“Dance has taught me that anything is possible...”
"I found out about hip hop dance my freshman year. There was this tv show I got hooked on, watching the dancers doing all these crazy moves, breaking their bones, doing flips... it intrigued me so I started training with YouTube videos. After high school I pursued it as a career. Now I teach, travel, and perform."
Kobby is quite the dynamic young man. He’s a gentle soul with a calm, soothing voice, but watch out… he flips right into high gear once the music starts pumping. We met him on the steps of the Memorial Library at UW-Madison. You can often find him there, teaching hip-hop dance to all ages. He has his own unique style, but it’s influenced by “popping” (think: the “robot” dance made famous in the 70’s and 80’s...)
Kobby wore his signature purple hat, and worked up a sweat doing an impromptu performance for us. You can find him here, or teaching here or here. If you’re lucky, you might even catch him like we did, on the steps of the library, knocking everyone out with his moves.
"When I first started dancing, my dad was not okay with it. 'You're not going to become a dancer, it's just not going to provide.' But I stuck with it, and two weeks ago my dad asked me to make choreography for his 50th birthday party. We've come a long way, and he's finally come on board. I think I'm showing him that anything is possible."
"Lately I've had the opportunity to do gigs, travel and perform. In June I was invited to go to Vegas to represent Wisconsin for a competition. I went with a crew mate and it was a North American qualifier to go to Paris. I didn't get there, but I made a lot of connections, made new friends and had a great experience. Hip hop culture here isn't fully represented... so I've been trying to bring it up in a positive way."
"I try to express myself through different styles of dance. I mix hip-hop pop with classical. I took a year of ballet, contemporary, lyrical. What I get from classical dance is structure and balance and strengthening your body so it can withstand anything that comes your way, while street style dance is fully about expression. Maybe one day I'll make up a name for it. Right now, it's my blend. I'm calling it freestyle, mix style and open style."
- Kobby, 1st Generation, Madison WI