Eli Kababa’s dance career began when he discovered his love of hip-hop culture while earning his black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Martial arts helped hone his skills of mental discipline, focus and dexterity. When Eli combined those with passion, devotion, and experimentation, he was on his way. Learning how to break-dance from local crews in Bayonne, New Jersey was his first form. Studying under Souljerz Crew he explored other techniques like gliding, waving, popping & locking. In a dance battle at his local college Eli was spotted by the dance professor which launched his studies in Fine Arts. Soon after graduating he was hired by New York City Ballet’s Education Department where he worked as a Teaching Artist for 11 years in their Nutcracker, Ballet Bridges and Project Ballet Programs.
During this time Eli co-founded Garden State Dance Project, a successful dance company devoted to cultivating community through various arts and entertainment projects. As the company in residence at the Y in Wayne New Jersey from 2007 to 2011 Eli and his dancers hosted school assemblies and taught in their School of Dance. Along with instruction they would meet weekly to create fusion dance works. Mixing fine arts like ballet and modern dance with street styles to create new works. They hosted annual dance performances and performed at venues such as 42nd Street Port Authority, Grounds for Sculpture, Ceres Art Gallery, Bickford Theatre and the County College of Morris, his alma-mater.
For the past 5 years Eli has been working for the 92nd Street Y. His company performed for students in the Dance Introduction Series. He taught hip-hop for Harkness Dance Center students in their School of Arts and was a student and graduate of DEL, the Dance Education Laboratory. Eventually becoming a DEL Faciltator he learned ways to share his work within CALL, the Center for Arts Learning and Leadership. For the past three years he has developed, pioneered and is refining the curriculum he co-authored for them titled “Hip-Hop to the Top” which now serves over 1,000 students in New York City public schools annually. Eli loves to share the power hip-hop has to transform the lives of his students, schools and communities. You can read more about his work in Dance Teacher Magazine and if you want to join his hip-hop community you can find him on the “Eli Kababa YouTube Channel”.