“When I heard that I had been successful with getting onto the Ken Swift Pioneers course I quite literally jumped around the office with pure excitement! The realisation that I was going to learn the foundations and techniques of Break Dance from one of the original Old Skool B-boys took a while to sink in. Over the three days in which I trained with Ken Swift I felt so inspired and filled with energy! I was completely captured by the stories Ken shared with us in relation to his youth and experiences growing up in Brooklyn; hearing how the kids in the 70’s and 80’s would jam on the streets, wearing particular colours to represent their crew. Improvisation became a huge part of B-boyin’ and B-girlin’, where kids would use martial art-like movements as seen on the Bruce Lee movies to inform their top rock and movement style. We got a taster of these influences when learning elements of Rockin’ and Top Rock throughout the course; to use crazy gestures and play with your personality through the movement was what made the old skool B-boys and B-girls so fresh and original! Ken opened up my eyes to being free with creativity and to quite simply play with variations of movement to develop original sets. We drilled a variety of top rock, foot work patterns, go downs, freezes and rockin! All of this physical practice was accompanied by Ken’s capturing stories and experiences.
This pioneers course was worth every speck of sweat! To learn from someone who lived, breathed and absorbed the raw essence of the birth of Break Dance is a huge privilege! I met some amazing people on the course and can honestly say my head and body has been overloaded with such precious knowledge that I will cherish and hold it like gold dust! I can now use what I have learnt to enhance my professional development and pass on the knowledge and stories through my teaching to keep the rawness of the ‘Old Skool’ ways alive!”
Issie Lloyd – Dance Development Worker