A nationally ranked figure skater turned orbiter, Alicia Hernandez (aka Bubbles) is the only female on the EmazingLights Orbit Sponsorship team. Known for her full body style and powerful wrap sequences, Bubbles is changing the way that festival goers view female light show artists and paving the way for all artists to come.
Since picking up an orbit for festival season in 2016, Hernandez became the first female to compete at the Orbit Invitationals at IGC 2016. Today, she is the first female orbiter to concept her very own EmazingLights Feature Video, which shows the life of our sponsors when they come visit the EmazingLights team at headquarters. By allowing people to see some of the perks of being a sponsor, Bubbles hopes to inspire other females to pick up an orbit and dream big.
EmazingBlog: Alicia, so tell us a little about yourself and your dance background. I’ve heard that you used to be a pretty intense figure skater back in the day. How did you find orbiting? And do you think that figure skating has translated to your style of orbiting?
Bubbles: I’ve been figure skating since I was 5 years old. I competed until I was 19, and I still skate for fun. My team won a national gold medal when I was 17, a competition which instilled the values of hard work and practice. From these experiences, I also learned how the arts can be an expression of yourself and how you’re feeling.
When I started dating my boyfriend, PM Jetplaneman, he introduced me to the light show community and got me an orbit for my birthday. I’ve been raving since I was 18, but had never really understood what gloving and poi was all about. I had rarely ever seen orbiters before so I was apprehensive at first, but I was excited to try something new.
I gave my first orbit show to a group of people at a Mat Zo event. It was so thrilling to have them cheer me on and truly enjoy the show I was giving them, and those strangers turned into friends. Since then, I’ve been determined to perform to my best abilities, just like in figure skating. But now instead of competing at an ice cold ice arena in the early mornings, I get to perform at a rave. That’s way more fun to practice for!
EmazingBlog: One of the things that stands out most to me is your full body style. The big wraps, the traces, the spins. What are you trying to accomplish in a light show? Do you feel like your style is different from most female orbiters?
Bubbles: Because I’ve been raving way longer than I’ve been orbiting, it’s only natural for me to want to get up and dance when I hear a funky beat. It’s a struggle for me to sit down and give a show at a rave! So I really try to incorporate shuffling or tosses or something that gets me moving because if I can feel the beat and enjoy myself, then I’m giving the best show that I can. When I first started orbiting, I watched shows by Misty which really inspired me to think outside the tech box and move freely to create a unique visual.
EmazingBlog: When you read your light show accomplishments, something that is always repeated is that you are the first or only Female orbiter to compete at IGC, to create her own EmazingLights Feature Video, and be a part of our sponsorship team. Your are pioneering a path for all female light show artists out there. Do you ever feel any pressure? Do you have goals for yourself and females within the light show community?
Bubbles: I definitely feel pressure, but like a diamond I can’t crack and am determined to shine. When I got to compete at IGC, I realized that my style has some weaknesses, but my style also has some strengths. I need to play to those strengths to stay competitive and also stay confident in myself. I want to translate this confidence to other females because we’re definitely outnumbered in the community, but we still have all the fire. When watching shows from leaders in our community who are guys, it can be intimidating to send them a message asking for help, and more often than not I see girls think that they’ll never be as good or they’ll never master that trick. I always have open arms
I always have open arms for girls who want to learn a trick, have a simple question, or who need someone to tell them – hey it’s okay! Make up a trick that you can do! We’re here to enjoy ourselves, not feel down or alone. We’re a community. My goal is to continue connecting with girls who want to learn and expand the love of flow.
I remember one specific moment at IGC when all the guys left to record a cypher or take a team picture (I forget the reason) and the only orbiters left were myself, Siren, and Trapper. I thought to myself, “Wow, this needs to change next year. How are there only us three?! Girls are gonna take it over.” So my goal is to only get new girls involved, but push other girls to be competitive for this years IOC.
EmazingBlog: You are the only female on the EmazingLights Orbit Sponsorship team with 9 men. What is it like interacting with them on a day to day basis? What about competing with them and doing festivals on FaceMelt Crew? Would you say your experience is different because you are a female?
Bubbles: I’m sure it was quite the adjustment to add a female to the team for the guys, but it’s also an opportunity to learn different perspectives. The more they joke about “brobiting” the more I push myself to be a feminine orbiter because that’s what makes me unique. But they also push me to learn a harder style of tech because I want to stay at their level.
I love being on FMC because no matter what gender, race, or religion, we love flowing together and sharing that flow with others is all we want to do. While being a girl on FMC gives me the chance to meet other girls who might be shy to approach a guy at a rave, our whole team goes hard for the night while having a blast, and that’s what makes us a team.
EmazingBlog: Last question for you. When people think of Bubbles the orbiter. How do you want to be remembered? What do you want to accomplish in light shows?
Bubbles: In the orbit world I want to be remembered as the bubbly orbiter, the one who put a smile on your face. My goal is to impact people, whether it’s for a few minutes or if orbiting becomes their new hobby. Orbiting is not only a performance for people. It is a way to express how I’m feeling and grow something larger than myself. I want to introduce all flow types to people because they might enjoy it, they might love it, and it might turn into the journey of a lifetime.