It’s the Return of Los Angeles’ Ultra Wave Party

Long before the crunkin’ and jerkin’ dance phases came along, Los Angeles had put itself on the map as the birthplace of dance crews at Veteran’s Auditorium in Culver City.

Calling all alumni from the classes of ’80-’89 from Fairfax, Gardena, Serra, Murphy, University, St. Mary’s, Hollywood, Immaculate Heart, L.A., St. Bernard’s, Palisades, Dorsey, Crenshaw, Westchester and surrounding high schools.

Feeling nostalgic for the days where Creepers, 6-inch tapered Dickies, Girbaud jeans, Stan Smith Adidas, Guess overalls, biker shorts, legwarmers, Lottos, and broaches were the fashion trends of the day? When it wasn’t no thang to see brothers sporting bald heads, flat tops, and eraser heads. When Nissan Sentra’s, convertible Volkswagen Rabbit’s, Suzuki Samari’s, Nissan Trucks, Mazda RX2’s, and Chevy S-10 Blazers could be found going up and down Crenshaw Boulevard bumping the latest hits from Prince, Michael Jackson, Kraftwerk, and Cybertron. Can you still do the Smurf, Lacoste, ET, Escape, Frankie, Freddie Kruger, Washing Machine, and Cha Cha? If so, have I got just the party for you.

Native Angelino’s from the classes of 80’ through 89’ will be able relive their glory days with the highly anticipated reunion of the 80’s dance craze Ultra Wave Party taking place Sunday, August 23, 2009 downtown at Club Tatou (formerly Prince’s Glam Slam nightclub.)

Long before the crunkin’ and jerkin’ dance phases came along, Los Angeles had put itself on the map as the birthplace of dance crews at Veteran’s Auditorium in Culver City.

Ultra Wave was a group of Los Angeles dance promoters who were often dubbed as the Westside version of Uncle Jam’s Army, a hip-hop dance crew in the 1980s. Ultra Wave left their indelible mark on L.A.’s hip-hop scene with their unique dance styles, wardrobe, and dance crew battles at parties held for a time in Culver City at Veteran’s Auditorium to rap, electro beat, nu-wave, ska, funk, R & B, and club music. At these parties, groups of teenagers labeled as Trendies, Preppies, Gangstas, Mods, Poppers, Boogalooers, and B-Boys would party together under one roof.

Products of a new program under the Regan Administration that bused inner city Black students to Westside high schools, many young Black men and women were feeling the effects of crack cocaine and the Crips and the Bloods on the Black family. Looking for a way to escape the daily ills of gang and drug violence, many turned to participating in dancing crews and competitions held at house parties and gym parties. By the mid 80s, these parties had gained so much popularity throughout Los Angeles that they outgrew the gym and eventually graduated into parties held at various clubs.

No longer teenagers just throwing parties in someone’s garage or high school gym, but now young adults, Ultra Wave developed into a movement of music, fashion, and dance that had now graduated to throwing parties at such clubs as the Maverick Flat, Exodus, and the Total Experience in the Leimert Park area of Los Angeles. More importantly, Ultra Wave put dance crews on the map with their weekly dance competitions between various groups and male and female dancers who would fiercely “battle each other” on the dance floor for the highest honors. These crews included: The Word Famous Soul Brothers, the Romeos, the Groover, the Ultra Girls, Royal Flush, the Godfathers, the Teazers, the Rock-A-Fellas, and the Dorsey Creepers.

Flash forward 20 years, after marriages, children, and careers, and many of the same familiar faces now in their 40s, are coming together once again under one roof for one night only to relive the Ultra Wave glory days when a battle wasn’t a call to grab a weapon but a call to hit the dance floor and showcase your moves.

And they’ll tell you that they’ve still got it.

Ultra Wave co-founder and the organizer of this year’s reunion, filmmaker Gregory “MC G-Bone” Everett was inspired to put this event together after noticing the return of dance crews to Los Angeles with the new Jerk dancing craze, a previously underground hip-hop dance style that has recently become popular because of media exposure, most notably in the New Boyz single, “You’re a Jerk.”

“I look at these cats today jerking and it takes me back to the 80s when I was their age and we were doing the same thing but on a different level and I’m like—man, these are our kids now dancing,” comments Gregory.

Gregory who is also a historian of Los Angeles’ hip-hop scene and the administrator of the Ultra Wave Alumni groups will be joined on Sunday night by co-hosts DJ Tee and DJ Damu and guest hosts Alex Thomas, Rodney Perry, and Doc Clarke. The popular 80s R&B trio The Good Girls (former Motown Recording Artists, “Your Sweetness is My Weakness”) will also make an appearance on Sunday.

Aside from the reunion of the dance crews will be the highly anticipated reunion of some of Los Angeles’ most well known and respected deejays known for keeping it live on the dance floor. From DJ Boulevard Rod, Tony T of Too Damn Fresh, Chris “The Glove” Taylor, Mark Luv of Zulu Nation, Evil E of Rhyme Syndicate, DJ Vicious Lee, and DJ Ricky Waddas (KJLH Saturday Night Mix), and the notorious DJ General Lee.

The Ultra Wave reunion is also an opportunity for attendees to dig out their 80s clothing from the back of the closet because the fashion was just as important to the scene as the music and the dancing.

So what’s the word? Ultra Wave.

The Ultra Wave Reunion takes place Sunday, August 23, 2009 at Club Tatou (formerly Prince’s Grand Slam) 333 South Boylston Street Downtown Los Angeles from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. For more information and advance tickets, please visit www.ultrawaveentertainment.com.