IMG_0579

image credit to www.feelslikewhitelightning.com

“I’ve always just been myself, and dancing in the streets is a part of it; I’ve gotten a good amount of bad talk from it.”

The beat goes on, the city never sleeps and the BIG bang of Loan Tran’s drum never stops thumping. She’s a petite 5’2’ stature of spontaneity that perseveres from rejection, never doubts, and doesn’t give a damn about society because she plans to do as she pleases regardless. Everyday amongst the hustle and bustle of Downtown Manhattan, Tran teaches those who critique her to never judge a book by its cover. No it isn’t drugs, it isn’t for attention and it isn’t for charity. New York City’s Tiny Dancer is simply high off the beat of hot tunes and city life. “She Owns the Streets.” – CARESSA PITTMAN

SHK: So you’re originally from California? What inspired the move to New York City?

Loan Tran: My company had a rotation program where I could try working in another group, and one happened to be in New York. When I saw the opportunity I figured, let me try New York out. I never really planned on moving from California, I just wanted to do something new.

Was it everything you expected?

Somewhat. I mean, Times Square is a lot smaller than it appears in movies and you don’t see fashionable ladies walking down the street in groups like in SATC very much. I also don’t think people are that open minded here as I thought they would be. I can dress up crazy and it’s always  ‘shock’ to people. I thought more of that would be embraced.

After Googling you, yes I Googled you, I discovered that your reasoning for dancing in the street was because of the discrimination occurring in the New York club scene. In your own words, can you tell me a little more about your experience with that.

Yes, when I first moved here, I couldn’t really get into clubs and I didn’t like being told where I could or could not dance. A week later, I came back with my headphones and tried dancing on the sidewalk, but I was told I wasn’t allowed to, So I moved onto the streets and because I knew they didn’t own the streets.

The first time you began dancing outside, how did you expect people to react to you, or was that something you didn’t give much thought to?

I didn’t give it too much thought it at the time. I probably think about it more now than before, only because I’ve talked to people about it, and they would give me their reactions.

I’ve read somewhere that you also work as a Business Analyst. Have any of your co-workers ever encountered you while dancing in the streets? What was their reaction to it?

Surprisingly not, but they do know I dance in the streets and have said , “Oh, maybe I will run into you dancing in the streets.” It would definitely be interesting if I ever ran into a co-worker, but for some reason, it’s never happened.

I’m pretty sure we all would love to know what you’re listening to underneath those headphones! What songs get you pumped up the most?

I listen to a variety of songs; Florence & the Machine, some 80’s music like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” Madonna, Hot Chip, MGMT, Lana Del Rey. Recently I’ve been jamming some Ke$ha. It’s kind of all over the place, with my playlist. I even used to have Nico & the Velvet Underground.

You have pretty impressive taste. Listening to those songs, we’d want to jam outside, but most of us just don’t have the courage like you do.

You seem like such an inspirational person. Do you have a motto that you live by?

Definitely, one of them is to always challenge the status quo. I really hate it when anyone tells me I can’t do it, so I’ll find a solution around it. Another one is don’t listen to too much of what others are saying. I’ve always just been myself, and dancing in the streets is a part of it; I’ve gotten a good amount of bad talk from it.

Raveonettes “She Owns the Streets”

What kind of bad talk do you get from it? In the song “She Owns the Streets,” one of the lines were, “Is it all drugs or is it just everyday fun?” Do you really get that reaction all of the time, people assuming you’re using? What have been a few other outrageous comments you’ve received from it?

Yes, I do. I have people come up to me and ask, “Are you high?” Not long ago someone asked if I was on molly. I mean, these people have done molly before; did they go dancing in the streets? I’ve also had a woman say she would punch my head off my shoulders because she’s lived in New York for so long and never seen anything like that before. She was so angry.  I just don’t know why people can’t just ignore it if they don’t like it.

I’ve noticed that when you’re dancing, you are usually decked out in some elaborate getup. Is that like a costume or protective wear of some sort to you?

I like dressing up, and some days when I dance, I’ll have a nice outfit on, either from coming from an event or just cause. Also, if I just finished making a hat and I want to show it off, then yes, I’ll wear it 🙂

Oh yes, I was just about to ask you about your hat collection. Designs by Tiny? Do you have plans of launching a line of them and if there are any plans in the making, when do you think they will be available?

I definitely would like to launch a line, but I’m practicing on getting better first, as I just finished my first class this past spring. I take a Millinery class – hat making.

loan-tran-hat-designs

What elements have inspired your hat designs?

I really just design what I like I guess. I like all spectrums of hats, from period hats, to crazy hats like some of the ones I designed more recently. I had one hat I made that had a bunch of skeleton bodies on it, and I just wanted that on my head. Even another piece was a Barbie headpiece, it was more to mock fashion because you see these types of things on the runway, but no one ever really goes out and wears them on the streets. When I wore the Barbie headpiece, it was captured on HONY, and I was pretty much verbally abused on there for it.

loan-tran-hat-designer

Do you ALWAYS lean towards individual fashion or would you consider yourself more of a trend/label follower?

