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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Ortiz’

Arts & Entertainment

The Life of a UCLA Hip-Hop Dancer

If you live on campus at UCLA, you’ve most likely wandered back up the Hill in the evening and noticed a large mass of people hanging out in Parking Structure 7 and blasting music ranging from Britney Spears to Ace Hood. Sporting some swaggy Adidas sweats, Stüssy shirts and snapbacks, these are the fine people who make up UCLA’s hip-hop dance community.

Association of Chinese Americans Hip Hop, Nikkei Student Union Modern, Samahang Modern and Vietnamese Student Union Modern – as well as a brand new team, Foundations Choreography – are the premiere hip-hop dance teams here at UCLA. Being a part of NSU Modern, I have first-hand experience of the struggle that we as dancers face. And let me tell you, although we’re only on stage for six minutes, so much time and work gets put into what we do.

So, everyone, quiet down and listen up.

ACA Hip Hop

1. Here’s the real situation. UCLA dance teams have no designated place to practice on campus, so we must resort to parking garages. Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms near our practice spots, so often dancers find themselves sprinting toward Student Activities Center during a “three-minute water break.” Once there, you just gotta shake it out, right Samahang Modern?

Samahang Modern

2. But the struggle doesn’t end there. When the time comes for a big dance competition, we have “Hell Weeks,” which are, well, exactly as they sound. During these weeks, we have practice every single day, sometimes until sunrise. You end up becoming a zombie in class, if you even wake up for class.

ACA Hip Hop
ACA Hip Hop

3. Balancing your time is a must being a student-dancer. Practices can range from four to eight hours, and having a midterm the next day is no excuse for being absent.

NSU Modern
NSU Modern

4. But since we have big teams of 40-something people, study groups with each other become just as routine as rehearsals. Time to rally and pull some all-nighters together.

Samahang Modern

5. Don’t get me wrong, there are the fun parts of dancing. You’re introduced to new friends, which leads to hanging out, and hanging out often entails partying.

NSU Modern
NSU Modern

6. And no, just because we’re dancers, it doesn’t mean we just twerk all the time.

VSU Modern
VSU Modern

7. OK, we might. But we have more talent than that. We can do cool things with our hands, too.

VSU Modern
VSU Modern

8. So, if you’re ever thinking about joining a hip-hop dance team on campus, do it. When you’re strolling Bruin Walk, you might feel overwhelmed, but go ahead and stick out your hand and grab that flyer for auditions!

NSU Modern
NSU Modern

9. Being on a dance team will bring out sides of your personality you didn’t even know existed.

ACA Hip Hop
ACA Hip Hop

10. Like, for example, your inconspicuous inner diva.

VSU Modern
VSU Modern

11. So go out, audition and shoot for the stars!

Samahang Modern
Samahang Modern

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UCLA Store’s 11 Gifts to Give this Holiday Season

Thanksgiving has passed, December has yet to arrive and Mariah Carey’s greatest holiday hits are ring-ting-a-ting-a-ling all over the radio. This can only mean one thing: Christmas.

When it comes to gifts, I usually have a Regina George-esque attitude (“I don’t send them, I just get them”). But Christmas is the exception, when giving gifts brings warmth to my heart and makes a hole in my wallet.

Thinking about buying some presents for your friends and family this holiday season? Are you car-less, or at least not willing to make the trek to anything past Wilson Plaza?

Luckily, your life just got easier. Here’s a gift guide to our very own UCLA Store, so you can fret a little less about what to get for that one distant cousin that always happens to buy you something, but you never get them anything and you always feel really guilty, and so you try shopping for them but, like, how are you supposed to know what they like? Anyways.




UCLA Bruins No. 1 basketball jersey (white)


This one goes out to the athletic older brother who loves reminding the world that he works out and has big arms. Cheers to you.




UCLA women’s double arch V-neck tee – blue


Simple, yet cute – an easy gift for a girlfriend, sister, friend. Plus, it’s performance fabric, so it’s perfect for working out in.



