A young hip hop dancer from Illawarra, New South Wales, has become the face of a new project by Sony Australia New Zealand. The collaboration features a specially designed hip hop/electro track and choreography by the dancer, Macy Baez.
Fifteen-year-old Baez was born profoundly deaf. She had her first cochlear implant procedure in 2003 and her second in 2012, along with many hours of speech therapy. She is now able to experience sound but relies heavily on being able to feel music vibrations, particularly bass notes, in order to dance – a passion she discovered at the age of eight.
Now, Sony has engaged Josh Fountain from Level Two Music in Auckland, New Zealand, to compose a track specifically for Baez.
“I wanted to make a track that would kick you in the stomach and make you want to move,” Fountain explains. “I wanted to strip layers away and concentrate on the bass frequencies that you physically feel.”
While in NZ working on her choreography, Baez also visited the world famous ReQuest Dance Crew, where Sony had organised a surprise for her, fulfilling her dream of meeting her idol, Parris Goebel.
Baez is a member of Illagroovers, a young Australian dance crew. She has competed at the World Hip Hop Championships and the HHI Australian Hip Hop Dance Championships. Her dream is to make it as a professional dancer and hopes to one day attend Goebel’s dance school in New Zealand.
Here, Dance Informa catches up with the inspiring young dancer.
What was it like meeting Parris Goebel?
“I was really surprised when I saw Parris, as I had no idea that she would be there. Parris is very down-to-earth and a lovely person to talk to. She had some great advice to share; she said to be very positive in all you do. I’m so glad that I got to meet her and her dance family.”
Can you describe how you feel/hear music? What is that experience like for you?
“I hear the sounds through my implants, and my body feels the bass. I love dancing, so whenever I can, I do.”
Can you tell me a bit about your crew, Illagroovers?
“We have been dancing together since 2010, and we all love each other to death. This year, we are competing in Las Vegas at the hip hop world championships. We are training heaps before we head over there.”
What is it you love about dancing?
“I love dancing because it makes me forget everything and feel free when I dance.”
What have been some of the highlights of the past 12 months?
“One highlight was being a dancer in Sardaarji 2 movie, which will be released on the 24th of June this year.”
What’s your advice for other young dancers facing challenges of their own?
“Follow your dreams, be yourself, and never give up.”
What is your ultimate dance dream?
“My future goals are to be a back-up dancer for famous musicians and go on tour with them.”
By Rain Francis of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Macy Baez a 15-year-old dancer born profoundly deaf at the heart of Sony’s DEFY project. Photo courtesy of Sony.