Ho'okele Staff | Mar 31, 2012
Before even being able to call herself a teenager, the animated Camren Bicondova has managed to dance her way onto the Kid’s Choice Awards, the Disney Channel, and a principal role in the upcoming film “Battlefield America.” Her most recent accomplishment is a spot on the internationally aired MTV dance show, “America’s Best Dance Crew (ABDC)” with her eight-girl crew, “8 FLAVAHZ.” Bicondova, age 12, is the daughter of a Navy chief stationed at Pearl Harbor
“She had seizures until she was seven years old,” said Camren’s mother and former Information Systems Technician Jessi Bicondova. “So we put her in dance just because she didn’t really have a lot of social skills…. she was very shy and would always look down at the ground.”
After putting Camren in both ballet and hip-hop at the age of 6, she grew to love dance and found out she was good at it. She now describes herself as a hiphop dancer, but enjoys all styles.
Starting her dance career in San Diego (where the family was previously stationed) allowed Camren to join not only a large dance community but also a lifestyle of sorts. Jessi compared it to the solidarity of the military’s family-like community. When the family transferred to Oahu just before Camren’s 10th birthday, her first reaction wasn’t an excited one.
“It was hard for me at first because when you’re still young you’re like ‘I don’t want to leave my friends,”‘ Camren said. “But then I realized Hawaii is a good place, so I was okay with it then.”
After being recommended by her previous dance coach to try the Kaneohe dance studio 24VII Danceforce Performing Company, Camren met dance coach and studio founder Marcelo Pacleb. He was impressed on first sight.
“She was only 9 years old but I could see that fire and that passion inside of her,” Pacleb said. “She’s a natural performer and entertainer.”
Pacleb is responsible for organizing “8 FLAVAHZ.” Out of the eight girls, four are from Hawaii and four are from California, with ages ranging from 10 to 17. A majority of their practices are done over Skype. They also send each other routines and correspond constantly to keep the adhesiveness that other teams have automatically.
America’s Best Dance Crew held four auditions across the country throughout the month of January, with thousands of teams attempting to impress the judges to receive a spot on the show. Before the audition, Camren made a shout out to her father, saying, “I love you dad! I wish you were here.”
After getting a callback, the crew found out they would be one of the top 10 crews competing on national television, with their fate being decided by the viewers.
“I am very honored and proud for them and just excited for the opportunities that can come of this,” Pacleb said. “They’re very versatile girls and I cant wait.”
Even after all of the success that dancing has brought her, Camren said both of her parents have been role models to her work ethic. She is home-schooled and said, she attempts to train harder whenever her father is away from home because she knows he is working just as hard.
“I’m hoping that it [8 FLAVAHZ] goes farther than Hawaii and JBPHH because they work really hard and we’re really proud of her,” said Jessi, who will be traveling with Camren for the length of the competition. “It’s not easy.”
As far as how dance has impacted her life, Camren said that it allowed her to meet new people and helped her to learn she could do things she thought she couldn’t. The girl who was once a shy and introverted who struggled to meet people is now a professional athlete, both eloquent and confident.
She has had no problems with seizures since she started dancing.
“If you have a thing that you really want to do, don’t stop it just because your parents aren’t there,” Camren said. “Just work harder so that they know that you’re doing well.”
The new season of America’s Best Dance Crew, featuring “8 FLAVAHZ” premieres April 11.