We are the only dance studio in Ottawa dedicated to teaching and promoting the urban dance styles of Popping, Breaking, House, Locking, Hip Hop, Vogue, Waacking, and Dancehall. Our goals are to provide the best dance education to our students, promote a healthy and positive atmosphere for creative expression, and raise the level and quality of street dancing in the Capital City!
Established in 2011, The Flava Factory (formerly The Flavor Factory Urban Dance School) has been providing dance classes for all levels and ages in a variety of dance styles that had not been offered in the city before. We continue to support the community by throwing some of the only street dance events in the Nation’s Capital, with Jack of All Styles being our flagship annual event. Our Studio is dedicated to not only supporting dancers from Ottawa, but also in supporting the careers of Canadian Street Dancers. We continue to hire street dancers from all over Canada to judge our events, and facilitate workshops to our students and greater community.
Our goal is to provide experiences for emerging dancers in Ottawa to learn about the foundation, history, and proper technique of each of these dances. Our studio prides itself on its artistic integrity, and we aim to provide each dancer with the tools and techniques they need to develop their own style and character, while understanding the history and culture that comes along with each unique expression.
Often referred to as “breakdancing” in the media, breakin (or b-boying/b-girling) is a popular style of street dance that is considered one of the original 4 Hip Hop Elements. It was created in the “Boogie Down” Bronx in New York City in the 1970s. The dance consists of Top Rock, Go Downs, Footwork, Power Moves and Freezes. It is danced to both Hip-Hop and Break Beats (samples remixed from popular funk tracks). Breakin is often done in a battle, (formal or informal dance competitions), or danced in a Cypher (dance circle).
A dance of the 1980s, house dance originated in Chicago and grew up in New York City. The name House comes from, “The Warehouse”, a club in Chicago where seminal DJ-Producers began mixing drum machines with disco, funk and soul records, a combination which gave rise to the soulful electronic sound we now know as house. The dance style has evolved a lot over many years, incorporating moves from Jazz, Latin, HipHop, Breakin, Lindy Hop, Tap, and Capoeira, but its main elements: Jacking, Stomping, Skating, Footwork, and Lofting remain the foundation of the dance. House Dance is typical done in a “Cypher” (Dance Circle), where dancers share their moves with each other.
Is one of the original funk styles of dance that came out of Fresno, California in the 1970s. It is based on the technique of quickly contracting and relaxing muscles to cause a jerk in the dancer’s body, referred to as a pop, tick or a hit. The pop is performed continuously to the rhythm of a song in combination with various movements and poses. Popping is also used as an umbrella term to refer to a group of closely related illusionary dance styles and techniques that are often integrated with popping to create a more varied performance. These styles include, Boogaloo, Animation, Ticking, Waving, and more. Popping is often danced in Cyphers (Dance Circles), battles(formal or informal dance competitions), or on stage.
This class will explore the more recent expressions of Hip Hop dance and the style that has evolved as part of hip-hop culture. This includes the Hip Hop party dance of the 80′s and 90′s and the more recent dance moves and choreographies.
Hip-hop dance as seen today is a broad category that incorporates a variety of old and new urban dance styles. (The older styles that were created in the 1970s include breaking, and the funk styles). Lyrical hip-hop is a fluid and more interpretive version of new-style hip-hop most often danced to down tempo hip-hop or R&B music. The dance is mainly showcased in “Cyphers” (Dance Circles) or set in choreographies often developed for the stage.
Dancehall class is open to beginners and experienced dancers and will focus on learning the foundations and movement qualities that go hand in hand with the mainstream and underground Dancehall music of today. Dancehall music is a subgenre of Reggae and originates from Jamaica when faster rhythms and digital instrumentation came into play and became a huge hit with the public.
Vogue originated in Harlem ballrooms in the 30s and 40s. Inspired by Vogue magazine covers, it uses lines, angles and images to create complex and awe inspiring movement patterns. This class will focus on learning the foundation associated with three main styles of Vogue: Old Way, New Way, Femme. It will start with a thorough warm up and stretching routine, followed by basic techniques and drills. You will learn the history of Vogue and Ballroom Culture as well as posing and runway walking.
