(contributed by Cora Davis and Amanda Farnsworth)
Markese Hunter lives as if music is always playing the background. If he doesn’t have drumsticks in his hand, you’re likely to catch him freestyling or choreographing instead. He has a gift for sensing rhythm wherever he goes–which he used to choreograph a dance to “Lift Me Up” by David Guetta (ft. Nico & Vinz and Ladysmith Black Mambazo). Check it out below:
Sometimes, it’s the beat of a song that inspires him to put moves to music. But this time, he was inspired by the lyrics. “This song has a lot of inspirational things in it, so I knew it was good to put some inspirational moves in it. Something hyped up, to get the creative juices flowing,” he said. The lyrics that inspired him the most:
“I’m just like you, why you trynna bring me down?
I’m just like you, help me turn this thing around.”
This lyric expresses something Markese feels deeply: how important it is to realize that we are all alike; and that when we work together, we can make this world a better place.
If you watch New Expression perform, you may see several unique original moves in Markese’s choreography. One of these moves he named the “Jump Dab.” He explains, “The ‘Jump Dab’ came from the ‘Dab.’ A lot of people know the ‘Dab’ from Cam Newton doing it. The ‘Jump Dab’ is a flavor that we added to it.”
Whether it’s the “Dab” or the “Dougie,” Markese makes sure that his dances are simple enough for all ages to be able to dance along. “I slow them down. Like how we changed the ‘Dab’ to the ‘Jump Dab,’ you gotta work with people and meet them where they’re at. That’s what I did. I try not to make it too complicated or hard, so everyone can dance to it without thinking about it so much when they’re dancing,” he said.
Choreographer and New Expression Ambassador Markese.
The audience gets to enjoy the incredible dance performances, but they may not know what it takes to put one together from scratch. “First of all, you need a lot of energy and creative ideas,” he said. He is not the type of choreographer that feels threatened by other dancers’ contributions. “Different juices flowing get different ideas, [it takes] a lot of different parts and pieces,” he said. He makes it a point to include dance ideas from other young dancers, to create a finished product that they can all be proud of. It is one way he helps to build a sense of belonging and teamwork among the dance crew.
Markese dances with all his heart and wants everyone to have that same experience. His favorite part about dancing is “being able to move to the beat. Being able to hear the music ‘turnt’ up loud, and being able to give all I have out to whoever I’m dancing for.”
Stay tuned for more choreography from Markese and the other dancers in New Expression!