House music was born in Chicago from the disco scene and that’s the era that Shabba-Doo has his roots. A native Chicagoan, Shabba-Doo spoke about the dance scene, “In the late 60’s and early 70’s soul music was big in Chicago.”
“House music influenced a style of dance called the waacking dance. Waaking Dance is a derivative of a dance style called punking,” said Shabba-Doo. In the 1970s like many of straight djs in Chicago, Shabba-Doo went into the gay night clubs in Los Angeles and created a hybrid form of dancing. “I created the first bi-sexual street dance form,” said Shabba-Doo.
People often ask where does he get his creative dance moves, he replies, “I put the Puerto Rican in it!” Latinos have a major influence on American culture and Shabba-Doo has been at the forefront since the 1970s.
Shabba-Doo gave me an education, a history lesson. He introduced me to Tom Moulton. Moulton was the original remixer on the national level. According to wikipedia, Moulton “was responsible for the first continuous-mix album side, on Gloria Gaynor‘s disco album, Never Can Say Goodbye, earning him the title the ‘father of the disco mix’.”
“House music was the heartbeat, the pulse,” said Shabba-Doo. The bass and tribal beats of house music gets to the very soul of a dancer.
When working on a dance routine, he feels the music, like a heart beat, using his body to interpret the music, creating a personal music score.
Today, Shabba-Doo is still dancing. He teaches all over the world. Often giving back to the community. He recently joined the Hip Hop Hall of Fame Museum Development Team. In the Fall of 2014 he is scheduled to release an autobiographical book. He is also working on a film, ” A Breakin’ Uprising: The Movie”.
One of my favorite Shabba Doo quotes…
“Knowledge is the new swagger, intelligence is the new cool and the new dope. God gave us all potential but education helps to unlock that potential. Without an education, without knowledge, you are like a baseball player that only has talent but doesn’t know how to use it. Talent will get you at bat but education gets you home.”
Background of this blog: A few months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and Shabba-Doo was in my news feed. I thought about the movie “Breakin'” how much I loved it, watching it over and over again in the 1980s and all the great music. I recently discovered that Shabba-Doo is from Chicago. So I wanted to know if and how House music influenced his style of dance. He graciously agreed to an interview.