As dancers, we have tons of reasons to be inspired—whether it's a mentor who's guided us, a choreographer whose work changed our lives or a friend staying strong through an injury or illness. But sometimes, it's the people we don't know personally who inspire us the most, especially because they're so different from us.
Shake the Dust, a new documentary produced by rapper Nas and filmmaker Adam Sjöberg, will introduce you to a global crew of hip hoppers who are sure to become your new heroes. The film examines the way that American hip-hop culture has spread across the globe, and how its empowering impact can be felt in the world's poorest communities. These kids have an incredibly hard life, but they also have unbelievably sick moves.
Even though dance, at its best, can help us break down barriers, it's almost impossible to truly understand how much the world's poorest struggle to stay alive. Films like Shake the Dust, that use art as a form of communication, have the potential to help us learn how to relate to each other by letting people tell their own stories. The dancers get to speak for themselves, telling viewers how they plan to use hip hop to change their communities.
Shake the Dust is currently available to rent or buy on Vimeo on Demand. It'll be released on May 15 at the TCL Chinese Theater in L.A., followed by a limited national release, and starting May 19 it'll be available on Itunes. Check out the trailer below.