The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

New York dance instructor kicks off NE hip-hop week

By Ashley Bradley/ne news editor

Excel Garner, a New York dance instructor, actor and choreographer will kick off a hip-hop dance week Nov. 16-20 on NE Campus.

Garner’s workshop will include dance lessons on pop  locking and freestyle, lectures — The Lifestyle of a Successful Dancer, History of Hip-Hop Dancing and Marketing Yourself as a Dancer — and a dance performance to include anyone interested in participating.

All events are free to TCC students, faculty, and staff and also for other members of the community, but some events require registration. Students should bring their identification cards to all events.

Dance professor Linda Quinn, event organizer, said she wants to reach out to everyone who wants to learn hip-hop from a great teacher.

“I’m excited about this residency because Excel is a great teacher with both professionals and beginners,” she said.

Garner has been in the public eye for some time. He has appeared in music videos such as Whitney Houston’s Step by Step, PMD’s Swang Your Own Thang and Zhane’s Vibe.

He has also been in several commercials and magazines and on tour with hip-hop icons like Ashanti.

Out of everything on his resume, Garner said the best person he has ever worked with, and thinks of as mentor, is Rev. Run from the 1980s group Run DMC and the current MTV show Run’s House.

“I got a chance to do a video with his wife,” he said. “I’ve seen him around my whole life. When I got to know him on the set, it really was a great experience. He’s a hip-hop god. He pioneered everything we’re doing in hip-hop.”

“The coolest thing I ever heard Rev. Run say about himself was that he wasn’t cool. He was cool’s inspiration.”

Garner started dancing when he was 6 years old and was recognized for his talent 10 years later. He said he had a knack to learn dancing, so he kept at it.

“Plus, I knew I could get girls that way,” he said. “Girls are really into guys that can dance.”

More than 10 years later, he said he enjoys being in the spotlight, but he also enjoys teaching.

“Being on the stage or in videos, it’s what artists love,” he said. “But teaching gives me a chance to give my knowledge to someone else.”

Though Garner said he is happy to have done so many things in the hip-hop industry, he has also kept several backup plans on the burner.

“I advise every dancer to invest in other things,” he said. “Dance careers normally last between five and seven years.”

Other than teaching dance classes, being a choreographer and an actor, Garner is a barber and plans to produce a low-budget dance sneaker. The shoe will cost $30-35. Though already designed, it’s still in production.

In the meantime, Garner spends time doing what he loves, dancing.

NE Campus student Andrea Borja is excited to see Garner for the second time. She said when he came to the campus last year she learned many new things about dancing.

“Being a part of it makes you feel confident in yourself,” she said. “You find out you can do stuff you didn’t know you could do.”

NE Campus student Tarynn Baker said she also looks forward to the workshop because of Garner’s unique dances and knowledge of the genre.

“I’m looking forward to the lecture as well because he knows so much,” she said. “He was around when hip-hop first sprouted in 1974.”

Baker described Garner as a patient teacher not only to great dancers but to those who don’t pick up on things as fast.

“He wasn’t putting me down when I couldn’t get the moves the first time,” she said. “He would just show me until I got it.”

Rehearsals for the workshop performances are 7:30-10:30 p.m. Nov. 16-18 with dress rehearsals 6-10 p.m. Nov. 19 and 8 a.m.-noon Nov. 20.

The NE dance company will perform 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 20. The workshop performances will follow at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. All performances are free for students, faculty and staff and $5 for the public.

For more information or to register, contact Quinn at 817-515-6023 or 

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