Last night I had the pleasure of attending a workshop hosted by Utah’s own B-Boy Federation at the Utah Arts Alliance facility in downtown Salt Lake City. I had the opportunity to meet, learn from and pick the brains of 3 of the most famous street dancers in history, one of whom was very influential to my style of dancing – the one and only Boogaloo Sam, inventor of the Electric Boogaloo style. The other two, Ken Swift and POE One are legendary members of the world-renown Rock Steady Crew, one of the most important B-Boy crews in Hip Hop.
Sam arrived first and for the first two hours taught us one of his classic popping routines and reinforced the basics of his trademark popping style. He really drilled us, too. It was a great work out and so much fun, clowning in the back row with Robot Rob and Terry Post. Then Ken Swift and POE One arrived for the discussion panel and we were able to hear from and ask questions of these icons of Hip Hop culture. We all learned a lot of history and insights that even I hadn’t heard about
For example, I had always been taught that B-Boy or B-Girl stood for “break boy” and was coined by Kool Herc. But I learned that it originally meant “Bronx Boy” and the term became associated with breaking because started mainly in the South Bronx and the DJ’s associated that borough (New York speak for greater neighborhood) with that style of dancing, so when they were ready to start juggling a break they would announce it to the South Bronx people by saying “B-Boys are you ready? B-Girls are you ready?”
The panel discussion was very casual and open format so we were able to actually make conversations out of it and I had some great exchanges with all three. I wish I could make it to the second night tonight and see the art show, but alas, I am pulled in other directions.
But I’m so glad I went; it once again refreshed my inspiration to continue living my life as an ambassador of true Hip Hop.
I just want to big up the one like Josh Perkins and the B-Boy Federation for making this happen and continuing to keep the true spirit of Hip Hop alive and well in Utah by providing quality events like these and opportunities for education!