THE ESSENCE OF MOVEMENT
“God did not just create us for one thing; he created us for everything. My journey has taken me to dance.”
According to James “SugEasy” Singleton, everyone is born knowing how to dance. It is an argument that he has often successfully debated, but it is also this belief that is a driving force within a profession that seems to have chosen him. For SugEasy, the walk of life is enriched by the rhythms of quality music and the swift motions of the body. He lives and breathes dance, and it is because of this that he has carefully crafted a career that keeps him creating, moving and sharing his talents with the world. Thankfully, the hip-hop dance expertise of SugEasy can be found right here in Johnson County.
SugEasy, a moniker he inherited based on his constant and ease of movement, remarks that his story is very much like a time travel that intertwines dance and music, and, growing up, both played a pivotal role in his home. The melodies of the Temptations, the Commodores and Parliament provided the perfect complement for what came natural, and by the age of 5, he had already developed his own unique style of dance.
“No one taught me,” he says. “I just understood the flow of music and let the music take control.”
Intrigued by hip-hop culture and break dancing, it became his nourishment, and he dedicated much of his time feeding this desire, dancing wherever and whenever the feeling hit. It was when he was in first grade that he determines there was a shift from hobby to lifelong passion where SugEasy, dressed all in crisp white, complete with a fresh jean jacket, entered his K-12 school talent show. Struck with stage fright, he was paralyzed with fear, and it was not until several juniors and seniors invited him onstage to dance did he realize that this was exactly what he wanted to do. He has been dancing every since.
SugEasy started teaching at 15 after he had earned a name for his stellar moves. With every competition he entered, he received accolades, and he became a force in the hip-hop world. Others noticed his mastery in the styles of house, lofting, popping and breaking and desired to move as he seemed to do effortlessly. He soon learned that instructing others to dance did not mean teaching them to step as he does but to find their own story through movement.
“I had to go through a lot of trial and error, and once I figured out the formula and how I wanted to do it, I ran with it,” he says. “Then I was able to write my own curriculum.”
And a comprehensive curriculum it is. SugEasy understands that to teach hip-hop dance, his students also need to comprehend the history and culture of each art form. Most unique about his classes is he is not teaching anything he does not know firsthand. It is an honest testament to who he is: an authentic hip-hop connoisseur. He is the real deal whose enthusiasm is felt by every student from ages 3 to 103. His wide spectrum of skills can be credited to the experiences he has had learning and performing on stage and in videos with the pioneers in the field.
The one thing he wants people to know is that hip-hop is not a negative thing and can be a positive reinforcement. He highly recommends taking his classes, meeting him and embracing the true essence of hip-hop. He is an open book just waiting to help others write their own interpretation of movement.
Music is the ink, you are the pen, the dance floor is your canvas. Just create,” he says.
Classes are available at Deena Shroyer School of Dance, Creative Movement and Dance, Culture House, Crescendo, and 360 Gymnastics. To contact SugEasy and learn more, email TranslationInMovement@gmail.com.