The Academy of Dance Arts
Q&A with Our Master Hip Hop Instructor, Cyx
What is your role at ADA and how long have you been working with us?
My name is Cyx Wynne and since 2019/20 I have been ADA's Hip hop choreographer and master instructor.
Is there someone in the industry that you point to as your inspiration?
There are sooooo many people in the industry that I am inspired by… from popping Pete to boogalou Sam, Mr. Wiggles to even my contemporaries like tWitch, Andye Jamieson, Lee Daniel, Marty Kudelka, Poppin John, Fatima Robinson, and Madd Chad. Even peeps in a much younger and up and coming generation like Monyett Crump, Ian Eastwood, JonQis Filyaw, Jimmy Weeden, Annie Franklin, and on and on and on...
Can you tell us about how art and dance express your identity?
So there are five main elements of hip hop. Without getting too deep, the first one, and probably most important, is knowledge of self. In first knowing who you are and where you come from, it makes your art authentic, unique, and original to you. It allows you to take situations that you've experienced in your life, good, bad or indifferent, and produce bodies of work that can express whatever emotion you feel in those moments.
Is there a teacher or artist who broke down barriers in the dance world that you feel most connected with?
Yes, They're definitely is...Suavé, The Founder and Executive Director of the Hip Hop ConnXion family. He changed my entire perspective of what it means to, not only be an artist, but how to also be a mentor. He taught me this phrase that is also a part of ConnXion's mission statement that says "The survival of dance rests on the shoulders of our youth....Teach them well and our future will be strong..." I owe a lot to him for the direction in which teaching and mentoring became a passion for me.
What is your favorite part about the work that you do?
My favorite part about what I do, honestly, is when someone says...I kept doing __________ because of you. And that doesn't always have to be dance...its the perseverance!
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History month, while I'm thankful of its existence, is a bit of a tricky topic. TBH to understand the contributions of blacks in America and not fully engulf ourselves to ALL that entails is unfortunate. Our history intermingles and coincides so thoroughly that its completely a part of any conversation we care to be brave about as it relates to America and the origins of our nation. However, I am appreciative that in some schools, households, and dance teams, we allow ourselves opportunities to learn about some of those who are from different cultures.
What does dance mean to a dancer of color?
Long story short...Dance saved my life!
Dance provided an outlet that allowed me to express EXACTLY how I felt. It allowed me to take anger and rage, and feelings and emotions I thought I couldn't control and turn it into art. Being a dancer of color got me into rooms, even if just to entertain, that many have dreamed to enter. It has put me in front of people, presidents, world leaders, senators, celebrities, influencers, and taken me to 5 of the 7 continents.
Cyx started his professional career with Dance2xs International in Chicago in 2003. In 2007, he along with three friends founded the Chicago Onyx Dance Alliance better known as CODA. In 2009 Cyx joined Hip Hop Connxion and in 2011 was named director of the Chicago branch. Cyx has performed on the Soul Train Music Awards, The Grammys, The American Music Awards, the MTV music awards, and the VMAs. Cyx has danced background for Syleena Johnson, B2K, Marques Houston, Missy Elliott, Usher, and Omarion. Cyx has also choreographed and performed in China, Japan, Australia, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, England, and Austria along with a multitude of cities in the U.S.