The film not only gave him the opportunity to showcase his dancing and acting skills, but bagged him street cred as a dancer as well.
In 2006, American dance drama Step Up not only grossed $650 million with four other movies under the same franchise but also proved a breakthrough for the world-class b-boy David Shreibman, popularly known as Kid David. In Step Up: All In, David plays a ballroom dance instructor who secretly had some serious breakdance skills and became a household name for b-boying across the world. The film not only gave him the opportunity to showcase his dancing and acting skills, but bagged him street cred as a dancer as well.
“I am surprised that people across the world love me so much. They have accepted me as a dancer and an actor, and I am quite overwhelmed by that. It keeps me going,” says David, who was in the city to perform at the third edition of India’s biggest hip-hop and dance festival, Breezer Vivid Shuffle. “I am happy that I could show some of my dance styles here, and coming to Mumbai is always fun,” adds the dancer, recalling that he had visited the city 10 years ago to shoot for a commercial.
David reveals that the breakdancing bug bit him when he watched the 1984 movie Breakin’. It released just as he joined breakdance classes, where he would dance with people much older to him. “I was seven years old then. I went to my mother and asked if I can find a teacher to learn breakdancing, and she found one for me. Other dancers would call me Kid, so I just kept that till now,” reminisces the dancer. As the son of a ballet dancer mother and a mime artist father, David realised that his body is extraordinarily flexible and is perfect for b-boying. “I learn things very fast. In fact, I could improvise at the same time and my family background made it come inherently to me,” gushes the dancer.
He started out by uploading his dance videos on YouTube, and swiftly entered into Hollywood, bagging more dance-based movies like Battle of the Year and Lemonade Mouth, among others. “I used to act when I was a child, but then breakdance took over me. I am happy that I have been able to do projects where I can use all of my talents,” shares the actor, and adds that at this stage, he enjoys being in front of the camera and expressing his emotions, rather than just being a dancer.
Nevertheless, the actor rues that choosing one over the other is one of the most frustrating things. “I wish I could take up all the projects where I can do anything, but it’s not one dimensional. Each art needs a lot of attention, and you need to sacrifice one for the other,” he opines.
Talking about his dance style — that has not only helped him won multiple world championships, but also has earned him opportunities to share the stage with artists like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, Chris Brown, and Gwen Stefani — David shares: “I have created a style and a different approach to the existing b-boy style. I brought in many other contemporary dance forms like tap and pop, and that makes me stand out,” he smiles.
In addition, when asked how to make breakdance more streamlined in India, he suggests that people need to start respecting breakdance as a legitimate dance form. “I think dancers need to be inclusive in a way that the kinds of projects they do can be accepted in the mainstream platform. They should show their skills in any way possible because every way would become a way to connect with more people,” he insists, hinting that he is open for collaborations if that helps in streamlining the art form.
“I am open for collaboration because the more I bring breaking forward, the better it is,” the dancer concludes.