26 Mar
This week’s Dancer/Choreograher shout out goes to JoJo Zolina. There is something utterly magnetic about Jojo Zolina. An extraordinary freestyle Dancer and choreographer, he is greatly respected for his work in the local and International dance community. His fluid, expressive movements capture audiences from Paris Fashion Week to YouTube. He has even caught the attention of legendary music icon, Madonna. So what is it about Zolina? It must be the fierce factor. Born in the Philippines, he was raised by a single-mother who encouraged creativity andlove for the arts. Zolina discovered his passion for dancing at a very young age, amid thehustle and bustle of Manila’s inner city. He moved to Victoria, BC to live with his fatherat the age of twelve after his mother tragically succumbed to cancer. The transition wasdifficult but Zolina found solace through dance.
He never imagined he could make a living as a dancer but his natural talent and vibrant,theatrical style led him to rub elbows with Lady Sovereign, Nelly Furtado, K-Os, SwollenMembers, Michael Bublé, Mos Def, and Talib Kwali, to name a few. He has enamoredParis, schooled Amsterdam, left Milan wanting for more, and partied with London. Yet thisVancouverite remains refreshingly humble.
Apart from having an impressive list of commercial, television, and film credits under hisbelt, he is a sought-after choreographer with a flare for incorporating cheeky humour intohis pieces. Zolina is a dance alchemist, boldly melding elements of ethnic folk dance, hip hop,funk styles, vogueing, waacking, house, reggaeton, dancehall, contemporary, and salsa.Always open to learning more and expanding his knowledge, he studied under andworked with some of the biggest names in the dance community, from Martha Carter andJennifer Mascall to hip hop dance pioneers Caleaf Sellers, Poppin’ Pete, and Ken Swift. Jojo Zolina was voted as Best Dancer In Vancouver at the 2011 Urban Culture Conference
In 2002, Zolina co-founded Over the Influence, Vancouver’s hottest hip hop dance crew.They are known for their witty storytelling choreography that challenges traditionalhip hop boundaries and stereotypes. They have performed and hosted urban danceworkshops across Canada, and represented Canada in the World Hip Hop Championshipsin Los Angeles, Unrated 3 in Seattle, and the San Francisco Hip Hop DanceFest.In 2006, he founded the ultra sassy vogueing and waacking dance crew, House of LaDouche. The first dance crew of its kind in Vancouver, HLD won the Best Performanceof the Year in 2011 Nightlife Award Show, HLD pays homage to the gaycommunity’s 1970’s underground vogueing and waacking movement. Zolinaformed the group after an inspiring trip to New York, where some of the movement’soriginators welcomed him with open arms. Zolina is successfully sparking renewed interestin this movement here in Vancouver—yes, even among young, straight male dancers. Cladin avant-garde, 1980’s-eye-popping fashion, they have performed at Universal Studios, Vancouver Pride, the Vancouver Art Gallery’s FUSE, and International Dance Day. More than a performer, Zolina continues to shares his passion for dance and expertise as a teacher and mentor to kids and youth around the world.
Follow JoJo on twitter @jojodancerdance
facebook : jojo dancer

Find out what JoJo had to say in this week’s shout out…

Nikki: Do you remember the first time you started dancing?

JoJo: My Mother Merilyn told me she knew I would be a dancer when she noticed the only time she could stop me from crying is when she plays “September by Earth Wind and Fire” on the record and my feet starts kicking. I love music and I was born to be a dancer.

Nikki: Do you remember the first song you choreographed to? (Or your earliest memory)

JoJo: I think the first time I choreographed was in grade 5, I made a routine to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice lol. That track was hype and everyone’s favorite when I was a kid. But I love listening and dancing to any Bobby Brown, Neneh Cherry, The Pet Shop Boys, Prince, The Cure and MC Miker and DJ Sven and more.

Nikki: Your personal advice for dancers when it comes to free styling?

JoJo: My question is why do you love dance? Why do you dance? You just have to freestyle to call yourself a Dancer period.

Nikki: Getting in the zone to choreograph, what does it take for you?

JoJo: For me to get IN THE ZONE…. is how open my mind, body and soul in the moment. You can’t really push it; you got to let it come to you. I choreograph to anything because dance and music relates to anyone’s life, world, emotions and beyond.

Nikki: Who are some of your biggest influences in the Dance industry?

JoJo: My friends who are very happy living their life through dance. Caleaf Sellers, Melena Rounis, Carla Catherwood, Louise Hradsky, Taylor James, Val Ho, Paul Beker, Stewart Iguidez and more

Nikki: What made you decide to make the move from Vancouver to Toronto?

JoJo: I have nothing but love for British Columbia and Vancouver is always going to be my home, but Toronto is offering me this fresh and brand new life for whatever that may be. I travel a lot and I love how it’s close to New York and Europe. This April 10-17th I’m honored to get invited as a judge in a dance battle alongside with Tyrone Proctor and teach a few dance workshops in Novosibirsk, Russia.

Nikki: Name a Toronto Choreographer you enjoy working with and why?

JoJo: There are too many, I love Toronto and I’m blessed to work with so many talented choreographers and dancers in a very short time. I love my Disco Love Child Family, Neon Theory, Mitchell Jackson, Neek$, Luther Brown, Jae Blaze and more.

Nikki: Name one of your favorite artists to work with and why?

JoJo: I love working with Cory Lee, she’s fun, talented and easy to work with… She makes work fun and easy because she really puts her 100% and more to whatever project she’s doing and that motivates me to do really good… I previously just finished shooting a couple of Cory Lee’s music videos The Bounce and Cruel Intentions which I help assist the choreography. Watch out for it this summer and fall.

Nikki: Are you currently working on any projects?

JoJo: I’m always working on projects with so many amazing artists, I love working on big projects I enjoy taking my time putting a lot of thought in big projects. I’m work with Disco Love Child and few choreographers in Toronto and overseas. I also have some of my own passion projects on the side that I would like to expose. Like Dance Videos, Short Films and small Events. I teach Tuesday Waacking and Thursday Nuvo Burlesque both start at 8pm at the National Ballet School and every Saturday I teach Dancehall 3pm and Jazz Funk at 4pm at Street Dance Academy. I’m also part of Chrys Stylz Entertainment and Circus Entertainment. Wenare holding an Audition Saturday April 28, 2012

@ Revival Bar

783 College Street

Showtime: 1pm sharp

Calling Toronto’s Extraordinary Male & Female Performers of all types!

for more info please visit

Nikki: Qualities you think Toronto Dancers possess?

JoJo: Toronto Dancers don’t play…What you see is what you get. They are not timid they are confident and ready to go.

Nikki: Any advice for emerging Dancers and Choreographers working/training in Toronto?

JoJo: Enjoy, Learn how to let go, always do your best and remember the people that helped you get to where you are.







One Response to “JoJo ZOLINA”

  1. what are vitamins April 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Cheers, I just stopped by to visit your site and thought I’d say I had a great visit.

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