Neverless, Staccato and Rios
Street dance competition

Dancers Neverless, Staccato, and Rios continue the Hispanic heritage celebration through their art

Facing off against top dancers from around the world, these Puerto Ricans connected with their inner sazón

Neverless, Staccato, and Rios continue the Hispanic and Latinx heritage celebration through their art and rich cultural diversity. The dancers recently demonstrated what they are made of at the Red Bull Dance Your Style one-on-one street dance competition. Facing off against top dancers from around the world, these Puerto Ricans connected with their inner sazón to be living examples of how diverse is the dance community.

Returning with a stacked tour of U.S. qualifiers, the all-styles competition amplifies dance scenes from all corners of the country, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, and Washington D.C.

Rios performs at Red Bull Dance Your Style in Miami FL, USA on 17 October, 2021©Jesus Presinal / Red Bull Content Pool
Rios performs at Red Bull Dance Your Style in Miami FL, USA on 17 October, 2021

From Friday, September 10th, the best in hip-hop, house, waacking, popping, krumping, locking, and more have been battling each other in a one-on-one bracket-style, performing against a spontaneous soundtrack - from mainstream hits to timeless classics.

During the performance, the entertainers need to convince the audience why they are worthy of their vote. The Attendees and dance lovers play the judge and have the ultimate decision on which dancer will advance from each qualifier to the Red Bull Dance Your Style National Finals USA.

The street dancers wowed the crowd and moved to the beat, making all guests stand on their feet.©Jesus Presinal / Red Bull Content Pool
The street dancers wowed the crowd and moved to the beat, making all guests stand on their feet.

With no panel of judges, planned choreography, and pre-chosen music, Neverless, Staccato, and Rios embraced the moment on Sunday, October 17, during the Miami Red Bull Dance Your Style Qualifier held at LIV nightclub. The street dancers wowed the crowd and moved to the beat, making all guests stand on their feet.

HOLA! USA had the opportunity to travel to Miami, Florida, and witness live the magic these Latinx dancers spread across the entire venue. Ahead of the competition, we interviewed them and uncovered what’s next in their careers.


Neverless, Staccato and Rios©Red Bull Dance Your Style
Inspired by never giving less and always giving her all, Nevertheless is always open to learning. She started dancing after watching music videos. Growing up dancing in Puerto Rico, she got invited to join a dance studio where she was told that her “street style will take her nowhere.” After that, she learned over eight different dance styles and opened a Dance studio to share the art and create jobs for other dancers.
Creative careers in the Latinx community aren’t considered a legit path compared to traditional professions such as medicine, business, etc. What do your parents think of you becoming a street dancer?

My parents are super supportive of me. I didn’t grow up in an affluent family; I have four more siblings, so we became entrepreneurs to help in the house and ourselves at a very young age. And they never said ‘no’ to us. They never stopped me from dancing. I’m very appreciative of that.

In any job, Latinas have to work the triple to demonstrate that they are capable of greatness. As a Hispanic and a woman of color, have you ever faced discrimination?

It’s like an uphill battle, and although there were people who had worst than me, coming from the residenciales (projects) in Puerto Rico, people tend to label you, pinpoint you, and say that you might become a nobody. I never pay attention to the negative comments and focus on my goal and what makes me happy. Dance has been my number one thing in life and the tool I use to express myself. Comments hurt, but I turned them into something positive to prove them wrong.

When it comes to your art, for which type of style might people recognize you?

I like to switch it up. I can dance salsa, merengue, bachata, hip-hop — which is breaking. So I learned to navigate the essence and basic moves, and then I added my twist. That’s why I look different from the rest.

There are a lot of kids looking up to you. How does that make you feel, and what will you do to inspire them to pursue their dreams?

That is pure inspiration and a boost for me. The support and how they feel when they see me make me feel good. During the Red Bull Dance Your Style 2019, people approached to share their thoughts about me and how my performance made them feel. Right now, I own a studio in Sterling, Virginia, called One Take Studios, where kids can choose between two programs —dance classes or martial arts. So after the competition, I’m flying back home to keep working and sharing all the tools I learned this year. So I would like to invite people to visit my studio located at 22135 Davis Dr. STE 108, Sterling, VA 20164.


Neverless, Staccato and Rios©Red Bull Dance Your Style
Staccato was a 2017 Hip Hop International 2 v 2 World Champion and4ndre Eni (Formally known as Sweetface) and the World Of Dance Miami Freestyle champion in 2019. He has competed around the nation and consistently was a finalist or semi-finalist if not won. He is a choreographer for the SQUAD Orlando mega crew, and a member of NBC‘s World of Dance featured crew, Funky Wunks. Staccato represents his approach in music as a drummer to be seen as a “The Human Instrument.”
Creative careers in the Latinx community aren’t considered a legit path compared to traditional professions such as medicine, business, etc. What do your parents think of you becoming a street dancer?

It’s pretty funny because my father was a professional musician, and because of that, I grew up to be a musician first; I play the drums, congas, timbales, and that’s where my stage name, Staccato, comes from. However, he didn’t want me to be a musician; he used to say that ‘the entertainment industry is just a life of drug, sex, and money, and you should try to be a doctor or something like that.’ But music is in my blood at the end of the day, and so it is dance. After I graduated from high school, I started to get into dancing, and for a while, it was hard to get my parents to be on board with it, but I want to show them that there’s a right way to go on this path as long as you focus on your goals and here I am today, and my parents couldn’t be prouder.

