Culture Shock LA, Kaba Mordern, KINJAZ, W.O.D. Hall of Fame Award
Believing in using his talents & resources to promote community outreach, “respect for all people,” artistic expression, and education, Dr. Arnel Calvario has dedicated himself to the CA dance scene since his college days. In 1992, he founded UC Irvine’s own Kaba Modern. He formerly danced/choreographed for DVS and Chill Factor and in 1998, also joined Culture Shock® Los Angeles.
In 2002, Arnel also founded KM Legacy as part of celebrating Kaba Modern’s 10 year anniversary. He managed Kaba Modern, Fanny Pak and the Beat Freaks and provided consultation services to Quest Crew and Poreotics from MTV’s hit show America’s Best Dance Crew. He continues to be the advisor for Kaba Kids, Kaba Modern, and Kaba Modern Legacy and Arnel is also proud and grateful to currently be the Board President of Culture Shock L.A., on the Culture Shock International Advisory Panel, and a member of the Kinjaz.
Arnel continues to teach dance workshops & judge dance events nationally and internationally. His focus is not just dance choreography, but also leadership development and the sharing of the history and essence of many of the urban dance art forms. His long-standing dedication to the dance community has been recognized by awards such as his award for “Innovative Leadership” by the National Association of Asian-American Professionals, his induction into the Hall of Fame at the 2011 World of Dance Industry Awards, his televised 2012 Filipino Champion award presented by TFC (the Filipino Channel), being the recipient of the 2012 Culture Shock International Visionary Leader award, being recognized in April 2013 in Dance Mogul Magazine, his prestigious Gene Lentzer Human Relations Award by the California Conference for Equality and Justice on October 23, 2014, his recent feature in the MARCH/APRIL issue of UNITE 4 GOOD magazine, & his Hall of Fame award at Collaboration SoCal Dance Competition March 2015.
Arnel has also been featured as a guest writer for the L.A. Times as a critic for America’s Best Dance Crew Season 5, served as Battle Coordinator for Hip Hop International World Battle for 8 years and previously for Urban Street Jam for 5 years, is a US Elite Judge for the Hip Hop International US Championships, and was a contributing author for the book, EMPIRE of FUNK which was released January 2014.
His latest accomplishment is the launch of his “Dance Therapy Program for Children with Special Needs.” This is a grant-funded, after-school program for 4th & 5th graders enrolled in special day programs in collaboration with Culture Shock LA & the DEA. This innovative program was launched in April 2014 at Lowell Elementary and hopefully will be expanded this summer. His hope is to continue to combine occupational therapy techniques with dance art to serve more children with special needs, to help with program development for Kinjaz at their newly opened studio, THE DOJO, and to launch a community center with Culture Shock LA in collaboration with other like-minded artists/educators.
He is also passionate about leadership development, community building, and the preservation of the history of urban and Hip Hop dance. Thus, he taught his ROOTS B4 BRANCHES workshop, participated on a discussion panel of dance community leaders in the Philippines, and helped launch Manila’s first ever Hip Hop Dance Convention hosted by La Salle University Dance Company February 2016. Recently, he has worked with the Kinjaz on the new hit NBC televised dance show “Jennifer Lopez presents WORLD of DANCE.” For more information on Arnel, you can check out www.cultureshockdance.org, www.Kinjaz.com, www.kabamodern.com, www.facebook.com/arnelcalvario or his InstaGram account: @ArnelCalvario