Kent Boyd: Freely Dancing My Way Through Life
Since change happens at all times, the movement of the energies that we all emanate to create worlds is infinite in nature. All of our physical faculties have been brilliantly designed to bring to life the vibrational expression of who we are continually becoming. The sounds become the body, and the body blends with the dynamics of the rhythms—motion connected to emotion. Thus, in unison, all the components turn out to be one.
Kent Boyd, an artist who is widely regarded as one of the premier dancers and choreographers in the industry, says, “I am energetic. I am alive. So, my body and soul are definitely drawn to movement by loud sounds, people, and energy. I am a thrill seeker, and that is one thing that vibrates pretty high within me. Being around that energy really describes who I am and what I go after.”
Often, we justify our own limitations by focusing exclusively on the end result rather than enjoying the creative process and being within the flow. Is there truly such a thing as a satisfying one-time accomplishment that leaves us desiring nothing more? We all, with no exception, strive for a fuller experience of what we love expressing the most. Sometimes, by allowing ourselves to focus exclusively on a specific outcome, we might miss other wonderful opportunities along the way. However, when we dance our way through life, savoring every single step, we deliberately carve the magical pathway we are on.
“I find this sense of competition in the arts fascinating because art is supposed to be a form of expression, not an impression. However, there is a certain caliber of dance you need to attain and level up to be considered an elite dancer. There are different techniques like ballet, jazz, African funk, and anything in between—each of these genres has specific criteria that you have to hit. Besides, there have been examples of people excelling at it. For me, I enjoy competition. I love the idea of healthy competition. I enjoy competing with those closest to me because I feel most safe with them. Moreover, I feel like I will not hurt their feelings, and they will not hurt mine. But when it comes to setting the bars, it’s tough because I believe it’s time-sensitive. For me, it’s about what’s happening right now, who’s making those big connections, and who’s getting in those doors with such high budgets. Right now, it’s just like West Side Story and the new movie’s choreographer, Justin Peck. And one may ask, where did he come from? Why is he now potentially one of the hottest choreographers around and collaborating with Steven Spielberg?
“It has the feel of being time-sensitive; it’s in the right place at the right time. When it comes to competition and myself, I’m always competing with myself. There’s not a single moment when I look in the mirror and can’t tell the difference between last month and this month. I am documenting everything. As dancers, all we do is compare lines, as if we are afraid of missing out on some opportunity. I believe there’s that fear, but you have to re-ground and re-root yourself into who you are. Then, once again, you must simply trust—that’s the biggest thing.
“It’s as if, when I become too preoccupied with the surrounding energy of people, I’m ecstatic and grateful for the things they’re receiving. However, I also have to remember that this is my plan, this is what’s happening in my life, and I need to stay present in it. Therefore, when the right opportunity comes, I’m not fitting a square into a circle. I want things to flow for me and for everyone else. So, I firmly believe that if life is a pie and we all get a slice, we may just eat at different times. But I definitely trust the fact that we will all be fed,” says Kent.
When we can distinguish between the desires that come from our wholeness and the desires we are supposed to want, then we can lead our creation process truly fulfilled with bliss and joy. Our readiness to include everything and everyone we encounter with the sole intention of co-creating with them can be key to perfect timing in experiencing life to its fullest. And that readiness can be now, now, now, and now… The vast variety of our infinite universe will eventually inspire us to take the necessary steps towards the life we desire.
“Visual representation is extremely important. It’s good for you to see a variety of shapes and colors just through your eyes. And it really helps this idea of inclusivity by allowing different shapes and colors to take place in your mind or thoughts. Because once we leave these bodies, we will only have our spirits. But, when it comes to the arts, I believe that representation and visuals are of the utmost value—when we get to that point where they have to share and speak the truth—having perspectives from all across the spectrum. For instance, when collecting data to scale a scientific experiment, you want to collect data from different locations, not just from a specific section. Also, you want to taste all different foods and spectrums of flavors. I do believe it’s beneficial, for a moment, to just focus on one set of flavors, like chicken and lemon, and do that for a while. But then you have to expand and find the beauty that the world has to offer—there is so much for it to give. And I believe it’s our responsibility as entertainers, artists, and innovators to ensure that people are getting a taste of everything because it really does create this whole person that’s way more sensitive, vulnerable, and open. I think it will inevitably assist them in staying current and relevant with the human race.”
From our self-human perspective, we often see others as separate from us. We are born diverse in colors, shapes, and unique vantage points, as we all experience life differently. But there is an unbreakable connection between all of us and everything that exists. Regardless of our individual desires, we all desire a fulfilling life, and from the broader vibrational perspective—We All Are One. Therefore, it is most natural for us to be inclusive and to desire inclusion, and we know this because being inclusive feels better than being exclusive.
