Massive Monkees Celebrate 14 Years @ Showbox April 13th

Once upon a time in 1999 two crews, MASSIVE and Untouchable Style Monkees, decided to join forces to show the world that Seattle was a force to be reckoned with in the hip-hop scene…

In the 14 year journey that followed, none of us in our wildest dreams could have ever imagined that we’d have such an impact on the world through our dance and community focus. Thankfully many people in our journey saw our potential and were kind enough to inspire us, coach us, and at times – kick our butts to ensure that we got to the next level. In 2004, one of these people was former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickles who was brave enough to proclaim April 26th as the official Massive Day in Seattle.  Despite the fact that we had only really been around for 5 years, he was very impressed with that fact that we were able to bring a world title back to Seattle all while teaching, coaching and mentoring the next generation of Seattle dancers  in parallel.

As we get ready to celebrate our 14 year anniversary at the Showbox on April 13th, I’m proud to confidently say that Mayor Nickles made a wise investment in us. Since 2005, we’ve organized an annual event to celebrate Massive Monkees Day that has morphed into an engagement tool to reach thousands of urban youth in Seattle and across the world to promote productive, positive & healthy life choices for urban youth through arts & dance. Coupled with the launch of our dance studio (the Beacon) and our non-profit organization (Extraordinary Futures) this year’s Massive Monkees Day is really positioned well to help us reach the current and next generation of aspiring dancers.

From an entertainment perspective, we’re laser focused on making Massive Monkees Day better every year and 2013 is no exception. This year we have the nation’s top dancers flying in to battle it out for $1,500 and perhaps more importantly, the respect associated with winning one of the best jams in the United States. While B-boy competitions around the world are happy with one or two DJs, we’ve doubled down on our investment in music by brining in almost every heavy hitter who has ever spun at an MM Day in the past including Soul OneDV One, the Seattle Zulu DJ crew, Lean Rock (Boston) and the return of blesOne after a 3 year hiatus making music with his band Don’t Talk to the Cops (shout out to FeverOne who is judging this year instead of spinning). In addition to the DJ line-up we’ve rounded out the night with some outstanding guest performers including Big World BreaksNu EraDyme Def, and One Be Lo. And finally to top off the weekend, we’ve curated a list of the world’s top dance instructors who will be teaching at the Beacon and sharing their gifts with the Seattle community (schedule here).

Every single dollar of profit from this event goes into funding our free after school program at the Beacon along with our free classes offered in Burien thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. We humbly invite you to support us on our journey and to enjoy a truly outstanding night of entertainment with some of the best dancers, DJs, and emcees that our culture has to offer.

Tickets ($20) are available at the door, through AXS, or at the Beacon. Check out our Facebook event page for full details and for an opportunity to win a pair of free tickets to the event.

Thanks for all your support over the years. With your help, we can double our impact on youth in Seattle in 2014 and change lives through art & dance.

#MMDAY2013

 mm14yearanniv1

Joe “JoRawk” Stolte

Executive Director | Extraordinary Futures | @ExtrdnryFutures

Massive Monkees Crew | @Massive_Monkees

WeDay

 

Seattle hosted this year’s WeDay Conference at the Key Arena, and Massive Monkees had the honor being a part of this amazing event. Sharing the stage with Jennifer Hudson, Magic Johnson, Gary Payton, MC Hammer, The Seahawks, Macklemore, Kid President and new friends RNG Dance Crew. The line up of guests were brought together to share their inspiring stories and ideas with local youth

We Day Seattle brought together 15,000 young people to celebrate the power of youth to create positive change in their local and global communities. You can’t buy a ticket to We Day – you earn it through service. We Act is a comprehensive service learning program that supports schools and youth groups in taking tangible action to make a difference in the world. Groups take on one local and one global action and report back to Free The Children to earn their way to We Day. In turn, schools and groups get tools and resources to make their We Act commitments come to life. More than an event, We Day celebrates a movement of young people leading change through We Act. For more information visit WEDAY.ORG

Thank you Aaron  Yeung and http://www.KollaborationSeattle.org/ for the photos

5398_10151312082431767_1002154841_n

734032_10151311903046767_599620258_n

64347_10151311903221767_1176435258_n

303326_10151311910446767_1182776679_n603941_10151311908136767_621378423_n

 

734346_10151311904626767_1868517736_n

 

Massive Break Challenge comes to the Beacon

As a kid, I always hated not having a consistent place to dance.

Like many of my peers across the country, in the late 90s I often found myself scrounging through the mall or looking for some side hallway in my high school to practice in. The football players had their field, the basketball players had the gym,  but the dancers had to fend for themselves. Like me, Jerome “JeromeSkee” Aparis of the Massive Monkees crew shared a similar struggle as he transitioned from being a top soccer player with full access to practice space & organized games to an up and coming dancer who had to ride the bus for 90 minutes just to practice. Seeing an opportunity to change this experience for his students, Jerome started a middle school and high school B-Boy & B-Girl league in the Seattle area to provide his students a consistent arena to practice and compete against each other.

After 7 years, the Massive Break Challenge has evolved into Seattle’s ‘super bowl’ of school dance programs with over 10 schools competing for prizes and the respect of their peers. In fact, it’s the first official high school & middle school breaking league in the country. Each month 2 schools compete against each other in various formats (1 vs. 1, 3 vs. 3, crew vs. crew) allowing students to hone both their solo and team work skills as competitors. At the end of the school year, Massive Break Challenge holds a grand tournament where all of the schools get a chance to compete against each other. When asked about his inspiration to start the program Jerome adds “I wanted my students to have something to work towards every month and to give them a chance to battle people at their skill level as a stepping stone to larger breaking battles.”

When Jerome presented the idea of having this month’s Massive Break Challenge (MBC) at the Beacon during our free after school program run by Extraordinary Futures, we jumped all over it. Aside from being one of the founding members of Massive Monkees, Jerome plays dual roles as a teaching artist for Arts Corps and as the Director of After School Programs for Extraordinary Futures, so bringing MBC to the Beacon was a great way to align his work across all 3 organizations. This month’s competition featured more than 20 up and coming dancers from Chief Sealth and Cleveland High School who came ready for war. The progression these students have made in a few short years is amazing and their hard work in Jerome’s Arts Corps & Extraordinary Futures classes has clearly paid off. They even brought their own ‘fans’ from each school, supportive students who came to watch and cheer on their classmates.

At one point during the battle, I found myself reflecting on my days of dancing in dirty hallways and bugged out over the level that Jerome has taken Massive Break Challenge to. We’re really excited for the this year’s finals taking place at The Bagley Wright Theater on May 27thduring Seattle’s Northwest Folklife Festival and are eager to host another ‘school vs. school’ heat in April at the Beacon.

Joe Stolte,
Executive Director | Extraordinary Futures | @ExtrdnryFutures

Massive Monkees Crew | @Massive_Monkees