I’m more towards individual fashion. I don’t collect any fashion magazines; I don’t own a TV, I HATE celebrity culture. I prefer shopping vintage or at a small boutique.

If you don’t mind me asking, where is your favorite place to shop?

I used to like to shop at like Patricia Field because they had clothes that were really colorful and out there. I also liked this place called The Dressing Room, It’s vintage and it had a bar so you could drink and shop.

I once heard someone say that fashion is the way you express yourself to the world. What statement do you feel your ensembles make? How do you think you convey this?

I feel my ensembles expresses who I am inside. Edgy/different, with a touch of madness. I think they can make a statement that portrays the same amount of energy I give, had I not wore that ensemble. For me, I really believe in energy, and I’m always drawn to other people’s energy…so sometimes, when someone enters a room, you notice them, because you can feel it.

Do you think your confidence and the way you dress plays a big role in the amount of attention you get while dancing in the streets?

I think the confidence helps. I don’t dress up too often when I dance in the streets, but I guess when I do it does help to make people look more. : It’s the untimeliness of my arrival and the untimeliness of my departure. A lot of the time, I dance out of nowhere and I leave out of nowhere without saying a word to anyone.

So what’s the story on how you and Sune Rose Wagner met? Have you heard of his duo beforehand? Were you hesitant about it at first? 

I was at a Black Keys concert in Madison Square Garden and during intermission, I wanted to keep dancing, so I put on my headphones and danced in the middle. He was there with his best friend, who happened to know me. : Sune said to him “Oh, look there, there’s someone dancing,” and his friend was like, “Oh, that’s Loan. I know her. “They came down from their seats to talk to me real quickly, and so I could meet Sune. I haven’t heard of them before, unfortunately. They’re great though, so I don’t know why I hadn’t. A few days later we met up for lunch, and I ended up telling him my story. After that I was like “Ok, I have to go home and write music.” Next thing you know, he tells me he wrote a song about my dancing in the streets…in interviews he says it only took him 10 minutes to write it. Glad I inspired him.

Since the song and video release, has your life changed at all? 

No, just that I got my very own song! 🙂 I think it’s so cool, because it has “among the Bowery cabs”

Loan Tran on the streets of NY

Would you say that is your favorite place to dance?

Oh yes! I’ve tried a number of different streets here in New York and that area is the BEST! I’ve even danced on Sunset Blvd before, of course I almost got busted right away…and Miami too. New York is the only place I can do it because everywhere else has jaywalking laws, and well, they aren’t New York.

How does dancing make you feel? Is it just a cool way to pass the time, or is it much deeper than that to you?

It’s much deeper than that to me. We have an ability to feel and to express ourselves. To me, I really like music, and the best way to communicate that, for me, is through dancing. I guess I’m a very passionate person, and that energy needs to go somewhere. To me, it’s being able to have that feeling and EXPRESSION, that’s why I enjoy doing it. Believe it or not, some people really don’t know how to feel or be more than a robot/sheep.

Have you ever had dreams of being a dancer as a child or was it just something you just discovered that you enjoyed at some point?

I just discovered it, I think when I was about 24. My company had an event where there was liquor, and I never really drank until that time. So liquor brought it out of me, that I even had that ability…I was mostly a wallflower. I’ve always been a bit shy, and so I guess at the time, we were out, we were drinking and there was music, I wanted to dance.

Did it just start out as a drink and dance thing, or do you usually drink a bit before dancing?

Oh no, then after that I just realized I like to dance and don’t have to drink before dancing. : It’s just that in the beginning, it brought it out of me, because I didn’t even know I could dance.

Earlier you mentioned the robot and it made me wonder, do you have a favorite dance move or maybe a signature?

I don’t really have a favorite dance move, I feel like I’m more freestyle.

Do you like to do one particular dance that has no name? Maybe a step you can say you’ve made up? There’s the Harlem Shake and maybe there can be a new dance like the Tiny Dancer dub step.

Ha maybe I should come up with one! Other than dancing on top of the fire hydrant posts, I guess that’s my thing.

NYC Tiny Dancer – Teaser Trailer from Candy Pig Films on Vimeo.

So I must inquire, after watching the trailer to your documentary over a dozen times last year, I have been DYING to know. Have you established a release date yet for your documentary?

It’s supposed to be 2014, because they are trying to get it into Sundance. I’m not some rock star or someone that’s accomplished a great deal…I usually think documentaries are reserved for that.

Just because you don’t have a truckload of fame to back you up, doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it. Don’t downplay your AWESOMENESS! I think what you do shows girls that it doesn’t matter what society says. Do what you want, be free. We’re always so concerned about the media and how it tells us not to act that we don’t really do enough for us. I think what you do is an act of bravery that tells them to be themselves, regardless of who’s watching.

Other than designing hats, and dancing, are there any other projects you’ve been working on?

I also paint. I have a little girl character that I paint. I haven’t updated this recently, but click here.

loan-tran-artwork-paint

loan-tran-artwork

SEE: Dancing in the streets.

HEAR: The sound of the bustling city.

KNOW: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

 

Comments

comments