Kent also expresses his connection to movement and music. According to him, “It feels like a buzz or hum—similar to what happens when we’re meditating. In those moments when I feel a little bit more alone, there’s this other part of me that comes out when I’m dancing. And when I get to see a fellow dancer or whoever I’m dancing with, and I feed off their energy, I am there in the moment that energizes me. I feel that in my stomach. I feel that kind of turn Bob Fosse referred to as the blender technique—in which everything inside is like churning and going crazy, but the outside is the container that’s supposed to be calm and hold all the juice inside. Besides, I feel that a lot.”
As sensory beings who merge with the inner movement and sound, like life itself, we are constantly in a state of dance between asking and receiving. What rhythm we are waltzing now is entirely up to us—as things are not happening to us, but for us. When we take a moment to breathe and become still, we can observe the movement and determine which steps and at what speed we are about to accelerate.
Kent shares his experience when he performs. He says, “The best connection happens with the audience when I don’t realize they’re there. I get the best feedback when I’m so much in the moment. When I’m dancing, I really stay focused. While I may be perceiving the audience with my eyes, I also try to infuse them with the tone of that piece. That’s always the case, regardless of what project and opportunity I’m doing. But for the most part, I’m just trying to live my most competent self and pierce through them the objective within the piece I am expressing.”
Also, Kent is thrilled and excited as he currently travels across America for Hollywood Vibe, teaching kids to dance. He says, “I honestly have more respect for eight-year-olds than I do for some of the 30-year-olds. I just feel like all those kids and their intuition are sometimes stronger than mine. I love my students. For me, my class is way more experimental, and I am a commander in line. It’s more like recess-based. It’s about creativity, projecting, and connecting. I’m trying to not only change the way they move, but also, in the process, change the way they think and breathe because it’s the right way to live. Then we’ll try to find that friction or that passion and set the tone. I really just set a light tone and let them fill in the rest. Moreover, I’m always so taken aback by how they color in. Sometimes, I would ask a certain question to one person, and then, all of a sudden, I ask it to another person, and then it has this whole new life with a whole new meaning that I never thought would happen. So this dynamic teaches me so much. And it’s been a lot of fun as I’ve been teaching for the past ten years, as well as how these kids learn geographically, their upbringing, and how that will manifest. The kids in Miami are not the same as those in Illinois when it comes to dancing.”
As adults, we have the assumption that only we teach kids, when in fact, kids are our best teachers, reminding us through their unshakable intuition that life is fun and that curiosity and wonder are essential to expansion.
Recently, Kent worked as a lead choreographer on a commercial for kids and adults celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Walt Disney Park, dubbed “The most magical place on Earth.” Kent says, “Being a dancer and a choreographer is like tapping into two different parts of your brain. Because while the choreographer thinks about the whole picture and overall tone, the dancer thinks about the details of the story. The choreographer is like the artist, and the dancer is the paint the artist draws with—everything in the context of the actual art.
“For a dancer, repetition is key. And once you get them into your body, it’s crazy what the body can retain. Funny enough, it was a huge production for this commercial, and we did overnight shoots. I had three dancers; it was a rare occasion, and I wanted my three dancers to be stars. And through this project, all together in this magical place, we created moments that are desirable to humans.”
When we are in tune with ourselves, we see magic everywhere we look, because we embody magic itself. One of the simplest tools to go within and see the world from a wider perspective is meditation.
“I love breathing. My mentor, Teresa ‘Toogie’ Barcelo, is a big breath coach. For a while, I took a six-month breath-work course with a guy named Auba. He created this technique where he would dissect the five primary emotions through breathing patterns. And so, in order to feel certain emotions, he would replicate the pattern of happiness, in and out, and you would repeat this breath pattern. And then you would have the physical features of looking above the horizon, the sides of your mouth would go up, your shoulders pull back, and then you slowly start to feel happiness.
“And I always tell my students, ‘It starts with the breath, then your blood starts to pump, your brain starts to get oxygen, and then you add things like water, and all these things can create so much light, but it starts with the breath.’ And whenever I find something really good is happening, I’m constantly bringing my inner self to the center of my body or my diaphragm, or taking my inward thoughts and transforming them into an external shell, taking notes, and trying to implant that mind vehicle or mantra in my brain.
“But now, it feels as though this cap has been removed from my head, and I can again breathe. This frequently occurs when I’m meditating, trying to conserve energy, or building up energy because I’m exhausted. Thus, I can meditate and listen to certain frequencies to help regulate or push whatever I’m trying to do. It’s as if I’ll simply turn on 532 hertz, lay down, and then attempt to restore my body in a matter of moments. And I’m really working on just making sure my breaths are in my gut or my back; it’s a really fun place to play with a lot of control. I also enjoy holding my breath, and I think that always works wonders when I need to calm down. It’s as if I’m allowing myself to exhale from this situation in order to zoom out. It has the ability to truly pull someone out of difficult situations,” Kent shares passionately.
