The website for Extraordinary Futures launched this week. Even if you haven’t heard the buzz about the new nonprofit, you must have heard of its founders, members of the Massive Monkees dance crew. And if you haven’t heard of the Massive Monkees, well then, you better start googleing.
I remember going to local jams in the mid 90’s and Massive Monkees was the crew that everyone was tyring to beat. The goal was to make a name for yourself in the dance community. Over the years, as we “grew up” people took different paths. Some left dancing behind. Many tried to incorporate it into their daily lives as much as they could, whether they were in college, working jobs to pay rent, or starting a family. The Massive Monkees had build a great support system that allowed them to inspire each other and keep their eye on the prize.
Amongst the dance community, they began to gain recognition when they won the 2004 World B-boy Championships in London. In 2009 members of the crew competed in MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. This year they won the world championship of b-boy competition R-16 in Seoul, Korea and they became the first US crew to win R16 in the history of the competition.
But all of those titles were never the prize. You see, sometimes — okay, a lot of times — you have to win prizes that are important to others in order to get closer to what you really want for yourself. And at some point, you’ll look at your trophy case and think, “Wow. I did that.”
Then, after all the craziness settles, you’ll naturally sit back and reflect on how you got there and those that helped you get there. For many in the arts, our goals aren’t as specific as winning that trophy, getting on that TV show, or earning that money. All those things are just milestones. The real goal is simple and complex at the same time: to continue to just do me, and then inspire others to have the same courage to have that same attitude. That’s a vague and extraordinary goal. I’m sure Jeromeskee, a member of Massive Monkees, had a few of those moments and whether he knew it or not in the beginning, he’s been on that path.
You can see how Massive Monkees was a great stepping stone for Jeromeskee. He started teaching dance classes in the community. Later, his mentees did the same as they reached stages in their own lives where they could give back.
The breakdancing community didn’t just come out of nowhere. And Massive Monkees wasn’t the only driving force in putting the NW on the map for dance and hip hop. The movement has always grown organically, no matter what the masses see on TV.
Extraordinary Futures not only aims to continue this growth, but to play a part in the potential growth and evolution of the movement to make an even bigger impact on the community. It’s beyond Massive Monkees and draws from the achievements of individuals within the dance community as a whole. Extraordinary Futures isn’t just world class breakdancing classes, it’s mentorship and leadership coaching through the means of arts, and the organization has ambitious plans.
What better mentors to have then those that have lived, seen, and experienced what life would have been and what it turned out to be after given the right opportunities and being a part of something bigger than themselves.