Sandra Escalante, a.k.a. “China”, is a dancer originally from Red Hook, Brooklyn. Some of China’s first memories and inspirations are from her older sister India, who danced the Hustle and competed in clubs and ballrooms in the mid 1970’s. China recalls going to block parties and park jams with music played by DJ Action Jackson. In 1979-80, China learned how to dance the Rock from Eve Rock, the lead female dancer from the Floormaster Dancers of Park Slope, Brooklyn. From schoolyards in the Cobble Hill section of Brooklyn, China then started dancing at clubs in downtown Manhattan like Gotham’s West, Bonds Intl., The Fun House, the Loft, and the Roxy’s, where she danced the Hustle and Webo.
In 1982, China met Ken Swift with dancers from the Young City Boys and Rock Steady Crew and danced with them regularly at Broadway 96, a club in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Twenty-four years later, in 2006, Eve Rock reached China and brought her to a practice with the VII Gems Rock Division and the rest is history.
China has performed with VII Gems at various functions in the tri-state area. In April of 2009, China was a Choreographic Consultant and Principle Dancer for the first traditional Rock Dance Theatrical performance entitled “Rockin It”. “Rockin It” toured the United Kingdom as part of Sadler Wells’ Breaking Convention Tour 2009, which included dance workshops, lectures and film screenings.