ROCKERS | BBOYS-BGIRL | LOCKERS | POPPERS | HOUSE |WAACKING | HIP HOP FREESTYLERS
Spy (Crazy Commandos)
B-boy Spy, from the Crazy Commandos Crew, dominated in the art breaking in the mid to late 1970’s. His understanding of the foundation allowed him to evolve and take moves from other b-boys and redesigned them to make them his own. At the same time, he was creating moves that would later be taken by others. But, many could never do it like Spy. Spy was recognized as the creator of moves that serve as major components to what is the foundation of breaking, such as the Six-Step Footwork, the CC Rock, Swipes, the Baby Freeze, and his Latino flavor of top rocking.
His arsenal of moves made it easy for his peers to refer to him as “The Man With A Thousand Moves”. According to Spy’s personal friend and peer, Trac 2 from Star Child La Rock. “Spy was a master illusionist”. With that being said, it is no wonder how Spy could do just about any move in both directions and make it seem as if each time he did them, they appeared to be different moves.
Spy’s partnership with the music showed that in order to rock the floor, you first had to let the music rock your soul. He was the absolute epitome of what a b-boy should be. His influence is such that it served as the blue-print for what has become what a b-boy or b-girl must learn in order to become one. Spy’s influence was the very reason why b-boys such as Crazy Legs and many others wanted to strive and become the best b-boy that they could be. Spy was an idol and a super hero to many b-boys and b-girls in this Hip Hop game before it ever became commercial. He was the first larger than life b-boy and is a true legend among his peers.
Ken Swift (/ VII Gems)
Ken Swift (born Kenneth James Gabbert) is a B-boy and former Vice President of the Rock Steady Crew of which he was a long time member and key figure of, he is now President of the VII Gems Hip Hop movement in NYC. Widely known in the B-Boy world as "the Epitome of a B-Boy," Ken Swift is credited as the bboy who innovated footwork, developing foundation. S.W.I.F.T.: Swift Wizard In Footwork Technique. Ken Swift is nearly universally considered by B-Boys to be the individual who has had the greatest influence on bboying. Ken Swift began B-Boying in 1978 at the age of twelve when he was inspired by dancers on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Ken Swift has several film credits to his name, including "Style Wars", the first hip-hop documentary, and the first hip-hop major motion picture, "Wild Style". His most famous movie was 1983's hit "Flashdance", where his two-minute dance with several members of the Rock Steady Crew launched the Hip-Hop scene into national attention. Ken Swift also danced in the motion picture "Beat Street".
Frosty Freeze (Rock Steady Crew)
Wayne "Frosty Freeze" Frost ( - ), also known as The Freeze To Please, was an American old school hip hop b-boy known as a member of the second generation of the hip hop/breakdancing group, The Rock Steady Crew.
As a member of The Rock Steady Crew, he was known for his comedic, acrobatic and inventive style. His trademark move is known as, "The Suicide", also known as "The Death Freeze Drop" (a move that he created accidentally by attempting a poorly executed backflip and landing on his back).
His talents with The Rock Steady Crew were featured in movies such as Flashdance, Wild Style, Style Wars and The Freshest Kids and also appeared on the cover of The Village Voice in 1981. He was featured in early hip hop music videos such as Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" and Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals".
In 2004, he along with several other members of The Rock Steady Crew were honored at the VH-1 Hip Hop Honors.
Frosty Freeze resided in New York City, regularly making appearances at many hip-hop events throughout the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere in the country. He was stricken with an undisclosed illness during early 2008, went on life support on , and died on .
Crazy Legs (Rock Steady Crew)
Crazy Legs (born Richard Colón on January 1, 1966) is a b-boy from the Bronx, New York City, USA. He featured in the earliest stories on hip hop dancing to appear in mainstream press, and as president of the Rock Steady Crew brought the form to London and Paris in 1983. Today he is also involved in community outreach, dance instruction and dance theater productions. His pioneering status is reflected in his appearances in fiction films and documentaries, old and new. Crazy Legs is the only original member remaining of the Rock Steady Crew, and is its current president.
Richard "Crazy Legs" Colón grew up in Morris Park in the Bronx, New York City, where he was introduced to "breaking" by his older brother when he was nine. He was an original member of the Rock Steady Crew after its foundation in 1979. Dance critic Sally Banes in an April 1981 piece on the form in the Village Voice quotes Crazy Legs listing the best dancers extant and documents his accidental invention of the "continuous back" move, in which the dancer spins on his upper back with the assitance of his elbow like a turtle move but spins once then again and so on each time repeating a spin 3 to 4 times calling it continuous back spins The next month saw the New York Times cover a three day conference on "Bronx folk culture". "There is a system of apprentices: a 'Lil' Crazy Legs with Crazy Legs," the Times reported, "Dance steps are performed solo to an accompaniment called rapping - chanting voice and percussion."
