Rennie Harris lectured and taught his first class at Temple University at age 14. By his early twenties, Rennie Harris was sought after by organizations and institutions seeking to document Hip-hop culture’s history. Featured in articles, magazines, and documentaries produced by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), British Broadcasting (BBC), and the Smithsonian Institution, Harris educated audiences about the complex and intricate history of Hip-hop culture and Street Dance. Rennie Harris confirmed this folklore as a long-standing tradition practiced since slavery.
His innate understanding of Hip-hop helped to launch his career as a choreographer. His dedication and commitment to education is the building block for his companies. Educating the public about Hip-hop dance and culture not only became his mission, but also his purpose. Rennie Harris achieved this mission through performances, lectures, classes, and mentorship. In the theater, Harris’s work challenges the viewer’s perception of Hip-hop culture by exploring a range of emotions through street dance. In schools, his lecture demonstrations are educational rather than performative; they are specifically designed to teach the youth about the history of street dance paying particular attention to its progenitors, pioneers, and legends. Harris doesn’t believe in entertaining the youth; he believes in educating them.
Titled “The History of Street Dance,” the lecture demonstration is a 45-60 minute interactive presentation of various street dance styles, including beginner Hip-hop, House, and Breaking, and their histories. Company dancers teach our classes. Each dancer has gone through the Rennie Harris Teaching Certificate program, which trains them in the history, technique and method of Rennie Harris’ teaching style. Supported by multimedia and music, instructors demonstrate each style of dance through freestyle and traditional Hip-hop routines.
We look forward to seeing you at our next performance, lecture demonstration or workshop. Be sure to explore photos, fan letters, and general support of our educational programs. Also, inquire about access to Rennie Harris Archive and our downloadable Rennie Harris Puremovement study guide for your students. Lastly, don’t forget to check out illadelph Legends and our Anniversary page.
PERFORMANCE + WORKSHOP
Inspired by Rennie Harris Funkedified (performance) the Youth Dancers from the Carolina Friends School in Durham, NC and the Oakbrook Middle School of Ladson, SC drew pictures of what they saw on stage. What an awesome job!