Hello, my name is Alain Lauture, and in the art world, they call me Hurrikane. Born & raised in Haiti and moved to Connecticut when I was 8 and moved to New York when I was 21.
What is Hip Hop? How do you define Hip Hop?
How do I define Hip Hop? It’s expression, it’s freedom, it’s being finding the deepest point in yourself. It is living, it is life. Basically, life of the, I’ll say, the fortunate and unfortunate ones.
When were you first exposed?
All my life, even in Haiti. Hip Hop is all over the world. So I was exposed to Hip Hop at a very young age, musically.
What made you start dancing?
What made me start dancing is, I’m from a place of cultural dance but I was never brave enough to do it myself but eventually it took over and I think dance is the only thing I did for myself.
Can you describe your very first moment you saw somebody dancing?
I saw somebody dance, maybe I was 6 years old in Haiti. He was, what I know now what he was doing, before I didn’t know what he was doing, but he was doing a lot of gliding and waving and claymation and I was extremely impressed by dance. And ever since, I always looked for dance to dance.
When was that “Ah hah” moment, when you realized you wanted to do this?
“Ah-hah” moment. I didn’t even know? I didn’t even think what I was going to do for a living or anything professionally. I just say I’m a dancer now, like, I just became a dancer. I think it was the first time I went to, “I think”, I know it was the first time I went to House Dance Conference by Brian Green and it was just one of those nights I guess that every single person was there, from Elite Force, like the whole Mop Top was there, and even the younger generation at the time, they were all just there. And I was seeing all these things and everybody moving, and I’m like “I’m gonna do this now.”
So who were your biggest inspirations in the scene?
In the scene? It’s too many. It’s just dancers in general, I can’t say “Ooh, this dancer is my favorite!” I’ve gotten to know many people because of the way my journey was as a dancer and peoples’ stories and the love they have for the dance is just how they are and also their struggles, which is so cliche, but it does inspire you. So I don’t have an ultimate favorite dancer but I do admire those people who continue to dance and no matter what, that’s really motivating & inspiring.
So today we have Hip Hop all over the internet…
I’ll say more pure. There was no reason, it was just is. But now there’s always a reason or something for doing something for or, before it was just happening. Even though, of course you have your goals but now, I think everyone can now know and can know exactly what they want to do with it. So then, everything is for a reason.
How were parties before, compared to now?
Parties are different now because it is oversaturated with cyphers and parties are different now because
Parties are oversaturated with cyphers and someone’s always recording and there’s not that much togetherness in people dancing with each other, but that’s like global, not within the U.S., within the culture. Within the culture, there’s still
How were jams different?
Back in the day versus now? Jams are different because it’s oversaturated with cyphers and someone’s always recording. There’s absolutely less people dancing together or dancing, just dancing, in general. Of course, someone’s always recording so everything is done for purpose. So everyone, I think is on this “I have to be good all the time” mode instead of just getting down and enjoying the music, but I think that’s more overseas in different countries than in the U.S. but what happens in the U.S. is, because of what’s going on overseas, it lets more – and the videos on YouTube, on Instagram, every platform – that it’s also affecting the culture itself.
How do you define dancing?
How do I define dance? Complete self and complete freedom. It’s art so you have to do, just do, just be. So that’s the meaning of dance.
What do you look for as a judge in competitions?
As a judge, I absolutely love, LOVE music cause that’s what makes us move. So I do look for the music first. The way someone is with the rhythm, cause rhythm is life, in general. So, someone just have an amazing rhythm, that means they are feeling, that means they are listening, and after, of course, foundation. And of course, you can see the history of a person while they dance and how much work they put in, and of course, after is creativity and everything else.
Was there something that you’ve seen on TV or dancing on the street
I mean, after I saw the guy, that I didn’t even know, dancing, and I didn’t even see it up-close. It was like from, not too far, but far, and I was just amazed. And then since then, I always just look for dance. I watched probably every dance show ever and I’m always in movies, I watched every dance movie probably ever, and that’s all types of dance. The weirdest part is, actually, in Haiti they play every kind of music and in the morning, before school, there would always be like Opera on TV and there would be a lot of Ballet dancing. So, I literally grew up watching Ballet.
It’s very elegant though
I never had the chance to learn Ballet but I can mmic it kind of really well. Maybe that’s why, cause I saw it so much.
Some of our interviewers said they grew up watching Beat Street or Electric Boogaloo. One said they didn’t even have cable. How would your experience and why is it unique
It’s unique because everything happened for me later but dance I saw it, of course in Haiti, we have dance culture, Kompa, which is partner dancing. We have so many partner dancing, Zouk, Kompa, and then we have a lot of African-based dance, like with Voodoo dance or folklore, or a lot of our folk dance and, of course, I’m so aware of these dances but I’ve never tried them before. I was too shy to dance, in general. But in Haiti, I didn’t really have cable, it was just like five channels, and those channels, that’s why I used to see the Ballet and the Opera. So that was kind of lucky for me. It’s not until I moved to the US and then but, Beat Street and all those movies, I watched when I started dancing. But what I did watch, of course, what I did watch was You Got Served, the tv shows, So You Think You Can Dance, America’s Best Dance Crew, and that’s what also brought me more into dancing and also got me to go to New York to look for dance because I became more “Damn, maybe I should really try this?” Cause myself, I started dancing, of course, in my own space, never in front of people. But it’s when I started just dancing unknowingly in front of people, that’s when I really, really started looking for dance “Okay, maybe I should try this a little bit.”
