Junious “House” Brickhouse
Founder and Executive Director, That’s House and The Afro Continuum Directorates Lead, President of Board of Directors
Junious “House” Brickhouse is an internationally established educator, choreographer and cultural preservationist with over 30 years of experience in Urban Dance Culture. Born in Virginia Beach, VA, his dance training began at family gatherings dancing the funk styles of the era. Growing up, he sought out all the learning opportunities available to him, from community centers to parking lots, where young people were teaching each other and building communities around urban dance forms. Early on, he established himself as a leader and mentor in those communities serving to educate and guide others. At age 18, Junious embarked on an over 21-year career as a Logistics Professional in the U.S. Army and later as a Department of Defense contractor. Throughout this time in various international assignments, Junious developed both a military and dance career, eventually rising to positions of leadership and responsibility in both areas. As the Founding Executive Director of Urban Artistry Inc. (www.urbanartistry.org), Junious has inspired and created a movement of artists dedicated to the authentic preservation of urban dance culture, specifically within communities of practice. As Urban Artistry’s Executive Director, Junious produces projects such as The International Soul Society Festival, The Preservatory and the UA Digital Archives to encourage other artists to research and document these tradition bearers and their stories. As a scholar/practitioner, Junious teaches at colleges and universities, using an experiential approach to teach urban dance movement and the cultural context from which it evolves. A citizen folklorist, Junious also conducts independent research into those cultural traditions whose influence is reflected in urban dance culture. From ring shouts and acoustic country blues to hip hop, understanding the nature and meaning of these art forms and their influences, is what motivates this artist.
In 2019, Junious also became the Director of Next Level, an innovative hip hop and cultural diplomacy program of the Department of State, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Meridian International Center. From joining as an artist in the first cohort of the program to becoming Associate Director and now Director, Junious brings his expertise in urban dance culture and conflict transformation to the forefront of international exchange and diplomacy.
Russell “Ironman” Campbell
Methods Breakin’ Directorate Lead, Artistic Director
Russell “Ironman” Campbell is a film-maker and Artistic Director for Urban Artistry where he is the top instructor for youth in B-Boying (also known as break dancing). He has competed in local and international battles for over 17 years, is the floor captain for Counter Attack Breakers Crew [CAB Crew], and was a featured judge for Chelles Battle Pro qualifier in Stuttgart, Germany in 2011. Growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland, he always had a passion for dance, film, music, culture, and community. He studied
music with his father Vincent L. Campbell Sr., and plays more than six musical instruments including piano, saxophone and bassoon. As DJ Mate Masie he has played at many local venues such as Eighteenth Street Lounge, Tropicalia and U Street Music Hall, and internationally in Bulgaria where he also taught breaking in 2010. Russell is a gifted teacher and pursues many styles to make his dancing musical, well-rounded, and diverse. His goal is to show others a freedom of expression that will help make dance a safe environment for everyone. He is grateful to Junious Brickhouse, who has been a true mentor since 2005.
Maren Cummings joined Urban Artistry in 2008, and has trained in urban styles of dance including house, hip hop, and whacking, building on their foundation in West African dance. Maren is an elementary school teacher and youth development advocate with over 8 years of experience. They have loved dance since the second grade- learning everything from jazz, to Bhangra, to West African dance. Prior to joining Urban Artistry, they danced with Saathiya in New Jersey and Capital Funk in Washington, DC. Urban Artistry introduced them to club culture and the need to understand dance as a living folkloric tradition with histories that need to be documented and told. As a dancer with a passion for integrating arts and education, they are now lead instructor for both Introduction to House Dance, as well as the Funkateers Youth Program. With a Masters in Women’s Studies, their work on the Operations team for Urban Artistry has included experience in managing an Artist in Residency program, managing summer programs, facilitating workshops, creating and directing performance pieces, and writing arts grant proposals. They are excited about combining their passion for writing, youth leadership development, and arts education.
A native Washingtonian, Johnte is a diverse and powerful dancer, who grew up in professional dance environments. As a youth, he joined Future Shock DC dance company and Capital Funk, two hip hop fusion choreography-based groups that competed collegiately and professionally. Johnte always valued freestyle movement in addition to choreography and trained in multiple styles and entered local competitions. While in Future Shock, Johnte met his first mentor, Rizqi Rachmat. They bonded over their love for hip hop music, movement and freestyle dance. In 2011, Johnte joined Urban Artistry following closely behind his mentor, shifting his focus to be more community and culturally oriented. Johnte continued to expand his knowledge of urban dance forms, their cultural histories and what it means to be part of a community he is actively building. Under the mentorship of Ryan Webb, Johnte is an ambassador, tradition bearer and teacher of Memphis Jookin’ in the Washington metropolitan area. Johnte regularly travels to Memphis to compete and apprentice with the Memphis Jookin’ community, which he shares with the local community.