His first film appearance was as himself in Charlie Ahearn's independent release Wild Style (1982), followed by his featuring in the early documentary on hip hop culture Style Wars (PBS, 1983). As a craze for all things hip hop took hold, the 16-year-old Crazy Legs, now President of the Rock Steady Crew, took hip hop dance to Paris and London as part of the New York City Rap Tour, with recording artists Afrika Bambaataa and Grandmixer D.ST, graffiti artists Fab 5 Freddie and Futura 2000, and the World Champion Fantastic Four Double Dutch Girls. Appearances in Hollywood films were another consequence: he was a street dancer (and also a heavily disguised body double for Jennifer Beals' final dance scenes) in the movie Flashdance (Paramount, 1983) and, as with Wild Style, played himself in the fiction film Beat Street (Orion, 1984).
In 1991 he danced in So! What Happens Now?, "probably the first hip-hop production on a mainstream dance stage in New York City," according to the New York Times, which reflected that the production proved "street dance is an art as demanding and inventive as mainstream dance forms like ballet and jazz." The following year came Concrete Jungle as part of a program at the Lincoln Center which the Times called "a turning point in the evolution of urban street dance," the piece itself being "extraordinarily affecting". The "jubilantly hyperactive" and "astonishing" Jam on the Groove debuted in 1995, and in 1999 Crazy Legs instructed dancers of the Urban Youth Theater for their show Minotaur.
His connection to hip hop culture outside of theater remains strong, with hosting of b-boy contests, appearances at live events, and staging of Rock Steady Crew Anniversaries. Documentaries continue to feature Crazy Legs: a look at contemporary hip hop called The Voice of a Nation (Goldcrest, 1993), Here Come the Drums (8mm, 1993), Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (Bowery, 2000) and The Freshest Kids (QD3, 2003). He joined a host of hip hop personalities in providing voice-overs for the television comedy series Kung Faux (Dubtitled/Tommy Boy, 2003). He is also a character in the video game Def Jam Fight For NY (EA, 2004). In 2006 he was invited by the Smithsonian Institution to contribute to a collection for the National Museum of American History.
Alien Ness (Mighty Zulu Kingz)
Luis Roberto Martinez Jr., AKA "Alien Ness," is a b-boy who has earned widespread praise from today's up-and-coming b-boys on an international level, all the while maintaining a funky old school style and staying true to the essence of hip-hop. Known for many years as "Kid Ness," a nickname passed down to him by "Mr. Ness" of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five back in 1982, when he first started rockin' the dance floor with his fancy footwork and complex aerial moves, most notably, his unearthly elbow spins. Almost immediately, his skills attracted the attention of Dance System 10. He began touring with them; and securing other shows in Japan, and for Carnival Cruise Lines.
Under the guidance of the late Scott La Rock and KRS One, Alien Ness was an original member of Boogie Down Productions. Shortly thereafter, in 1985, he was recruited as a member of the already established and world-renowned "New York City Breakers." As the years passed on, the name "Kid Ness" faded away, and he was re-named "Alien Ness" by Afrika Bambaatta, the Godfather of hip-hop.
Alien Ness is a multimedia performer with numerous credits. He appeared in the movies "The Last Dragon" and "Krush Groove," working alongside Run-DMC, Kurtis Blow, Fat Boys and Sheila E, and is also one of the key featured dancers in the upcoming film "ALL OUT WAR". Performing in concerts over the last two decades, Alien Ness has rocked with artist that include, LL Cool J, Salt 'n Pepa, Kool DJ Red Alert, Kurtis Blow, Tony Touch, Kid Rock, Cuba Gooding Jr., Public Enemy, Wu-Tang Clan, Black Eye Peas, and the God Father of Hip Hop himself Dj Afrika Bambaataa.
Inspired to give something back to his community, Ness has taught dance at community centers throughout New York, notably The Point C.D.C. in the South Bronx, and Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He has also taught teens in after school program in NYC schools in Queens. He has participated in charitable shows for the Cancer Society and the Wyclef Foundation in Miami Fl. As well as in NYC's carnegie hall, and headlined three showcase benefits for the Blackout Children's Fund, both as dancer and rapper. His insight and experience in the culture of hip-hop earned him invitations to lecture at Yale, Rutgers, New York University, San Francisco State University, Sacramento State University, Seattle's "Experience Music Project", and on BET Teen Summit, and has been a major contributor to countless published books on the history of Hip Hop and its dance culture, leading to the release of his own and highly anticipated book, THE ART OF BATTLE." ,released by Throwdown Publications UK.
