Dubbed a hidden HYPEBEAST earlier this year, choreographer Phil Tayag has been embedded in the streetwear and hip-hop communities long before The JabbaWockeeZ won the ABDC Season One championship. Growing up in Sacramento, California, Tayag has been dancing since he was 8 years old and was surrounded by these countercultures that helped fuse his signature b-boy moves with a NoCal aesthetic. Since then, his career has catapulted; having launched his BWBE creative collective movement, performed at the Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show alongside Bruno Mars and being nominated for the MTV VMA for “Best Choreography” in 2018 for Bruno Mars and Cardi B’s Finesse video.
Traveling around the world and gearing up for his tour in Asia next year, Tayag has a busy itinerary ahead of him. On one of his recent trips, we caught up with the Las Vegas MGM Grand resident to uncover his travel necessities. From his Paco Rabanne 1 Million fragrance, to his trusty Louis Vuitton carry-on and sentimental Air Jordan 1s, Tayag breaks down his must-have items.
Browse through the visuals above, and read below for Tayag’s insight on dance culture and his favorite dance trends.
I love seeing that dance has now become a viable career option for the next generation.
Where do you most travel?
I’m based out of Las Vegas and I travel to LA, and my hometown Sacramento, the most.
Is there a specific destination that dance brought you to, or you love returning to?
Being from the West Coast, I love that dance has brought me to the birthplace of hip-hop, New York. Doing what I love to do has brought me to the Philippines for the first time in 2009 and I’ve been connecting a lot with my roots since.
What are you thoughts on how social media is bringing more prevalence to dance culture?
Watching dance go mainstream has been a surreal experience. I was very nervous about being on ABDC (the first dance competition show) because I didn’t know how MTV would portray real dance crews. I’m glad we broke that barrier and I love seeing that dance has now become a viable career option for the next generation. Dance is now one of the main components of a hit record in hip-hop, period.
Dance is so influential and I just think the big brands need to continue to seek out the originators and gatekeepers to maintain peace and order amongst the industry.
How do you feel about the democratization of popular dances by large corporations and their subsequent refusal to pay the originators?
The democratization of popular dances by by large corporations is definitely a concern. Dance is so influential and I just think the big brands need to continue to seek out the originators and gatekeepers to maintain peace and order amongst the industry.
What are your favorite dance trends?
One of my favorite dances has been the SMEEZE. Shout out Chonkee from Turf Feinz out of The Bay Area. He made up the dance and I put the dance in the Bruno’s Finesse video that released at the top of 2018, and now you’ve probably seen every artist or their dancers hit that dance all over the world. We been tapped in. TRYBE n THANGZ.