Easley • South Carolina
Starting at the age of 16 I began dancing at a small studio. We were basically the misfits at competitions doing real hip hop due to our teacher being from America's Best Dance Crew Season 5. I thrived in that environment and befriended my teacher who was not much older than me and started traveling and training extensively, spending a lot of time with the members of Draztik Crew and my passion for dance was sparked. The summer I turned 18 I was kicked out of my home for the poor life decisions I was making (Drinking,Partying,Losing jobs,etc). I found myself stripped of everything I had ever known and moved in with my dad from my 17 year home of Warwick, Rhode Island to the country of Cumming, Georgia. The only thing that remained was dance.
With promises to my father to join the Navy made in the meantime I looked for a job teaching the only thing I truly knew I could do to make money while still enjoying life-- HIP HOP! I found a job in Dawsonville, GA teaching an awesome group of kids whose strengths were in clogging. After a few months of self reflection I decided that I truly wanted to be a traveling Hip hop Choreographer and the Navy was not in that plan. My dad did not see my choice as a smart one and it also violated the terms of me moving in with him so he told me to leave.
Out of the kindness of her heart after hearing about me couch hopping and sleeping at roach motels for a few months, a studio mom offered me a place to stay. The living conditions were absolutely horrible. No shower, no microwave, no cable, no phone, bed bugs, roaches, and spiders were my roommates(and i mean in the HUNDREDS). Truly at a low point in my life one family from the studio asked me to go to church with them. One Sunday in October, Harbor Worship Center changed my life. All 18 years growing up I had been a true to the bone skeptic of God and religion. A series of events that I save for when asked personally, changed my view and my life.
A few weeks into my new found hope for a way out of my lowest point a family from church (who also had children at the studio) offered me a room in their home. A shower, my own bed, and a chance to better my situation had dropped right before me. I had acquired a 98 Dodge Dakota with 200,000 miles on it thanks to another family from the church and also got myself a separate full time job in retail so things were looking good. Growing and meeting new people in my travels with the studio I met a friend my age who promised me a partnership in opening a studio. My dream was coming true (or so I thought). I then moved to Pickens, SC where I soon learned that this "friend" had no intentions of paying me a dime but offered me a place to live with him for free which I could not decline because I was hundreds of miles away from the rest of my family, besides my dad who was not at all about to help my "foolish" pursuit of a dream.
Although i wasn't getting paid a penny I taught my hip hop students 5 days a week and gave them my heart and soul which ended up leading them to their first 1st place trophy in hip hop ever along with a 1st place overall small groups. Shortly after the living conditions with this so called "friend" became unbearable, the secretary at the studio (a girl my age) offered to let me live with her and her mom. Soon we became involved and due to her mothers deep depression from her husband's passing a few years earlier and mixture of medications, tensions in my new home rose to the point of her telling us both to leave. Some may say well you must have done something all of these times to keep getting kicked out and I'll say yes the very first one, I truly deserved and perhaps the second one for breaking a promise to my father but the third was unprovoked. Finding myself without a permanent home once again and now responsible for someone who has never gone through this I once again fought to seek out the one thing I knew all about. I eventually got hired as a teacher at another studio in Pickens which I would travel to from either a camper in a friend's backyard or campsite whichever I was living in at the time.
Months later my girlfriends sister and her husband asked us to move in with them and their newborn baby in Charleston, SC where I can say I truly realized that my calling was to teach hip hop. I reached out to the dancers of the area via social media and started making friends. I soon was teaching classes at multiple studios as well as performing at local events with some of the most genuine people I had met in my young life. The decision eventually was made to move back to the Easley/Pickens, SC area after a year in Charleston so that I could be much closer to ATL (my next logical step before moving to California). I find myself here in Easley now after a few months of struggling to find dance jobs teaching at 3 different studios 6 days a week and making enough money to pay all my bills and put money into savings. ATL is next for me and this epic dance journey has just begun. Overall I ask that everyone stay positive and always have faith in yourself. Human beings are the most powerful creatures on the planet and our potential is unmeasurable! My hope is that I can travel the world one day teaching the 1 thing that kept me sane through all of my hard times!
P.S. If you ever meet me in person feel free to ask me and I will share my story in its entirety because I feel that in a way my story can help people!