Bringing his skills to the stage, Alien Ness headlined at the Hip-Hop 3000 tour in Bologna, Italy, co-choreographed and co-starred in the theatrical dance fusion, The Art of Weightlessness which played in Philadelphia, New York City and Paris, France, as well as himself in "Echo Park: The Hip-Hop Musical," which played at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Alien Ness' superb expertise and honed craft has led him to also choreograph the half time show for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury Hip-Hop Squad and also participated as an instructor for a yearly dance camp which includes one week of intense training and choreography in Phoenix Az., aswell as in Seattle Wa.. Most rescently Ness has participated at the "STYLE IS KING" dance workshops in Switzerland. Ness has also had 2 succesful "Blueprint Workshop" tours throughout Australia, Asia and Europe, and continues to bring his unique teaching style which have honed some of the best b-boys, to dance schools all across the globe.
The creator and Known as the Godfather of Locking & originator of the first Locking moves, combined with gestures That he adapted to his unique rhythm, created the style of dance first known as Campbellocking, and later as it evolved into a dance art form became known as Locking . He was a original member the Soul Train Gang, And established the first improvisational group Called “The Campbellockers”or Campbellock dancers, Then Later Her was the organizing force behind the group “The Original Lockers” A dynamic soloist, known for his show stoping dives and splits.
After seeing legendary group the Lockers perform on television, Sam was inspired to create his own dance style. Around the years of 1975-1976 Sam created a set of movements that evolved into the styles known today as popping and boogaloo (boog style). In 1977 Sam founded the Electronic Boogaloo Lockers, who later became known as the Electric Boogaloos.
Currently Sam is still getting down and is the active leader and member of the EB’s. A true innovator of funk styles, Sam has helped push the boundaries to where they are today.
Timothy Earl Solomon "Poppin Pete"
Poppin Pete (born August 5, 1961), known as Popin' Pete , is an American dancer, choreographer, innovator, one of the originators of the "popping" dance style and member of the Electric Boogaloos. Pete’s career has spanned over thirty years since the emerging of popping dance to developing funk culture as a whole.
As a kid growing up in Fresno, California, a young Pete started down his road as a dancer by watching Soul Train and doing the robot.
In 1978 Pete started to learn the popping style from his older brother Sam who he would always watch dance. “I had to learn how to pop first because boogaloo was too difficult for me”.
Popin Pete has gone on to innovate styles/moves like crazy legs, ET, spider man and sleepy style. Currently Pete is helping spread popping and boogaloo knowledge all over the world with the other EB members.
Megas (Boogie Brats)
Megas aka Vengence ( founder of Boogie Brats ) is credited as the pioneer who innovated footwork. He also was known for combining power with footwork. He also introduced Origami Style, which is a threading style in bboying, that has greatly innovated footwork style what it is known as today. Innovator of threads, where he created future foundational moves known as wraps, loops, and weaves.
Mr. Wiggles (Rock Steady Crew/ Electric Boogaloos)
Popper/ Locker/ Bboy
Creator of threads, knee rock footwork, and spider man footwork.
Mr Wiggles is a South Bronx Puerto Rican born raised on HIP HOP since the early 70's. Learned all his HIP HOP crafts in the harsh streets of the Bronx.
WRITING (graffiti), ROCKIN (vertical style dance done by many Latinos in the 70's), BREAKIN/BBOYIN (involves Top Rock, Footwork and Freezes), MCin
(what is now known as RAP), POPPIN (robotic dance style created in Fresno CA.), LOCKIN (dance style created in LA made popular by Rerun on TV show What's happening), BEAT MAKER (HIP HOP music producer)
Wiggles is a proud member of three major forces in HIP HOP and Funk Styles culture "Rock Steady Crew", the "Electric Boogaloos" and "Zulu Nation". Mr Wiggles started his career as a dancer by battling throughout the tuff streets of New York city, and eventually throughout the world. Wiggles built his reputation as a battler, and eventually took his skills to major stages all around the world
including Europe, South America, Asia, Middle East, Canada, and on the great stages of Broadway. Wiggles has also been credited with two important movies that helped established HIP HOP "Beat Street" and "Wild Style". Wiggles is still learning his crafts till this day, and will remain a true student of the culture till the day he dies.