Waacking dance & culture originated in the gay clubs of Los Angeles during the 70’s disco era. Waacking, also known as “Punking,” or “Whaacking”, is danced to underground Disco music and primarily showcases movements of the arms. A huge influence of the dance came from 1940’s black & white films where dancers would imitate the poses and dramatics of the actors/actresses. Waacking is seen in the show “Soul Train” and is now danced and taught all over the world.
Sami “Slynks” Elkout
Studio Owner & Administrator
Born and raised in Ottawa, Sami has been an active member of the street dance community since he started breaking in 2001. He began by teaching himself with the help of a website called “Breakdance.com” which provided written explanation of popular dance moves (during dial up internet times, when videos were not available!). Feeling hungry for knowledge he later joined The Studio School of Dance and took lessons from Ben Jammin, and Universal Will of The Canadian Floor Masters (Canada’s oldest Breaking Crew). He began teaching Breaking at a variety of dance studios, martial arts dojos, and community centers.
In 2007 while attending Algonquin College for Business Administration, majoring in Marketing, he became one of the founding members of a dance group, The Breadcrumbs Crew. Since then they have performed for a variety of events and groups including Bacardi, Target, Giant Tiger, The Museum of Nature, The Ottawa Senators, The NHL Fan Fair, The Senators Foundation, and Mountain Dew (to name a few!). He has also competed in a variety of Battles (Freestyle dance competitions), around Canada.
Sami took his business knowledge and love for dance to the next level in 2011 when he opened up Ottawa’s Only Street Dance Studio; The Flava Factory (Formerly The Flavor Factory Urban Dance School).
Since then he has been working hard to provide the best urban and street dance classes to the national capital region. He is also the Dance Director for a non-profit arts organization called; House of PainT Festival of Urban Arts and Culture. Through this role he is able to provide a variety of opportunities to established and emerging dance artists from around Ottawa and Canada. He continues to work hard to provide opportunities to his community of artists, while still working on his own professional artistic career.
Christian “Cee” Ancheta
Youth, Crew & Intro Breaking Instructor
Christian AKA Cee has been dancing since he was three, starting out in the Philippine Dance Troupe of Ottawa, learning and performing cultural dances from the Philippines. In 2001, he discovered his passion: bboying (breakdancing). Initially exposed to the dance in music videos, he drew inspiration from the dance styles and aspired to learn and perfect the different moves and make them his own, travelling and learning form all the teachers he could find. 14+ years of Bboying have taken Cee all across Canada the US and Asia, dancing for TV commercials and shows (So You Think You Can Dance Canada), modeling and being featured on product packages, and dancing onstage with artists such as Masia One, Talib Kweli and the Beastie Boys. He was invited for three consecutive years to the National Breakdance Forum in the Yukon, and being recruited to the Blueprint for Life organization (Social work though Hip Hop). In more recent accomplishments Cee has traveled to South East Asia to places like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines and Vietnam to dance, teach, work and see the world.
Cee is also gifted in the arts having a full artistic background many different mediums such as paint, pencil, clay and anything in between. In 2012 Cee completed the Interactive Multimedia Developer course at Algonquin College. He has geared his talent into his work becoming a Designer and a Videographer. He has created most of the designs, videos and images around the studio. Watch out for Ceeboy Productions.
Cees main point of focus in his dance is to always be a student and keep learning from many different teachers/mentors and also to share all his experience and knowledge with fellow dancers and students.
Vanessa “Vlove” Lovell
Studio Administrator; Intro, Inter, Teen, and Crew Hip Hop Instructor
Vanessa has been dancing since she was a child, but began her formal training in Hip Hop and Jazz at the Canadian Dance Factory.
While in Toronto she began to focus mainly on street dance styles such as House, Waacking, Popping which most definitely helped strengthen her Hip Hop training. Since her return to Ottawa she has been very involved in the street dance community from organizing events to judging dance battles. She plans to continue to share her love of Hip Hop dance through teaching classes that focus on a mixture of grooving as well as choreography. Vanessa has also been involved in growing her community through her co produced dance event “Hit That Beat” which highlights freestyle hip hop and even gives Ladies a chance to battle on their own.