UCLA arch mom crewneck sweatshirt – blue


Especially great for those mothers who love to have hot chocolate and sit by the fireplace on those cold winter nights.



UCLA dad license frame


Perfect for a father who loves to rep the amazing school his child goes to.



UCLA musical Bruin plush


Everyone is a sucker for teddy bears. Are you in a long distance relationship? All the more relevant. Now your significant other can cuddle up with a little somethin’ that reminds them of you.



UCLA block tube socks – white


Socks are a staple Christmas gift, so why not change it up and slap on some UCLA spirit?



UCLA pet bowl


We can’t forget the puppy! The cutest member of the family needs a present as well.



UCLA 2014 tree ornament


A universal gift that can be given to anyone: grandparent, uncle, aunt, friend or lover.


Jacket (1)

‘What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions’ by Randall Munroe


Can’t find the perfect book to give in the store? Fun fact: The BookZone can order any book you need and have it shipped to the store.



UCLA Enzo mug


Let’s face it. We always thought coffee was for old people, but, now in college, I am a hot mess without my daily dose of caffeine.



UCLA 13-inch slipsuit navy laptop sleeve


A laptop contains all of life’s important information – why not keep it safe and represent UCLA at the same time?

Happy Holidays!



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24 Famous UCLA Alumni

I remember last year, while waiting patiently for my chunky chicken salad sandwich at Bruin Cafe, Jordyn Wieber was just casually standing next to me. I didn’t know what to do. Do I say hi? No, that makes me seem creepy. Do I mention something about her gymnastics abilities? Probably not. She’s a regular student, just like me. Except she has a gold medal from the Olympics and arm muscles strong enough to beat me at arm wrestling.

Seeing Jordyn Wieber in everyday clothes and ordering regular food just like me, I wondered what other famous people might have attended UCLA. So, I have done some research and am here to give you a list of some of the most famous UCLA alumni. Not all of them graduated from UCLA (some peeps gotta pursue their dreams, ya know?), but hey, they were Bruins for a coo’ minute so obviously being a Bruin is something to brag about.


Famous UCLA Alumni (who earned a degree from UCLA)


Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Professional basketball player

Honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, Abdul-Jabbar is an American professional basketball player with a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player award. He played four seasons for the UCLA Bruins where he was twice named Player of the Year, was a three-time First Team All-American, played on three NCAA champion teams and was recognized as the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA Tournament. A legend in both NBA and Bruin history, Abdul-Jabbar earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA in 1969 while being considered the most dominant player in college basketball.



Troy Aikman: Professional football player

As one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history who led the Dallas Cowboys to three Super Bowl titles, Troy Aikman began his rise to stardom as one of UCLA’s best quarterbacks. Aikman was the first quarterback in UCLA history to lead the Bruins to back-to-back 10-win seasons, along with two bowl victories, and is being honored on Nov. 28 with the retirement of his jersey number. The UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame member participated in graduation ceremonies in front of his mother and three daughters in 2009 after completing his degree in sociology.


448px-Sara_Bareilles_Alice_Fest (photo by Mirrorblade  / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sara Bareilles: Singer-songwriter

This American singer-songwriter who graduated from UCLA in 2003, blew up on the radio with her hit single “Love Song” and has kept a prominent place in the music industry, selling over a million records and being nominated for a Grammy Award five times. While at UCLA, Bareilles was a part of the communication studies program, sung with of the co-ed a cappella group Awaken a Cappella and won the Spring Sing talent show twice.


Linkin_Park-Rock_im_Park_2014-_by_2eight_3SC0285 (photo by Stefan Brending / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Brad Delson: Musician

Brad Delson is an American musician known for his role as guitarist in the Grammy Award-winning rock band Linkin Park. Delson was one of the founding members of the band and worked towards a degree in communication studies with a specialization in business and administration when he entered UCLA in 1995. Delson was roommate to future band mate Dave Farrell for three of his four attending years and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Delson graduated summa cum laude from UCLA in 1999.


