Sincerely Unapologetic | Meet MISSBISH Angela Trimbur

Author: Mia Guevarra / Photos: Carmen Chan
07.18 / MB Series

One ping after another, Angela Trimbur has continued to follow the pings (signs from the universe) to lead her to her happiness. Whether it be the pings that helped her create the LA City Municipal Dance Squad, helped her find inspiration for new stories or opportunities, or helped find her new beloved cockatiel Henry, she is embracing her truths to live her best life. She surrounds herself with genuine energy only to give it back to others through dance, art, writing, and comedy. Read more about the sincerely unapologetic MISSBISH, Angela Trimbur below and become inspired to be sincerely unapologetic too.

In a recent Instagram story, you mentioned that you followed pings (signs from the universe) that led you to create the LA City Municipal Dance Squad. What were some of those pings you followed?
Oh boy it’s so hard to Pin(g) point the exact map from three years ago, as pings can be as tiny as hearing a song on the radio that has a word in a lyric that reminds you of a different thought... but on a more simple scale:

- I followed my odd instinct to join a women’s basketball league, despite having any skill in the sport.

- I said yes to go on a date to a Lakers game (since I now play basketball), and decided not to go get a pretzel... but rather stay and watch the halftime.

- I saw the Laker Girls perform their perfect cookie cutter-ish, somewhat restricted in pure freedom movements, personally felt disappointed. Wished it was more wild and explosive. (They work hard and are amazing dancers, I’m just saying it was too polished for my taste).

- Then when I was playing basketball at the community center the following Tuesday for the league game, I looked up at the clock at halftime and suddenly felt inspired to start up my own dance squad - but to create a weirder one, where no one is perfect and the overall tone is somewhat irreverent yet empowering.

For those who have never taken a workshop with you, can you explain what it’s like to dance with LA City Municipal Dance Squad?
YES. It’s a totally different mind frame than a typical dance class. You won’t show up and learn a hip-hop routine from a Beyoncé music video and a few people in the class are PROS. Those classes intimidate me, personally. In this class, there is no right or wrong. The goal is to kinda feel like a teen again. I like to describe it as “We are all 13-year-old best friends working on a silly routine in the backyard to show our parents before dinner.” A place to get out of our heads as adults and stop trying to “be cool”/worrying what other people think, and just be free and go back in time in a sense, when the only thing on the to-do list was to hang out with friends and have fun and pass the time... but now we are in kneepads in a dance studio.

We start out the workshop in a fetal position and listening to Christina Aguilera's “Beautiful” and breathe and take in those sentimental lyrics. Then we do exercises like play the Flashdance soundtrack and everyone does a solo knee slide then we pour water on you. Then we would clean up the water from the clear while doing an angry orphan freestyle to Annie’s “Hard Knock Life.” Then we will learn a routine to a throwback song you’d recognize from your past - 90's or 00's. This past workshop we learned Salt N Pepa’s “Push It.” There’s partner work. It’s truly just a safe place to stop being hard on yourself.

Who are the dancers in the squad? How did you get the group together?
It started out in 2014 as a little Facebook post, describing the plan and any women who wanted to be a part of it should come to this dance studio at this time. About six showed up. Then from there I always had my eyes peeled, I would see a girl at a house party dancing really fun and full out, and I would recruit her. Eventually, the squad’s presence on Instagram kept growing and I got so many messages asking how to join so we decided to hold auditions. That way we could keep it organized and could all specifically deliberate on who we would bring on, together. We had 85 women audition for our last round of looking for a few new squadlings. It was quite an exciting unexpected turnout! The squad spends so much time together as friends and we want to keep a tight, well balanced, eclectic group, so we are always looking for someone new who would add something fresh to the fam in their own authentic way. Everyone on the squad has different professions and are in different places in life. I have learned so much about female friendships through keeping this all going, have had to have a lot of conversations that you don’t normally have in average adult friendships. It’s consistently illuminating and we all continue to grow and learn together.

None of us are true professional dancers, we just work hard at challenging ourselves and finding our personal “Full Out Best.” It’s a different skill level for everyone, each has their own strengths. Come audition!

What challenges did you overcome when creating LACMDS?
The L.A municipal sports office was certainly confused as to what we were doing. Why are these girls all coming in on Tuesday night community games to dance - for a small audience - uninvited? When I called to ask permission to do halftimes, I think they were just so taken aback they didn’t know how to respond so they just said “Yes?” After that we kind of took over the games in a sense (I would roll in a huge speaker and play music loudly, kind of DJ the pre-games and post-games as well), they were like “wait um what’s this now? Can you not call yourself the L.A City Municipal Dance Squad? It seems official.” I told them we already made the uniforms but would include in our Instagram bio that we were unofficial. They said okay.