Storm (Battle Squad)
'Storm' started dancing as a little child, but seriously cought on to the dances Bboying, Popping and Locking at the age of 14. His first tours he did for "Bravo Breakdancesensation 84". Soon after that, the big fashion 'Breakdance' died out. Nevertheless, he didn't stop studying styles, got connected with other Bboys and stayed creative and productive throughout the unfashionable ages until this date.
By 1991 his group "the Battle Squad" was one of the leading bboygroups worldwide and thanx to them and others, the art of Bboying is so alive and strong these days.
In 1991 and 1992 him and his crew Battle Squad won the "international Battle of the year".
Because of the struggle in times when Bboying was out of fashion, he decided to establish HipHopculture in the theatreworld.
From 1992 on he danced with a New Yorker dance Company called 'Ghettoriginal'. he performed shows in Washingtons 'Kennedy Center' and in NYCities 'Lincolncenter'. While living in NYC he got his feeling for "Funk" back by working out with "Mr Wiggles" and "Adesola" at rehearsals and on off days. So he started studying the dancestyles popping and locking.
During the same period he was hosting the HipHop Magazine 'Freestyle' on the german TV channel Viva.
Briefly after quitting the job in early 1996, he decided to form a dancecompany in his hometown Berlin, which was called the 'Storm and Jazzy Project'. With two choreographies they toured many different theatres around the world.
In times he wasnï¿´t dancing, he wrote on the book 'From Swipe to Storm' which came out in january 2000 and is telling the story of "Breaking" in Germany. It was only published in german language.
Nowadays Storm also choreographs and directs for different theatres and institutions all over the world. He also choreographed for the opening ceremonies of the "Expo 2000" in hannover and the "FIFA soccerworldcup 2006 in Germany". He is a legendary bboy especially accredited for his foundational technique movements that helped develop this dance, covering all bases in foundation: footwork, power, freezes, transitions utilizing movements, variations, and combinations within the dance.
Swift Rock (Battle Squad)
Boris "Swift Rock" Leptin. Founder of the B-Boy Crew "Battle Squad".
He started breaking in 1983 with the influence of as mentioned by him "here‘s a couple of people I want to mention who played a major part in all of this: In the beginnin‘ the Rock Steady Crew (from the SixStep to Headspin I got from Crazy Legs) But only watched him on TV. He has the nicest Six Step I know. Then Prince Ken Swift in Wildstyle, how he is on the PVC in the Park doin‘ Poprocks and the footwork and the footwork in the whole Movie inspired and rocked me. NYCity Breakers for powermoves (the ones who stand out Pex, Little Lep, Ice-Ice) and the Dynamic Rockers. Later on it was Maurizio, Emilio from Italy, I got to know them back in 1986 that‘s how they became members of the "Battle Squad". Brian from Manchester Street Machine (England) he became my Mentor for Top-Rock and footwork. Also Paulo, he was in 1985 doing Flair Airtwists and Flair Stand still in the Air without touching ground and changed directions. He has a Handycap in his leg, that‘s why he specialized more in Powermoves. He moved everything away. I always think about it when I was injured on my leg, to hold my leg still and just practice wolf, turtles, flairs, 90s were I don‘t have to bend my knee. Orko I‘ve seen on the Olympics on TV and tried to turn like himÉ Like Little Alex from New York City Breakers at the Reagan-Appearance in white. Around 1988 the French like Aktuel Force or Paris City Breakers their elegant style of dancing, and how they did their Steps in a total different manner. That influenced me. The Swiss, Frank whom he and I brought this crew to Live in 1989 or Zed who‘s down with the Spartanic Rockers. His Steps were wicked. The Throw Down Rockers from Sweden Second 2 None from England. The man who made it all possible who showed us around and introduced us to the people, and dragged you to every practice spot in NY to show them that B-Boys in Europe are present, was Quickstep. He never really quit to dance, and damn you could tell. Elbowtracks and Donuts just nice. And of course Storm, we always pushed and inspired each other. Swift Rock is a pioneer to this dance because he is known for footwork and power movements.
Bgirl Beta Rawk (Ground Zero Crew)
BETA RAWKZ is a notorious award winning b-girl. The “Blue Enigma that Transcends All” started breaking when she was only 11 years old and competed internationally with the crew Ground Zero before joining the legendary Miami Street Masters as the only female member. Her dancing technique and ability remain unmatchable by her peers. She is unmistakable on the floor, combining rhythm, gentle athletic power and speed into fluid and intricate movements. Quiet in disposition, charismatic in presence and intimidating at sight, Beta is a force to be reckoned with on the dance floor. She has won countless individual competitions, toured and trained internationally and is frequently requested to judge at events. She hosted her first event in Miami called “Masters IN ACTION” and is working to empower women through Hip Hop as a member of the Collective 7. She is featured in “All The Ladies Say” documentary directed by B-Girl Rokafella. Beta is a teaching artist for the P.A.T.H. (Preserving Archiving and Teaching HipHop) program in Miami.
