On any given Thursday night this quarter, if you turned on your television and flipped to MTV, you would have seen an Anteater on the screen.
Not just any Anteater, but a dancing Anteater: fourth-year business economics major Arthur Lien. This past spring quarter, Lien was on the hit dance show, “America’s Best Dance Crew” (ABDC), with the Instant Noodles crew.
Lien has been dancing since he was a senior in high school. He began in 2007, after watching a clip of renowned French locker P-Lock. His first few dance practices were with friends or in his bedroom, as he was self-conscious of his own dancing ability. He learned more about dance when he enrolled at UC Irvine and joined B-Boys Anonymous (BBA).
“BBA has directly and indirectly shaped who I am. They have contributed to the dance community and I want to continue to do the same,” Lien said. “It’s a great place for anyone who wants to dance and learn.”
Lien met the members of Instant Noodles crew in Orange County. During his first year, he met Geo Lee, a 2007 alumnus who was part of Kaba Modern and BBA.
Lee gave Lien dance advice and invited him to Instant Noodles’ dance practices at Henley Basement at Chapman University. In February 2010, Lien partook in a b-boy crew ritual where he had to dance battle every member in Instant Noodles in order to become an official member of the crew.
“It’s been a really good experience. We’re friends first and, in that kind of environment, the crew is really encouraging and I’ve grown a lot,” Lien said.
Instant Noodles went on to audition for the fifth season of ABDC. They didn’t make the cut during season five but were asked to audition for season six.
Footage of Instant Noodles was sent to ABDC’s producers to see if they would be interested in having the group compete. A few months later, Randy Jackson, an executive producer on the show, called Instant Noodles to invite them to participate in the program.
The shooting of the program was a whirlwind composed of only dancing, eating and sleeping for Lien. Lien’s call time was at 8 a.m., and Tuesdays were particularly stressful.
Tuesdays consisted of camera rehearsals, where the crews would perform their choreography without an audience so that the cameramen could find the best shots, as well as dress rehearsals and live filming, when the judges’ decision of who would continue in the dance competition were announced.
Following live filming, the crews were given the next dance challenge, with three days to create a new piece of choreography from that point. Instant Noodles was cut in the May 12 episode, the sixth episode of the season that focused on a Justin Bieber challenge.
“ABDC has been the biggest experience for me and the most memorable part is working with the crew together for a month and a half, learning about myself and others,” Lien said. “I’ve learned to adapt, it’s crazy to see what I’m capable of. We’re always trying to outdo ourselves rather than outdoing others.”
Apart from his experience in Instant Noodles and ABDC, Lien credits his dance experience and the many different dance groups at Irvine with having encouraged him as a dancer.
“The Irvine dance community is really impressive. There are so many teams and groups where people can really go and test themselves,” Lien said. “The dance community is also becoming closer, which is really good.”
Following graduation, Lien plans to focus on dancing, teaching and giving back to the dance community. Likewise, he wants to work toward individual dance improvement and improvement with the Instant Noodles crew. He advises aspiring dancers to learn different dance styles and to be open to learning new things.
“Everyone is different. If someone finds something they like to do, never give it up because you don’t know where it’ll take you,” Lien said. “You do so much just by being yourself.”