I'm honored and grateful to be included in the Village Voice Best of New York Edition! The following are corrections and clarification on certain points in the article.
1. I'm not a "break-dance instructor" however, I do teach Popping and Locking.
2. I'm still a member of Rock Steady Crew.
3. I delivered a speech at The United Nations, NYC, Declaration of Peace in Hip Hop Culture on behalf of Afrika Bambaataa and the Universal Zulu Nation in 2001.
4. I was a consultant for the "Roots, Rhymes + Rage: The Hip-Hop Story" conference at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.
These are the unedited answers to Jason Gross' questions.
Please let me know if these answers work for you. It was difficult
remembering dates, places, etc however, I did the best I could
considering I've taught/lectured in many places throughout my career.
Feel free to contact me if you need additional information.
Thanks so much for considering to include me in the Village Voice's
best of New York issue!
I hope it becomes a reality!
Q = For background purposes, was the Rock Steady Crew the first
professional dance group that you worked with? Were you a co-founder?
A = I first danced professionally with The Electric Company Dancers, a
dance troupe I co-founded in 1981. I became a member of Rock Steady
Crew in 1982 and continued to dance professionally with them as well
as The Magnificent Force dance troupe (that was featured in the film
Beat Street). I was not a co-founder of Rock Steady Crew however, I
was part of the second generation that helped give the crew global
Q =Could you give me some details about your NYU class at Tisch? How
long has he taught it? What kinds of things do you cover there?
A = I've been an adjunct professor at New York University's Tisch
School of the Arts for the passed 12 years. The course is at their
Experimental Theater Wing where I teach the Popping and Locking dance
forms as movement classes. We cover foundation, technique, history and
produce a performance piece that's performed at the end of the course.
I also teach a summer high school program at NYU.
Q = Similarly, how long have you taught at CAP 21? What classes do
you teach there and what do you cover in the classes?
A = I've been teaching at CAP 21 for the past 7 or 8 years. The course
covers the same ground as my classes at NYU.
Q = Could you give some details and highlights of the lectures, master
classes and outreach programs that you have done? (dates, places,
material covered at each one)
A = In 2000, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art's exhibit titled "The Hip
Hop Nation: Roots, Rhyme and Rage", I delivered a lecture titled "The
Great Hip Hop Swindle" for the first time. I discussed the birth,
rise, fall and resurrection of Hip Hop culture and how the recording
industry hijacked the term "Hip Hop" and tried to make it synonymous
with only the "Rap" element.
In 2001, on behalf of the Universal Zulu Nation, I addressed delegates
at the United Nation's "Hip Hop Conference for Peace" with a piece I
wrote titled, "We Are One". In this address I shared our thoughts on
the power and potential of Hip Hop culture and how it transcends race,
religion, philosophy, etc. The root of the discourse was on how Hip
Hop culture has become a global phenomenon through it's inclusivity.
From 2001 through the present I've lectured at various colleges,
universities and learning institutions such as: New York University, Cornell University,
Columbia University, City College in NYC, Lehman College, St. John's
University, Princeton University, Rutgers University, the Harvard Hip
Hop Archives, Dartmouth College, U Mass, Virginia State University,
University of Richmond, The Museum of the City of New York, etc.
Q = Which dance studios community based organizations, schools and
universities have you taught his workshops at? (again, any dates or
date ranges for these would be helpful)
A = Dance studios that I taught at within the passed 12 years include:
Steps on Broadway, Peridance Capezio Center, Broadway Dance Center,
Dance New Amsterdam, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center & School.
Community based organizations that I taught at within the passed 16
years include: THE POINT Community Development Corporation, Henry
Street Settlement, University Settlement, The Door.
Schools and universities that I taught at within the passed 16 years
include: New York University, The New School for Social Research,
Hunter College, Bank Street College, Middle Tennessee State
University, Arizona State University, University of Wisconsin–Madison,
El Puente Charter High School, Truman High School, Flushing High
I also taught at dozens of after school programs throughout NYC, at
middle schools, when I worked for the Sports and Arts in Schools
Foundation from 1997 - 2001.
Q = I know this is a touchy subject for some artists but how old are
you? If you're not comfortable giving an exact age, can you give me a
range (in your 50's)? This would be impressive for other people your
age and perhaps inspirational. Also, it would show that along with
your amazing cultural resume, that you're definitely a seasoned
A = I'm in my late 40s.