Gabin Nuissier (Aktuel Force)
Founded in Paris in 1984, Aktuel Force is one of the first break dance companies in Europe. Led by dancer Gabin Nuissier, he was a must for many French dancers, such as Ibrahim, Salah, Bintou Dembélé and even the rapper Kool Shen Supreme NTM group.
King Uprock (Dynasty Rockers)
Ralph Casanova a True Pioneer in Hip Hop History (King Uprock)(R.C.) Dynasty Rockers Name, Ralph Casanova, a.k.a. King Uprock is a 36 year old veteran of the Uprock Dance. He is currently Rocking to the best of his abilities and in top form, with so much Love for the dance. Born in the "Boogie down", Bronx, moved to Brooklyn at the age of 5 years. While growing up in Brooklyn he watched Gangsters UpRocking and was interested at the age of 10.
Uprock began in the year 1968 by the late Rubber Band man and Apache. These two guys were gangsters taking this dance to a higher and positive level. Dynasty Rockers were the first to flash letters on sweat shirts and jackets in 1973. Manny Figueroa, Eddie Figueroa, Danny Boy and Carlos Rivera were the first Dynasty members. Watching these legends along with other pioneers like Lil Dave of the "Lil Dave Rockers" and Rocky Nelson from "MTC", and Papo & Junior of the "Dynamic Spinners". It was amazing to see many moves in this dance.
Rubberband (Rockwell Association)
Rubberband - Oldschool B-Boy from the from where it all started in the 1970's DaBronx! Number one breakdance Crew, but the truth is all where number one who shared in the love of the Hip Hop world of Dance, DJ, Rap, Graffiti and MC! For me it all started in areas like 182st Belmont Ave, 180 and Crotona Ave. and Aurther Ave. With Crews like TBB, TDK, STARCHID LA ROCK, CC CREW, And our crew of ROCKWELL ASSOCIATION, AKA RWA then later on with Rocksteady Crew who carried B-boying to another level in the 1980's
Maurizio aka Next 1 (Rock Steady Crew/ VII Gems)
Widely considered a Bboy legend, The NextOne a.k.a. The Dreamer (born Maurizio Cannavò) is a Hip Hop pioneer in Italy. Not only has he been dancing as a Bboy for over 30 years but he is also a world renowned DJ and music producer. In the B-Boy world, NextOne is credited for the creation of many dance moves such as "Power Footworks" and "Space Flow." In the 90's he became a member of the legendary "Rock Steady Crew" and toured with the first HipHop Musical world tour entitled "Jam On The Groove." To this day, his contributions and dedication for the art form is widely recognized and respected worldwide.
NextOne is a serious record collector with an extensive collection that boasts over 20,000 original vinyl records. He has also produced beats for many different artists and musicians as well as performed & collaborated with legends such as: Rakim, Gangstarr, Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Afrika Bambaataa & Kool Dj Herc, Donald Dee, Grand Master Caz (Cold Crush Brothers), Grand Mixer DST, ?uest Love, Rahzel & Scratch (the Roots), Common, Tony Touch & Cocoa Brovaz, Das Efx, Maseo (De la Soul), Alliance Etnik, Mc Solar, Smooth da Hustler & Nexx Level Click, Group Home, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Ali Shaheed Muhammad (ATCQ), Erick Sermon and many others.
Due to his contributions to these art forms his name has had credits in many books and documentaries and he continues to be invited to numerous Music and Bboy events to judge competitions, participate in panel discussions, hold workshops, and DJ for events.
Edmundo aka Poe One (Rock So Fresh/ Style Elements Crew/ Mighty Zulu Kingz)
Puerto Rican born Poe One lives in Los Angeles and is a member of Rock So Fresh, Zulu Kingz, and Style Elements crew. Poe is active as dancer, teacher, judge and also as event promoter in his country and all over the world. He has been member of the jury at several big international events such as the Battle of the Year or the Red Bull BC ONE 2005. Poe is well known for his excellent teaching skillz so he is also travelling the world holding dancing masterclasses and workshops.
Steve Kerr (Second to None) UK
Second to None was formed in 1985 by Steve Kerr, Paul Spencer, Terry Shaw and Tony the Pencil. It was made from members of the Bournemouth crews: “Shock City”, “South Style”, “Universal Rockers” and “The Masters” from Portsmouth and Southampton. Shortly after, they started a practice session at a club called, “Madison Joe’s” which became the centre of the hip hop universe on the South coast of England. Since the 1980’s STN never gave up breakin, no matter how much abuse they received from the fashion victims and larger louts.
