Hey STEEZY nation! I’m Connor, one of the co-founders of STEEZY. I don’t often write anything for the public but hey… New year, new me, right??
If you don’t know who I am, I was a dancer on GRV. I actually started as a b-boy in Queens, New York 'til I moved to Los Angeles, where I danced for over 8 years.
Before dance, I was super awkward and insecure, and never felt like I fit in anywhere.
So when I started to “find myself” through dance, it soon became one of the only things I cared about.
Fast-forward a few years – I was looking for a way to give back to other dancers, as was Evan (STEEZY's other co-founder).
I was working at an ad agency at the time, and he was a developer for a tech company.
We met up to chat over lunch and ended up mapping out a rough sketch of what STEEZY is today.
Almost 4 years later, here I am at the STEEZY office, doing everything from charging the walkie-talkies and taking credit for Jessie’s jokes to stressing over our marketing strategy… But this isn’t about me.
I’m writing to talk about who STEEZY is, where we’re headed, and most importantly – why.
When I ask dancers if they know what STEEZY is, they usually say something like, “STEEZY is the BuzzFeed of dance!”
And while that’s flattering, it’s not really why we’re here! Our mission at STEEZY is to make dance more accessible to everyone. Keyword: everyone.
Trying to join a dance team? STEEZY’s got a guide. Mother of two toddlers reminiscing about your good ol' dance days? STEEZY’s got classes you can take anytime.
Feel out of place in life, but dance videos make you feel happy? STEEZY is for you.
We’re here to answer all your questions about dance and give you the tools you need to become best dancer you can be, especially if you don't have local access to dance classes and a community.
Evan’s and my original goal is sharing dance in places it doesn’t yet exist – this holds stronger and wider than ever.
We continue to identify more people and communities all around the world who cherish dance, who deserve a chance to learn, but lack the basic resources to do so, and provide it for them.
That’s what STEEZY is. Now, how are we doing what we do, bigger and better this year?
We started our blog in April of 2014. Since then, we've written 350+ articles. (Thanks Jessie).
While the volume is awesome, we realized it's gotten difficult to find what you're looking for because there's so much out there.
We keep getting messages and emails asking us the same questions because the article that answers it is buried under 100 other posts.
So we decided to update our blog design to make it super clear and easy to navigate.
The first thing we did was make a search bar on the home page, so you can basically Google within STEEZY.
We'll continue adding to and organizing the site based on our readers' needs!
The blog is a great resource, but not everyone prefers to read. And a lot of dancers spend most of their time on YouTube (we know, we're dancers, too!).
That's why we’ve been putting out more “How To” videos on our YouTube channel – one every 2 weeks. The feedback has been amazing.
We've been working on the balance of delivering educational and helpful information with a humorous, light-hearted feel.
I apologize for ever being annoyed with Clay's and Jessie's puns because you guys seem to enjoy them!
Anyway, we want to keep answering your questions (and entertain you in the process), so we even brought on a full-time producer, Kevin Kang to help produce consistent video content.
If you have something you want us to talk about, then drop a comment on any of our videos and we’ll add it to our list!
Now, what's going on with STEEZY Studio?
A typical hour, hour and a half long class can teach you some cool choreography, but you won't necessarily learn how to do it.
There's just not enough time, and many teachers don't even think to go any deeper than the moves.
The whole reason we made STEEZY was to provide a better way of learning for everybody.
So we re-examined the entire teaching and learning process to dig into what's behind the choreography.
We teamed up with Lyle Beniga, one of our community’s most respected artists and leaders, to create Field of Vision on STEEZY Studio.
Field of Vision is a program that includes choreography classes, supplemental lectures, drills, technique classes, and a workout class, all drawing from Lyle's background, his training, and philosophies.
It's a learning experience that will actually each you how to understand music, get comfortable in a groove, and execute advanced choreography.
We can't wait for you to take it.
Expect more deep-dive, comprehensive learning programs with some AMAZING choreographers in 2018.
I wish I could tell you who we're working with, but you might just lose your sh*t… So you’ll have to wait.
In the meantime, feel free to message us to say who YOU would like to learn from!
Choreography has always been a big part of STEEZY, but foundation and fundamentals has been a key topic that we always come back to.
And for good reason – you can't build movement with no foundation first.
Because of the importance of foundations and basics in being a dope dancer, we’ve designed STEEZY Studio programs in: Popping, House, Urban Dance Basics, and wrote about their histories, influences, and origins on the blog.
It's difficult to find a straightforward way to train in these styles (the question we get a lot is "Where/how do I even start?!") so we broke down the basics in easy to follow, comprehensive programs for beginners.
Now, I'm a fan of, but not an expert in Popping or House, or really any style.
That's why we make it a huge point to reach out to the right people to get you the right information.
A lot of people don't realize just how involved this whole process is.
We sit down with of the instructors and use their expertise in the style, culture, and history, and map out those core learning elements into a curriculum.
The teachers understand how important it is to keep the authenticity and nuance of the style, and we understand how dancers best learn online.
That's how we're able to create this custom learning experience that actually works.
And next, we’re making a Krump Program with Baby Tight Eyex – the EBS 17 world champion (no biggie).
Just our first few meetings with him got us so pumped for everything he has to teach and share about Krump culture and technique.
We can’t wait for you guys to see what we're about to bring!
The feedback we get most from our dancers is that it's hard to find the time to dance.
So, in September, we tested out the idea of having 7-minute classes in a "Beta Program" with our current STEEZY Studio users.
Every day for a week, we released one 7-minute class.
Those who took them, loved them, and even preferred for them to be a bit longer.
Since then, we've created 25 10-minute classes that focus on a different skill. You can seriously take one while waiting for the bus or during your lunch break!
Some 10-minute classes will teach you about texture. Some focus solely on footwork. Some are just shorter pieces of choreographer.
Some are workout drills with grooves built in. Our instructor for these classes are David Lee, Brittnie Aguilar, Tristan Edpao, and Charlie Dando.
We’re still working out how to deliver these classes – is it gonna be a daily thing?
Just shuffle around in a playlist? Or do we wanna build a massive list so you can just pick whatever you want?
However they're packaged, rest assured... in 2018, you'll have quick, digestible dance lessons that you can literally take anytime, anywhere.
BE EXCITED!, especially you busy bees!
It hasn't been a perfect process, but I'm proud of the work we've done to provide the world with as many quality dance resources as possible.
Whether it's through YouTube, the blog, STEEZY Studio, or in person an event, we've been hearing you all – what you need, want, and don't want.
We use all of your feedback as a guide on our mission to provide authentic ways of sharing dance with the world.
So regardless of your location, skill level, or background, you know that everything dance-related you could ever need could be found in one place – STEEZY.
Happy new year, STEEZY Nation! Let's wreck 2018 together.
Best, Connor from STEEZY