You can’t turn on a television anywhere in the world without seeing street dancers in one form or another. Therefore, I decided to contact “The Bob Fosse of the Streets” to get his unique perspective on the global dance phenomenon gripping our youth. Some may wonder will this interview mark the comeback for the award-winning choreographer, director, actor, dancer, and motivational speaker Adolfo “Shabba-Doo” Quiñones?
Shabba-Doo is well known mostly for his role as Ozone in the 1984 hit dance films “Breakin’” and “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.” Prior to his stardom, Shabba-Doo gained notoriety at the age of 16 from dancer Campbellock Jr., when he won a dance contest in California. Impressed by his innovative and distinguished moves, Campbellock Jr. brought Shabba-Doo and his sister onto Soul Train and they became the original Soul Train Gang. Shabba-Doo went on to become a founding member of the fabled 1970s street dance troupe, The Lockers, which included the originator of the Locking dance style Don “Campbellock” Campbell and the star of “What’s Happening,” Fred “Rerun” Berry. The “Breakin’” films magnified and introduced Shabba-Doo’s signature dance style to a global market.
Shabba-Doo starred in a string of high-profile televised specials and feature films. These appearances impelled “Dance Magazine” to dub Shabba-Doo “Hip-Hop’s first matinee idol.” This distinguished recognition of his visionary dance talents led him to choreograph for some of the biggest names in show business, such as Madonna, Jamie Kennedy, and Lionel Richie, to name a few.
Shabba-Doo is still evolving his vision and manifesting the era that he created so long ago. “I empower dancers by giving them the technical tools to master a dance or a particular style by teaching them in a more modular way. I believe that knowledge is free.” Shabba-Doo finds himself in a position to help young dancers who are misguided and misinformed about the dance industry as a whole.
In his quest to share knowledge by way of his visionary dance leadership program, he often quotes Matthew 7:6, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” Shabba-Doo’s simple interpretation of this scripture is, “Do not persist in offering what is of value to those who have no appreciation for it, because your gift will not only become contaminated and be despised, your generous efforts could also be rebuffed.”
Shway 3D (Waackin’ Shabba-Doo’s Way) derives from Shabba-Doo’s three levels of dance and life philosophy: Spiritual, Emotional, and Practical. “All three are needed in order to achieve and sustain a high level of success.” The spiritual level is being connected to God. In his teachings, Shabba-Doo steers away from speaking about a specific faith; instead, he strives to find a common belief that there is truly a God. “The only reason why I’ve been able to be around as long as I have and to be able to enjoy the wonderful things in life is because of my spiritual foundation.”
The emotional level is developing a child-like emotion about people, work, and life. “Don’t be afraid to cry or to show your emotional scars; this does not mean that you won’t get hurt, that disappointment won’t enter your life, or you won’t make plenty of mistakes as you navigate through life, but you can draw from your emotional strength.” The practical level is emphasizing that faith without works is dead. “In order to achieve the practical, there has to be a physical manifestation of the spiritual and emotional power that you have within your heart.” These are the very principals Shabba-Doo thrives on. Combining life’s skills with his dancing techniques, “to me, they’re both the same.”
Along with workshops and motivational speaking around the world, fans will be excited to know that Shabba-Doo’s working on producing and directing a new DVD for a new generation of street-dancers. The DVD was slated for production the summer of 2010 in Toronto, Canada! The DVD will include definitive instructional street dance moves complete with accurate historical information on his Locking 5.0 method, Shway 3D (Waackin’), and Soul Dance styles! The DVD will also include exclusive interviews, motivational and history segments, along with his Funk-Shway health and fitness program to help dancers and dance enthusiasts of all ages lose weight and develop well-toned dancer bodies.
Keep an eye out for Shabba-Doo’s many upcoming television and live appearances. So, if you were wondering if this is a comeback? The answer is no! Don’t call it a comeback; he’s been here for years!
For more information on Shabba-Doo, visit his website: www.shabba-doo.com