Boise State students dance for Earthlings

The performance that sparked the idea for Earthlings Entertainment was a combination of Andrew Heikkila and Jordan Yocum’s music put to dances by The Armada hip-hop crew, a dance crew made up of four girls and two guys, most of them current or future Boise State students.

Earthlings Entertainment was cofounded by 22-year-old Miranda Palacio, director of the dance division, and 23-year-olds Heikkila and Yocum, the directors of the music division.

Together these three people have taken their passions and combined them to create a community that supports the thriving Boise art scene.

“As humans we are all earthlings,” Palacio said. “We are all citizens of the planet Earth and we are all here to do great things and we want to be the gateway for those that are willing to be great.”

Earthlings Entertainment is currently in the building blocks phase. Their main interest for the direction of the group is to foster a community that can thrive and contribute to the artistic abilities and passions of all different mediums.

“The only difference between Boise and a place like Los Angeles is that LA is a much bigger pond,” Palacio said. “But there is so much talent here. It is all about making ourselves, through dance or music, the biggest fish in our pond.”

As an umbrella type of company, Earthlings Entertainment aspires to incorporate the many different aspects of the street art culture. As a hip-hop performer, rappers such as Atmosphere and Sage Francis influenced Heikkila. The underground hip-hop artists made music an art.

“When you create something you breathe life into it and it is your own little act of God,” Heikkila said.

Emily Long, an Armada dancer for just under two years, has a future focus on being a backup dancer and moving towards industry dancing.

“I can dance in front of people, not speak or act, which is why I like back up dancing,” Long said.

The most recent project, a music video staged in a comic book store and Kuna Caves, joined The Armada and Earthlings Entertainment.  A collaborative video merging the song “Wolverine” created by Heikkila and Yocum and the dancers of The Armada.

“No other music companies are performing with a crew. This is our way of creating a community that will be a full entertainment piece,” Heikkila said.

Music videos are a way to showcase the original choreographies of members of The Armada. Armada choreographer Alex Mclaughlin has started on a dance for an up-coming video after being contacted by a local rapper named Customary after the D3 performance at
Boise State.

“Every performance is so different, so we have a community where any dancer can bring an idea forward to share. I’ve never heard anyone say they don’t want to learn something new,”
Mclaughlin said.

The Armada focuses on sharing and learning dances. Each member has a different background and within that comes a unique style.

None of the dancers are exactly alike. The different styles contribute to the culture of street art.

“There is so much local talent that isn’t commonly seen in Boise, but it is out there and it is great,” Palacio said.

The newest division of Earthlings Entertainment is called the Street Team, directed by Yocum.

Their mission is to have the hip-hop artists or admirers give back to the streets.

“People that are really inspired by the hip-hop culture or dance culture, like skateboarders and kids that do graffiti work who focus on green projects, because we are earthlings it is important to give back to the community,” Palacio said.

For more information check out their website www. earthlingsentertainment.com.

About the author  ⁄ Hali Goodrich