From “you can’t pop so stop” to teaching dance classes 2 years later

In 1980, from the rolled-down window of a yellow school bus in Long Beach, CA, a voice yelled, “You can’t pop, so stop!” They were right, my dance skills sucked. They were wrong, I wasn’t going to stop. Two years later I was teaching popping at The Broadway Academy of Performing Arts in Carmichael, CA. A year after that I was dancing in the Best of Broadway talent showcase at the Hiram Johnson High School auditorium for 3 weeks.

The first time I saw the popping dance style was in 1980 when I was 16 years old, and hangin’ out at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, CA. I was stunned by how 4 guys could make the human body move in a way that looked like a robot or a wave. I spent the whole summer hanging out with these guys, watching and learning their popping techniques. Shake Your Pants by Cameo is the song they were blasting from their boombox, and is the pivotal song that marks the beginning of dance and dance music in my life.

I went on to teach popping (and later, break dancing) at The Broadway Academy of Performing Arts (when it was located in Carmichael, CA) when I was 18. I performed twice in The Best of Broadway showcase in Sacramento, CA (1983 & 1984).

In 1984, exercise and dance professional Pepper Von saw me perform and invited me to join as an original member of his Bodytalks Dance Company in Sacramento, CA.

Fast-forward to 2007. Eric and Corrie Ventura invited me to guest-teach 2 dance workshops, Popping and Rave, at their Light Vibe Performing Arts Center (LVPAC) in Sedona, AZ.

As of 2018, I spend a bit of time chattin’ with Hip-Hop leader and World of Dance judge Brandon Greathouse, and occasionally provide input when he holds Warriors of Rhythm dance auditions.