Keone and Mari Madrid are called the next NabbyTabs. It’s wonderful to get compared as an artist to people you admire, but this dynamic duo has a style all their own. With the caring and kind nature of Keone and the graceful and free spirit of Mari these two are out to change the world of dance through education, choreography and philanthropic efforts.
Keone Madrid’s first love was basketball. He grew up playing sports and didn’t take his first hip hop class till he was fifteen, where he started with one class a week taught by KJ Gonzales. Starting dance at such a late age and becoming a successful professional is rare, but he was determined. After his first class he joined the apprentice crew of Culture Shock San Diego called Future Shock San Diego, which eventually become the director. After high school his students and mentors encouraged him to pursue his choreographic aspirations and really get out in the world. He was nervous to post his work online so students started to on his behalf which led to his first international gig in Norway.
Mari Madrid also didn’t start dancing until a late age. At thirteen years old, she took her first dance class in Boulder, Colorado. At seventeen she moved to San Francisco and danced with a group called Funkanometry. Finally, at twenty-three she moved to San Diego to dance with Choreo Cookies.
These two love birds originally met at Urban Legends in Temecula, California where they were both teaching. They eventually joined the same crew shortly following Choreo Cookies, which they became co-directors in a short time. These two have choreographed for music artists all over the United States and Asia as well as had a successful commercial career choreographing the 2012 Hyundui commercial and most recently was on So You Think You Can Dance as a choreography duo. The couple has signed with Go 2 Talent Agency as a choreographic team. They have also founded Kingdom Made which is an arts charity that sells clothing and accessories to fund its international mission to build homes and offer dance and art workshops for the underprivileged.
When I look at people to admire, I look at no only talent, but are these people truly good people. The Madrids are beyond good people. They don’t allow society to run the way they think or their actions. They play by their own rules as professional dancers and choreographers as well as personally in their beliefs on relationships and importance of getting to know someone deeply before fully committed to a marriage and that marriage actually mean something more than another step in a relationship. I spent hours watching their work on YouTube and noticed that as individuals they were technically beautiful, but as partners they had an undeniable spirit in the way they moved.
I watched YouTube videos for hours before I came across two that spoke to me personally. The Madrids created a music video in 2011 called Don’t Stop the Music which was stylized in the 1920s and went from black and white to color. An energy and connection that was undeniable as they used off rhythms to make the movement flow. Their style was full of illusion with smooth yet sharp isolations. They incorporated small changes in their movement like doing arm motions sitting to standing to different camera angles of the same movement that seem different but they are not. The remix done by Jamie Cullum is revolutionary and drives the piece as Mari is a beast in her heels while maintaining the sweet and lovable side in her dancing. The other piece I watched was one done at the Urban Dance Camp with music by Sam Smith, Stay With Me. In this piece they were so in sync with each other that it was undeniable that they were meant to dance together. A beautiful couple, a perfect choreographic partnership, and two people that are unstoppable.
Watch their Don’t Stop the Music Video Below! Their articulate hand and arm choreography is so intertwined that I think I backed up the player more than 10 times.