On an internal level, the challenges of keeping 12 adult women committed to something was frustrating at times. As adults, especially in Los Angeles, we have become a bit flakey in nature as we all have so many things going on in our lives, but a true squad shows up consistently for each other. It’s the only way to show we take it seriously.

What was it like to dance for Hillary Clinton? How often does the dance squad perform at events?
We got an email asking if we would be interested in performing for a Girls Build LA summit, a non-profit organization focusing on building up young girls confidence and leadership skills in order to succeed - opening for Hillary Clinton. I hard blinked twice to double check I read that right: “Hillary Clinton?!" We were all so honored. We worked hard on brushing up on our empowering Beyoncé “Survivor” routine and showed up at the LA Convention Center the morning of the event, greeted by close to 10k middle school girls. Then backstage warming up, we saw everyone working the event getting extra “efficient” and hushed. Security doubling up. There she was! Hillary! In a floral blouse and a black soft leather jacket (a great choice in my opinion). She was kind and available and very inspiring, looked you right in the eye and shook your hand with a welcoming vibe and graciously took the time to take pictures with whoever asked.

Our performance felt like 20 seconds (it was 2 minutes) and we all kinda teared up afterward. Seeing so many young hopeful girls sitting out there facing us as we danced for them was a very surreal and heartwarming experience. Honestly, it was one of the most fulfilling things the squad has done thus far in many ways.

We meet every Sunday and are always working on strengthening our boldness, finding weird dance moves by challenging ourselves to think outside the box, and practicing a routine for an upcoming show. Maybe it’s a halftime at a basketball game or a roller derby match, maybe it’s for Hillary Clinton, maybe it’s for a comedy show at a theater, maybe it’s at a college auditorium. We don’t have a set performance schedule, we just see what pops up and how we feel about it as a team.

What is your best advice for those who are nervous about dancing in front of others?
Maybe someone a long time ago planted a seed in your head that you look silly dancing or something, but the thing is, you are a fully formed grown up and you can rip out that tiny weed plant that formed, and STOP CARING WHAT SOMEONE ELSE THINKS! Truly have you ever watched someone dancing and thought “They look so dumb they should stop dancing right now and never dance again”??? Usually, it’s more like: “Wow they are really going for it. They look happy.” Dancing is for you. It pumps endorphins into your system immediately! It’s SCIENCE! Don't deprive yourself. You deserve it. So come to a workshop with the squad. I promise you’ll feel less nervous about dancing afterward.

You’re not only a dancer, but a writer/actress/comedian. How do you balance your work and personal life?
If I have the luxury, I prefer to prioritize wherever my heart string is presently pulling me most. What excites me at the moment. If I hear a song and I start to see choreography in my head, I’ll film myself doing it so I don’t forget. When auditions pop up, if it’s a role that really excites me, I excitedly, naturally dive right in. Or if I feel emotionally drawn to a moment in a script I’m writing, I’ll sit down and just write only that scene out, no matter which part of the story timeline it falls in.

Sometimes, there are dreaded deadlines and that’s when my gut screams WAHHHHH, but it’s good to also feel the slight pressure of those expecting something from you. If I’m feeling stressed, I know it’s time to shelf work and do something that soothes me (daytime karaoke, writing poetry, watching old VHS tapes from my childhood, spending time with a friend who appreciates my intricacies, a ginger clay bath).

With all your creative endeavors, how do you keep yourself motivated and inspired?
Surrounding myself with friends I admire who are following their own path and doing so with kindness. It’s very inspiring to know the whole rough journey a friend has been through, and then see them work hard and succeed (in grand ways but also even in small ways too).

You have a cockatiel named Henry, whom you just found out is a girl! What is the story behind you and Henry?
I’ve been working on a script about my secluded childhood, and a character in the script is my best friend/pet bird, Ashley. I wanted to remember what it was like to hold a cockatiel and be around all their quirks, so I went to a Bird Store that doesn’t cage birds and invites human interaction. I didn’t leave the shop for 3 hours. It was beyond “research” at this point for me, it was a true love rekindling. I remembered why this particluar breed is so incredibly special and I decided owning a bird didn’t have to be something I did when I was a teen. I could do anything I wanted! I’m a grown woman. So I found Henry. I didn’t know if she was a male or female till after the DNA test, but wanted to name her Henry regardless. Actually, a girl named Henry is pretty cool, perhaps someone out there will name their human daughter Henry. I would do it, but it may be a very confusing household.

What does MISSBISH mean to you?
A woman who is doing the deep self reflective work it takes to find her true authentic self and being content and proud of her truth.

Who's your MISSBISH? Tell us who she is and why she's an inspiration to you.
MAXINE WALTERS. She makes her points clearly, effectively and with such a controlled passion. My best mornings start with a coffee from my favorite mug, one with her face saying RECLAIMING MY TIME.