Simon “Klassic” Xavier
Popping/ Popping & Locking Instructor
Simon Xavier, is an Ottawa based dancer who has been getting down since the young age of 4. He has a strong appreciation for all genres of music, specifically funk, and having been inspired by Michael Jackson, he was able to fall in love with Popping at the age of 14. In 2008 he gained extensive knowledge of Boogaloo Style (a sub style of Popping) from Frank Boogie (Boogie Brats Crew). Klassic is a member of performance and battles groups, The Bread Crumbs Crew (OTT) and Clean Fresh Air (MTL).
Klassic gave a strong first impression in the dance scene in 2008 when he entered Canada’s biggest street dance event called Bust-a-Move, and become a finalist along with partner Miles Boog (From So You Think You Can Dance Canada) against top international dancers Greenteck (CAD) and Salah (FR).
Klassic has appeared in “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”, (Season 3) he has also performed in the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend held in Ottawa, and “Canada’s Got Talent”, just to name a few! His accomplishments are endless including, competing in battles all over Canada and having won Montreal’s Urban Art and Dance Festival, Under Pressure Popping battle 3 consecutive years.
Actively involved in his community and giving back to the youth, Klassic has been teaching at The Flava Factory since 2011. He’s also the Assistant Dance Coordinator for Canada’s biggest Urban Arts and Hip Hop Festival, House of PainT.
Today Klassic’s career has brought him into the international scene sharing his knowledge and teaching students from the Beijing Contemporary Music Academy. Klassic has taken part in performances, been invited as a battle guest, judged and participated in battles throughout China such as; Crazy Dancing, Funk in Shanghai, and Dancing with Us, to name a few. He continues to pursue his passion locally, national, and international, with his career taking him to new heights.
Alea “Di Di” DeCastro
Alea de Castro, also known as Didi, was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. Since she was a child, Didi has always held an interest in music and dance. Didi started her dancer journey through Jazz and Ballet at a young age, and now is involved in the cultures of Hip Hop, Waacking, House and partner dancing. Didi has gained knowledge and experience through training at The Flavor Factory Urban Dance School and cities such as Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Fransisco and New York. Didi has also been involved with several dance organizations and teams such as Youth for Christ Dance Team, 2 The Roots Charity Dance Foundations, Boss Dance crew and Chocoloate Pocky Duo. With her experience, Didi has not only taught several classes and workshops, she has organized and competed at many battles/events in North America. Alea is the only Waacking instructor currently in Ottawa. With her experience, Didi continues to travel the world to share her love for dance and also works as a Registered Nurse at The Ottawa General Hospital.
Brad “SpinBrad” Fitchett
Assistant Youth Breaking Instructor
Brad is an Ottawa born dancer who has been breakin since 2011 when he started at The Flava Factory. He has been assisting teaching the youth Breaking classes with Cee, learning how to become a better teacher. Brad has volunteered at a dance based summer camp for the last two summers, which has provided him with even more experience working with kids. He frequently travels to Breaking battles in Montreal and the GTA. Brad loves the creative aspect of breaking and is fuelled by the family atmosphere of the dance community.
Vogue & Advanced Choreo Instructor
Jonathan started dancing in his late high school days, learning modern and contemporary early on and soon branched out his interests into hip hop and urban styles. Early on, he joined PNL Dance Company (then called Pulse N Limited dance crew), and decided to pursue dance in earnest. Now, as director of PNL, Jon hopes to take the group to new heights, as well as help build, uplift and enrich Ottawas urban dance community.
Jons choreography style is influenced heavily by Dancehall, jazz, and popping/animation.
Youth Hip Hop, Dancehall, & Intermediate Choreo Instructor
Abria Dennis began her journey into dance at the age of sixteen, after leaving Kingston, Jamaica and coming to Canada. Having music and dance as a large part of her culture, she immersed herself in dancehall, reggae and ska at an early age and was always drawn to learning and keeping up with the ever growing dance scene back home. Her style can be attributed to her love for the music she grew up listening to, the now old school Bogle era of Dancehall. In her teenage years she attended St Patrick’s high school where she assisted in founding a new Dance and Step team. She has since graduated and has been coaching the team for 4 years as well as choreographing for competitive dance teams, branching out into video concepts and teaching Dancehall at studios around Ottawa.