465px-Mark_Harmon_1 (photo by Jerry Avenaim / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Mark Harmon: Actor

An American television and movie actor known for his role in the hit crime TV series “NCIS,” Mark Harmon transferred to UCLA in 1972 and was the starting quarterback for the UCLA Bruins football team in 1972 and 1973. Receiving the National Football Foundation Award for All-Round Excellence, Harmon accomplished an amazing 17-5 record and graduated cum laude from UCLA in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies.



(photo of Kay Panabaker by John B. Mueller / CC BY 2.5, photo of Danielle Panabaker by gdcgraphics / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kay and Danielle Panabaker: Actresses

American film and television actresses, Danielle and Kay Panabaker came into the spotlight at a young age. Danielle Panabaker starred in Disney films as a teenager including “Stuck in the Suburbs” and “Sky High.” Kay Panabaker also starred on Disney with a recurring role in “Phil of the Future.” Both sisters later acted together on Disney’s original movie “Read It and Weep.” Astonishingly, Danielle Panabaker received her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 2007 at the young age of 19 while her younger sister, Kay Panabaker, completed her bachelor’s degree in history before she even turned 18!


GabrielleUnionFeb09_cropped (photo by Gina Hughes / CC BY-SA 3.0)

Gabrielle Union: Actress

An American actress and former model, Gabrielle Union is known for performances as head cheerleader of the East Compton Clovers in the original “Bring It On” and as the sister of Martin Lawrence’s character in “Bad Boys II.” A transfer to UCLA, Union interned at a nearby talent agency where she was later asked to work as a model. Union graduated from UCLA with honors in sociology.



Bill Walton: Professional basketball player

Two-time NBA Champion and retired basketball legend Bill Walton rose to superstardom playing under the coaching of John Wooden at UCLA from 1971 to 1974. During this time, he won three consecutive Naismith College Player of the Year awards as a Bruin. Bill Walton is regarded by some college basketball historians as the greatest player who ever played the game at the college level. Walton graduated from UCLA in 1974 and has been honored with the retirement of his jersey number at UCLA.


392px-Jaleel_White_at_the_2010_Streamy_Awards_(cropped) (photo by The Bui Brothers / CC BY 2.0)

Jaleel White: Actor

Jaleel White, famous for his role as the nerdy but charming Steve Urkel in the hit sitcom “Family Matters,” White attended UCLA after the completion of the show and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in film and television in 2001. He continued on with his acting career, starring in “Dreamgirls” alongside Beyonce, and has been featured as a guest on many shows including “Boston Legal,” “House M.D.,” “Psych” and as a contestant on “Dancing with the Stars.”



Jamaal Wilkes: Professional basketball player

Former Los Angeles Lakers star and member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Wilkes was a key player for the UCLA Bruins, helping the team win consecutive NCAA Championships in 1972 and 1973, and he contributed to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak. Wilkes graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from UCLA in 1974 and left the school as a two-time All-American.


More Famous Students/Alumni (who did not or have not yet graduated)

Jack Black (Actor), “School of Rock,” Major: Theater

Nicolas Cage (Actor), “The Rock”

James Dean (Actor), “Rebel Without a Cause,” Major: Theater

Ryan Dusick and Mickey Madden (Musicians), Maroon 5

Mariska Hargitay (Actress), “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Major: Theater (member of Kappa Kappa Gamma)

Anthony Kiedis (Musician), Red Hot Chili Peppers, studied writing

Heather Locklear (Actress), “Dynasty,” (Pledged Chi Omega and Delta Delta Delta, also model and commercial actor for UCLA Store)

Steve Martin (Actor, comedian), “The Pink Panther,” Major: Theater

Jackie Robinson (Professional baseball player), first African American to play in MLB and UCLA’s first four-sport letter winner

Kristen Stewart (Actress), “The Twilight Saga,” Major: English Literature

Ben Stiller (Actor, comedian), “Zoolander,” Major: Film

Jordyn Wieber (Olympic gymnast), 2012 gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team, Major: Psychology


Now we can all sleep comfortably, dreaming of one day becoming just like these successful Bruins.

