Stories » Former Student Returns to Teach Breakdancing

Former Student Returns to Teach Breakdancing

By: Gabriel Angel
Meet Steven Trujillo, a professional choreographer whose journey has led him back to his roots, igniting a passion for dance within El Monte City School District’s (EMCSD) youngest learners. Mr. Steven, as his students refer to him, is a former Gidley School alum, attending from kindergarten through eighth grade and now he has introduced an exciting Breakdancing 101 program to EMCSD students. 
“I am a big believer in giving back to the community that gave me a lot,” said Mr. Steven. As a choreographer, he especially enjoys working with the youth. It’s extremely important to him to bring the culture of hip-hop and the art form of breakdancing to the next generation. “These kids are the future,” he explained. 
Mr. Steven especially enjoys seeing how much of a positive impact a program like this can have on the student’s lives. He does not take this job lightly and is aware of the tremendous influence he has on his students, especially at such a young age, his students are very impressionable. “I’m happy to be able to pass on the knowledge that I’ve gained from my experiences,” he said. He wants his students to know that he is always in their corner ready to support and encourage them.   
Breakdancing 101’s popularity skyrocketed when it was first announced and now there is a long waitlist at the participating schools, Gidley and Cleminson. So far, Mr. Steven has taught over 60 students, completing two beginner sessions with third through sixth graders. “I love this program! It’s teaching me a lot about breakdancing,” said Gidley student Tren Lopez. The program is designed for students to learn and encourage each other to succeed. Tren said his favorite part of the program is learning all the different moves, “I hope when I grow up I can learn even more moves!” Soleil Garcia, 3rd grader from Cleminson said, “I’m so glad to have breakdancing at my school. It is such a fun and amazing activity!” Like Tren, she also enjoys learning the different moves, her favorites include the helicopter and the salsa step. 
There is tremendous growth seen in the students participating. Mr. Steven recalls how some students were shy when they started and many were uncomfortable performing in front of a crowd. Now, they have gained that confidence in such a short amount of time. “It’s incredible to see the transformation from week one to week eight. They can use these skills and apply them to other parts of their lives,” said Mr. Steven. 
As a former student at Gidley, Mr. Steven looks back on his time there and remembers practicing his breakdancing outside the band room. Since he started dancing almost 15 years ago, giving back was always a goal. Although the program is currently only offered at Gidley and Cleminson, Mr. Steven hopes to expand to other schools next year, introducing breakdancing to even more students.