Versa Style is a dance ensemble that consists of young, committed and conscientious artists representing the diversity and beautiful complexity of Los Angeles.
We create highly energetic work that fuses dances that are culturally significant to our community. These forms include Hip-Hop styles such as 90s Hip-Hop, House, Popping, Locking, Whacking and Boogaloo, and Afro- Latin styles such as Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Afro-Cuban to name a few. As a reaction to the widespread media misrepresentation of these dance forms, Versa-Style specifically aims to perform for the youth of Los Angeles to instill the roots, history, and social and political issues surrounding the art of our generation.
Hip-Hop breaks color lines by creating a forum where people come together for a common passion rather than grouping themselves by race or socio-economic backgrounds. Versa-Style demonstrates freedom of expression, freedom of individuality, hard work, self-discipline and dedication to the form.
Jackie Lopez aka Miss Funk & Leigh Foaad aka Breeze-lee are the founders and artistic directors of Versa-Style Dance Company. Together they have shared a common passion for dance and performance, resulting in the creation of Versa-Style in 2005.
Their journey has led them to several Hip-Hop dance battles all over the country, a mainstay of Hip-Hop dance culture worldwide. Miss Funk is a 3x House Champion for Battle of the Belts in Los Angeles as well as crew champion for How the West Was Won 2008. Breeze-Lee is a 2x popping champion for Battle of the Belts in Los Angeles, popping champion for Freestyle Session 2011, and just recently represented North America in popping for the R-16 competition in Korea in July 2012. As a duo they have gained respect by entering prestigious USA events such as Bboy Ho-Down in Texas, where they made it as far as the Finals in House and Semi-finals in popping and also won the 2vs2 All Styles competition at Keep it Live 3 in 2011. They owe a lot of their fortune to the legends and culture of Hip-Hop.
Jackie “Miss Funk” Lopez
Jackie Lopez aka Miss Funk is a Los Angeles native. She graduated in June of 2004 from the Department of World Arts and Cultures, UCLA with a dance emphasis. Jackie is a professional dancer, choreographer, and cultural educator who has worked with students and artists of all ages from LA, NYC, Philly, and Israel. She has a wide range of training and knowledge within Salsa and Hip-Hop styles. She currently holds the position of Lecturer teaching Intermediate Hip-hop at the Dept. of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and the position of Adjunct Faculty Member at Santa Monica College as well as guest choreographer at Los Angeles Valley College. She is also currently the Program Director for The Flourish Foundation, which is non-profit private philanthropic organization, which begun as a response to lack of funding in the arts. She has been working w/ Rennie Harris “Puremovement” since 2005 and owes much of her training to him. Lastly, she is fortunate to be leading a company like Versa-Style, where every dancer brings their own unique talent into practice. She hopes to inspire and motivate at least one soul at a time.
Leigh “Breeze Lee” Foaad
Leigh Foaad aka Breeze-Lee since birth has been exposed to dance. His vocabulary ranges from a wide variety of styles from Classical Ballet to Hip-Hop. He has been working w/ Rennie Harris “Puremovement” since 2005 and recently came back from being a Cultural Ambassador for the United States, touring the Middle East and he is grateful for all the opportunities. He currently teaches Hip-Hop at the Jonette Swider Dance Center, where he takes pride in teaching the history and culture of Hip-Hop to the young community of today. He toured nationally and internationally with John Tesh as the first and only featured Hip-Hop dancer. He choreographed & was featured in the PBS special “ALIVE Music & Dance”, as well as setting choreography in numerous states in the USA. As a leader and member of Versa-Style Dance Company he is determined to express and share the knowledge and importance of Hip-Hop culture, while providing high intensity movement and passion for all artists around him.
Harry “Full Out” Weston
Harry Weston was born on December 23, 1989 in San Francisco but moved to Santa Cruz at a very young age and lived there through his high schools years. In early childhood, he grew up in his mother’s West African dance classes, experiences that still influence his dancing style today. He found hip-hop at the age of 8, learning from the late Gary Kendell of Jabbawockeez. He stopped dancing at the age of 11 and took up sports, but returned to hip hop at the age of 16, learning from a man named Harold McCord, with whom he studied Bboying and Popping. At the age of 18 he moved to LA to study dance at UCLA where he discovered House dance, now quoted as his favorite style, the one he is most passionate about. He has just finished his four years at UCLA, graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Dance with a Minor in Civic Engagement. He is looking forward to continuing his dancing career with Versa-Style as well as growing as a Marketing and Sponsorship consultant, for which he works for Versa-Style as well. His true passion, however, is teaching. He has taught at high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, community centers, and juvenile detention centers all over Los Angeles, and currently directs an after-school hip hop dance program at Abraham Lincoln High School in East LA, a job he has held since January 2010. He will continue to share his passion for hip-hop culture with his friends and family, but most of all with those who need it most.
Allison Gray graduated in June 2010 from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures with a concentration in Dance. During her four-year tenure at UCLA, she honed her technical and choreography skills as a featured artist in both student and professional productions. She has a wide range of knowledge and training in various dance styles such as Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, and West African. Allison has been a member of Versa Style dance ensemble since 2009 and is also co-founder/artistic director of Soul Lab DanceProject, an emerging all-female dance collective. Allison shares her passion for and commitment to the arts by teaching dance to students at school/after-school programs in the Los Angeles area. She gives thanks to those who support and believe in her!
