Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie

Music for street dance

Asherie working with break-dancers

Ephrat Asherie is a break-dancer with an academic bent. Known in street-dance circles as Bounce, the Israel native is earning her MFA in part by researching the roots of street dance in early jazz of the 1920s and ’30s. Understanding historical and cultural context builds well-rounded dancers, she says.

In her open-level breaking class at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, a groove-heavy soundtrack powers the dance. “Music for breaking is driven by the drums. It’s this roar and fervor and percussiveness that makes you want to go off, which is what breaking is about,” she says, referring to the teens of the 1970s and ’80s who found emotional release through b-boying and b-girling on the pavement. “Part of my responsibility as a teacher is not only to have them understand the movement but to have them know how it came from the music. In this case, it’s totally connected. It’s one and the same.” DT

Artist: DJ DP One

Albums: Body Language and Aggressive Approach (available on SoundCloud)

“These albums are staples for teaching a breaking or foundational hip-hop class. Body Language is full of classic breaks and Aggressive Approach is great for that ’90s hip-hop vibe. Both albums are mixed immaculately and will introduce students to the beginnings of hip-hop culture from the 1970s, as well as to the golden age of hip hop in the 1990s.”

Artist: Zakes Bantwini

Album: Love, Light and Music

“He is a South African dance music and Kwaito artist and a producer. This album is full of beautiful vocals and infectious rhythms. It is uplifting! I like to use it during warm-up in my house class.”



Artist: Nina Simone

Track: “I Put A Spell On You”

“Nina Simone was not only a great pianist and vocalist, but a freedom fighter and a profound voice for the civil rights movement. Her music resonates soulfulness, meaning and intention, three qualities essential in dance. I love choreographing to her music—her original work as well as remixed and remastered versions.”


Artist: Hudson Mohawke

Track: “Cbat”

“His music and DJ sets can be all over the place, but in the most wonderful way. You’ve probably heard his track “Chimes” recently on an Apple commercial. His music often gets me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to think more creatively and experiment with new ideas.”


Photo by Claudia Celestino Castillo, courtesy of Asherie

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