Kevin Morris (Borken Glass)
Kevin Morris, the urban scene of breakdancing and its newer incarnation, streetdancing, is in his bones.
1980s US-influenced fusion of rap and hip-hop music, graffiti, and the new moves of breakdancing, Kevin and the Broken Glass Street Crew, saw their passion lead them to become top talents.
The then-13-year-old and four of his mates all went to Wilbraham High School - now Chorlton High - and formed their crew after listening to the likes of Shalamar and Malcolm McLaren.
Kevin, 40, a grandad of one and dad-of-five to three girls and two boys, aged from 23 to four, who now lives in Streford, said: "We used to have a laugh practising our moves dancing on the Nell Lane estate and going to what we called the ‘top road’, on the corner of Mauldeth Road and Barlow Moor Road.
"In those days you had to do it yourself. You had to get a piece of linoleum, find a street corner and practise. We just started doing it – there was no one to teach us.
"We used to have dance battles. It was one of the things we did to sort out the men from the boys – but there was no fighting, just dancing.
Kamel (Boogie Brats)
Kamel aka K-mel or Intrigue is credited as the pioneer who helped develop the dance to a whole new level. By using original foundation and his own unique style combined with raw freestyle movements. He contributed flips, flow, dancing to the beat and other forms of movements to make this art form more of a dance.
TONY THE PENCIL
Tony Penfold aka Tony the Pencil ( Second To None) UK
Tony well know for his head-spin has inspired many . Second to None was formed in 1985 by Steve Kerr, Paul Spencer, Terry Shaw and Tony the Pencil. It was made from members of the Bournemouth crews: “Shock City”, “South Style”, “Universal Rockers” and “The Masters” from Portsmouth and Southampton. Shortly after, they started a practice session at a club called, “Madison Joe’s” which became the centre of the hip hop universe on the South coast of England. Since the 1980’s STN never gave up breakin, no matter how much abuse they received from the fashion victims and larger louts.
Jason Orange ( Street Machine ) Manchester UK
Jason Orange was with Street Machine, the other great Manchester crew, before becoming a member of Take That, the famous pop act), taking to the circle with some impressive moves, following the introduction of Broken Glass by Benji Reid and Kermit.
Emilio Austin Jr "Buddha Stretch"
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Buddha Stretch was inﬂuenced by his dad Emilio Austin, Sr. His Dad danced as a youth and provided Stretch with discipline, inspiration, support and motivation, and remained by his side to guide him throughout his career. This foundation carries Stretch, a father himself, throughout his personal and professional career today. Stretch heavily impacted the dance world by bridging the gap between what was termed, Ol’ Skool and New Skool. His dance style, known as Freestyle Hip-Hop, draws from all aspects of Hip-Hop culture, music and dance. These moves during the early days of music videos helped to launch the popularity of dance in this medium, as well as live shows.
Henry Link "Link"
Henry grew up in the project of Brooklyn. The first time his eyes landed on the art form happened he watched his second oldest sister as she got down to the beat. Shortly after Locking, Popping, Freestyle, Breaking appeared, Henry became fascinated by these styles of dance. He became determined to master these techniques of dancing by practicing relentlessly regardless of any mistake that may have challenged him.. In no time his natural ability to dance start to show. With a bit of confidence he entered many local talent shows and won most of them.
Ejoe Wilson started dancing in the late 1970s when Hip Hop was exploding uptown in the South Bronx. As a young teenager, Ejoe appeared in numerous music videos, winning the Apollo Theater's Amateur Night competition four consecutive times and earning a place at NYC’s prestigious High School of Music and the Performing Arts, then joined the burgeoning NYC House music/dance scene. One of the best-known of the House dancers, Ejoe is famous for wicked humor and dance savvy. With a smiling attitude of “no sweat, bro” he will mimic the challenger’s move, then twist it his way, transforming the others’ dancing into Ejoe’s move.
Caleaf Seller aka "Big Leaf"
As a Brooklyn native, Caleaf Sellers (aka Big Leaf) began developing his craft at an early age. His passion for dance and love for music has kept him in the business for fifteen years. Caleaf is one of the original pioneers to come out of New York's dance movement in the late 80's. He is a member of the famed Moptop Unit and Dance Fusion. Caleaf mixes Hip-Hop and House to create his own unique dance style.
