The Twinjaz breakdance into Eau Claire

Brothers Steven and Michael Lor were invited to Eau Claire to perform and share their story with the community

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Photo by Graham Rowe

The breakdancing duo, M-Pact and VillN performed and spoke at CVTC Saturday evening.

Breaking it down for more than 15 years, the breakdancing duo, Twinjaz, have made their passion a lifestyle.

“Dancing is their full-time job,” said Caitlin Lee, an event organizer at Chippewa Valley Technical College, “it is their bread and butter, they don’t have another job. This is their job.”

Michael and Steven Lor, commonly known by their stage names, M-Pact and VillN, participated in several events at CVTC April 27-29 in Eau Claire.

Originally from Sacramento, California, where they began their dance careers at their hip-hop dance club in school, they now are teaching, judging and performing around the world.

The Lor brothers usually perform with their larger group, Kinjaz, which consists of more dancers. Kinjaz is known for their 2015 appearance on MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew” (ABDC) All-Star season, where they finished second. For Saturday’s event, the Lor brothers performed and shared their story at CVTC.

Khong Meng Her and Lee, the organizers of the event said they thought the Lor brothers would be an amazing and inspiring group to bring to campus. They added that their presence would build community and also inspire others to follow their dreams.

“We didn’t realize how big they were when we reached out to them,” Lee said. “I was just psyched they were on ABDC, I didn’t realize the breadth of their impact.”

At the event itself, the room was filled with a diverse group of people. Youth were invited to perform dance moves on stage, and the Lor brothers performed several dance moves themselves and answered questions about their life and passion.

“We hope that they continue on with that inspiration,” Lee said, “not just to dance, but to be inspired to follow a passion and a dream that you have.”

One of the reasons the dancers were invited was because of their influence on the Hmong community, but also their success overall.

Lee said although Steven and Michael both received undergraduate degrees, they chose to follow their love for dance instead of a typical job.

“Our students at UW-Eau Claire need to see that success isn’t all about graduating with your degree and doing something with that degree,” Lee said. “These guys are not using their degree and they are still successful.”

Her and Lee were not the only ones who helped organize the event. Her said the event would not have been possible without the help of sponsors such as the Affirmative Action Office at Eau Claire, Blugold Beginnings, Eau Claire Sport Warehouse, EDI fellows, RHA, Housing and Residence Life, Quality Dental and CVTC providing the space.

Xee Xiong, a member of the audience who attended the event with her family, said she has been a fan of M-Pact and VillN since their appearances on MTV and was excited to meet celebrities from TV in “a small town like Eau Claire.”

“I liked their interaction and engagement with the crowd,” Xiong said. “They were not judgmental at all, they are very humble people.”

Xiong also said she enjoyed the amount of diversity in the audience and liked how the performance helped bring the community together.

Katherine Moua, a 2015 Eau Claire graduate who attended the event said she came because of her interest in dancing and her connection to the performers as a Hmong dancer herself. She said she enjoys the Lor brothers because of their passion, the fact that they are part of the Hmong community and the message they are putting out for the youth.

“Being Hmong too and being part of the Hmong community,” Moua said, “it’s really great to see someone pursue something in the arts that usually isn’t expected.”

Moua said opportunities like this are for everybody, and everyone can always gain something from them even if they don’t really identify with it or find an interest in it.