See more photos from Anime Expo 2011 in Shannon Cottrell's photo galleries "Anime Expo 2011: Day One, Friday," "Anime Expo 2011: Day Two, Saturday," "Anime Expo at Night: Hatsune Miku in Concert, Tune in Tokyo at Club Nokia" and "Anime Expo 2011: Day Three, Sunday."
Search "industrial dance" on YouTube and you'll find a lot of videos of people busting out the dance floor stomp that's become associated with clubs that play industrial, EBM and other associated styles of music. Near the top of your search will be a clip titled "Angry Industrial Dancer in Little Saigon," which features a guy named Tank9 busting out his best moves to Combichrist's track "Electrohead" in public places.
Tank9's videos, which he has been uploading to YouTube for about three years, have become increasingly popular. Every year, the Southern California-based dancer heads to Anime Expo where he dances with cosplayers. We met up with the dancer on Sunday, where fellow industrial dancer Mary was filming him and passersby near the food court of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
"I like showing people that you can go and dance and have fun, make video anywhere and have people get in on it too so that they can enjoy their time here," he says.
This is Tank9's third year filming at Anime Expo. Each year that he shows up at the conventions, he's met by more convention attendees who want to join in the dance.
"I think last year, I got 50 [people] and this year, we got over 50 and we're trying to fit everybody into a song that's only six minutes long," he says.
"Once we start filming, a lot of people want to jump in on the fun," says Tank9. "They want to participate, which is a very good thing for me. It makes things a lot easier."
One thing that's key to the success of Tank9's videos is that he and his friends try to find locations at the convention where there's a lot of action.
"We try to get a spot that has good lighting and where there is a lot of people in background moving around so that the videos can have a lot of replay value, where people can watch what's going on in the background," he says. "I feel like that's an important thing to have in my video, to have a little spontaneity that happens in the background."
When Tank9 began making videos, it would take him about eight hours to complete a project. Now, as his shoots have become more involved, he estimates that it takes "upwards of forty hours."
"In this case, I try to simplify it by playing the music and then, when I edit the video, I know where the dance goes," he says. "Whereas, before, it was just earphones and everyone danced to silence."
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This year, Tank9 and the convention kids are dancing to "Black Hole (Dubhouse Mix)" by AKTioN 51. Tank9 says that he commissioned the group to make a song specifically for the Anime Expo video. Check out his two previous Anime Expo videos below.
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