Councilman, Break Dancing Group Reunite
By Autumn Ziemba, Fox 8 News Reporter
CLEVELAND — Politician by day. Pioneer in Cleveland hip hop by night.
City councilman Matt Zone and Cleveland’s first break dancing group, Project 5, will reunite at the House of Blues Saturday night after a 25 year hiatus.
The group will open for headliner Grandmaster Flash at the 10th anniversary benefit for the Progressive Arts Alliance (PAA).
Zone created the hip hop group in the early 1980s after a being inspired by break dancers on a trip to New York City. They performed for more than seven years, including an appearance on Fox 8’s Big Chuck and Little John show.
When the PAA approached Zone about paying tribute to Project 5 and suggested the reunion, he said they jumped at the opportunity.
“You ask anyone from when break dancing started in Cleveland who can converse about that, the first group they’re gonna mention is Project 5, without a doubt,” Zone told Fox 8. “In order for us to maintain our credibility with the hip hop community, it’s really important that we nail this routine down tomorrow night.”
Zone and the Project 5 dancers have spent the last few weeks training with PAA hip hop instructor Tony Fresh.
“They came in (saying), ‘I can’t do this, it’s been this many years and I’ve put on some weight,’” Fresh said, laughing, “but two, three weeks of training and hard work–they’re back in shape and they’re gonna give you guys a show.”
Fresh also teaches campers in the PAA’s Rhapsody Hip Hop Summer Arts Camp, where Cleveland kids learn hip hop moves and the history behind the art form.
“You notice how many people are out there doing (hip hop), and for 30 years it’s alive and it’s rolling,” Fresh said.
The children will also perform at Saturday’s show, which starts at 7:30 p.m.
Zone says Project 5 will be ready.
“You’re gonna be surprised,” he said, “we’re gonna be ready to roll!”
The event is open to all ages. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the door.