Self-taught dancer builds following, gets sponsorship


Senior Emanuel Garcia-Ruiz shows off his dancing style called “pop animation”. Garcia-Ruiz is currently working on becoming a professional dancer and is a representative for Lavish Supply.

Nathan Martinez, Staff Writer

While dance is typically thought of as something students learn as part of a team or with formal instruction with private tutors, social media and YouTube dancers are taking down those clichés.

Senior Emanuel Garcia-Ruiz — known as “Airpulse” on social media — started dancing four years ago by watching videos online and is slowly building his own internet following.

“I didn’t take any classes whatsoever,” he said. “I’ve been teaching myself o of YouTube and basically doing the day to day dancing grind.”

Garcia-Ruiz has been dancing since he was a kid, but within the past four years, he’s been taking it more seriously to try and make his passion into a career for him. I really do believe (I can make it as a dancer),” he said.. “I’m striving for that.”

Garcia-Ruiz has had many influences over the years, including groups like Dragon House and Non-Stop. When he was young, Michael Jackson was his favorite dancer.

Recently, he has been more influenced by FikShun, who shares the same “pop animation” dance style, where the movements tend to look rigid and jerky.

When Garcia-Ruiz posts videos of himself dancing, he usually also adds some commentary about how to stay positive in life.

Senior Jesse Rios, one of Garcia-Ruiz’s best friends, occasionally helps him record his videos. He said that Garcia-Ruiz’s style is unique. Rios said he thinks Garcia- Ruiz’ down-to Earth personality type is an asset that helps people enjoy his videos.

“His dancing is unique from everybody else’s that I’ve seen dance,” he said. “It’s different.”

Another technique Garcia-Ruiz uses to gain attention is adding hashtags to his posts about the positive message, song titles, musician names, or the overall mood of his dance. Adding tags helps build his audience as they search for related content on social media.

He believes this strategy helped him get his sponsorship for his videos. A streetwear company called Lavish Supply reached out to him to ask him to be a representative for their company.

“They send me chains monthly or every other month for free,” he said. “They also said that they’re going to start paying me now because they realized that I keep buying from them.”