PLAINFIELD — Celebrity choreographer William “Willdabeast” Adams taught a free hip-hop class Saturday, March 23, to more than 50 delighted students at Maxson Middle School in Plainfield.
Why We Dance, under the direction of Candace Waller, has been providing free dance classes and festivals to the community with the support of a Union County HEART (History, Education, Art Reaching Thousands) grant from the board of Union County Freeholders.
Waller and Yateesha Davis, dance director of the Legendary Dancers at Maxson Middle School, combined their classes to put on an event that dazzled the community.
“It is so important that we have free arts programs for the community,” Waller said. “Ms. Davis has a great group of students. She teaches them various forms of dance. Working with her and her dancers has been wonderful. Willdabeast was very well-spoken and an overall wonderful presenter. He spoke about his background and was very encouraging to the students.”
The participation of Adams in the workshop was coordinated in part by Andrea Jasper who is his manager and co-founder of collectiveUth (pronounced youth). She started the organization in 2011 with her daughter, Kianna, also a dancer, and Dana Vaughns, an entertainer who started off as a dancer.
The goal of collectiveUth is to was to provide an avenue for dancers to fellowship with each other and to share their talents with those who may not get the opportunity to learn from professional choreographers. Her company organizes master dance classes all over the world.
“It’s important to Will to give back to the community and share his knowledge and experience,” said Jasper, who describes herself as a dance mom. “Will started dancing in college but dance was always a passion. This workshop gave him an opportunity to tell his story. Will is a person who relates well with others. He is a good guy and he has a story similar to other little African American boys.”
Adams has danced for Chris Brown, Busta Rhymes and Usher, toured with T-Pain and choreographed for contestants on the television shows America’s Best Dance Crew and America’s Got Talent. The Indiana native is now based in Los Angeles, and has traveled the globe teaching master classes and working with hip hop and R&B artists.
Tatianna J, who taught the first hip hop workshop of the program, considers Willdabeast as one of her role models.
“Teaching with him was an honor and a blessing,” said Tatianna J, who is studying criminal justice and dance at Raritan Valley Community College. “I loved his teaching style. He was interactive, personal and the choreography was easy to catch on. He also stressed having fun.”
This program was made possible by Union County Freeholders HEART (History, Education, Art Reaching Thousands) grant.
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