Ken Swift & Local B-Boys: Dancing on the Big Island

The other day my son Grady mentioned how glad he is that we moved here. When I asked him why, he said that he’s made so many great friends and found opportunities he wouldn’t have had otherwise.

I’ve met most of his friends and have to agree. They’re all great dancers of course (as you’ll see in the pictures below). But what’s more impressive is they’re great kids. Why? Well, in just this past month they’ve worked with mentally handicapped kids (teaching hip-hop dance), and hosted a delightful young man from Japan with Down Syndrome. (He learned a dance routine with Cataclysm/Shell Shock; together they danced at his graduation from a local English school program.)

Cataclysm also works with younger kids promoting the message of healthy living through dance. How refreshing to have young role models adding value to our community. So proud that my son is part of it. (Yeah oya baka for sure!)

Recently, b-boy legend Ken Swift visited the Big Island to educate local kids on “Rock Dance” (a dance style derived from hip-hop culture). It was a thrill for Cataclysm to meet one of their b-boy heroes. Grady says Ken’s a great teacher, and just a down-to-earth guy. He seems to have taken a special interest in Cataclysm

A word about the pictures below: most are the work and property of Mike Sato (a local professional photographer from Kona). He did a wonderful job capturing the dancers’ passion, form and personalities. (You’ll know Mike’s pictures when you see them):


Dance Crew Shell Shock



Grady and Tunji


Grady’s “elbow pike”




Grady and Tunji synchronizing their backflips



Always fun to be around these kids…


How does he do that?








5 responses to “Ken Swift & Local B-Boys: Dancing on the Big Island

  1. Great pictures… but with such a stern warning… I feel compelled to ask if I can use one on the FBI Blogs to point here?

  2. I’ll ask Mike…

  3. All the pictures are great… but what really compels me to their story… is that not only are they based out of “Hawaii” they are literally based out of “Puna”.

    The movie “White Men Can’t Jump” was a popular movie when I was younger.

    At local clubs… they changed the phrase to “White Men Can’t Dance”.

    Well Grady sure defies that… as well as gravity!

  4. I would like to clarify that the first photo was taken by me–for a piece I choreographed called “Angels” for a Center Stage production–

  5. Thank you Pier for clarifying that (wasn’t sure who took it). Great picture, by the way. Do I have your permission to post it? Pleeeeease?

    This would be a good place to put in a plug for Center Stage. Check it out!

    Pier is doing great things for the kids and community–and I’m not just saying that so I can use your picture! 🙂

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