Breathing is life. We encounter so much stimulation throughout our busy days that our minds get rushed up, oftentimes landing in a state of survival. Regular breathing softens our minds from so much thinking.
“Finding a way to soften your physical faculties, including your thoughts, prepares you to experience from a wider perspective—from getting beyond your physical perspective for some time and allowing yourself to choose the next tool with which to express yourself—through one kind of thought or other kinds of emotion, or through this kind of physical activity or that kind of intellectual activity. This process of unfocusing is what brings you to lead the eternal dance you are perpetually part of anyways.”—excerpted from the book We All Are One: The Essence of Everything That Exists, written by Kosta Trifunovic/Weola.
Kent alongside his Teen Beach co-star Mollee Gray and her husband, Jeka Jane, co-founded PrideHouse LA, the first LGBTQ+ TikTok Content House. This is what Kent has to say about what each of them brings to the table and how they impact others, “It’s so interesting to look back on life. Mollee was there for a lot of really pivotal moments in my life. I would turn, and she would be in my presence or my aura. And so, creating this business with her just makes so much sense. We’ve always traveled in parallel or felt each other from afar. Now, we have finally joined forces with her husband, Jeka. Their combination is extremely potent. In terms of a group, I do feel like the presence of confidence comes from Mollee. And I incorporate this aspect of an artist’s current adventure play into it. And then Jeka adds stability, grounded-ness, and coolness, giving us all the peaks and valleys. Thus, we have the energy, calmness, and spatial awareness, and we’re going to the same space. But when we go to that space, we’re looking at different things, which I think complement one another really well, and we’re all three dancers. So we do have a kind of weird connection from our spine to our back to our lives. Life is almost like a musical. So I think our perspectives just kind of line up and make it very easy for work.”
Aside from their merchandise line and other ventures of the PrideHouse brand, Kent and his peers, Mollee and Jeka, launched an inspirational new podcast, #PrideHouseLA, where they discuss ways to support the LGBTQ+ community while also bringing awareness to their audience. Everyone can listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and YouTube.
“The podcast is so much fun. To me, it’s like we actually get to do the work we’re looking for; we get to do the research. As I mentioned, we get to go out, interview these people, and bring them in here. They’re coming out with their stories and journeys, whether it’s an industry or some big project coming out, or they wanted to use this space to share their queer story. And that’s what it’s about. It’s about connecting with our community and finding different perspectives and ideas so that we can get our community as aware and in sync as possible. Because the stronger we are together, the more we can accomplish.
“There are still numerous issues with teachers displaying pride flags in their classrooms. We need the younger generation to feel accepted, welcomed, and invited to whatever they are doing. We have to stay as awake as we possibly can. And the church as well; religion is such a huge part of the world. Also, there’s such a weird connection between our community and the church. I don’t understand why we haven’t found that synergy yet. Because when it happens, churches ring with choruses, choirs, and plays, and it feels like a renaissance. I feel like they realize that they need us, and we need them, and the world will just be smoother, and we won’t have to be as scared. Because I’m sick of hearing, ‘Oh, it’s a sin.’ I come from a religious background; my brother’s a pastor, and I know Jesus would be partying with us; he would be doing work with us. I just don’t understand how people can negatively use love in any way. Although I understand a male and female together is wonderful, many different other wonderful combinations should be welcomed and allowed.
Freedom is our birthright. We are free to choose how to tap into our wholeness, how to react, and thus, how to experience. There is nothing more empowering than knowing that. “Inner power definitely comes from feeling free to be oneself. And I think the most empowerment that I’ve ever felt was coming out to my family and to people who know me the best. Like telling my mom and dad, ‘Hey, I found this out about my life. And it was actually quite difficult because it wasn’t the average thing to do, but this is who I am.’ And then, living that truth and allowing it to see how much more open and friendlier I became, that was when I felt the most empowered,” says Kent candidly, and then continuously, “I love it when I’m in a good mood, I think I just love life. I love enjoying it with others. So, I’m addicted and attracted to that movement, energy, and laughter. I love contributing to laughter. And I love giving. And then I like mutual connection. I like people who can give back in their own way, communicate, and share.
Like Kent, embrace who you are, be you, embody your innate freedom, and experience life to its fullest potential.
Words // Armand Alvarez
Creative Team: Photographer // Vince Trupsin | Grooming // Christine Hazelhurst | Stylist // Quentin Fears