So back in Haiti, you were never really able to go to the club or party because you left at such a young age.
No but, you know, being of island, we have parties, we have birthday parties. You know, people find every reason to have a party, the kids’ birthday party. Kids don’t party, it’s all the grown-ups that comes and parties, so I seen people, I’ve watched people dance Kompa. Of course people, some of my aunts and older siblings will take me to dance and I’m like “Noo”, you know. I see this all the time, I just never had the courage to actually do… until now.
Its crazy how they plant the seed and you don’t ever really know
Yeah. You never know, never know.
You had the courage to be finally be like “Alright, I’m going to try it.”
I don’t even know if it was actually courage. It’s just, once you love something so much, even though I loved it, I loved it, but I never done it, so when I did it, it was just like, every time I did it, I just got lost in it. So, I was never aware of what I was doing or when I’m dancing, I’m just dancing. Like it’s music in me, it’s nothing else. Really, I know people say that, you’re like, “Whatever” but it’s really like that, I see nothing.
I understand. It’s the spirit that moves you
Yeah, so I don’t even know if its like courage.
Any backlash from anyone for pursuing dance
Of course, of course, but I think because I dance late, 21. 21 is still young, of course, but I think my life experiences, it made me mentally really strong and self awareness. I was never the dancer that’s like “I’m dancing now. Oh, I’m good now.” I always had a thought, like everyday I just want to be better. So the backlashes, they never really affected me. Somebody can be like “you suck”, I’m like “I know” Im just gonna get better tomorrow. Of course I got backlash.
What are your favorite aspects about the dance? (Sessions, battles, parties, etc.)
Sessions, parties, battles, of course. Battles improve everything, I think. Battles make you grow faster because it’s like, even whatever reason you battle or dance, I don’t believe in that you should input a reason into people but everyone have their own choice of the reason why they dance or why they battle. But i really get inspired by battle, that’s why I still battle because it’s also like giving back, unknowingly, because you never know who’s watching, you never know who’s new to this, you never know, somebody can catch a clip or catch you live that you did something that inspired them that stay with them forever. Sessions also, it’s very important cause it’s that intimate sharing. I know from my dance journey, I had many, many sessions, like my apartment was like the house for dancers and we would session from — we would be coming from the party, “Alright everybody, let's go session in my house!” We just danced, you know, but here we go, we session. Many people would sleep in my little living room and then we wake up in the morning and just do it again and it would be almost everyday we are sessioning. So, that for me is extremely important to share but again, there was no camera, there was no reason. And parties help you grow a lot cause that’s the time where you’re around people, you’re sharing energy and then you have to have space awareness, and you have to understand dance etiquette, and it’s so many things that applies in parties. So those things for me are important; sessions, parties, and battles. And one more thing, I don’t know if everybody will get a chance to have that experience, but street shows changed my life. I did a lot of street shows, I did a lot of train shows. I even did a lot of street shows in France, in Germany, with like different dancers that are from there, and just being able to interact with different kind of people, and it’s really, really different energy every single time you do a street show. It’s really like a new show every time you’re dancing. So that really improved so many aspects of my dance and the others that I was dancing with.
So you come from Haiti, is there any advice you would give to anyone who’s coming from a country like that? Cause areas like that, it’s very difficult to come up.
The kind of advice I would give them is “keep going” and use all your time for your craft. Make sure you improve your craft as much as possible and, again, don’t forget to live and be aware of your surrounding of what’s going on around you and allow that to be used as your everything. As your inspiration, as all of your art form. That’s the hardest one, if you have, if you want to do something, really, really do that cause you know, the island culture, island life is what your parents says, really goes and you can’t really have a goal on your own and you can’t really have an idea on your own. You have to follow the guidelines and if you have that thing that you’re calling and you figured it out, absolutely do it 100% so you can actually have a result because, no matter what we do there, the opportunities are so little, that if you not at your best as much as possible that it’s maybe its not possible. But, what I’m saying, it is possible if you just give it that one hundred and a million percent. It is still possible in that little, little chance that you have.
So you have so many years dancing, with a wealth of knowledge & experiences, what will you & your peers do to help the youth?
