How To Save Mad Chedda On Thrive’s Hip Hop Dance Show

So, how do you save mucho fungolas on “Tha Office” tickets?

Thrive! presents: Tha Office

The answer is so amazing, so incredible, you’ll wonder why I haven’t done this before… but before I tell you, click this link to get info about the show:

Ok, ready for the answer?

Are you sure?

Here it is: buy your tickets in advance. Like, today.

Because after September 27, you’ll have to pay regular price like all the other last minute slackers.

And NO, I’m not going to tell you how much they are.

You know I’m overwhelmingly passionate about dance. You know Thrive! Entertainment puts on great shows every year. You know Funk Factory’s show was featured in the Toronto Star and NOW Magazine, and received standing ovations. And you KNOW I received a friggin’ Dora Award for my childrens’ show “i think i can”.

Holy cow, what more do you want?

So get the price question out of your head. You know how hard I bust my b#lls putting on great dance events, classes and shows for you and the rest of the city to enjoy.

The real question is: How much do you really want to support me? Yes, today, it’s all about me. If you love me… post a comment after you get your tickets. Here’s the phone number: 416-872-5555.

Here’s the promo video again: 

That’s it for today. And if you’re a subscriber, watch for my Free September Newsletter in your inbox. Peace,

– SB

EXPERTS AGREE: Hip Hop and Tap Dance Workshops; Savion Glover; Thrive! Entertainment Are Top Picks For Summer

So, here’s this week’s post, from the Official King of the Video! I quickly talk about 5 things in this weeks’ video, see if you can count them all.

Here’s the web links for what I talk about in the video:

* College & University hip hop dance workshops, August 18th:

* Tap dance workshop, August 25th:

* Thrive! Presents “Tha Office” show in September: (more info on show and tickets coming soon)

So what are you waiting for? All the info you need is on the links above. Give us the word… and get involved. Byaah!

– Shawn B

PS: I hope my videos make your viewing experience more enjoyable. Let me know what you think, because it’s only a matter of time before people start imitating or copying my video style and ideas. Remember, there’s only one Shawn B! =)

PPS: I’ve copied the comment and link to the Savion Glover clip below. Let them know what you think.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Jason Katzman | | | IP:

We’re an independent media network in Vail, Colorado with stations in several resort markets around the country. We just had Savion Glover on our show for an interview and short performance and thought it might be of interest to you and your readers. You can check it out at:

Let me know if you’d like to link to the interview. Thanks.


Shawn, what are these hip hop dance classes you speak of?

Hark, hark… Hear ye hear ye the Good news!

Remember last week I told you that hip hop classes would be open for registration this week?

Well, I kept my word and the my site is ready for you. Take a hop, skip and a jump over to my website and see what’s available for you.

This Saturday August 11th is the first hip hop workshop for jazz bunnies. And to save those of you who hate reading, watch this special video. =)

Spread the news and see you Saturday!

– SB

Check out the newest hip hop dance class this August

Here is one of those “specials” that I let my subscribers and friends in on every once in a while.

As you probably remember, I mentioned in my last Free Newsletter that I’ll be offereing a fun series of unique, one-day dance workshops.

So far, we’ve had some awesome Adult hip hop dance classes. And, we had a spicy sample of Street Sexxy hip hop classes for the ladies.

If you missed out, here’s a few sweaty pics:

hip hop class

hip hop class2

hip hop class3

hip hop class4

hip hop class5

Check out the sweat, we gettin’ some good exercise! Last Saturday we danced to some MIMS in the beginner class, and Justin Timberlake after. Amazing work everyone. That was why we’re hot… =)

Ok, back to what I was talking about earlier.

Now get this: On Saturday August 11th, the next in the series of dance classes will be… [Drum roll please]

…a two hour, hip hop dance workshop for “ballerinas” and “bun-heads!” This two hour workshop will start at 4 pm that Saturday afternoon.

Why am I doing this?

Because I realize we all learn differently. We all have different dance backgrounds, training and abilities. We all have habits that were embedded in us from an early age. And as they say… old habits die hard.

So that’s why I’ve created this class: to help those of us who are “hip hop challenged” because of our inability to “let go” of our previous jazz and ballet training.

You know who I’m talkin’ about. Those who can’t ever relax, and have problems getting low. Or those who just can’t seem to hunch over because their spine and butt muscles are permanently engaged.

And, for those of you who are clearly missing the “funky” gene in your DNA. Know anyone that fits the bill?

Do YOU fit the description?

After thinking long and hard for a really cool name for this class, I’ve finally decided to call it:

“Hip Hop For Ballerinas And Bunheads.”

That way, there’s no confusion as to what the class is about!

I’d like to tell you more about my future plans for this class in particular… but only in person when you attend. The news is actually quite exciting, and I think you’ll agree how beneficial our upcoming plans can be for you, and so many others in the city.

Up until now, there hasn’t been a hip hop class that completely addressed the needs of jazzarinas (aka jazz bunnies). Sure, you’re flexible, agile, and can do pirouettes better than anyone else… but you have difficulty with the funky factor.

