Have you ever seen somebody dance so freely and passionately within the heart of Bristol Community College in Fall River, Massachusetts? Chances are, it’s Mr. Daniel Washington.
“Dan is an incredible dancer, and very approachable to anybody on campus. If BCC is looking for an ideal student to show off, it should be Dan. He’s got talent, drive, determination, a good head on his shoulders and a big heart. There is no doubt in my mind Dan will make it one day. No shadow of doubt,” said Mark Souza, an inspiring film maker and student. “Dan has taught me to be myself.”
Daniel Washington embarked in a dancing lifestyle embracing his family roots. “At 14 I was dancing with my older brother in a Jamaican style dancing group,” Washington stated. He then began his independent journey. He danced for a “krump” dancing group, a wild energetic style of dancing. His current group is Urban Koncept, a local breakdancing team.
“The key emotions vary when I dance, between happiness, anger, and pain. A spirit comes over you,” Washington said.
Recalling from a class experience Washington and Souza had together; Washington was challenged to show off his dancing abilities in front of his college class mates by their Professor, after he ensured to his Professor he wanted to major in dance. “Without hesitation he jumped at the opportunity to show what he has to offer and it surprised the hell out of me,” Souza added.
Besides dance, Dan has participated in the theatre program here at Bristol Community College for the past three years. “I was once asked for an autograph after a play one day. The mother of an extreme fan, a young teenage daughter thanked me after the show,” Washington stated.
“The hours upon hours of time I’ve seen him put in work at the gym just dancing only to follow that up by not letting his theater family down, by making it to rehearsals until countless hours of the night, you know his dedication is unmatched and if every student at BCC had half the dedication, and determination Danny had, graduation rate would be through the roof and BCC would be a staple of all Community College,” said Souza, commenting on Dan’s work ethic.
Michael Jackson and the Les Twins were his major inspirations growing up. “Now repetitive mainstream dancing are breeding drones,” Dan commenting on the concept of individuality in current dance structures.
Although being a profound self-taught dancer, he enjoys teaching others. Dan has taught two workshops at Artistic Dance Studio, located 657 Quarry St, Fall River, and interested in continuing teaching in the near future. Dan also likes to donate his time tutoring math to BCC students in B building.
BCC has allowed exposure of Washington’s dancing abilities to the community. “The school has helped me break out my shell,” Washington said. “I’ve been in billboards and my face on buses for this school,” Washington stated, upon how BCC has affected his life. He has high respect for the teachers and administrators.
Dancing has been Washington’s way of expressing himself throughout the years. “Self-expression is the most important thing in the world, the hardest test in life is how to express yourself.” Washing said.
Also Washington quoted Step Up 3, a 2010 dance film directed by Jon M. Chu “One move can change a whole generation.” “The smallest gestures mean everything. Building character is an endless joy,” Washington added. Don’t forget in your everyday lives, only you have the ability to fully express yourself. Don’t let others dictate your character.