For Arnel Calvario, a childhood interest in the 1970s hip-hop dance and music scene sparked a lifelong passion to improve the lives of others, especially at-risk young people, through dance as a participative and community-based cultural activity. Calvario, one of the speakers at the August Leadership Institute of the G3X Conference at CSUF Mihaylo College, discusses his background, passion and mission-driven outlook.
Arnel Calvario sees a strong connection between dance and well-being. “Dance can be a powerful and meaningful vehicle for personal growth individually and in communion with others, a creative expression, good for physical health, and even healing,” he says.
His lifelong connection to the art form began in childhood. He grew up in an inner-city Filipino-American family in which hip-hop was the go-to pastime and an escape for young people, who were exposed to the violent world of gang culture.
Coming of Age – and Staying Focused – Through Hip-Hop
“I am a kid of the 70s and was born the same year that hip-hop was created,” he says. “I was a really shy kid who lacked confidence, but had older cousins who were these really famous hip-hop poppers. I looked up to them and asked if I could be part of their popping crew while I was in elementary school. They told me I wasn’t cool enough so they let me carry the boombox.” Read More