Having a jazz and ballet background myself (YES, I was also trained in jazz dance and ballet… you learn something new every day don’t you?), I’m able to personally help you through this difficult time. There is hope!

But only if you follow these 3 steps:

1.) TELL A FRIEND today about this class. Call them. Show them this info, and decide to join in the fun Saturday August 11th, at 4 pm.

2.) REGISTER for this class. On TUESDAY AUGUST 7th, I’ll be opening registration for ALL August classes. You must register in advance. Make sure to read August’s Free Newsletter coming your way later this week, all the info will be there for you.

3.) SHOW UP to class. But WITHOUT your legwarmers and jazz shoes. Hip hop people! HIP HOP. Dressing the part will help you look and feel the part. No high ponytails either. =(

Now listen to this very carefully: As I mentioned above, your August Newsletter will have all the info, so READ it when it shows up in your email later this week.

Lastly, if you’re a bunhead or jazzarina, you owe it to yourself to check out what this workshop has to offer you. Don’t sleep on this, because there’s only ONE workshop.

If you’re looking for a chance to finally get down, WITHOUT looking like a fish outta water… you need to get in this workshop.

Spread the news today, and don’t miss registration next Tuesday!

– SB

Can’t stop… Won’t stop… Yes, I dance everywhere

So, people always think I’m crazy.

Before I get into that, here’s a few shots from our Street Sexxy hip hop dance classes this weekend. TJ taught some fly routines and DAMN, everyone looked so hot!

Street Sexxy

Street sexxy 2

Street Sexxy 3

As I was saying, people think I’m crazy.

I dance everywhere. Yes, on the subway platform, in the train, on a street corner, in the bar, at a restaurant… it doesn’t matter. If there’s a beat playing, my body takes over. I’m helpless!

Here’s a few shots of my weekend. I had an interview with Muzik Movement Newz, the web’s new Internet TV Entrepreneur and Entertainment News Channel. Couldn’t resist tap dancing on the stairs…


Segment host Munira & I

Interview tappin’

I’ll let you know when the website launches and the interview comes out.

And here’s my regular hangout, JOE MAMAS on King Street. Always a great funky time, where I bring my tap shoes and throw down with the band.

Joe Mamas w Shugga

Joe Mamas 2

I don’t exactly know what I’m doing in that last pic, but feel free to make a comment on my rear end…

On that note, this Saturday, it’s Adult hip hop dance time!

Which means if you’re an adult, and you want some hip hop dance in your life, well… this is the most perfect class for you to take. What else do you need me to tell you?

NEWSFLASH: You won’t get any better if you don’t attend. Your dance skills will always be in the same place. Are you comfortable with that? If not, we can show you how to improve yo’ skills.

One class is ALREADY sold out- a week in advance. As of last night, only 17 spots were left for the second class… If you don’t act real soon, you don’t get a spot. Simple.

Visit the link below, watch the VIDEO and spread the news!

Then, you and I can be crazy everywhere TOGETHER. =)

– Shawn B

Adult hip hop dance poster

Hairspray Movie Is An Instant Classic

Ok, so I just saw the screening of Hairspray again, with cast and crew. This was my second time watching, and I’ve concluded that this film is an instant classic for sure.

The more times you see it, the more you appreciate all the details. Not just us dancing and singing, but the acting, makeup, wardrobe, lighting, humour, cinematography, subtle special effects, the extensive work put into the props and vehicles of the 60’s…

I’m gonna stop. Just make sure July 20th you’re in the movie theatre to watch it!

– Shawn B

Hairspray poster

Last night’s Hairspray movie screening

“Good morning Bal-timore!”

Yes, HAIRSPRAY madness is about to take place! Last night, I was at the VIP screening for what will probably be one of the blockbuster movies of the year.

Hairspray- Shawn B

First, there was the red carpet madness, as each celebrity arrived in their convoys to the Elgin Theatre on Yonge Street. It’s actually the same place where we had the Dora Awards, and here’s a secret: It’s where our show for Thrive! Entertainment will be this fall.

Yo, can someone say paparazzi? Wow. Two handfuls of photographers from every media source. And an army of screeming fans for Zack Efron. Is it his hair?

We went inside, where they had a photo op and autograph line. A few people asked me for MY autograph! Haha! Suckers…

Then shared some love to Zack, Elijah, Amanda and Nikki when there. It was good to see them all again, we spent so much time together last fall shooting this film. Good times.

Once inside the theatre, there were a bit of introductions from radio personality Billie and the producers of the film. Then on to the movie…

…which is one of the coolest films I’ve ever been involved in! GREAT music, choreography, costumes and editing.

I’m in all the scenes with the “Detention Kids” which is basically, all the black kids. If you don’t go check it out, I’m ah hurt somebody.

“Run And Tell That” was a favourite scene of mine, partly because I knew how fun it was shoot it. Also, “You’re Timeless To Me” is a hilarious and giddy duet between Christopher Walken and his wife John Travolta (yes, WIFE).

