September 21, 2011 by Kellie Gannon
“With all dancers, it’s about the performance… you can tell the difference between a dancer who performs only on a stage, and a dancer that will perform anytime & anywhere. You aren’t just a dancer; you have to be a dancer, an entertainer, an actor, and most importantly an artist.” - JM
Every so often life allows you to cross the path of a person whose passion for their craft is nothing short of motivational & inspiring. Julian Mendez, known as “JusMovz” in the dance scene, is exactly that person.
Born & raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Julian started dancing at the age of ten with traditional Spanish ballroom dance lessons primarily from his parents, who are the first generation in their Puerto Rican family born in the United States. At age twelve, Julian’s dance interests shifted to hip hop, evolving again at age fourteen with his discovery of break dancing & the B-boy lifestyle. B-boy is not only about break dancing, rather it encompasses a lifestyle around understanding a genre of music & culture then fusing it into every aspect of life.
“My best advice for the people who work as hard as they can is to just keep going, always look for something to strive for. While you are sitting here & doing nothing, someone else in the world is doing something. Someone else is practicing their craft,” states Julian.
Due to his work ethic & positive outlook, Julian has achieved much success in the dance industry. In 2006, Julian joined the Cleveland Cavaliers Scream Team. In 2007, the Cavs made it to the Finals, & in the same year the Scream Team traveled to China. During the 2007-2008 basketball season, the Scream Team was invited to the All Star Game in New Orleans, LA. During the 2008-2009 season, the Scream Team was voted “Best Entertainment” in the NBA. Upon leaving the Scream Team after five successful years, Julian is continuing to focus on building his career & working on his skill. He has had the opportunity to travel, dance with some of the best dancers in the industry, as well as work in schools & studios with underprivileged youth to showcase the positive impact of dance. He also continues to dance at many events, studios, & venues all over Ohio, most often in the Cleveland area.
Julian’s last words of advice are this… “Creativity, passion, ingenuity of what you do, & the overall art that you put time into is what will make you more grateful in respect to the things you already have & accept the things that you do not have. My goal for the next few years is to help educate, to help people understand what it is to be a dancer, to understand hip hop culture, & that you can literally take anything negative in your life & turn it over to a positive aspect, & channel it into dance. I’ve gone down those roads where I’ve questioned, should I do this anymore? Sometimes the gratitude and appreciation aren’t always apparent. But keep putting your time into something and it will follow.”
Full set of photos here.