James Higgins aka Skeeter Rabbit
James Higgins “The Original Skeeter Rabbit ” an early Soul Train Dancer and member of several early locking groups. The Original Go-Go Brothers 1971 to 1973, Watts Writers “Creative Generation” 1972 to 1973 and the Original Lockers 1973 to 1974. He also danced with the Ghetto Dancers in 1975 and was also known as an outstanding master robot. He later organized and toured with the Locking group 33rpm in late 1975. He was most known for his creation of the dance step done in most syncronized locking routines called “The skeeterrabbit”.
Adolfo Quinones aka Shabba-Doo
Shabba-Doo was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He moved to the west coast (Los Angeles) in the early 70s. He's one of the forefathers of hip-hop dancing, "The Original Lockers" and was an Original Soul Train Gang member in the 70s and early 80s. The Lockers are famously known for pioneering "Locking." Shabba-Doo also starred in 80s classic movies "Breakin', and Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo, and the 1990 film Lambada. He's an award-winning musical theater choreographer, and director. He's choreographed for Lionel Richie, Madonna, Luther Vandross, and Jamie Kennedy's MTV show, "Blowin' Up" to name a few. He also served as the associate choreographer and lead dancer for the 78th Annual Academy Awards, performing with first time Oscar winners, "Three Six Mafia" and Taraji P. Henson for their performance of, "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp."
Brian Green a.k.a. "Footwork,"
Is a choreographer, teacher, and dancer, who began dancing at seven years old. He studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Modern, and African from Phil Black, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, and Joffrey Ballet.
In 1978-80 he started to see dances around his church he went to with his family in Harlem, his mother did hustle, salsa, and some African dances, and his older brother did bboying and electric boogie. Electric boogie was NY's innovative dance that mixed and was inspired by things from California's crazes at the time called Locking and Popping. He choose Electric boogie (popping). Wanting to learn more, he went to the NYC underground scene between 1983-84. By the end of 1984, Brian understood and was a part of the Hip-Hop/club culture.
1984-1986, he found the Freestyle/loft and Club/house culture in Roseland, 4Ds, Paradise Garage, Tunnel, and other clubs in NY. 1986, he ran into two people: Damien and Mike, who started him on his journey in Clubbing ( a.k.a. " house dance"), in 87 a man named Spanky, and a man named Story, became his full inspirations for him to be immersed into the House culture/dancing. Those 4, and so many other dance inspirations in the clubs of NY, eventually spawned a unique and very fast footwork style in Brian that have him his name around the underground scene of NY and abroad.
He was also a Foundation Team Member and Teacher for Red Bull Beat Riders and major reason for the resurgence of the dance style, Punking/Whacking/Waacking
Tone McGregor is a native of Newark New Jersey. He started dancing at a young age and his style of dance is related to his passion for Hip Hop, House and Martial Arts. He has danced with EPMD LL Cool J , Fugees, CeCe Peniston, Too Nice , Teddy Riley, MC Search and more. Tony has been studying martial arts since he was a kid . His styles include Kali, Arnis Escrima, and Pencak Silat. He has studied in the Philippines with some of the top Grandmasters in the Region of Negros. He mixes his unique style of dance with all of these elements. Since 97, Tony has been teaching , judging organized street dance competitions and performing throughout the USA, Canada , Japan , Asia and Europe. He can be seen in videos and movies such as Night In the City , New Jack City, The 25th Hour, "Jingling Baby"," Stayin Alive" , Here it Comes", " Ice Cream Dream" , "Court is Now In Session"and "Pump Up the Jam". Tony continues to share his knowledge of Hip Hop and House dance culture through workshops , performances , and judging organized street dance competitions. Tony is currently teaching at Pearl Studios and EXPG Professional Gym in NYC.
Marjory Smarth was born in November of 1969 on the island of Haiti. She moved to the upper west side of New York City by 1974. Though she was already familiar with the native dances of her culture, in the States she was exposed to the many styles of dance. By the time she reached her pre-teen years, she was steadily victorious in many competitions. Hip-hop being one of her favorite rhythms to express herself, she attended many street jams and engaged in battles. Marjory, like most of the early hip-hop dancers, took her skills from the streets and continued to develop in the club scene. In the late 1980s, she started dancing professionally with various music artists, including Diana Ross, Heavy D and CeCe Peniston, among others. As her career developed, she started to choreograph more frequently, which led to her teaching. After many dance tours, four documentaries and teaching internationally, she is considered a major figure in the dance community as well as an historian. Today her focus is helping people find their own freedom of expression.