Adam Shankman did an excellent job with this entire film. You can learn about the film at

Of course, there was a fun afterparty with the cast at The Drake. That’s all I can say here. 😉

They Hairspray’d up the place, staff was dress in 1960’s style, and they served unnecessary amounts of icecream, twinkie cakes, DEEP FRIED OREOS (as if they weren’t bad enough for you already!) and an endless supply of sweet goodness that your dentist would have a field day with.

Apparently, “the darker the chocolate, the richer the taste…” I agree.

I’ll be seeing it again. When you go, let me know what you thought!

– SB

Here’s a few shots of myself and some of the cast.

Some Hairspray cast

Hairspray- Shawn and Nikki

More Hairspray cast

Hairspray- Shawn B and Elijah

July dance newsletter is ready for all subscribers

Hi friends,

Hope you had a great Canada Day Weekend! Yup, the news you’ve been waiting for is online:

  • Beginner hip hop and tap dance classes for the newbies;
  • a two-day workshop for tap teachers and assistants;
  • hip hop bootcamp with Nexx Level;
  • Street Sexxy classes just for tha ladies…
  • and more good news. Lots of classes to help you… “Shake Your Junk.”

I’ve sent out the newsletter to all my subscribers, so check your inbox. If you’re not on my subscriber list, what in Earth’s name are you waiting for? Sign up here…

Also, I need your opinion. Leave me your thoughts on the new look and feel of your newsletter and the website. I personally think it looks cooler… but who cares what I think, right?

I’m not sure about keeping the homepage black. Might change it to grey/blue like the rest of the site… your feedback will help me out tons.

I’ve also updated the Funk Factory site, let me know what you like/dislike.

Thanks for your help,

Shawn B
National Tap Dance & Hip Hop Instructor

And The 2007 Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical Goes To…

” And The Award Goes To…”

…wait for it… wait for it…. “Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield!”

Florence and Shawn B

You know how in award shows they build anticipation, and make your #ss wait for the result? Well let me tell you, those were the longest 5 seconds of my life.

I normally don’t get that nervous- I was all fidgety and I couldn’t stop sweating. “What’s wrong with me? Calm down!” I kept telling myself. My mom rubbed my head (she was my date).

So YES, it’s official: the play “i think i can” I co-created with playwright Florence Gibson (who’s also a multi-Dora nominee) walked away with this year’s OUTSTANDING NEW MUSICAL Dora Award.

Oh yeah, it’s big.

(For non-theatre savvy readers: That’s like the uh, the Best New Movie award on the Oscars.)

And just so you know, I wore my tap shoes on stage for the acceptance speech! Gotta represent. I let my feet do the thanking of so many people involved in the production of our show- from original ideas and workshops to the final World Premiere at LKTYP.

Awesome. What an inspiring night. I’ll try to post video footage of my “speech”.

A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to EVERYONE that walked away with an award, and especially to everyone that was nominated for one! Such amazing talent in this country.

My mom and Tangara

My acceptance speech

Me hangin’ out with “Farenheit”

Can I now take the time to say this: * YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. * Put all your heart and soul into what you love.

This play is the perfect example of an IDEA, something completely intangible in our head, to becoming a reality with support from a fabulously talented cast, crew and production team.

What’s the secret?

Well, there’s no secret really. Just take ACTION. And keep taking action. You LEARN as you go. The more you try, the more you learn.

Write this down. Somewhere you can see it every day:


There’s a hell of lot more I can share here, but I’ll save some “wisdom” for later. I’m no guru, but I actually send a lot of positive energy in the messages I sent out- the ones about signing up for something you love.

(Do you feel it? Leave me a comment at the end of this post if you do.)

You can’t dance? Well, if you take my dance classes, bootcamps and dozens of workshops we offer, EVENTUALLY YOU WILL LEARN HOW.

That’s why my team and I are teachers. It’s our job to show you how.

And STICK TO THE PLAN. That’s key. Rome wasn’t built overnight!

I really believe this. And from my experience and the experience of others, it WORKS.


On that note, got an idea for a musical or play? You better believe it can happen. It did for Florence and I, and I’ve never written a musical in my life! So it can for you too.

Want to brush up on your tap? I’ll let you know in the next few days what programs I’ll have.

Need to get in shape? Bootcamps start next week with Nexx Level.

Lacking a social life? Come have fun in our workshops, and make a new friend.

I need to thank all of you for your support. We’re trying to provide positive, lasting and inspiring experiences, whether they be through classes, events, emails, or shows. A little support goes a long way…

…so PLEASE keep coming to shows, classes and events.

That way, I can stay inspired enough to get nominated for another award! =D

– SB

P.S.- You know how after someone wins a Tony Awards, or an Oscar, and for the rest of their entire life they’re introduced as “Academy Award Winner Denzel Washington?”

Hey, I’m just wondering! Just throwing it out there… Let me know what I should do. =)