Operations Director, Artistic Director, Secretary of Board of Directors
Hannah George-Wheeler, a native of New England, began her artistic career with gymnastics at the age of 2. Throughout her 15 years as a gymnast, she achieved state and regional championship titles and choreographed floor routines for Level 7 and 8 competitive gymnasts. During a high school cultural exchange in Costa Rica, Hannah fell in love with Latin dance and pursued her passion for studying culture, language and dance. At George Washington University (GWU), she continued to study Spanish, French and cultural anthropology, while training with preprofessional salsa company, Clavekazi, (performance at the New York Salsa Congress, Summer 2005). She joined GWU’s hip hop dance club, Capital Funk, learning urban dance styles, such as breakin’, house dance, locking, popping, waacking and vogue. Hannah continued her study of language, culture and dance in Paris, performing in a cabaret with Compagnie Tout En Danse as well as in urban dance street shows in 2007. Upon her return to Washington, D.C. she won 1st place with Capital Funk in Howard University’s annual choreography competition and 2nd place in the New Jersey Annual Prelude Competition (2008). She also met Urban Artistry (UA) at the local clubs and was immediately drawn to the way the artists expressed themselves. She joined the Urban Artistry team in 2010 under the mentorship of Junious “House” Brickhouse and the leadership of many members of the UA/Assassins/Counter Attack Breakers Crew (Russell Campbell, Ryan Webb, Rashaad Pearson and others). In 2012, Hannah joined Assassins Crew DC and joined the UA Operations Team. She enhanced her knowledge of urban dance in the Washington Metropolitan Area, as well as nation-wide and internationally through competitions, performances and teaching. Some notable accomplishments include competing in breakin’ at Freestyle Session (Los Angeles, 2012) and placing 2nd in Ladies of Hip Hop Breakin’ Competition (New York, 2018), performing in Bangor’s Folklife Festival in (Bangor, ME 2012) and the Augusta Heritage Blues, Swing and Oldtime Week (Elkins, WV, 2017-2019). In addition to studying urban dance styles, Hannah has studied polynesian dance with Auntie Jan Kealani Kitaguchi while living on Maui (2014-2018) and performed as the lead dancer in “Nā Lio” Hula and Horse Show (2015-2017). She currently works full-time at a government consulting firm and continues to refine her skills as an artist, teacher and cultural ambassador.
Director of Development, Board Member
Leslie Liao has been a member of Urban Artistry (@urbanartistrydc) since 2012, and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Under the mentorship of Junious Brickhouse and help of her Urban Artistry family, she has grown tremendously as an artist, performer, and dance educator. She is an instructor for the Applied House Dance and Intro to Whacking/Punking classes for the Urban Artistry Dance Academy. Prior to joining Urban Artistry, she danced with Culture Shock in New York City and Floorganics/Flo-ology in San Francisco. Outside of dance, Leslie is a caregiver and small business operations manager. Social justice has always been an important focus in her life, and she seeks to continue that path in her work with Urban Artistry.
Hikari is from Teaneck, NJ. She moved to Queens, New York when she was 13 years old. She attended the Martha Graham School, The Ailey School, was awarded a full scholarship at School at Steps where she studied ballet and modern dance. At 16 years old, she moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania where she trained at the Central PA Youth Ballet. Shortly after her training, she moved to Philadelphia and joined Philadanco Dance Company. She attended University of the Arts in Philadelphia and graduated with a BFA in Dance. In 2018, she moved to the DMV area and has been studying dance traditions of Memphis jookin, popping, and locking at Urban Artistry.
Mainline Hip Hop Directorate Lead, Director of Finance, Treasurer of Board of Directors
Rizqi Rachmat, founding member and artistic director of Urban Artistry, an international urban arts culture and education project based in Washington D.C is an internationally established urban dance educator, choreographer, and community leader. His graduate-level research and professional experience in economic development, culture and leadership studies have paved a holistic path for the promotion of his artistic and academic pursuits. His work portfolio spans the cultivation of urban dance culture and explorations into the intersections of art, civil society, and economics. Rizqi has ten-plus years of experience in directing dance and hip-hop theater productions and gaining competitive world wushu titles. His movement expertise involves hip–hop freestyle and choreography, experimental, traditional Indonesian and Chinese martial arts (Wushu). Aside from his cultural-performing arts work he is pursuing graduate research in data science and conflict resolution studies. He believes that his pursuit in ideas and art are rooted in freedom; that this truth resonates throughout his work as a researcher and dancer.
Ryan “Future” Webb
Funk in Focus Directorate Lead, Director of Mentorship and Education, Vice President of Board of Directors
Ryan “Future” Webb is the Education Director for Urban Artistry Inc., a cultural ambassador for multiple forms of Urban Dance, and a community leader within the global Urban Dance scene. Mentoring all ages, creating curriculum, conducting dance research, cultural exchange, battling, performing, lecturing, community building, preservation, and innovation are some of the foundations of his work. Ryan’s dance disciplines and expertise are in Boogaloo/Popping, Memphis Jookin, and London Locking. Mentored by Rashaad Pearson and Junious Brickhouse, his dance lineage
and influence also includes gentleman such as Damon Frost, Steen Koerner, Thomas Herodt, Lock Smith, and Dr. Rico. Taught to be 3-dimensional, culturally driven, and fearless as an artist; Ryan has innovated and inspired others in multiple styles of movement such as Tutting, Popping Ground Dance, Memphis Jookin, Strutting, Dance Fusion, and Routine styles. Throughout his career as a dance professional, his art has brought him to various countries such as Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, Taiwan, Sweden, France, England, Germany, Canada, Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and all over the United States