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Donte on Being D.C.’s Ambassador to Street Dancing

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

“I’ll tell you, it’s hard dancing in D.C. I don’t mean that it’s hard to do or nothing like that. I mean that D.C. is not known for its street dancing. You go walk down the street in New York or New Jersey, and you gonna see people dancing. Here, it is not like that in most places. Walk through NE or SE, and you gonna see dancing. Most other places, you are not. I want to change that. Every time I see one of them out of town buses drive pass, I start doing some moves. I want people to leave and say, “We saw dancing everywhere in DC.”

Every time I see one of them out of town buses drive pass, I start doing some moves. I want people to leave and say, ‘We saw dancing everywhere in DC.’

“I started dancing back in ’08. I was on M St. NE and saw this guy, Dough Boy, dancing. He was doing a dance called Beat Yo’ Feet, which is a dance straight out of the DMV. It was started back in the day by a guy named Slush over at the D’light Skate N Palace, off Naylor Road. He used to go to the go-go there and then started moving his arms and legs in a certain way, and then everyone started doing it. Now, it is called Beat Yo’ Feet, and it’s straight out of the DMV and being performed and perfected on our concrete. You ain’t never gonna see people in other cities with out kind of footwork.

“I asked Dough Boy to teach me how to dance and he showed me things like the this and that, the one way, the shakalaka, the skate, the bobbity, and a bunch of other moves. In Beat Yo’ Feet, it’s all about the foot work, but everyone brings their own little things to it like waving, bone breaking, isolating, and cutting. I practiced a lot by myself and learned my unique moves and style from Youtube.

“When I started competing and dancing in public, people used to put me down. I just used that to help me practice. I would go home and think about someone better than me and practice going up against him in a battle. I would think about his moves and come up with better ones. I started getting better, and now I am winning street battles and travelling to other cities to perform. For me, the moral of my dancing story is that if someone puts you down, practice and get better, and then take them down in a battle.

“Dancing taught me a lot about life, including leadership, responsibility, self-discipline, and opening my mind. All I want to do is dance, but I am also about to finish high school and want to go to UDC for video editing. I want to make sure that I represent this city. Like I said, this city isn’t know for it’s dancing, but I want to change that.”

Donte performs and helps to organize One Voice, One Sound every Thursday evening from 7-10pm at the Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Road NW). This Thursday, June 16th, Donte will be performing at One World: Together, a celebration of D.C. music, dance, spoken word, and food at The Festival Center (1640 Columbia Road NW).
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  1. Ain’t nobody can dance like wez do up in the DMV.

    Comment by T'fron — June 14, 2011 @ 11:55 am

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