Many who grew up in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY, chose dance as an outlet to escape the streets. There was the hip hop culture and an ever emerging Jamaican dance culture that grew quite popular during the 90s. “Bruk Up”, a dance originated by George Adams, became a competitive dance of the times.
Shawn “POBA” Theagene, who is of Hatian, Dominican and Jamaican descent, developed a love for dance at the age of 4, listening to and mimicking the likes of James Brown. He longed to be an entertainer. Over time, he developed his craft, fully embracing his Jamaican culture, by learning and executing popular dancehall styles.
Influenced by Mr. Bruk Up himself, Poba was instrumental in growing the Bruk Up competitive dance culture in Brooklyn, where he joined his crew at FLEX, to compete against other dance crews. FLEX, held in East New York, Brooklyn, was locally televised, featuring dance crews from across the borough, with both male and famale dancers exhibiting what can be described as rhythmic contortion. At the time, 1994, Ako Griffin from Trinidad, was deemed the best Dancehall artiste in NY, in Poba’s opinion, and he became his mentor and teacher. This also helped him to hone his skills.
His longtime desire to be a performer was at the foundation of his love for Bruk Up dance; it was animated, theatrical and also incorporated some of the hip hop break dance culture. Poba describes it as “breakdancing with a Caribbean Twist.”
Poba, along with a one-time dance rival, turned friend, Christopher Davis aka “Blackie,” started the “BedStuy Veterans.” They could not beat each other, so decided to join forces for a good cause. Poba shared, “A lot of dancers were killed, arrested or quit dancing and it was important for us to form a movement that would keep the art form alive and give the youth an outlet to learn the craft.”
BSV originated in Brooklyn and has become a worldwide movement, with members in Canada, Australia, Russia and Japan to name a few. BSV has won over 28 awards on a global scale and continues to dominate. Currently, they are edifying the youth of the movement,encouraging self-development, empowerment and entrepreneurship.
When you mix passion, purpose and raw talent, the result is EMINENCE!