shoot a “JaJa” AXI episdode in early fall. Stay tuned!
Subscribe to JaJa’s Youtube channel: www.youtube.com/JAJAvankova
Follow JaJa on Twitter @JajaVankova
Make sure to LIKE JaJa’s Facebook page JaJaVankova
“One who gains strength by overcoming obstacles possesses the only strength which can overcome adversity.”-Albert Schweitzer