A member of the Original Soul Train Gang, along with then Partner Damito Jo Freeman used their Locking styles to win the second Soul Train Dance contest. He Later bacame a member of the Watts Writers “Creative Generation”1972-1973 and went on to dance with “Something Special” and become one of the first Chip”n”dale dancers. Scooby was a long tall animated dancer, who was often seen developing locking handshakes and steps along with Greg Campbellock Jr. but probaly the most noted for the step he created known as the Scoobydoo.
Robert Shields & Charles Washington “Charles Robot “
a mime named Robert Shields was getting his career off the ground in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Wax Museum. He performed one of the old mannequin routines in the late 60s, and the robotic movement inspired a young man named Charles Washington to adapt the style to funk music.
From the very beginning when Robots & Locking was both classified as Lockers, Charles is considered the Godfather of the Party dance of the Robot style within Locking. Prior to its evolution into the Popping scene. He was a member of the first Soul Train Gang, and toured with the improvisation dancers known as The “Campbellock Dancers” in 1972. He was the originator of the Robot style of rythimic dancing and organized the group, “The Robot Brothers” in the late 1960s’ . (picture taken in 2004)
SLIM THE ROBOT
Arnetta Johnson “Netta Bug”An Original
Locking Streetdancer, and the very First female dancer to dance in a Locking group, NettaBug was very instramental with her strong fundamental Locking, She was a high school chearleader and was often sceen at the clubs as well as the streetparties and high school dances along with the GoGo brothers , here connection with the watts writers workshop prompted the Organization of the First unisex Locking Group “Creative Generation” She was also a member of the First all Female Locking group “The Toota Woota Sisters” Many who saw the Lockers believe Tony Basil to have been a first. but these females came years before.
Bill Williams “Slim The Robot ”
Slim was an Early Soul Train Dancer who was taught to Robot by Charles Robot. Slim went on to tour with the improvistional dancers known as the “Campbellock dancers” and was an Original Member of the “Original Lockers”. He reinovated the basic robot style into a quick karate style robot movement and was also known for introducing a colored light suit and flame throwing capabilities into his act.
Skeeter Rabbit - Stephen Mark Nicholas
Skeeter Rabbit 1960-2006 was a street and hip-hop dancer. He was teamed with ballet dancer Ann Marie DeAngelo in a 1989 Sesame Street segment (directed and choreographed by Toni Basil) where they perform a dance routine, but the frame freezes whenever the word STOP comes on. (First: Episode 2600)
A specialist in the dancing styles of popping and boogaloo, Nicholas was a member of the influential street dance crew the Electric Boogaloos. He was part of the dance troupe on David Bowie's 1987 Glass Spider Tour and in the video for Bowie's song "Time Will Crawl" (both with Basil as choreographer). Skeeter also worked in music videos with Thomas Dolby, Talking Heads, Madonna, Usher, Michael Jackson, and Chaka Khan.
Nancy “Asia One” Yu
Nancy “Asia One” Yu is one of the best-known and most-respected b-girls in the world, the founder and CEO of the annual B-Boy Summit event, a member of Fame City Graffiti Crew, President of the Mighty Zulu Kweenz Crew and founder of No Easy Props, a non-profit with the mission to preserve Hip-Hop culture and provide education and entertainment to communities of all ages throughout the world. She appears extensively in commercials, television shows, and films. Asia One holds a double B.A. in Art and Social Engagement, Multiculturalism & Activism from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her main interest and purpose is to bring diverse groups of people together to create discourse and social change, using the vehicle of Hip-Hop.
Tyrone 'The Bone' Proctor
Tyrone 'The Bone' Proctor belong to the first generation of Waackers that came out in L.A. in the early's 70's. He was a member of the 'Outrageous Waack Dancers' with Jeffrey Daniel, Jody Watley, Sharon Hill, Cleveland Moses Jr,and Kirt Washington. Tyrone is one of the last of the pioneers who named this dance style.
Tyrone: 'Waacking came from the gay community in the early's 70's on the West Coast and it evolved from what the gay community was doing all along. At this time no one could imagine that this dance would be so popular as it is today. The dance was mainly danced by The Black and Spanish Community. It evolved from two things, Drag Queens performing, and Still Pictures and Musicals of old Females Stars from the 1920's to the 60's icons like: Greta Garbo's, Rita Haywards and Marilyn Monroe to name a few.
Cesar Rivas - Lil Cesar
Lil’ Cesar born in El Salvador and moved to the west coast from a young age is one of the most influential names in Hip-Hop. In 1984 he brought together the Air Force Crew an offshoot from one of the early West Coast Breakdance Crews known as The Shake City Rockers. Known throughout the world for his dance skills and his non-stop efforts in keeping Hip-Hop along with all its elements alive in the minds of the people. Lady A.i. speaks to the man himself.