Fun fact: Hip hop is now officially a US diplomacy tool.
What does that mean?
Basically, the US government has chosen hip hop as one way to forge a bond between Iraq and the United States. This October, a troupe of Iraqi break dancers–First Step Iraq–traveled to the US to perform in the first-ever, US government-sponsored hip hop diplomacy, or “hiplomacy,” tour. This group of talented young hip hoppers traveled to several major cities–including New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and Detroit–to show off their sick moves.
The six dancers selected for the tour have trained hard at the only Iraqi dance academy, YES Academy, which is sponsored by American Voices and led by American executive director John Ferguson. They then had to make it through an audition process in order to join First Step Iraq. This tour marked the dancers’ first trip to the US and their first time performing a full-length hip-hop show.
Unfortunately, the tour finished up last week in Boston, but you can watch this video to learn more about hiplomacy and to get a sneak peek at these very talented young breakers: