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Get to know NML Dance Battlez judge Lenny Len

Posted on October 9th, 2012

NML Battlez wouldn’t be NML Battlez without Lenny Len! He’s always got something profound to say and he brings high energy to the show week after week. Lenny Len has been dancing since the 80′s and is the founder of Flavor Shop. We asked him a little bit about himself, the music he’s inspired by, and if he has any advice for aspiring dancers. See what Lenny Len had to say below.

When did you first start dancing?

I was told there was unusual activity in my mother’s tummy whenever music was played in the house…I never really “started” dancing, I’ve ALWAYS been dancing…to be honest in hindsight, I never thought I would have to recall a start date…but if I had to put a date to the earliest memory,  in January 1985 the SF 49ers won their second Superbowl ring vs. the Miami Dolphins 38-16 and that year I remember putting together a party dance routine together for a school talent show.. .growing up in San Francisco we danced, watched the 49ers, and went back to dancing.

Who are your favourite artists?

I grew up listening to the Stylistics, Switch, Hall & Oates, Genesis (Phil [Collins] and [Peter] Gabriel), MJ, Stevie, Whitney, New Edition, Boyz II Men, James Brown, Prince, Bon Jovi, Floyd, Beethoven, Mozart, Radiohead, Traveling Wilburys, NWA, Tribe, 2Pac, Puff Daddy, Total, TLC, Brownstone and Stevie B. I’m literally all over the board when it comes to music….but Toronto’s own August Rigo is always on my rotation in the truck or at the house. August brings every single one of the artists I grew up on together on each record he puts out…bad-assness.

What do you like about being a judge on New.Music.Live.?

First of all, there’s Phoebe, Lauren, and Liz…c’mon now. Talk about Baskin Robins 31 flavours! Jokes aside, “TV land” and its audiences deserve an authentic serving of Honest Tea and a plate of Truth Biskitz on the side…I’m a direct product of Hip hop and Pop culture and have an opportunity to speak for the people by the people. Lets be honest and call it out, other “judges” or TV Personalities in positions of authority on a lot of shows are suspect and not believable. Experience speaks for itself and you can tell when one speaks from “Wikipedia,” wink wink.

Any advice for up and coming dancers?

It’s not about a specific style or discipline, It’s about you as an individual turning on the light of discovery. Learning how to learn, mastering the ability to process and apply is what should be heralded and held in high regard…higher learning leads to infinite possibilities and growth.

Tell us a little bit about Flavor Shop and why you started it.

“Flavor” is the father term before “swag” was coined and made prevalent or popular. Flavor Shop is a collective of like-minded visionaries around the planet Earth where we believe that “it’s not just a lifestyle,  it’s a life with style as an option.” We’re all members of the tribe. Not a “crew” or “team.” Tribe is a mentality. It transcends all racial divides, generation gaps, and most importantly it unites the human race under one love – music.

Education through entertainment : “Edutainment” is what Flavor Shop is about. I’ve taken the challenge of music video directing to bring the music back to video through the eyes of a seasoned choreographer/performer/visionary/human.

Lenny Len is a creator/director/producer/editor, check out his work here.

Flavor Shop class with Lenny Len: Mondays and Wednesdays at 9pm at Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto.

Follow Lenny Len on Twitter and catch him every Thursday on NML Battlez at 6ET on MuchMusic.

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