Hometown: Santa Ana, CA
Pandora, a Native American of the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribe, is a professional dancer who has honed the geometric, angular forms seen in tutting and the mechanical, robotic movements of popping. She is also a multi-disciplinary artist who believes human resilience is achievable by reaching deep within oneself for real solutions, motivation, and inspired creativity. Her journey in dance traces back to her years in high school, where she first witnessed different styles of street dance at raves, underground parties, and Hip-Hop functions. Motivated by the expression she saw around her, Pandora quickly began honing her own craft and making a name for herself.
Over the years, she earned respect from her peers and built a solid reputation as a champion at various high-level, international competitions. Some prominent popping titles she has won include first place at Radiotron, How the West Was Won, Floor Wars, B.Supreme (London), and Freestyle Session. She has also performed principal roles in prestigious shows throughout the US, Scandinavia, and Europe.
Admiration for her talent has also transferred over to the commercial world, where she evoked a standing ovation from the judges on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and landed a breakthrough role in Disney’s feature-film Step Up 3D. Pandora was also personally cast by Step Up 3D director Jon M. Chu as Autumn in the popular online dance series THE LXD: Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.
Despite her commercial success, she continues to tirelessly educate herself and explore new dimensions of movement and inspiration. She also remains heavily engaged in the dance community which brought her up, teaching workshops, judging competitions, battling and speaking on panels at community events.
Pandora is also a self-taught freelance front-end web designer and illustrator/graphic designer. More recently, she has delved into music, poetry, photography, film, and other forms of artistic expression. Through all of these mediums, she strives to create insightful illustrative performance art and visual imagery that whisks away the audience into the depths of the human soul and back again.
In 2011, she was inducted into Style Elements Crew, becoming the only female member of the group. She brings her unique popping style and multi-talented repertoire to the broader mission of the crew.
With a unique childhood background and roots in underground Hip-Hop and electronic music culture, Pandora has become a world-renowned artist who is on a mission to prove that the human spirit can indeed triumph over difficult times. Her ultimate goal is to use experimental performance art as a vehicle to share the wisdom that inspires the kind of inner transformative change that is necessary for people of all cultures to access and emancipate inner strength.
The Moral of Her Own Story
The name “Pandora” stems from the story of “Pandora’s Box,” an ancient Greek mythological tale about the creation of a female “beautiful evil” molded out of a variety of God-given gifts and born from the earth as an act of punishment toward mankind. Curiosity leads Pandora to open a box that released a swirl of darkness out into the world, until it was shut, just in time, to preserve hope. However there is another version that contrasts this dark tale about a deadly femme-fatale — earlier mythological versions state that “Pandora” actually means “all-giving” and depicts her as “the life-bringer,” a manifestation of the great goddess who rises from the earth. She is, thus, a symbol of the earth, and giver of all gifts that make life and culture possible.
At the beginning of her dance career, Pandora had chosen her alias because she originally felt the name gave her a villain identity within a male-dominated and competitive street dance culture. The “box” portion of the story was meant to reference Tutting, the geometrical style of dance she specializes in.
Yet, over the years, Pandora came to realize that her own identity runs much deeper than a name – she has begun to create her own story, redefine her name and live with a broader purpose. Although her perspective changed, Pandora still chose to keep her alias as an artistic moniker and has created an entirely new meaning behind the name to match her mission. The moral of her own story, inspired by both the light and dark tales about the mythological character, is that through exploring the dark unknown, we can face the imprisonment of our deepest darkest fears and emerge with greater understanding and knowledge. By releasing the fears we hold onto, we make room for the light of hope to shine. Hope resides within. So: find the courage, take a deep breath, take the next step and …peek inside.