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Krucial: A Liberating Daughter Of Krump

Imade Nibokun |
September 10, 2012 | 10:51 a.m. PDT


Krucial the Liberator (Deidra Cooper).
Krucial the Liberator (Deidra Cooper).

Krucial is an Inglewood raised krump dancer and USC Rossier grad student who uses art as a weapon of freedom.

“I call myself Krucial the Liberator. I’m on this journey and I’m going. I don’t want anybody to get left behind because when you feel something, you want everybody to feel you, you want everybody to go with you.”

Like most superheroes, 23-year-old krump dancer Deidra “Krucial” Cooper has a mission refined since birth.  Her Inglewood upbringing showed her everything she should avoid and everything she should become.  

“Of course you would see violence in the neighborhood, drugs, and gangbanging,” she said. “It was intense.  It was a lot not to fall into that trap, but my mom always took me and my [twin] sister to church every Sunday. We were brought up on the principles of Christianity and believing in God.”

Seemingly divine circumstances thrust Krucial on an unlikely path toward her superpower.  

“I was in the eighth grade and my mom asked me if I wanted some Tommy the Clown tickets at the Forum,” she said. “I was like, ‘Who is Tommy the Clown and why is he having something at the Forum?’ I went there and my whole world turned; it shifted. All these dancers that were my age with their face painted and was just getting off! It was just fun! That was my first time ever seeing any type of urban dance that was not ballet, tap or regular hip-hop.”

After viewing David LaChapelle’s 2005 krump documentary “Rize,” Krucial discovered the missing piece of clown dancing that captivated her soul.  

“When ‘Rize’ came out that was big, like, wow. Krumping was the more raw, realness of clowning. Krump is like I had a real bad day today. Or I had a real good day today but I don’t feel like looking so happy. I want you to feel my struggle and feel my progress and then feel my success behind that struggle too. Krump definitely does that for me.”  

“Rize” also introduced Krucial to Miss Prissy, the self-proclaimed mother of krump who went from a South Central ballet dancer to a global krump icon. It seemed destined that Krucial would follow as a daughter of the culture.  

“Miss Prissy paved the way not only in krump but outside of krump as well. She holds the crown. She is the queen. No one can move like her. She is in that zone every time.”

Shaped by powerful women before her, Krucial exudes bulletproof femininity.  

“Sometimes when I’m getting off [slang term for passionately krumping], I think that I’m this Amazon woman, or Storm from X-Men or I’m even Harriet Tubman. The liberator character comes from Harriet Tubman and how she would free slaves. They would be mentally enslaved, physically enslaved, and she would really lead them into their freedom. I really love that concept and just her whole life being dedicated to helping others.”

When Krucial removes her cape, she doesn’t resign to a life of menial boredom. 

“I’m not a statistic. I’m a college graduate. I just got accepted to USC’s graduate school, the Rossier School of Education. I know I’m going to get my master’s in education and my doctorate in school administration. I want to open up different recreational centers around Los Angeles, Watts and Compton. There’s no all arts recreational centers just for dancing, or just for the arts or for painting. There’s none like that in these urban areas. That’s important and goes overlooked.  We have to be the change we want to see.”  

For Krucial, that change begins with what she leaves behind. 

“I want to leave a legacy that will go on for ages. It will not necessarily be me but the aura of it being Krucial. I don’t stand for disrespect, belittling women, violence, things that pick away at other people. I’m an encourager, I’m an inspirer, I am a very loving person.  The legacy that I want to leave is my imprint for other women to know you don’t have to belittle yourself or another woman to go higher.  Stay focused, have God first in your life and do what you want to do.”


Reach Contributor Imade Nibokun here.



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