Doncaster’s coolest class ‘get down’ with Jonzi D

Hall Cross pupils are taught rap and breakdancing
Hall Cross pupils are taught rap and breakdancing
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Pupils broke with convention to spend two hours in ‘rap’ study, with guidance from a top performer and director.

Hall Cross Academy in Doncaster welcomed internationally renowned rapper Jonzi D, artistic director of the award winning Breakin’ Convention production.

As an emcee, London’s Jonzi D has worked with The Roots, Steve Williamson and MC Mell’o’, and in 2011 was nominated for an MBE.

He taught students how to ‘thread, ‘Indian step’ and ‘get down’.

Then Yorkshire’s BBoy Zorro (Curtis Benjamin Young) followed with an athletic session, teaching the art of breakdance. Born in Huddersfield, Curtis has performed across Europe and entertained in Switzerland at the World Economics Conference for dignitaries such as Bill Clinton, Nicholas Sarkozky and President Zuma of South Africa.

A group of 28 students took part in the workshops.

Dance and drama teacher Rebecca Smithson said “The students absolutely loved the entire experience. At first they were rather nervous as few of them had done breakdance or rap before, but the guest tutors were so inspiring and passionate that they soon relaxed and threw themselves into every challenge, whether lyrically or physically.

It is fantastic for our students to be able to work with artists of such high calibre who motivate the young people they work with, building their self-confidence and encouraging freedom of expression through a variety of art forms. I was so shocked when Breakin’ Convention said that Jonzi D himself could come and lead the rap workshop! It was a real privilege to have him visit the academy.”

Mr J. Thomas, Curriculum Coordinator of music said “The temperature of the room dropped when Jonzi D walked in as he was so cool!”

Jonzi D tweeted post-visit: “Just did a dope rap workshop with some very open 11-13 year olds in Doncaster.”