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Best Late Night Places to Study

Sadly, some of us still have midterms. (I don’t, yay), but I know how hard it is to crack open the books during the middle of the day. Let’s admit it, we always have that one midterm that we wait until the night before to start studying. You decide to take a “little nap” after your long day, and BAM it’s 11 p.m. and you only have 12 hours left until your test. Now don’t be deceived, the “All-Nighter” is a form of art. There is a technique to it, a certain method to its madness. First step is: location. So, for all you night owls out there, here is a list of some of the best study places on and around campus for you to venture to.



Starting third week of every quarter, Powell finally blesses us with its open doors from 11 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. It’s the perfect place for those of you who need ABSOLUTE quiet. Night Powell can became quite an interesting place as you stay later into the early morning. Don’t be alarmed by those who sleep in any possible corner or those who decide to take a break by taking pictures on Snapchat. (Yes, we notice you.) Be wary of the outlets; always make sure you sit somewhere you can charge your trusty Mac. Powell is a great place if you really want to get stuff done because, somehow, when you’re surrounded by working people, you tend to work more yourself.



The Starbucks on the corner of Weyburn and Broxton avenues is open 24 hours EVERY SINGLE DAY. I don’t know how they do it, but take advantage of it. I know I’m a person who needs my Venti White Chocolate Mocha with an extra shot in order to study, so this is the perfect place to go for you coffee-lovers. Beware, however, that after midnight they close down half of the building so there are very few seats left. It’s hard finding a seat as it is, ugh. Word of advice for studying here: Arrive early in the day and camp out until the sun rises … or whenever you finish.




For the dormies who are still on the Hill (somebody swipe me plz lulz), many of us find a certain home in the lounges of our buildings. Even apartment-dwellers come back to reclaim their old stomping grounds: Rieber Terrace eighth-floor study lounge closest to the elevator. But there are also the fireside lounges in Hedrick Hall and Rieber Hall, along with many other study lounges in the lobbies of each dorm building. These places can get a little more social and are not as quiet, so it’s a great place to go if you have group projects or want to study with friends. Note to non-dormies: Be patient, somebody will rescue you and swipe you into the buildings eventually.



Now most people I talk to agree that studying in your own apartment is a trap. There it is … your comfy bed in the corner of your eye … so warm and inviting … LOOK AWAY … but … it’s memory foam … and the pillow is Tempur-Pedic and – you get what I mean. So, a good option is to go over to a friend’s apartment to get some work done. BUT, don’t go to your best friend’s place if you know all you’re going to do is throw shade about your roommates, watch a “quick movie” on Netflix or just sleep in their bed. It may be hard to stay disciplined studying around friends, but the key is to make yourself uncomfortable: Sit on the hardest chair you can find, make it extremely cold in the room, anything to keep you up for the late night. Plus, make use of your friends by having them make sure you wake up on time when you want to take a quick nap. Or do The Pomodoro Technique (look it up) together!



If you have the discipline to study at your own place, by all means, do it. There is nothing like the wonderful feeling of privacy, the wonderful feeling of being able to scream when you want to, to cry when nobody watches, or, if you’re like me, to break out into a one-man musical to all of the greatest Disney hits (High School Musical is my best act). Studying in your own room is great when you really want to focus without any distractions at all. You can stay as long as you want; you can be noisy when eating that bag of SunChips from Bruin Cafe; you can do anything, really. But, it’s not for everyone, especially those who end up accidentally scrolling through Facebook for hours. Studying alone, there’s nobody to keep you in check except yourself, so beware.





For those who like to get away from campus, Philz Coffee became the talk of the town (for the NorCal people) when one of the coffeehouses opened in Santa Monica. Known for its delicious spin on coffee, Philz is a great place to go when you want to feel sophisticated while studying for your exams. They have a great menu (get the Iced Mint Mojito, just do it), but the building is sort of small, so it’s either a hit or miss when you try to find a seat. Philz Coffee didn’t quite make our list because Philz closes at 9 p.m. everyday. Still, try it just for the coffee, then go to Third Street Promenade and treat yo self … well maybe AFTER midterms.

