A young mentor uses breakdancing to help change lives


LANSING, Michigan – This week’s Good Neighbor uses the power of dance to transform the phrase I can not in I can for many children.

Eight-year-old Lansinger Emanuel Walker loves to dance, but it wasn’t always that way.

“I was a lot more shy when I started,” says Emanuel.

Emanuel is enrolled in All of the Above Hip Hop Academy, a non-profit organization made up of artists, educators and young mentors like Young Yi. Young says that in addition to being fun, dancing also gives children a chance to learn lessons.

“I teach them what two times three is. For example, we are going to do two sets of three moves. And you know, I teach them math.

Young says he started breakdancing at an early age and quickly realized the impact it had on his life.

“There’s a lot of freedom in the station wagon, I think when it comes to expression. As a student, I felt so overwhelmed with stress. I was studying, preparing for exams, preparing for papers, all while going through the formative years of your life. Breaking was a healthy outlet for me.

Everyone at All of The Above Hip Hop Academy says breaking is community-centric.

Rashad Muhammad is a board member and says being part of the organization is a blessing.

“It’s like soup. It’s like okra. Everyone contributes. And it’s not about how good you are, it’s about what you’re willing to give. it’s about being vulnerable and allowing people to show what they have to give and also to receive it and give something back.

Young says one of the best parts is seeing the difference it makes in the lives of kids like Emmanuel.

“When I first met him and he walked in and I said, ‘hey, what’s your name?’ He looked at me like he was seeing ghosts. He was just frozen. Legit, like the fear on his face and the anxiety. And that was probably six, seven months ago. Now when we welcome in new students, he is always the first to greet them.

Emanuel says he loves attending classes.

“Me and my dad came to a class just to check it out and I watched. Then the next week we came back and I did breakdance. I enjoyed the class and the learning. Oh, and my teacher said I learned fast!

Young says he loves teaching kids breakdancing and gets as much out of it as they do. Rashad says Young is a great neighbor for all he does to give back to the kids.

“He’s a selfless guy. And he cares about these kids. He’s been doing this for years. He’s not doing it for financial gain, but just because he loves it, and just because he cares. to work with these kids and see them develop.”

We would like to thank Young and all of the instructors at All of The Above Hip Hop Academy. You are this week’s Good Neighbors!

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