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ray Basa fell in love with music and dance at a young age but it wasn’t until the age of 20 when he decided to train and pursue a career in dance. He would take four to five classes a day at Debbie Reynolds, Millenium dance complex, and Edge performing arts center. A few years after beginning his training, he was signed to his first dance agency, KSA. In 2006 he was fortunate enough to join the Versa-Style Dance Company and receive knowledge and training in House, Locking and Popping. Fascinated by house dance Ray was eager to learn more so he traveled to New York and Philly to take classes from legends like Brian Footwork Green, Marjory Smarth and Caleaf Sellers. Through his extensive training of various styles Ray has been able to book dance jobs and teach workshops/classes. He has worked for choreographers like Marty Kudelka, Harry Shum, Anthony Thomas, Rosero McCoy, Robert Schultz and Scotty Nguyen. Some of his credits include Coca Cola, Disney’s Shake it Up, and Nickelodeon’s Victorious. Ray Basa is currently teaching at Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, The Lab in West Covina, Athletic Garage in Pasadena and Boogiezone Utopia in Torrance. He is now signed with MSA and consults on different projects around the LA area.
Lilian Ortega was born in Mission Hills CA on October 23, 1992. She graduated Community Charter Early College High School in 2010 and has now completed her second year at UCLA as a World Arts and Culture Major with an emphasis on Dance. For over eight years, Lilian has been mentored by Jackie Lopez and Leigh Foaad, and through their guidance Lilian has been exposed to the breathtaking world of hip-hop dance culture. Her training is based on a broad variety of styles such as: Hip-Hop, Locking, Popping, House, Salsa and Ballet. Lilian is currently a member of Versa-Style Dance Company and has been performing with them for four years.
Maya graduated from UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures with a concentration in dance in 2005 and has since been very active in the dance education and performance world. Maya has been a member of Versa-Style for several years and is also co-founder of IN/EX Dance Project, a contemporary dance company based in Los Angeles. Other companies she has worked for include Ballet Folklorico Do Brasil and Contra-Tiempo. With each dance company Maya has had the privilege of touring nationally and internationally including performances in Mexico and Puerto Rico. Along side Vera-Style, Maya danced for John Tesh and appeared in his PBS Special “ALIVE: Music and Dance”. She has also been invited to teach at the University of Curitiba, Brasil in 2006 and in October 2008 with Contra-Tiempo, Maya was invited to teach in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. In 2009 Maya had the honor of assisting Jackie Lopez in a House Workshop taught in Tel Aviv, Israel. She then remained in Tel Aviv for 6 months studying alongside the Batsheva Dance Company learning repertory and training in GAGA. Back in Los Angeles, Maya now teaches dance at Echo Horizon Elementary School, UCLA’s Krieger Pre-School, and several studios around Los Angeles.
Michael “MPACT” Lor
Born and raised in Sacramento, California, Longka (Michael) Lor a.k.a B-Boy M-Pact graduated from Cal State Long Beach with his bachelor degree in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Michael has been B-boying with his crew Underground Flow since 2001. Underground Flow has battled in numerous Breaking competitions in the United States and in other countries. Some of their biggest victories are placing first at “Temple of Styles 2006/2011”, an international Bboy/Bgirl competition held in Paris, France and winning the Hip Hop International World Bboy/Bgirl Championship for 2009. Despite his love for B-boying, Michael has also trained in jazz, lyrical, modern, tap, commercial hip hop, house, locking, and popping. His passion for dance goes even beyond just dancing and performing. Michael’s community minded teaching abilities, and love for sharing dance knowledge with the new generations has allowed him to teach/instruct for numerous dance workshops and programs such as H4/Kid Dance Day, I Love Hip Hop Jayvee Dance Center Workshop, D.A.R.E Dance Program, UCI Grooveology 2009, and many more. Michael has danced with talented teams such as Master Peace Dance Theatre, Pac Modern, Culture Shock LA, Kallusive Dance Team, Beach Street, Versa-style Dance Company, Los Angeles Clippers Fast Break Crew, and KINJAZ.
Anthony “Berry-Groove” Berry
Anthony Berry was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He graduated from Community Charter Early College High School in 2010 and is now attending Los Angeles Valley College as a journalism media major. During his junior year of high school he joined his first Hip-Hop dance team through which he was later introduced to Jackie Lopez and Leigh Foaad, the founding members of Versa-Style Dance Company, and trained with them in street styles such as Popping, Locking, House, and Hip-Hop for over 4 years now. He was later invited to join Versa-Style Next Generation and performed with them for since their inception in 2009. After performing with them at Versa-Style’s Positive Dose in October 2011, he was asked to join the senior company, with whom has been dancing ever since. Anthony has loved dance ever since he can remember, and he puts his heart and soul in to every performance and battle he participates in.
A Los Angeles based dancer that specializes in House dancing and Bboying, Angelo has been dancing professionally for over 17 years. He started out as a Bboy in high school and has been a house dancer for the past 12 years. He is a founding member of Sourpatch, an urban experimental dance crew, with whom he has competed all over the US, winning various competitions and eventually leading him to theater performances with modern companies. Coming from a diverse experimental crew, Angelo had the unique opportunity to integrate different dance forms including Salsa, Modern, New Jack, Bboying and Popping into his performances and competitions. This combination of different styles finally lead him to House dancing. To Angelo, House dancing is the ultimate expression of soul. It combines all that you know and translates who you are and what you are feeling into an exchange of energy. Angelo has competed in House dance competitions in Paris’s Juste Debout, House Dance Conference in San Francisco, Bboy Hodown in Houston Texas and in New York at House Dance International.
By night Angelo is a dancer, and by day he is an Art Director / Artist for an Ad Agency. He enjoys combining his two disciplines and always looks for creative ways to merge them. Currently Angelo is a member of the group SoulShifters, a movement with members all over the world. Angelo is a proud member of Versa-style Dance Company and has been with them for the last 3 years sharing his experiences and gaining wonderful new ones. Angelo is also Versa-Styles’ central multimedia artist, creating VS’s promotional materials, website, and assisting in creation of promotional videos and reels.