In 1974 when I set foot on The Broadway Stage for the first time, I frequently visited a restaurant in Harlem called Sylvias, at the invitation of my classmates from Ailey School. This was my introduction to HIP HOP and Black Culture in America
Over the years, on my frequent visits to the States I witnessed the development of street buskers, Acrobats and old style tappers who were influenced by the emergence of Disco. With the fusion of African, Cuban and Percussive Tap we begin to see the emergence of what we know as modern day HIP HOP.
I was fortunate enough to witness this, on the iconic Lennox Avenue in Harlem and in The Bronx, the energy and passion was evident and those first musicians and Dance Crews influenced many cultural changes and outlooks.
50 years later it is now the mainstay of popular music culture and accepted as an art form worldwide. I encourage all our students to enjoy the freedom and energy of the genre.