Each One Teach One

What are the qualifications to be a street dance teacher? Is there a syllabus out there that I recommend?

When I was a kid in Brookly New York, there wasn’t a lot of ANYTHING certainly not dance studios, as we recognise them today, and DEFINATELY not street dance. To learn or dances steps we did one of three things:

We imitated or copied
We invented
We asked a friend to teach us

Probably the most important was the invention. We would hear about somebody doing something cool and, until Soul Train, there was almost no possible way of knowing what other people did so… we made it up. The fact that we couldn’t easily imitate each other unless we had face to face contact made the pool of dance creativity as big as the number of participants (which is why I honour founders and creators of our dances whilst repecting that there may have been many influences and influencers that lead to the development or crystalisation of a style.

When it came to imitation, much of the time from my experience, it was a one shot deal. Like the tradition of oral storytelling where listeners became experts at memorizing the storys ‘on the spot’ so that they could be accurately retold, my friends and I equally became adept at memorising peoples moves and style (bearing in mind that it was all freestyle). Various party dances where shared around the nation from person to person. Of course there was the ‘Telephone’ effect where how accurately the steps were transmited was reflected by how well the person sharing remembered and how well the receiver  ‘received’ but there was so much cultural movement embodied in our coummunites that steps were remarkably recreated from community to community and even acrose the nation. 

The final version was asking a friend.