“Change; If my voice, my behavior, my deed can be a determining influence,
Then I give of them endlessly to cause the effect”
-Basil Harris, Urbanvision (urbanvison.net) ®2010 Father of NJ Dance-
Dance History – 1979 – to present (Dance Mogul)
It is my quest to help others awaken their talents, to discover their purpose and to live their dreams utilizing their innate gifts. I hope to be a vessel of encouragement by positioning myself, in a hands on manner, to help the youth develop their craft and quicken their desire to expect more, want more and be more.
God disperses talent, wisdom and understanding, we all are privy to this, but art absent the canvass really isn’t art at all. The canvass is the pertinent foundation to the art format and we must both represent and provide such foundations to bring each art form to life. I was born a dancer, I was born an artist and I was born to inspire– My passion leads me before a great generation of probabilities, a great generation of amazing minds loaded with purpose and I am willing to live my life not for myself, but to help others find self in purpose! Destiny Driven–
Basil was raised in the inner City of Newark, New Jersey in a single parent household as the second born son of three children. Being the only son and the middle offspring, he was tremendously adored by his Mother and two Sisters. Basil Harris was educated in the Newark public school system where he discovered his passion for dance. Basil created his craft amongst peers on the streets of Newark drawing the attention of neighboring communities and other teens with similar aspirations. Vailsburg High School never the same: Being involved in various school activities such as the high school band, the marching squad, the color guards and gymnastics Basil was able to influence these entities even onto the cheerleading team to invoke the rhythmic and spirited street movement into their traditionally existing routines. This brought about a new funk, style and appeal, giving Vailsburg High a competitive edge and unfair advantage over neighboring schools during battles and/or competitions. He transformed these groups one by one influencing their style by infusing a freestyle form of street dance in collaboration with traditional stepping.
It was clear that Mr. Harris was special beyond gifted, he was spirited to be impactful, influential and creatively inspiring. Unbeknownst to young Basil he was laying the foundation for other dance genres to follow. Basil was onto something, forming a blueprint without intention, it was second nature. So much so that had captivated and intrigued his fellow dancers and peers in with magnetism. Within no time he jointly founded the group supersonic popa tronics after launching several other street dance troupes. Supersonic Popatronics was comprised of himself and Andre Smith both very talented dancers. Basil knew that if he wanted to be taken seriously and to gain cross genre respect they needed to be able to perform without limitations. Investing In Self: Harris and Smith got clever purposing to fly ahead in the game as foreword thinkers. They started brainstorming about ways that they could be more original setting themselves apart from other street teams. With the understanding that they had mastered freestyle street dance, perfected with gymnastics influenced with African dance they agreed that they wanted more and could be more so they became more. In that moment Harris and Smith decided to take tap dancing classes with the Marie Widley Dance Studio in East Orange, NJ. As a result of this training, they were able to bring their art form to new and exciting heights by offering something so original that the streets became a chatter field with them being to hot topic amongst their
Lives were being changed, students had a new perspective, a different hope and vision of merging their street activities into a more professional and educational forum. With such fusion and positive influence they were able to enter tri-state competitions and realize the magnitude of their gifts by winning time and time again-they even flanked the stages of The Apollo Theater, Symphony Hall, Martin Stadium, Atlantic City Networks, television appearances and innumerable local and distant appearances, military park included. Harris and Smith were gaining the attention of the youth, their peers, older teens and even faculty and staff. Someone took particular notice: One never knows whose watching and being inspired by what we do, just know that they are there! After receiving multiple accolades and awards his Spanish teacher (Barbara Ramirez) at Vailsburg High noticed his hunger and passion for dance. Thus many years later remembered him when she discovered other youth that had similar passion but needed guidance and direction. So years later Barbara Ramirez found Basil and asked him to consider becoming a mentor to the inner City youth. Giving back, my greatest dance of all! Basil remembered the influence that Johnny Mayo and Raheem had on him as a young dancer. The way they performed with a genuine sense of joy. He denotes how they smiled from their spirits and how this level of displayed happiness drew him to the craft. Basil wanted to infect the communities with unspeakable joy so he agreed to mentor and develop these teens and as a result many groups were formed. To name a few of the street teams he influenced as a mentor there was The Brick City Dancers, ENVY Dance Group, Illmatic Force, The Emperorz and more…
For over 30 years I’ve had the pleasure of seeing individuals grow mentally and spiritually, while realizing my work is not done I decided to create Dance Mogul Magazine a youth enrichment tool that the youth, parents and teachers can use as a guide to help inspire and uplift the youth to be all they can be. The Magazine represents the positive things the youth are doing all over the world. We hope you JOIN US and support us on this JOURNEY.