Meet Cebo Terry Carr, the program director here at EDN!. Moving to NYC from the West Indies when he was very young, Cebo grew up around street dance. He remembers seeing his older brothers dancing in battles, and “it just grabbed [his] soul, [he] knew that street dance was something [he] had to be a part of”. Cebo has been performing his whole life, both on the streets and in competitions, winning his first competition when he was just 5 years old.
In 2003, Cebo moved from NYC to Japan where he opened Next Generation New York Studios, a studio focusing on teaching the fundamentals of street dance. Like NYC, Japan is a hub for street dance and Cebo thought his studio would thrive. His studio has taught thousands of eager students street dance. In addition, Cebo also created GenX, a street dance company based in Japan. In moving to Japan, his largest struggle was the language and cultural barrier separating Cebo from his students. Street dance is largely influenced by the culture of NYC so teaching it to those who have very little knowledge of the culture behind it was a difficult, but welcomed, challenge.
Although he loved his time in Japan, Cebo was extremely excited to return to New York and come back to where street dance originated. Cebo joined EDN! as a teacher, eventually expanding his role to become the program director. Cebo’s hope for EDN! is to bring street dance back to where it began and to educate students about the “silver lining” that came out of a difficult time in New York’s history. The unique culture in NYC has been a major influencing factor on street dance and Cebo loves being able to teach the art of street dance to those who still remain in contact with the culture that created it. Rarely dancing behind another performer, Cebo also hopes to show the students that they do not need to stand behind someone else, they can be artists in their own right. If there is one thing Cebo wishes his students take away, so much so that it has become the motto of his studio, is “Music Feeling Dance”, meaning “listen to the music, feel it, and put that into dance”.
(Images courtesy of Dance Education Laboratory)