Arts and Culture

This local dancer is bringing back styles of the 90s

Street dancer teaches the fundamentals

Why do we dance?

For hip hop/street dancer Manny de Jesus, it all started with his mother working at a YMCA and introducing him to programs there.

“As I got older through school, I was introduced to a lot more dance circles and cipher type of cultures around the GTA and Ontario,” de Jesus told Kelowna10. “The natural next step to me was to just pursue hip hop dance in general.”

From there, he would compete and choreograph in open style events across Canada, as well as train people while studying at Queen’s University.

Currently, de Jesus is working alongside a Kelowna-based collective of artists on a unique summer performance series.

This project is a part of his lifelong goal of mastering the five pillars of hip hop culture, and exploring how they can be incorporated across different genres and mediums.

“I think what I love about hip hop dance and street dance is that it’s never about the finished product,” he explained. “I love being in these circles because I’m always learning and simultaneously bringing in a new version of myself in real time. It’s like the most present version of myself when I’m dancing.”

de Jesus hopes to bring the enjoyment of learning back into a new class he’ll be teaching on the street dance style, focusing more on being present in your dance, rather than trying to achieve an end goal.

He will be teaching an intro to street dance every Tuesday from Feb. 21 to Mar. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Published 2023-01-14 by Robin Liva

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