Did you grow up riding in the car listening to your parents dream of a future for you but then start to argue so much that they ruined the whole vacation and the rest of the summer you dreamed of having?
Did your mom work as hard as your dad to get the bills paid leaving you and your siblings cooking dinner after you babysitted them all day after school? (Poor Dad!!!)
Did you ever convince your parents to let you join a sports team and then they make you quit because they were too tired from working to wake on Saturdays to get you there?
Well, that's part of the story of my life. I'm 24 years old now, and not one of these above questions stopped me from being what I was going to be. Thanks Mom and Dad, I really Love U Guys.Your shortcomings actually pushed me into making the decision to be the best at whatever I did. And that's EXACTLY what I did.
I became a professional street dancer.....over time.
My mother couldn't stand it. But I knew she wouldn't understand. She wanted me to be a doctor or something, but nothing could make any of that make sense to me. I made Great grades for the majority of my life but college was always "iffy" in my mind. I went anyway, but I went in just like I came out of high school......dancing. I'll let you know my entrepreneurial status a little later in the story.
(So, before reading further, please understand the videos that you are about to view in my story contains explicit music that is unfortunately apart of our 30-year dance culture in Memphis. I fully understand that the music is not worthy of random ears, but our cause is in dance and time has changed our perception of what is apart of our culture from a representative outlook. But History is History.)
I grew up in Memphis TN., where music and art is the core of economic attraction. Since the 80's a dance style called Memphis Jookin(formerly known as the Gangsta Walk) has been evolving into one of the premier new age dance genres in the world. I became a master of Memphis Jookin. One like there has never been in our History. Like a scientific experiment, Memphis Jookin' led me from being a high-school sensation in 2003 to an internet legend by 2008. I won over 25 local dance contest in 3 years, then went on to captivate the users of Youtube winning multiple video awards in 2007, for a dance video with some of the greatest dance moves ever performed in an upright position, but unfortunately some of the most highly explicit lyrics. However, our dance style spreaded like wildfire because of video uploads of me and my crew, G-Force.
In 2006, G-Force partnered with a longtime friend, Tarrik Moore, also a (Memphis Jookin Legend) to start UDIG Dance Academy. Since opening, U Dig has trained over 1500 students and young adults throughout the Tri-state area, Boys & Girls Clubs, St. Francis Catholic School, and the Healthy Life Sports Camp. Specializing in Jookin, which is a unique form of hip hop that originated in Memphis in the early 80s. Quietly kept for over two decades, jookin has become one of the most popular dance styles introduced to the world.
In November 2007, U Dig Dance Academy was featured on the cover of JusteDebout, a Paris, France magazine forJookin as the dance of the month. In 2009, U Dig was on So You Think You Can Dance, Ellen DeGeneres-Interesting Audience Talents, Dancing with The Stars, and BET 106 & Park. Most recently, U Dig dancers were the 2010 Nominees for Best Dance Choreography in the MTV Music Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and the Grammy Awards for Bad Boy recording artist Janelle Monae “Tightrope”featuring Outkast’s Big Boi music video.
Being a pro street dancer, I have:
- Provided 90% of my services to the youth at no cost in 5 years as a master instructor
- Acquired over 10 million Youtube views spanning over 10+ non-exclusive channels
- Travelled the nation
- Opened doors for my colleagues to attain "celebrity" status
- Gained the influence needed to attract youth and surprise parents.
- Exuded the confidence to approach any industry as generally as one company in the same.
- Authored a dance manual/DVD Set analyzing and explaining my native dance style, Memphis Jookin
My Charity is Empower The Youth. It was founded in 2010 as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit, but it has always been my goal to provide activity for youth and fill the voids me and my peers observed early in life. We are on a mission to provide an unforgettable experience of professional development, personal growth, and real-world action in order to groom Young Entrepreneurs from the First Grade to the First Business.
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