That’s it! So, I hope you find the perfect place for you! GO MIDTERMS! WOO!

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Arts & Entertainment

#TrendingNow: TV Shows

It’s the beginning of fifth week. We all know what that means … Midterms are over. Or, it’s your last chance to drop that Writing 2 class – which you happened to not do the 12-page paper for – without that pesky mark on your transcript. If you’re anything like me, you won’t know what to do with this abundant amount of extra time on your hands. Finally you can watch a 45-minute episode of Walking Dead on Netflix without trying to fit it in a 25-minute study break!

We have chosen one trending show for each day of the week for you to splurge on. Luckily for you most of these shows are brand new so there’s no need for a three-day marathon to catch up. Not that there’s anything wrong with that … I mean I’ve never done that … never … yeah.

8 p.m. on FOX
Everyone knows “the Caped Crusader” of Gotham City: the American billionaire Bruce Wayne, who is a philanthropist by day and Batman by night. But FOX is taking us along a different route with one of DC Comic’s most popular characters. “Gotham” is a brand new crime television series that follows the early career of Detective James Gordon as he gets himself tangled in the corruption of politics and the mobster business. The show features younger versions of Batman and the villains he will face in the future, including Catwoman, the Riddler and Penguin.
For all you superhero fanatics, this is the show for you.
Your roommate after you’ve watched an entire season of a show on Netflix without moving from your bed:

8 p.m. on The CW
Superheroes sure do seem to be the fad nowadays. Based on the DC Comics character Flash, this brand new series follows the origin of the costumed speedster as he copes with witnessing his mother’s murder and father’s conviction for the murder he did not commit. Barry Allen, the man behind the mask, is an outcast among his peers and works as a crime scene investigator for the Central City Police Department, but once he acquires his superhero power to move at superhuman speeds, he promises to protect Central City from escalating crime.
Me on the way to steal yo man.

American Horror Story: Freak Show
10 p.m. on FX
AHS is back and more twisted than ever. On its fourth season now, this show really knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat or hiding under the covers. The season features the supreme Jessica Lange as Elsa Mars, the leader of a struggling Freak Show in Jupiter, Florida who is looking to make it big. Characters include the classic bearded lady, siamese twins, a strongman, a woman with three breasts, a handsome boy with lobster hands and many more not-so-normal performers.
When you get into bed to sleep at night and then remember you have a paper due tomorow:
Shocking … I didn’t use the notorious “Surprise, bitch.” gif that has driven tumblr users to madness. Oh. Wait … No …

How to Get Away With Murder
10 p.m. on ABC Family
The new buzz in town, How to Get Away With Murder, is a legal drama series starring Viola Davis as a defense attorney/law professor at a competitive university in Philadelphia. The series opens up with a group of students at a murder scene and constantly flashes back in time to the events that led to this point. The cast includes the standout star student, a quiet but determined brunette, a daddy’s boy know-it-all, a man who sleeps his way to success and a quiet but determined underdog, all who work together under the firm of Annalise Keating (Davis) to prove the best of their class. But things don’t go quite as they expected …
When Netflix says it has new releases of your favorite show, but then you check and they’re still a season behind.

America’s Next Top Model
9 p.m. on The CW
Y’all better werk! It’s a classic. We all know it. Now on its 21st cycle, Tyra Banks still slays the competition with her smize, and things have changed quite a bit since the beginning of the series. The show now features both female and male contestants and we still have our favorite judges telling it how it is, the amazing Tyra Banks, Kelly Cutrone and J. Alexander. The goal of the show is basically still the same: be the model on top. But there’s a new twist: social media is a factor in eliminations so models best not get on our bad sides.
ANTM holdin’ down the fort since ’93. YAAASSSSSS!
by Jeremy Ortiz

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