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Published on Apr 5, 2013
Buddha Stretch aka "The Father of Hip Hop Dance" - Though being an Astronaut was his dream it ended when he first saw the television show Soul Train. Stretch was also influenced by his dad Emilio Austin, Sr. His Dad danced as a youth and provided Stretch with discipline, inspiration, support, and motivation. He even remained by his side to guide him throughout his career. This foundation carried Stretch, a father himself, throughout his personal and professional career today.
Stretch heavily impacted the dance world by bridging the gap between what was termed "Ol' Skool" and "New Skool". His dance style known as Freestyle Hip Hop draws from all aspects of Hip Hop culture, music, and dance. These moves during the early days of music videos helped to launch the popularity of dance in this medium as well as live shows.
Stretch's first music video was for Eric B and Rakim's "Eric B for President". His first choreography job was for Joeski Love (Pee Wee Dance) and went on to work with the likes of Rosie Perez, Will Smith in the "Men In Black" and "Miami" videos, Michael Jackson's "Remember The Time" video (his most memorable experience), and many more. He was nominated for two MTV Awards for Best Choreography for the Will Smith videos "Men In Black", "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It", and "Miami".
In 1989 Stretch was the first Hip Hop dancer to teach Hip Hop in a mainstream dance studio; New York's Broadway Dance Center.
"Music is the universal language and dance is it's interpreter."
His trend setting style keeps him in demand as a choreographer, dancer, teacher and performer. His passion for dance is exhibited every time you experience his work.