Street Dance

Choreography, education, & performance

Hip Hop - Popping - Locking - Breakin

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In My Education Method

My work combines the world of hip hop & other genres with the standards & structure of dance schools.  Training programs I offer give insight into how I run my classes for an educational experience that honors the school curriculum without diluting hip hop. This summer,  I will be expanding my training program into a certification, where teachers can fully adopt my methods & bring my approach to hip hop education to their home studio!

More Info Coming Soon....

About Me

My name is John "Comix" Barrella. I am a dance educator from New Jersey.  As a full time artist, I spend my days instructing dancers, choreographing internationally, consulting for dance teachers, performing, and directing a professional dance company.  It's my mission to use my voice in the dance community to share all the incredible things you can do with your knowledge.

 

 

Throughout my career, I have had the pleasure of using dance as a means to connect with young people across the country and help kick-start dance careers . I want to continue on that journey with every dancer and hip hop head out there .  As you explore my site, feel free to reach out to me at any time.  Let me know exactly what you need and we can discuss how I can use my art for you!

What makes Hip Hop and Street Dance so compelling? Dancers around the world know the words "Hip Hop", yet there is still a struggle to inform people on what it actually is. Finding an audience to this art form is the easy part. However, with a world so over-saturated with work that is labelled as hip hop, it can be tricky to know what it really is.  My work as a teacher, choreographer and performer aims to show people the difference between hip hop and many other styles. What makes it so interesting is how very human it can be.  This is an art form created so organically in an atmosphere that needed it.   This entire culture was built upon the incredible things being done by the communities that needed a voice and an outlet. Today, people are still captivated by hip hop. Of course there's a good and bad to that too.  Some are loyal to its healing, empowering and strengthening powers. Hip Hops ability to force artists to be at the top of their game is one of the most important aspects. The drive to get better and have a conversation with your audience or your opponent that BUILDS on who you were previously is what creates our driven dancers. The other side of it is that many people don't realize how integral the roots of hip hop are to a student of dance. They love it enough to run with it anyway.  There is much work to be done.

DISCLAIMER

Everything I know , discuss and teach is based on what I have learned about this art form over the years. I have the utmost respect for the teachers and pioneers involved in hip hop culture AND bboy culture, locking culture, popping culture...etc.. My understanding of dance comes from lessons and conversations with these men and women over the years. I am NOT A PIONEER OR MASTER of this art form. That title belongs to those who were born into the culture and helped it become what it is today. I am  a student and I am influenced by it. I aim to do good things with it. I aim to deliver information on it and help people grow with it. Hip Hop and other styles don't get mastered over night. It takes years and a high level of dedication. I am not delivering you a shortcut to hip hop. I am here to help you begin a journey with hip hop. I look to be the voice that makes sense and connects you with lessons and ideas that'll help you grow properly.  It goes without saying that there are many opinions on hip hop and sometimes conflicting ideas about definitions and even terminology.  I teach based on styles of dance I've gained extensive information on so that when I run with it, shape it and speak through it, I do so with respect and value for the art form. My word on dance is NOT LAW. It is opinion. It is my method, my philosophy. It is the way I've succeeded in bringing it to my students and my audience without having to diminish the roots of the style. My only hope going forward is to continue to find the students and the audience that can share love for these things as I do.

My Interview For tedx

Last year, I was interviewed for the official podcast of Tedx Asbury Park, where I had the chance to discuss street dance, art, the history of my dance company, and what we presented as speakers for Tedx: Chaos.

        We were able to host John recently in our studio for two student workshops divided by ages, an adult class and a teacher training. I had followed him on social media and had always been impressed by his level of knowledge and passion to teach REAL hip hop. We were blown away by his knowledge once we met him in person and his training-in addition to his curriculum-has shaped our hip hop program in our studio! I highly recommend using John as a resource however you can, whether it is his curriculum or a live session. He is truly one of the best out there!

- Jessica Reagle

Owner: Jessica's Dance Academy, Swansboro NC

        I had John out to my studio over the summer for teacher training. I am so glad that I had more than just my hip hop teachers in the room as his tips, exercises and approaches can be used in all genres. They are true teaching tools. John gives a true foundation and education on hip hop culture and brings you back to where it comes from and the why. His personality is infectious and his passion for not only his art  but educating others is evident. He has made himself available  to be a mentor to one of my newer staff members and we have purchased his curriculum for our studio. I can't say enough about him except he is the real deal.

- Tiffany Prout-Leitao

Owner:  Center Stage Dance Academy, Masschusetts

     John Comix Barrella has visited our studio twice since 2018 and he has inspired, educated and infused excitement into our hip hop programs.  Not only does he deliver memorable and current class work, he is authentic.  He studies so he can share and inspire with so much knowledge.  Our hip hop instructor uses his teaching material to continue to develop a strong and growing program at our studio.  After year one, our dancers looked forward to learning new styles that were presented with so much detail that they could retain the information and build on John's workshop visit throughout the season. 
 

- Jillian Duhadway

Owner: Duhadway Dance Dimensions, Alma MI