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How this Memphis dance teacher uses Jookin to inspire students

“Most people would think it was just a bonding moment in class, but it was also a part of the curriculum," said Larray Curry.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Larray Curry has been dancing professionally for years. Most recently he performed at the 2023 BET Awards. He teaches dance at KIPP Memphis and is using the art of dance as a way to connect with his students. 

He posted a video of him teaching his students Memphis Jookin and it’s been circulating the internet, as he's getting lots of praise for the bond he’s been able to build with the children.

“Most people would think it was just a bonding moment in class, but it was also a part of the curriculum,” Curry said.

He said it’s a part of the lesson plan, but also gives the students some much needed time away from the school books.

“They get a brain break. Even though they’re still learning from all of the hard math, science, and social studies they are learning all day,”

It’s his way of using the culture he grew up learning as a way to connect, and most importantly, inspire the kids he sees on a daily basis.

“Me being a young male, a young adult coming out of Memphis I feel like I give the boys and the girls someone to look up to. I set the example and me being able to bond with those children is heartwarming,” Curry said. “I say jookin inspires them to - one - if they want to jook they can go out and do so, and if they have the desire to go out and achieve anything they can do that. If you put your mind to it, you can do whatever you want because you control your reality.”

Curry runs his own dance team called New Gen 901. There he teaches boys and girls ages 8 to 18 choreography in Memphis Jookin, Hip Hop, Animation, and Praise Dance. Those interested in getting their kids kids involved can contact Larray Curry on Instagram and Facebook @LarrayCurry or email at LarrayCurry@gmail.com.

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