NYC born and raised LA ROKA, also known internationally as BGIRL ROKAFELLA for herBreak dance mastery, performed as a teen in school productions and later at open mics. She began to perform at theatrical venues with Full Circle Prod ( the non profit company she co founded with her husband Kwikstep) and found her voice after successfully providing interludes for the dance pieces in their evening line up. La Roka is well rooted in Hip-hop and Afro Latin rhythms because she grew up at a time when so many genres were emerging. She composed a Gospel version of Jimmy Castor's "Just Begun" proving her versatility while offering an empowering message in her performances. With the help of Pepatian she honed her poetry and singing skills around the Bronx and had her poems published in an anthology of Bronx Poets.
She has proven her multi faceted creativity, as a model for Athleta, an actress in the film "On the Outs" and the choreo-play "SHE", as a film maker directing the documentary "All The Ladies Say" www.alltheladiessay.com and created Hip hop choreography for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 70th anniversary Hamlet. If you watched the Netflix seriesThe Get Down, you saw her in the 3rd episode and she recently performed with the House of Ninja for Rainbow fashion week!
Roka usually does a Break dance demo during her sets because Hip-hop saved her life, so she reminds the world of its grace and power.
She can perform solo, with a band and dancers. She is currently an adjunct dance professor at The New School and has worked with the Smithsonian as a guest lecturer about Hip-hop, womanhood and the Afro Latin essence.
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Photo above by Mario Lobo/Artista
La Roka began singing and doing poetry at theaters such as: Hostos Community College, Kennedy Center, New Victory Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Columbia College, Stonybrook, Columbia University, Out of La Negrura with Pepatian, The Point, BAAD, NJPAC and DePaul University. She was a Grand Marshal for the 2016 NYC Dance Parade and presented at the 2012 Bessie Awards at the Apollo.
Festivals include: Momma's Hip-hop Kitchen, River to River Battery Park, The Atrium/Lincoln Center, Mega 97.9 Puerto Rican Day Festival 116 street, Jackie Robinson Bandshell, Casita Maria Block Party, Central Park Summerstage, Boogie on the Boulevard, Wave Hill, Bronx Museum's 40th Anniversary Gala.
Clubs: The Delancy-Collage Art party, Roseland Ballroom, BK Nation Le Poisson Rouge, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Santos Partyhouse, Ministry of Sound London, Le Bain Douche Paris, Cassiopaia Berlin.
Recorded with Armand Van Helden, Robert Sanchez, the Orphan Family
Inspirations: Rita Moreno, Lucecita Benitez, Ruth Fernandez, Celia Cruz, Olga Tanon, La India, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan,
Whitney Houston and Patti LaBelle.