60 seconds interview with
Hakeem Onibudo

Hakeem Onibudo is a Street Dance performer, choreographer, director, mentor, British Council ambassador, founder of the Impact Dance Company and professional host/MC at red carpet events, who began teaching dance in 1995.

How did you start dancing?

I was always dancing from a young age with my brothers and sisters. They used to go clubbing a lot and I would  dance with them before they went out. At university  I used to run the Afro-Caribbean Society and one day I choreographed a routine. That gave me the appetite for it. Then in 1995 I stumbled across Danceworks by mistake and decided to make a cheeky phone call with no dance experience what so ever. The lady laughed at me but gave me a class. The rest, as they say, is history.

Who have been your heroes and inspirations in dance and in life?

Heroes and Inspirations in Dance: Michael Jackson,  Kate Prince (Zoonation),  Kenneth Tharpe OBE

Heroes and Inspiration in Life: Will Smith,  Tom Hanks, Nayomi Onibudo (my daughter)

Did your family support your career path?

No

Your keynote is “Motivate, lead, inspire”. What drives and motivates you in your work with young people?

The fact of the above answer. I had no one. So now I use that negative to look for the good in people. I try to let my story inspire other people and show with hard work and determination  anything  is possible

You’ve been teaching classes at Danceworks for nearly 20 years, and your classes are always popular. How do you keep it fresh?

I focus on the most important  people. The participants. I continually stay in touch with trends and evolvement. I do not allow an intimidating environment within my class.

You MC for loads of major premieres and events. What’s been the one you’ve enjoyed the most and who’s the celebrity you were most excited to meet?

I really enjoyed the last premiere Guardians  of the Galaxy. Great atmosphere and the sun was shinning! I met Will  Smith at Men in Black 3 Premiere. His aura is magical!

Where have you been as a British Council Ambassador?

Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, San Francisco , Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, Jordan

What’s coming up next in your work?

Currently teaching at Royal Ballet School for the Summer School then off to Tunisa for a British Council  project for 2 weeks called “Say it through breakdancing” working with 10 North Africa  B-Boys and then bringing the work back to UK South bank on September 14th.

How do you spend your down time, and which box set have you watched recently?

Love going cinema with good company. Also love my box sets. It’s all about Game of Thrones and 24! But also love switching  off all electrical appliances eg phones tvs and radios and meditating.

Tell us something about yourself that will surprise us.

I used to stutter badly…

 

To read more about Hakeem click here 
Classes: Monday – Xpress Yo’self – Beg – 18:00-19:00 , Gen – 19:00-20:00, Tuesday: Xpress Yo’self – Int – 18:00-19:00