Pensive, Yet Airborne

John Gilhooley

Ever since she appeared as one-sixth of the already-award-winning Kaba Modern crew on the inaugural season of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, Irvine native Yuri Tag has enjoyed traveling around the globe, performing, teaching, hosting Internet shows, being a product spokesman—all that normal stuff 25-year-olds do.

Kaba Modern originated in 1992 at UC Irvine as an offshoot of the Filipino cultural club Kababayan (“friend” in Tagalog). Ever since, the dance troupe has collected tons of awards, gaining notoriety not just in the no-longer-underground hip-hop dance world, but, thanks to MTV, in the mainstream consciousness as well.

Though Tag is now contemplating a foray into either physical or occupational therapy, she is still very active with Kaba and travels frequently with the group, from Australia and Beijing to South Africa and Guam.


Upcoming Events

1. Go to Church.
Tag feels at home at Compass Bible Church. “Pastor Mike doesn’t sugarcoat anything, and he just tells you all the things you don’t want to hear but it’s important to hear. It’s just a very strong Bible-teaching church.” 150 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, (949) 540-0699;

2. Go to Disneyland.
“Fantasmic! And fireworks—you can’t live in OC without those,” says Annual Passport-holder Tag. Her favorite attraction? “Captain EO—I love Michael Jackson, and I’m so glad they brought it back. I have all of the souvenirs, the posters, the T-shirt, everything.” 1313 S. Disneyland Dr., Anaheim, (714) 781-4565;

3.Dance, But Eat, Too.
“It’s not a complete experience without food,” she says. “I loved taking and teaching dance classes at Jimmie DeFore Dance Center, but there’s an amazing little Japanese café nearby called Chaya that I always grabbed something to eat or drink at.” Try the chicken salad and honey green tea with boba. Jimmie DeFore Dance Center, 151 Kalmus Dr., Ste. G3, Costa Mesa, (714) 241-9908; Chaya, 3030 Bristol St., Costa Mesa, (714) 436-5798;

4. Get a Good Burger.
“I used to live in Newport Beach when I went to UC Irvine, and I would always run on the boardwalk at Newport Pier,” Tag says. “Body surfing, biking, all those activities—you name it, and I love to do it. After I was done with all that and being in the sun, I’d go to TK Burgers on the pier. It’s the most amazing place to head after the beach.” 2119 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, (949) 673-3438;

5. Don’t Forget Boba.
“I love boba,” Tag says. “But there’s a really specific way I like it, and I’ve had it from lots of places from LA to the Valley—everywhere! There’s one specific drink called the royal milk tea slush that Lollicup offers that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s unique, simple and so amazingly delicious.” She pauses. “I was really contemplating if I was going to rank this so high, but I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t live without it.’” 2700 Alton Pkwy., Ste. 119, Irvine, (949) 679-8885;

6. Discover Great Art.
“I have a friend I met at UC Irvine, Jeff Tang (a.k.a. 12FV), who’s an amazing artist. I love his artwork, and I feel that it has an OC vibe to it. . . . It’s just really chill. He’s the epitome of OC, just really relaxed and always live.”;

7. Get Down.
“My friend Mikey, a.k.a. DJ Jazzwell, used to throw Get Down OC at the Proof Bar in Santa Ana. They’re taking a break right now, but it just had really, really great house music, and it was a perfect place to hang out.” Visit for info on Get Down OC’s comeback.

8. Know Where to Get Good Hip-Hop.
Tag recommends The Crosby, “a little hip restaurant/club/lounge/restaurant. My friend Chris Alfaro is part-owner, and he’s also a DJ. He was actually one of the first b-boys I ever knew of in Irvine when I was in junior high. He was just always one of those pioneers of living that hip-hop culture and lifestyle. I think it’s really great he helped to create that little spot in Downtown Santa Ana. Great food and great music.” 400 N. Broadway St., Santa Ana, (714) 543-3543;

9. Shop What You Love.
“I love shopping at The Attic for hard-to-find sneakers, and they have lots of great clothing, including my favorite brands, Hell’s Bells and Stussy. It’s also co-owned by Justin Chon from Twilight!” 8010 Beach Blvd., Buena Park, (714) 220-3116;

10. Get Control of Your Body.
Tag currently works at South County Physical Therapy and Pilates. “I’m a huge supporter of Pilates. I feel that everyone should do it just to strengthen and have better control over your body. And because it’s so related to dance, it’s kind of why I’m looking to transition into physical therapy as a career.” 21321 Antonio Pkwy., Ste. 100, Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 713-6445;

Use Current Location

Related Locations

Compass Bible Church

150 Columbia
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656



1313 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92802


Defore Dance Center

151 Kalmus Dr.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


3030 Bristol St.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


Lollicup Coffee & Tea

2700 Alton Parkway
Irvine, CA 92604


The Crosby - Closed

400 N. Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701


The Attic

8010 Beach Blvd.
Buena Park, CA 90620


South County Physical Therapy and Pilates

23121 Antonio Parkway
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688


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