Junious “House” Brickhouse is an internationally established dancer, choreographer, community leader, and cultural preservationist. As Founder and Executive Director of Urban Artistry, Junious has inspired and created a movement of artists dedicated to the authentic preservation of urban dance culture and community. Junious’s rich and varied background has uniquely positioned him to create such a community and to serve as mentor and ambassador both locally and abroad.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Junious was taught social dances of the period by family members, a substitute for recreational programs that were often expensive and sadly unattainable to the underprivileged. Fortunately, the funk music culture of 1970’s provided a template of personal acceptance and expression that made social dancing carefree, community-oriented, and free to anyone with a radio. Through family traditions and support, Junious was able to make a commitment to dance and community service at a young age. As a teenager, Junious became a regular in the underground dance scene and recognized that the artists in these communities were driven by creativity and continuation of culture. Through these experiences, he soon mastered the Hip Hop, House Dance, B-Boying, Popping, Locking, Tap, Waacking, Vogue, and West African Dance styles that were being celebrated by so many in these cultures. These early experiences are reflected in how Junious has structured Urban Artistry as an accepting, collaborative, and accessible community and in his lifelong commitment to share urban dance culture with underserved communities from Southeast D.C.’s ward 7 to South Africa to Finland.
Upon returning to the Washington D.C. area in 2005, inspired by his experience in Europe, Junious recognized the need for knowledgeable, grounded, and professional agents of urban dance and culture. He wanted to bridge the gap between the many different dance groups promoting urban dance styles locally to create a unified, healthy community that authentically preserves this culture and supports one another in that endeavor. Thus, he founded Urban Artistry.
In his leadership of Urban Artistry, Junious demonstrates his artistic and his organizational skills as both a teacher of technique and Executive Director. As a mentor, Junious develops in his students the dance skills, artistic voice, and organizational/entrepreneurial skills necessary to thrive as performing artists.
Urban Artistry has become an internationally recognized Culture and Education Project dedicated to the performance and preservation of art forms inspired by the urban experience. Urban Artistry members serve as cultural ambassadors who affirm the relevance of communities that are often unsung and underserved. Within the group, members operate under the common value: “each one teach one”–a model that builds and sustains healthy communities.
In 2009, Junious was honored by The Maryland State Arts Council with the Master Teacher Award.
Throughout his over twenty-year career as a builder, visionary, and mentor, Junious has proven himself to be a respected community leader and subject matter expert in D.C. and abroad. Junious has created a microcosm of a healthy community of cultural ambassadors of urban dance in Urban Artistry. He is fully committed to ensuring that the growth and greater mainstream interest in urban dance culture and American Vernacular Dance and Urban Art traditions is spread with integrity, purpose, and a global perspective.