Williams' stay at the YMCA
Hip hop star to teach dance to young kidsRACHEL STURGES
Aspiring hip hop dancers are being given the chance to learn moves from chart-topping star J. Williams.
The workshop at Mt Albert YMCA came about because Williams, who was a hip hop teacher before his recording success, works out at the YMCA gym and sees the work it does with young people.
He is slotting the hip hop workshop into a busy schedule including a two-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. He is also working on his second album due to be released in early 2013.
The singer said the YMCA's vision to build strong children, families and communities was one he wanted to align himself with. He can relate to kids lacking confidence and those who come from poor backgrounds.
''A lot of kids are very shy and I guess those nerves can limit their talent. I hope I can be an example. I used to be like that but I'm here and just doing my thing. I come from a very poor upbringing, a humble upbringing, I know how it is.''
Those attending will learn about the history of hip hop dance, its techniques, different genres and how it can be taught.
Most of all though, Williams wants to raise confidence levels and said it was important for children to follow their dreams, despite the bad things that can happen in life.
''Last year was a really hard time for me. I was really low. But after all that bad press, I just want to show the youth that whatever you go through, you can hit a brick wall or get to a dead end, never stop chasing your dreams.
''I hope to be an inspiration to them.''
YMCA youth programme manager Kevin Carter said the organisation has wanted to host dance workshops for young people for a while.
''We had the young people and J. had the skills, so it was a bit of a match,'' he said.
The workshop is organised by the centre's RaiseUp group of 13 to 18-year-olds who also organise dance party events and activities for the community.
Carter said the workshop was a pilot and, if successful, would be held regularly.
''We'll create dance crews here and move on to competitions,'' he said.
The hip hop workshop takes place at 7pm today at Mt Albert YMCA, 773 New North Rd. Tickets are $5 at the door.
- © Fairfax NZ News