2018 Teaching Tribute

2018 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching

Teaching Tribute Ceremony

Wednesday, June 27 | 4:30pm
von der Heyden Theater (Duke’s Central Campus)

The 2018 Balasaraswati/Joy Anne Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching will be awarded to celebrated dance educators and artists Ana “Rokafella” Garcia and Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio in a ceremony on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

“Breaking is one of the most significant dance forms to emerge in recent decades, and the work that Kwikstep and Rokafella have done to advance it is immense. As a fellow educator, I’m humbled by their generosity and their tireless commitment to sharing their knowledge. They are role models and exemplars of teaching as a way of life.”- ADF Dean Leah Cox

Dance Party

Wednesday, June 27 | 5:30-8:00pm
Rubenstein Arts Center 102

Join us for a dance party following the ceremony with Kwikstep and Rokafella in the new Rubenstein Arts Center, room 124. Featuring a local DJ Micky Slicks, we invite the community to jam with the awardees and experience what they are all about! We will crown a Cipher King and Queen, judged by a local dancer. The winners will receive merchandise from Rokafella’s clothing line, Shakori.

Community Cypher-Building

Tuesday, June 26 | 6:00-9:00pm
Rubenstein Arts Center 124
$10

Join Street dance/Hip hop theater artists Kwikstep and Rokafella at an in-depth workshop that presents the classic Hip hop dance styles as an expression of both freedom and legacy. All levels of experience are invited to participate and contribute in the exchange of moves and ideas surrounding the commercial and cultural aspects of this global movement.

RSVP on Facebook and sign up here!

About the Awardees

Ana “Rokafella” Garcia is a New York City native who has represented women in hip-hop dance professionally over the past two decades. She has taught workshops at NYU, Queens College, MIT, UMASS, and Howard, as well as at neighborhood high schools and community centers. Presently, she is an artist in residence at the American Tap Dance Foundation, an Adjunct Professor at The New School, and a DANCE NYC Annual Symposium planning committee member. She co-founded Full Circle Prod Inc, NYC’s only non-profit break dance theater company, with her husband, veteran b-boy Kwikstep, generating theater pieces, original poetry, and New York City-based dance related events. She directed a documentary highlighting the b-girl lifestyle entitled All the Ladies Say with support from the Ford Foundation and performs music based on her experiences growing up in hip-hop’s Mecca. She is hired internationally to judge break dance competitions based on her mastery of the classic hip-hop dance style, and she teaches unique workshops aimed at evolving and preserving its technical aspects. She has worked within the New York City public school system exposing young students to the possibility of a career in dance. In May of 2017, she launched Shiroka, a t-shirt fashion line, with Shiro, a Japanese graffiti writer. She has been featured in pivotal rap music videos, tours, films, and commercials and has choreographed for diverse festivals and concerts such as Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Momma’s Hip-Hop Kitchen, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Rokafella is a multi-faceted hip-hop artist who references street and Latino culture as her foundation.

Gabriel “Kwikstep” Dionisio, aka DJ KS 360, started dancing between the ages of 6 and 7 influenced by Soul Train and block parties in New York City. He has taught highly sought-after workshops in breaking techniques at the Broadway Dance Center,  Red  Bull Beat Riders, and Red Bull BC One. For over 20 years, Kwikstep has taught workshops in New York public schools and libraries and colleges across the country in an effort to make students aware of hip-hop lifestyle and fundamental movement as well as the history and meaning behind hip-hop culture. Kwikstep has performed in PBS’s Peabody Award-winning Everybody Dance Now, the Great Performances 20th-anniversary special, and Kurt Weill’s September Songs, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. In 1991 he won a “Bessie” award for choreography and founded the internationally known Full Circle in 1992. In 1996 Kwikstep and his wife Rokafella established Full Circle as a non-profit hip-hop collective known as Full Circle Productions Inc, and its members are known as Full Circle Souljahs. Today he is an international icon in breaking and is best known for his smooth style, versatility, and signature head spins. He was also an original founding member and principal dancer in companies such as Rhythm Technicians and GhettOriginal which were the creators of Jam on the Groove, nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 1996. In 2002 he, along with his wife, wrote, choreographed, and directed a hip-hop theater piece called Soular Powerd, which ran to sold-out audiences for 3 weeks at the New Victory Theater. Kwikstep and his wife wrote, choreographed, and directed a new hip-hop theater piece commissioned by the Kennedy Center called Outside The BachX. Most recently, in the fall of 2017, Kwikstep was Associate Director and Choreographer for a hip-hop theater piece, Syncing Ink, directed by Niegel Smith which ran at the Flea Theater.

Learn more on www.fullcirclesouljahs.com.

Follow them on Twitter: @FULLCIRCLESOUL


Past recipients of the Chair include Pearl Primus, Daniel Nagrin, Betty Jones, Bella Lewitzky, Anna Halprin, Donald McKayle, Bessie Schönberg, Matt Mattox, Pauline Koner, Viola Farber, Mary Anthony, Walter Nicks, Jane Dudley, Sophie Maslow, Pearl Lang, Martha Myers, Carmen De Lavallade, Gus Solomons jr, Gerri Houlihan, Dr.

Charles “Chuck” Davis, Linda Tarnay, Douglas Nielsen, Dianne McIntyre, Carolyn Adams, Sharon Kinney, Ruth Andrien, Yang Meiqi, Donna Faye Burchfield, Ana Marie Forsythe, Phyllis Lamhut, Irene Dowd, Zvi Gotheiner, James Sutton, Jaclynn Villamil, Anne Green Gilbert, and Liz Lerman.