East New York native, Quamaine “Karnage Virtuoso” Daniels promotes the arts. The arts allow Daniels to use his imagination and produce beauty. Daniels’ definition of art is “art is what you feel, see, and hear; it’s your interpretation of life and who you are as a person. It’s the freedom of movement and the words unspoken.” Daniels’ creativity is enhanced through tattooing and dance and it was acquired by experience and study.
Daniels acknowledges dance as a way to create a series of movements to a specific musical genre but FLEXN’ is his favorite routine. He started FLEXN’ after watching a television show, Flex n’ Brooklyn on BCAT, a public access channel. After watching the show, Daniels found his calling as a dancer.
Despite Daniels’ love and fascination for dance, he couldn’t escape the urban surroundings of East New York and his working parents. ENY is considered to be a “sturdy neighborhood,” due to poverty, crime, drugs, and other cantankerous behavior.
“I wasn’t a bad kid, but I wasn’t the best kid. Growing up in the streets of East New York wasn’t easy. Both my parents were working parents. By the time I was a teenager, they were not together,” said Daniels.
Therefore, it was important for Daniels to not partake in stupidity and reckless behavior and FLEXN’ inspired him to do something completely different with his life. Daniels also used FLEXN’ as a way to address social issues such as injustice, racism, social equality, abuse, and other personal issues.
He didn’t want to be categorized as the average black man who didn’t take his life seriously. Daniels believed instead of pointing the finger, we should fix the problems instead of ignoring them. Lastly, FLEXN’ also questioned Daniels’ immortality and reconsider his daily activities in the streets. As a result, he eliminated the things and people who didn’t respect and understand his passion for dance and exited the street life.
“Flexn gave me my voice, it allowed me to say things, and it allowed me to speak to people. Now I can heal, I can destroy, I can create, I can with flexn, I am flexn. My friends that were my street friends weren’t really into dancing, they didn’t share that same love and passion with me, said Daniels.”
He also added, “They’re like, “Oh no, come do this and be with us.” And that’s not what I wanted to do. So eventually I picked dancing and with dancing I lost those friends, you know a lot of friends I was in the street with, friends I grew up with since I was a kid, so I had to really make a big decision and save my life.”
Daniels also performed FLEXN’ with a dance team, D.R.E.A.M (Dance Rules Everything Around Me) Ring, organized by Reggie “Regg Roc” Gray and Peter Sellars at the Park Avenue Armory and other festivals around the world. He is in the process of becoming a Teaching Artist and started taking courses with Lincoln Center Summer Intensive, Face to Face at City College in Harlem, and Dance Education Laboratory (DEL)."I look forward to ongoing impact of my dance style, continue to inspire those who love what I do, and encourage them to makes changes in their lives,” said Daniels. “My goal is to become a director that also performs and pushes FLEXN’ to its’ limits. With FLEXN,’ I would to include many areas in performing arts such as theatre, classical music, and opera, and would like to collaborate with different musicians, composers, and other visual artists.”