BUST A MOVE - Dancers practice their moves at the Pound It Hip Hop Studio. They recently jetted off to New York for a once in a lifetime experience.

Dancers travel to New York to learn origin of hip hop

Students from Pound It Hip Hop Studio learn from the world’s best

  • Aug. 3, 2016 5:10 p.m.

A number of local dancers recently took the trip of a lifetime to learn from some of the best in the world.

Twenty hip hop dancers aged seven to 32 from Pound It Hip Hop Studio in Red Deer landed in New York City last month.

“We have always been very interested in the history of hip hop which came from New York,” said Rico Martinez, owner of Pound It Hip Hop Studio, which has been open in Red Deer for three years. “Hip hop originated in the late 70s and early 80s from people who were struggling. People used it for something positive and that is how they came up with this dance we do now. The original style of hip hop is called break dancing or B-boying.

“I just knew I had to bring my students to New York to see and learn what it was all about.”

The group attended a festival called Street Style Lab which was put together by some people in France to bring it to New York. On the last day of the week-long festival, dancers from Pound It Hip Hop Dance Studio participated in a battle called Step Ya Game Up.

“It was just amazing,” said Martinez. “One of our young dancers made it to top eight. We competed with dancers from Japan, France, Italy – all over the world. It was amazing to see our dancers from Red Deer competing.”

The festival included a number of classes as well as panel discussions and tours throughout the week, according to the Street Style Lab web site.

As part of their trip to New York, the Red Deer dancers got to learn from the best in the world.

“We learned from Rock Steady Crew and we learned from Crazy Legs,” said Martinez. “We also learned from dancers who danced with Michael Jackson in Do You Remember the Time video and Thriller. They learned from the best of the best in the world – hands down.”

He added the opportunity to take his students to New York is something that he’ll never forget.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The kids didn’t understand, I kept telling them about the stories and it’s not the same to hear the stories as it is to experience them,” said Martinez. “They don’t say much, but just by looking at them, it meant a lot to the kids (to be able to take this trip). We’ve talked about it before and I’ve talked about the stories since day one – it was amazing and they were grateful.”

For Martinez, it was all the more amazing that he could experience New York and the birthplace of hip hop with his students.

“It means everything for me. What I do, I am passionate about and I really appreciate and I am thankful to be able to take them there so they can see it. It means so much to me.”

One of the areas the group travelled to was the Bronx.

“We went and saw the graffiti that was there and they had a chance to meet with people there and explained how rough it was. It was awesome and it was just amazing,” said Martinez.

He added the trip would not have been possible without the support of the parents of the students.

“It was crazy – we had to take the train everywhere and we got lost a couple of times,” he laughed. “But the parents have been so supportive of this which has been great.

“We have some awesome stories. It was exciting to be there and we all had a great time together. I can say these kids are ready for battle here in Canada – or anywhere in the world.”

According to Wikipedia, “Hip hop is a subcultural movement that was formed during the early 1970s by African-American, Caribbean, and Latino youths residing in the South Bronx in New York City. Hip hop is simultaneously a new and old phenomenon; the importance of sampling to the art form means that much of the culture has revolved around the idea of updating classic recordings, attitudes, and experiences for modern audiences – called – ‘flipping’ within the culture. It follows in the footsteps of earlier American musical genres such as blues, salsa, jazz, rag-time, and rock and roll in having become one of the most practiced genres of music in existence worldwide, and also takes additional inspiration regularly from soul music, funk, and rhythm and blues.”

Looking ahead, Martinez said there will be a Street Style Lab-type festival in Red Deer. “People from France will come and some of the pioneers will be coming to Red Deer.”

The following year, the dancers will head to Los Angeles for a competition as well.


Just Posted

Dean Brody heads to Red Deer with stripped down, acoustic show

Dirt Road Stories tour offers a kitchen party lodge-type experience

Jesse Todd hat trick leads Lacombe Generals over Innisfail

6-5 victory puts Lacombe in first place heading into Rosetown matchup

WATCH: Red Deerians gather for Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2018 marks the 100th year anniversary of the end of World War I.

Red Deerians can recognize Remembrance Day with two public services

The Red Deer Legion and Korean War Veterans’ Association will hold the services

WATCH: The Great Indoors Market at Bower Place officially launches

Red Deerians took in the sights and sounds of many vendors and activities Nov. 10th

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

CNN sues Trump, demanding return of Acosta to White House

CNN is asking for an immediate restraining order to return Acosta to the White House.

Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

US trial to tell epic tale of Mexican drug lord “El Chapo”

Guzman’s long-awaited U.S. trial begins Tuesday in New York

Northern California wildfire is deadliest in state history

Holding out slim hope as crews search for more fire dead; 42 already killed in blaze

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Most Read