By showing myself to them, and actually this is my mindset right now actually. The youth, they need to see it happening because, especially being from the inner cities, and the hoods, and blah blah blah, we are like, if we don’t see it, then there’s no point. Even if we love something outstandingly but we are made to believe that those things aren’t tangible for us, so if we can’t really see it, then theres no reason. That’s why a lot of the times where our culture gets taken because we cant even live with our culture because the way everything works, globally with the system and whoever touches our culture will get more opportunity than us. So, even that we do it on our own, we still can’t get nothing from it, so the opportunities are so little that if we don’t even see a little bit, we just “Okay whatever, I’m done with this.” So we have to, I want to show myself even to them even more, and my peers to do the same, so they can see that these things are possible, that you can do this, you don’t have to be here, and you don’t have to listen to what was or what’s been happening to you to us. That you can really, that it can all stop with you and you can change that from you completely. So that’s actually what I want to do right now.
How did you get the name Hurrikane?
How did I get the name Hurrikane, haha. I was doing some shows with my partner, Firelock, and his teacher, Shock-a-Lock, from the way I dance, Im super random and super spontaneous and I’m into so many things besides dancing. I’m into a lot of gymnastics, even though I never took class, like I’m self taught in a lot of things, I don’t know. I always said if I had a super power, it would be a muscle understanding, like if I see something, I can do it, not right away but Im like “I can do this!” and then I will do it, like I will try it, get hurt, and eventually I do it. And that’s just how I am. Even though I didn’t learn something, like, specifically, but if I saw it, then I will be able to do it. So I would do all those crazy things or flips, then he started saying “You dance like a hurricane.” At first I didn’t like the name because, you know, in Haiti, its always being affected hurricanes, like “I don’t wanna be named that!” But then there was a battle, where the creator of Locking, Don Campbell, was judging and it was me, it was a 3-way final, me, Firelock, and Mikey, and he was like “Man, you dance like a hurricane!” and I was like “Ohhh.” I was like “Okay, since he say it, I’m keeping it.” So then, that became my name.
If you could explain the emotion that dance gives you, how would you explain that.
Peace. Dancing gives me peace.
Some quick fire questions, no hesitation
Favorite ice cream flavor
Blue bur right now it’s green!
… I have no idea! Indian food.
Favorite hobby, aside from dance
Drawing that I haven’t done in the past 8 years.
Weird fact?.. Weird fact, weird fact, I love Celine John.
What’s your favorite plant?
…… The Earth that is natural, that was made illegal but now is being made legal.
How long does it take to get your hair ready?
No, no, it’s always ready. This is called, what is this called? This is called free form locks, which is, I didn’t twist it at all. I never touched it, I just shower, so that means if I cut hair and do this again, it’s not gonna look like this. Yeah, because it just happened by itself, so it’s never going to look like that.
What state of mind are you in when you get into the circle?
Yeah, I just get down. That’s why a lot of times, you know, some people write you, or some people ask you for a question, “What do you do when you go in a circle?” or “How do you prepare for a battle?” I don’t, I just, I just dance. You know, I have this thing where me and my friends, we’re always like “Just be ready.” So there’s no reason you should stop training, ever. Well, I mean, we’re always dancing anyway, even if we’re not like “I’m gonna train today.” Like right now, I can be like *shows Locking*, that’s training, as long as you keep moving, you keep going. So there is no “Man, there’s a battle next month. So now I have to workout and I have to…” We never do that, we just always, we’re constantly doing it anyway so we’re always ready. So i never have an idea to get ready for something and I never have a plan, actually, when I battle. So that’s why I’m probably like the worst person to ask, “What do you do in a battle?” It’s because I think, because of the battle, you know, you gotta have– there’s certain unwritten rules that people think there are, like you got to have power, you gotta do this, you gotta be able to show your dance, you gotta be able to do this and that but none of that is actually real. We forget that it’s dance. That you should just dance, everything happens within the music, but it’s just, we became so focused on winning & battling and getting to the next place that we have these, especially with the sets and combos and everything. For me, I appreciate those things as well cause it’s another form of the art. Actually, I’m impressed by people that have sets because I cannot do that for sure, like, I will never remember any of that stuff. Yeah, me, I just dance and let the music take over, so that’s why if I’m not feeling it, I’ll probably look garbage because thats what Im feeling that time. I don’t feel anything so I can’t do anything but it’s also, it’s fearlessness, “I don’t care what I look like right now because I know I will look good.” It’s always for me, mine is still the same. I will be better tomorrow.
Any favorite moments
Favorite moments!? There’s too many! There was one time, the first time I showed that I can do many styles, was in Canada, at this jam called Bust A Move. I technically almost made it to the final for everything. I made it to the semi-finals for Popping with Sasha, which, we was 2 on 2, we just randomly partnered up, and then I made it to the finals of House with SamO, and then I made it to the final of Locking with Firelock, which it was 1 on 1, so we were battling each other. And then we tried to be all cute and do this little routine and then I was super tired and I went for a front flip and I fall straight on my butt! But I just got up and we started continue dancing, and you could see him, he stopped, give me the face like “Oh shit, are you okay!?” But me, I just keep dancing. I don’t know why my crash is one of my favorite moments but it is.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I have no idea. We live now.
How old are you?
31? 32, 31, 32. Yeah.