Famed choreographer and Jamaica native Brice D. Vick has guided the candied heels of Ashanti, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. But his ambition goes beyond bold-faced names and music videos. Now he’s hoping to put a step in the moves of kids with the founding of Hip-Hop 4 Health Plus, a DVD dance program he hopes will help kids get and stay healthy.
The 29-year-old kicked off HH4H+ with a party and fundraiser on Saturday, May 4 in Fresh Meadows, with over 300 kids in tow and a bevy of dancers and talent to help.
“Our first mission is to give these kids a healthy start in living,” Vick said. “I want to instill that in kids in an early age.”
The event doubled as a fundraiser for the mother of a Newtown, Conn. shooting victim who has been suffering a severe bout of depression after losing her son, Vick said, asking to keep the recipient anonymous.
The day’s tragedy stuck with Vick.
“One of my students looked up to me and said, ‘Mr. Brice, is this going to happen to me?’ I’ve never experienced that feeling in my life.”
The fundraiser sought to raise the $2,000 necessary to give the mother a year’s worth of counseling, which she is currently avoiding.
“In my heart, I know she wants the help,” Vick said. “She just needs the push. I’m not going to let her just waste her life away. We are going to let her get her life back.”
The attempt to help is just a start for what Vick hopes will be a longer-term push for health among kids of all ages.
HH4H+, due out after the summer, will feature songs handpicked by Vick with ultra-saccharine titles like the “Four Seasons” and “The Numbers Parade.”
“It’s a great stepping stone for kids to learn songs through hip-hop dance,” he said. And it goes so far as to teach them the alphabet in Spanish.
Vick’s push is coming along at a time when the focus on health and fighting obesity has become part of the national agenda, with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign.
“I don’t want these kids to worry about obesity,” Vick said. “You don’t have to worry about counting calories. Every day it should be a routine for them. It’s endless where I want to go with this DVD.”