How the Hispanic, Latinx community and media can support dancers like you?

I think the most important thing first is to create an open mind within the community. A lot of people have a narrow mentality because our ancestors also had it. Personally, coming from a Puerto Rican family, people are very in their ways for a long time, and it is essential to understand that we are a new generation and things are evolving. It is important to adjust, be open-minded and learn about other cultures, accept different cultures. I would like to encourage the Latinx community to be part of the thing you don’t understand.

There are a lot of kids looking up to you. How does that make you feel, and what will you do to inspire them to pursue their dreams?

I think it is so important —especially from someone who was bullied a lot in high school — not to be afraid of people and be yourself, whoever that may be. For a while, I tried to be things that I wasn’t to fit in, which pushed people more and more away from me because people can tell when you are yourself and when you are not. When I started accepting who I am and the things I love, like anime, playing video games, and I’m such a big nerd; I love dancing and talking with my hands, so as people started to realize that I’m comfortable in my skin they gravitate towards that, and I made more connections than ever. So whether you are a boy, girl, or gender non-conforming, just be yourself and don’t worry about what people say.

What is next in your career after the competition?

I’m not going to be competing as much in Florida. I’m going to travel more out of the state and the country for other competitions. I will also be focusing on developing a dance talkshow to interview other dancers and use the platform to highlight the art. I want people to see what my community and I have to offer.


Rios©Red Bull Dance Your Style
From West Palm Beach, Rios started studying dance in high school while also getting involved within the local breaking community. A combination of his Puerto Rican heritage and upbringing influenced him to dive deep into hip-hop culture. He has trained under many mentors and explored other street styles such as popping and house. He has battled throughout the country and overseas to represent the US. Being a professional visual artist, he incorporates his animation and visual storytelling techniques within his dance; while keeping the focus on the feeling and the rhythm of the music.
Creative careers in the Latinx community aren’t considered a legit path compared to traditional professions such as medicine, business, etc. What do your parents think of you becoming a street dancer?

I have so many friends from different circumstances that they had to work in specific jobs that didn’t allow them to express themselves; luckily, I come from a family of artists. My mom is a painter, my sister is a fashion designer, and I’m a visual artist by day. And the dancing was just my way to get out of being the nerd. It is part of our culture, especially being Puerto Rican; it is already in the blood. Although my dad doesn’t understand much of the art, I’m fully supported, and they all are here by my side.

What is next in your career after the competition?

I changed my stage name from ‘Energia’ to ‘Rios’ to honor my last name and roots. Coming back to the arena with a new name shows people that I don’t have a mask and represent where I’m from. After the competition, I want to continue working as a visual artist and expand into dancing and representing other people.

There are a lot of kids looking up to you. What message would you like to send them?

To all the newcomers and kids watching me, please be yourself and don’t worry about judgment. Don’t waste time coming back to the competition after COVID shows us that there’s no time to lose.

You are a true entertainer. Should we expect a tour or dance studio from you?

My vision is about to hit a glass ceiling. I’m going to start producing bigger things; the scale is getting bigger, and the clients too. I would have a studio.

Unfortunately, these dance’s heavy-hitters succumbed to Dassy Lee, who took home the trophy and title as the regional winner. Lee is a world-renowned Red Bull dancer and competitor from South Korea. In 2017, Dassy became the first Korean dancer to qualify for “So You Think You Can Dance?” where she made it from a field of four hundred down to the Final 8 in Season 14.

Dassy Lee©Daniel Zuliani (@zulianiphoto)
Red Bull Dance Your Style continued its 2021 iteration in Miami and crowned Dassy Lee as the regional winner

Now at 29 years old, Dassy has established herself as an award-winning dancer and choreographer. She’s danced in music videos for artists like Calvin Harris and PARTYNEXTDOOR, performed in Cirque Du Soleil Monte-Carlo Monaco and the Red Bull BC One World Final Guest showcase in Zurich, and taught at major studios and companies around the world.

“I’m going to be honest; I didn’t expect to win. The caliber of competitors here was impressive,” Lee said after winning the competition. “All I wanted was to have fun with my dancer friends because I have a lot of people in Miami. I’m happy I had fun, that I won my first Red Bull Dance Your Style, and I can’t wait for the national finals!”

The upcoming Red Bull Dance Your Style National Finals USA will be held in Washington D.C. during the whole weekend, from Friday, October 22 through Saturday, October 23. The programming will have a line-up of curated dance events, workshops, and performances featuring DJ, producer, label owner, and director TT The Artist and other iconic dancers and scene leaders. This final competition will give dancers the last shot to move onto the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Finals by battling wildcards at random, including Angyil, Krow, and Princess Lockerooo.

After the U.S. Red Bull Dance Your Style National Finals, one competitor will represent the U.S. at the Red Bull Dance Your Style World Finals taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 4-5. Viewers can catch all the Red Bull Dance Your Styles National Finals action on Oct 22-23 by tuning into the live stream on Caffeine.com.

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