As a Hip-hop street dancer growing up in the streets of North Philadelphia, innovation is a requirement. Therefore, I’m always pushing to be progressive as an artist. I enjoy the idea of using Hip-hop social dances from the 1980’s to the present day. It’s important to confirm [Hip-hop] social dances as foundational vocabulary and technique. In short what we refer to as Hip-hop social dances is the crux of all street dance styles. They all share the same history and lineage from traditional African dance and culture to today’s community-based Hip-hop ciphers.
As an educator, my objective is to focus on presenting a street dance foundation. One way I do this is by teaching the history of street dance styles and vocabulary while teaching its technique. By contextualizing the movement vocabulary; it informs the student on a molecular level if you will.
I’m also interested in the line that divides choreography and Hip-hop freestyle. I am inspired to find ways to create a dance that reveals the dancer’s true nature and the hidden aspects of their character or intent. Since August 11, 1973 -the birth of Hip-hop, its practitioners have debated the sincerity of choreographed Hip-hop vs freestyle. I’m interested in confirming Rennie Harris’s theory that Hip-hop/Street dance is always freestyle-even if it’s choreographed.
My choreographic goal is to create something viscerally moving by telling my life story of the hurt, pain, and struggle as a black man-simply put to be true to myself as an artist and a person.